Passionate about mountains and outdoor activities in general, Maximilien is our ski referent. From an early age, he has been hurtling down the slopes, whether in the Pyrenees or the Alps. Competing in competition for more than 10 years, Maximilien thinks big and is now aiming for world freeride qualifications. Get ready, it will send! @maximilien_michel


Where do you come from ?


I am originally from the Côte d'Azur but I now live in the Basque Country, in Anglet. I am traveling in the Alps and the Pyrenees during the winter season.


What was the trigger for you? How did you progress?


This trigger appeared during my end-of-studies internship that I carried out at the headquarters of Faction Skis in Verbier, Switzerland. This station is for me THE flagship destination for Freeride in Europe. It offers an infrastructure with quick access to very challenging off-piste faces and corridors. The fact of having practiced alpine skiing for more than 10 years in competition, and having carried out this internship in such a destination allowed me to progress very quickly.


What is your best advice to start skiing?


My best advice for those who would like to start skiing, is not to listen to your friend who takes you directly to the top of the lifts telling you that you will be fine. The choice of land is the most important. It is necessary to start with gentle slopes with the minimum of danger in the surroundings. The key is to gain confidence before leveling up.

Same advice for Freeride skiing but for another reason. You must choose a low slope (<30°) to limit the risk of avalanche and above all never go out alone. There are many other things to know before going off-piste, the important thing is to be well informed.


What are your top destinations? Your most memorable destination? Your favorite spot?


My top destinations are in the Alps (France, Switzerland and Austria). My favorite spot remains Verbier but maybe I would change my mind when I tasted the Japanese or Canadian powder.


What is your next goal? 


My next goal for the 2022-2023 season would be to climb to the highest level of the freeride world qualifications (FWQ 4*) and reach the finals. At the same time, I'm going to make my first freeride ski short film.


What does skiing mean to you? 


It's hard to explain it in words... Skiing is more than a passion, it's part of my life. The more I practice this discipline, the more I feel there are things to discover.