THE CONQUEROR OF THE ALPS — OLIVIER BALMA

Olivier Balma

Olivier Balma has climbed more than 100 technical mountains in the Alps in Europe, including Materhorn, Mt.Blanc, the north face of Grande Jorasse(in winter),the north face of Eiger,the north face of Droite and the north face of Grosshorn(new route for the first time). Besides, he has also conquered more than 100 ice-climbing routes in Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland and other countries. All his extraordinary experiences have made him a master in the field of outdoor sports.

Olivier in climbing

Olivier in climbing

As the head coach of CMDI, Olivier has contributed a lot to China’s mountaineering undertakings.


In terms of CMDI, he said:“China possesses the most mountain resources around the world with numerous mountain climbers. However, it always lacks its own professional Alpine mountaineering guides. Therefore, in order to train professional mountaineering guides suitable for China and promote mountaineering in China with modern ideas of climbing and guiding, China Mountain development Institute (abbreviated as CMDI) was founded with joint efforts of Chinese Mountaineering Association and OZARK in 2006. Then OZARK found me and invited me to train students as a coach. The first batch of students were from Qinghai Province, Xinjiang Province, Tibet, Sichuan Province, Guizhou Province and so forth, where mountains in western China are located. During the training period, the students of CMDI received professional and systemic training, including mountaineering, rock climbing, bouldering, ice climbing, ski mountaineering, weight crossing, rescuing and so forth. CMDI has completed 5 periods of training, and 32 students have finished the courses so far.”

Olivier in climbing training

Speaking of Olivier, his student Gu Gu said:“Olivier is very dedicated and rigorous. I always compare myself with him and regard him as a fine example for me when I am coaching and guiding. His temper is not that good. If something goes wrong in climbing, he may lose his temper, for he does not want to see any danger or risk. If you did not prepare well before climbing or took inappropriate equipments, he may cancel the climbing plan directly. However, while not climbing, Olivier is also a nice friend, who will share delicious food and wines with you. He is a Frenchman and he was our chef when we were climbing in Chamonix last year.”


40 years ago, Olivier started to ski in a small-sized ski resort in northeastern France at the age of 8. His family did not have any outdoor-sports background. And not everyone was able to get access to skiing at that time. Fortunately, Olivier lived in the small district near the mountain - Les Vosges, where inexpensive skiing courses were offered for children.

Oliver and OZARK

Olivier participated in some skiing competitions, slaloms and rock climbing competitions as a teenager. His career is directly affected by his passion for outdoor sports originated from his teenage. Afterwards, he received professional alpine-guide training in France and became a French international mountain guide certificated by the International Guide Union. Additionally, he once came to China and engaged in China’s alpine-guide talent training in Tibet Mountaineering School as a professional coach. As a skiing and climbing expert of more than 20 years’ experience, Olivier formed an indissoluble bond with OZARK because of climbing and became a senior mountaineering consultant of OZARK.

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