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“The mountains aren’t here to be conquered, or to be climbed, but to help us to grow. – P. BONHOMME


A one-of-a-kind athlete, with a slight grimace on his face and lively eyes, a cap always on his head and a creative and innovative mindset, constantly looking for a new vertical challenge. This is Paul Bonhomme. 

Born in 1975, Belgian by birth, Dutch by origin, and French by adoption, he now lives with his wife and four children in the tiny town of Cercier, the gateway to his beloved Mont Blanc.
High mountain guide, extreme skier, climber and trail runner. It’s impossible to categorize Paul with a single label.
His athletic profile is proof of this: after competing at the national level in bouldering gyms during his adolescence, from the age of 20 he pursued a career in the mountains, first as a ski instructor and then as a guide. It was a way to be close to his brother and his best friend, inseparable partners in adventure who died prematurely on the slopes of Gasherbrum, but also to complete ambitious project
s while seeking a totally new approach to exploration and steep skiing.

Climbing on foot or with ropes, and descending along lines conceived just few days before, with gradients that often reach 50 degrees, but always attentive to personal safety and the conditions imposed by the mountains. This is the style of exploration that Paul embraced in completing his most memorable challenges, from the four faces of the Aiguille Verte in one day (2018) to the 10 steep lines of “Project X” (2021).
But the soul of a downhill skier coexists with that of a mountaineer. In 2022 he completed the “Ecrins dance,” the personal project that led him to connect all the mountain refuges dispersed around the national park of the same name. In 2023, his dream is to complete the Via Alpina — 2,650 kilometers and 150,000 meters of elevation gain — in 28 days!
For Paul, it doesn’t take much to generate the spark: when the sight of a profile entices him, he immediately visualizes a line that cuts down the mountain almost vertically. From there, he’s possessed by a single thought!



At almost 50, you’re a legend of extreme skiing and more. What’s your elixir of youth?
I think more than anything it’s curiosity and the ability to laugh at myself. The fact that I never take myself too seriously, never think I’m special, and always try to stay as humble as possible. But most of all, thinking of life as a gift, not as an obligation.
Share an anecdote that no one else knows about yet ...
Once, while guiding in Saas-Fee, I lost one of my skis at the top of the Allalinhorn. I lost it while trying to fix my client’s ski. There were still four days left on the tour. So I took his second ski, and he went to Saas to rent another pair. He had such big feet that I had to put the bindings in the telemark position for the remaining four days.
The latest project you’ve set your sights on is the Via Alpina. Tell us where the idea came from and what the major difficulties are that you’ll encounter.
I first thought about it after Patrick Berhault’s (2000–2001) Alpine crossing. I told myself that I’d never have his climbing skills, but I might one day run long distances. As the years progressed, I began to increase my mileage with skis and climbing gear. After completing the “Ecrins dance,” I told myself that maybe it was time to try to cross the Alps!
What’s your favorite Karpos product?
It’s hard to choose just one, but I’d say the iconic products in the Highest line, including the K-Performance Light Down Jacket and the Mountaineer Pants. My favorite mountaineering outfit!


2018   Climbing and skiing down four different faces of the Aiguille Verte (4,122 m), on Mont Blanc, on the same day
2021    “Project X”: descent of 10 new steep lines with a length of at least 500 meters and a gradient of 50 degrees in a single season​​​​​​​
2022  “Ecrins dance”: connection of all 33 mountain refuges of the Écrins National Park, in France (300 km and 27,000 m elevation gain)

2022  “Démocralinea”: a new line on the northwest face of the Aiguilles des Lacs, in Valpelline​​​​​​​
2023    “From Zero to Zero”: completing the Via Alpina, from Muggia to Monaco (2,650 km, 150,000 m elevation gain)


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