Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Will Eaton (1974-2013)

Well, its a sad time. My good friend and partner on some classic adventures was killed in an avalanche while ski touring with some friends on the Grande Casse on Thursday.

Will was one of life's good guys - he had the amazing ability to turn a random stranger into a lifelong friend in the space of 5 minutes. He also had a superhuman ability to seemingly survive on no more than 5 hours sleep a night - linking up full, early-start steep skiing days with evenings of work followed by a social into the early hours, only to repeat it all the next day!

We had recently spent 5 amazing days skiing in Lofoten, and the last time I saw him was classic Will - we were so busy chatting over coffee in Oslo airport that he had to run full speed to catch his flight before they shut the gate...

One of our first adventures.. Sache-Pourri traverse after a very late night with Laurent the gardien in the Mt Pourri refuge. The picture sums up Will - always smiling no matter what...

Will was always keen for an adventure - no matter how far-fetched the idea was:

Cave-skiing from Simon Christy on Vimeo.

Will hadn't bought a lift ticket for ages, and his fitness was kept topped up by regular (daily?) outings in his 'backyard' in Les Avals - its fair to say he knew this place better than anyone - he still had a couple of lines to show me... I guess I will just have to find 'Rumdoodle' and the others for myself now...

In 2011 he found a new line on the Rateau - and took me back the next time to repeat 'Keyhole couloir':

Will's legendary fitness wasn't just confined to skis - every time I went cycling with him was the same... I would be blowing hard on the way up some big col, and Will would be cruising along in his baggy shorts chatting away quite happily, seemingly putting in no effort other than to chase down the odd serious lycra-merchant who dared overtake us :-)

See you next time mate... hope the skies are blue and the powder is soft and deep wherever you are...

Courchevel Powder from Simon Christy on Vimeo.

3 Valleys Esoterica from Simon Christy on Vimeo.

48 hours in the Haute Maurienne from Simon Christy on Vimeo.

Dent Parrachée - East Face from Simon Christy on Vimeo.


  1. Superbes video. Le sourire de Will illuminera encore longtemps les sommets de la Savoie.