Géraldine Fasnacht - The bird-woman
First known for her snowboard skills Géraldine took off in base jump and wingsuit.
A new movie "4634 Perception - The mountain within" will premiere soon. It's time to get to know her.
Hello Géraldine, to start, tell us the sports you practise at a pro-level today ?
Freeride snowboard freeride and wingsuit. I draw lines on the mountains by flying or riding down after a nice climbing up.
When did you start in those sports ?
I began ski at 2 years old when I learnt to walk, but the discovery of snowboard at 8 years old truly made me want to acknowledge the mountains, to feel them… Wingsuit came much later when I wanted to find a sport during summer that would passionate me as much as snowboard freeride. In 1998, I started skydiving, after 300 jumps from a plane I did my first base jump. After 500 jumps from the plane that’s where I started wingsuit.
In a few words, how do you percieve a snowboard competition ?
It’s about taking insparition from the mountain to find a line, to study the line, to memorize it and then climb up to ride it down.
How do you prepare for a wingsuit jump ?
If it’s the first time I study the line on Google Earth to make sure I can fly all the way down. My backpack with all the hardwear weights about 12 kilos (rope, parachute, wingsuit, ice axe, boots spikes). So I train to be fit, I train to have the best start for the jump.
At the moment you jump, what goes through your head ?
I am completely focused on my line. I’m thinking of anything else but to appreciate the moment and the chance to be a right time at the right place… this is a gift.
You didn’t became profesionnal in one day, how did you cope at the beginning ?
I did some business studies in Switzerland I have a CFC degree. I use to work in Geneva for our late national air company Swissair. When I left it to do snowboard I managed to find a part time job at Verbier Travel Agency. I was able to ride and train in the mornings. I did some extras hours at a “spaghetteria » in the evenings.
A young girl comes to you and say « Géraldine, I want to do wingsuit too !” What is your advice ?
Start with skydiving and wind tunnel, know how your body react in the air in all the positions. It’s already a magical feeling to have your body floating. The more you will train skiving the easier it wll be when you’ll switch to wingsuit.
What goggles, glasses and lenses to do you use and in what circumstances?
Why do you use Titan goggles?
I have a large face, so I use the Titan because it gives me the widest field of vision as possible. It’s important to take the biggest goggles for your face.
Bonus question, watching your photos, videos, we notice the omnipresence of pink colors. Is there a particular reason ?
I like to put a feminine touch in « boys » sports. I think it’s cool.