I was somewhere in Munich on a busstop, heading out for dinner after a day at the ISPO, when I got the phone call. My friend Felix had passed away in an avalanche skiing at home in Chamonix. It didn’t feel real at first, like the present got sucked into this weird dream world in between fiction and reality. Now I’m on my way back to Chamonix, to share our thoughts and remember our great friend.
It is difficult to say in words how much I will miss him, the great moments in life we had together and the adventures we planned. The ideas we shared, the respect and support we had for each other. I’m glad we had it.
We planned and did a lot together and I always felt that we shared a lot of similar values, not only in the mountains but in my every day life as well. I love how we had common ideas about the trips we planned together, thinking how we could make it more interesting and which way to make them happen. Also how we could share ideas about skiing, gear designs, filming, whatever, or how we could sit for dinner and talk about anything, anything that came to mind. If it was sharing personal problems, a new skiable line on a mountain, criticizing a movie we saw or a journey to a different country far away. Felix was always interested in more than the riding and the mountains, which always made things so much more real, interesting and fun. It was never about letting anyone tell us where to go or what to do, but to find out our own way and do everything ourselves. He always had a plan and solution for everything. Nothing was a setback or a problem, rather a small obstacle that was interesting, challenging and fun. Even now I think he is watching on us, smiling like this is all part of his great big plan. Working out his next move.
Felix was always the one bringing people together, if it was a dinner party, an opening night or a new adventure somewhere, he was the one that saw that everyone was invited and felt at home. I met so many great people thanks to him, and that I can be more than thankful about.
He left us too early, but that was not for us to decide. Now I would like him to know that I spend some of my truly happy moments of my life with him, and those moments are what counts. We always felt it’s not the quantity of years that matters but the quality of them and how you pursue happiness during them. And Felix, as I know, died a happy man. Living exactly in the place he wanted, pursuing his passion, his girl, house, lifework and that is what matters and more than many others ever will have. And he always said, that if we go, at least we know we have lived a good life. In his own Felix tone: “ah you know… at least we had a good one…”.
These few sentences can not describe how grateful I am to have Felix as a friend. But he will always have a place in our hearts and live on in our memories, and that – I believe – is what heaven is truly about.