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Meet Chris Fecher
07/02/2023 11:09pm

A lifelong obsession with skiing started at a young age before moving to the Mecca of skiing, Chamonix France when he was 18 to fulfil his dream of living a mountain life. Our very own ex freeride pro Chris originally hails from the UK and now retired from competitive freeride he’s a fully qualified ski teacher a ski patroller and a full NZMGA ski guide. He’s been a regular face in the HMH guiding team now for 6 winters. 

Chris, where are you from?

Originally from the heart of the UK, I lived in Chamonix France for 25 years so that still feels a little like home, I’m now based in Wanaka NZ and I love it! 

What is your best skiing experience?

Being set free on a mountain at age 8 was the most amazing feeling of freedom, one that still resonates and drives me to this day! In so many ways the best days are the real gifts that came out of nowhere! Sometimes you catch the conditions just right and sometimes it’s more about the journey. Spring snow storms In Chamonix, bottomless powder skiing, over the head face shots! New lines, new faces, road trips and good times! Oh and of course Heliskiing!

What’s your favourite mountain to ski?

I love skiing big mountains and have skied lines all around Chamonix, Europe, Argentina, Chile and NZ. HMH has some epic big mountain skiing and access with a helicopter is just about as good as it gets! With so much terrain to experience, I still haven’t skied it all after my 6 winters guiding with HMH. My pick from the HMH playground would have to be the terrain around Mt Cook and the North Buchanans right here in the Wanaka backyard.

What is the best thing about being a ski guide? 

I froth for skiing and being in the mountains, I love the sensations of skiing, the feeling of freedom and along the way on this skiers path I’ve developed a real passion for helping folk have an awesome time, get more from the mountains and learning how to safely travel in them. How good is that!!

What do you do in the Summer?

Summer is still a fairly new concept for me having done so many back-to-back winters. I have a summer event business now called Gather & Gold and work delivering top-end events from weddings to large corporate do’s. It’s super fun and challenging work and a lot of the time I’m working alongside local ski patrollers and guides which is great because we all just gas about skiing! The Northern hemisphere winter always beckons so I try to get away for some time on snow.

What was life like as a pro free skier?

I was totally the token skier in a group of pro snowboarder friends, I tagged along on lots of adventures, film and photo shoots. That gave me the collateral to leverage some sponsorship and so it started. I rode for ‘K2 skis’ and ‘Sessions’ clothing initially and later ‘The North Face’ and ‘Mountain Hardware’, we spent a lot of time waiting out storms and good conditions to shoot photos and film. Freeride competitions were born from the early Extreme comps and so this became another focus for my winters, travelling and competing. Still in its infancy freeride comps focused very much on fun and amidst the pumping tunes competitors through down to a hyped crowd. I also started running winter & summer ski camps in France as a side hustle and this prompted me to finish off my teaching & guiding qualification. Before the move to NZ I was running own ski school and guides business in Chamonix. 

See you on the snow!