Bertrand and Alice Doligez, aged 54 and 18, at the head of the paragliding school “Cime et Ciel”:
As a child Bertrand left his native region, the Pas-de-Calais, for vacation in Saint-Nicolas de Véroce. Fascinated by the Mont Blanc mountain range and life in the mountains, he decided to become a mountain guide.
In 1980, he settled in Les Contamines to achieve his childhood dream. He worked for the ski lift company as a slope patroller-first aider before rising through the ranks to create, in 1986 with three friends, the local Mountain Guide company. “I could have chosen to settle in Chamonix,” explains Bertrand, “but the busy agitation there didn’t attract me. In Les Contamines I found the right mix between tourist activities and true village life.”
In the early 1980s he met the mountaineer Roger Fillon. Bertrand confides in him that he dreams of flying so Roger suggests he tries paragliding. It was love at first sight. “I was in search of the pleasures of flight without a motor, in harmony with nature” explains the paraglider, “being in the air amidst nature is an indescribable pleasure.” In addition to his activities as a mountain guide this local by adoption decided to develop his paragliding activity. He went on to create a paragliding school and proposes flights throughout the year. Summer and winter he enables clients to discover the richness and diversity of the surroundings from above.
Bertrand has passed on his passion for the mountains and paragliding to his two children now aged 22 and 18 years old. Both of them accomplished their first solo flight at 12 years of age. “It was natural for us,” recalls Alice who aims to study law, “we filled the sails and went flying without really asking ourselves questions about the extraordinary aspect of things.” This young girl and her brother both practice acrobatic flying, often above Lake Annecy.
If the love of paragliding is rooted in the family genes Alice has no desire to transform her passion into her profession. “I have other objectives” explains the young girl, who will settle in Lyon next year. However, the young paraglider swears that she will never forget Les Contamines, “I’ll always come back. I grew up here and have very fond memories. Les Contamines is our homeport, our rallying point!”.
Photos : © Zir