Antoine Diet, freeski programme manager & co-owner of Le Crewzer in Val Thorens

Growing up I felt like the luckiest boy alive. I skied every day and the days seemed endless. When the snow was fresh I used to go to school by sledge. I’d jump off my balcony into the snow and go and meet my friends.
Life is simple here, in the best possible way. You can make a business from your passion. I skied from a young age and I was a ski instructor by the time I was 17. I was a professional skier for a while, in freestyle and freeride, but now I prefer to turn my attention to the next generation. > Read more

Christelle Combépine, owner of Téléski de la Turche in Les Gets

I run one of the last independent ski lifts left in France, and the very last one in Les Gets. I was working in finance in Switzerland but gave it all up to do this. It’s a fight to preserve the heritage we have here, the mountain spirit from another time, but it’s a hugely important one for me and my family.  > Read more

Brice Le Guennec, pro snowboarder & co-founder of Galibier Brewery, from Valloire

The Alps change constantly and are a continual source of inspiration. The seasons bind but never resemble one another; no landscape or moment is ever identical. You have to be pretty cold-hearted not to be moved or influenced by this powerful nature we have in the mountains. > Read more

Marion Gouwy, from Peyragudes, pro snowboarder & architect

My local mountains possess powers beyond the obvious. They changed my life. When I discovered Peyragudes I began to see the world differently. I saw this wild Pyrenean valley, which was in complete contrast to my native city, Toulouse. > Read more

Thierry Thorens, chef and sculptor in Morzine

My love and appreciation for the mountains of Morzine come from spending my childhood here. I used to roam the pastures with the herds; it’s something you might still catch me doing from time to time.
I learnt my trade in some top kitchens with incredible chefs, including Paul Bocuse, whose restaurant in Lyon has a rare and much-coveted Michelin three-star rating. But my love of cooking comes from my mother. She passed on recipes and secrets nurtured by Haute-Savoie mountain communities over generations. > Read more

Samantha Rolland, cheesemaker based in Pralognan La Vanoise

You don’t learn to become a farmer. You either are a farmer, or you simply act like one. My husband is a born and bred Savoyard farmer. I just act like one. Basically, you just have to work as hard as you can, then work a little bit harder. It can be a very tough job, but I feel connected to the earth here and you simply cannot get that feeling in an office building. We live with the rhythm of the seasons with our animals - everything depends on the seasons and the weather. > Read more

Marc Gostoli, founder of Antenne Handicap in La Plagne

I was lucky to have been born into snow. My father moved us all to La Plagne the year I was born to open the resort’s first outdoor sports shop. I grew up in this beautiful place and have been here my entire life.  > Read more

Enak Gavaggio,freeride ski champion from Les Arcs

You don’t need to be a professional skier or an instructor or guide to enjoying the sheer power of the mountains. To be by yourself and lost in a moment while skiing or snowboarding is a fantastic sensation. You can feel the force of the snow underneath you and you either feel like the strongest person on earth or the most vulnerable. Anyone can experience that.  > Read more

Kiki Hudry, artist from Le Grand-Bornand 

The mountain style is influenced by haute-couture, which I’ve always had a weakness for. The mountains are an area of invention and of constant evolution, and that reflects my own sense of style and how I express myself. I admire how local brands re-invent classic looks and use simple and noble materials. Vintage has had a strong return this year, and you can see that heritage in shops everywhere. > Read more 

Guerlain Chicherit, Tignes

The mountains have been my backyard all my life. Growing up here laid the foundation for my entire professional skiing career, and gave me the perfect playground to train in. Whether I’m on foot, on skis, on motorbikes or in cars, I can always manage to find new ways to explore and push my limits. One of the best ways to clear my head is to grab my friends and spend a couple of hours on our motocross bikes, exploring some of the most difficult trails around the mountain in the summer. The mountains are a constant motivator. Just when I think I’m completely out of energy or creativity, they seem to inspire and reinvigorate me. It’s like a friend who is always watching, always encouraging you to go that one step further. > Read more

Cyril Cote, skimaker from St Gervais

Wood is a noble material which makes me feel close to nature and close to the environment. That feeling and that sense of awe is the same feeling I have when I’m in my workshop and I can watch Mont Blanc while I work. Everyone knows Mont Blanc. I’m so proud of the fact that I can craft hand-made wooden skis at the foot of such a revered and important mountain. > Read more

‘Faces’ is a portrait series which seeks to get under the skin of the characters who live in some of your favourite French ski resorts. From the pro snowboarder who runs a craft brewery at altitude in Valloire using water from the glaciers, to the architect who designs buildings inspired by Pyrenean mountains. And from the lift operator in Les Gets, who promises a slice of authenticity and nostalgia each time you ride her poma lift, to the inventor from La Plagne who has revolutionised Paralympic skiing.
These are the untold stories of the people you walk past every day on your ski or snowboard holiday. Unique encounters with ordinary people living in an extraordinary environment.
These are the many different faces of the French mountains, who owe their passions and way of life to the rugged landscapes and stunning snowy peaks they’re lucky enough to call home.