October 9, 2020
Katie Schide and Germain Grangier surmount The Alps – Taming Giants
A short animated film by On entitled “Taming Giants” depicts the champion trail running duo on their most epic journey.
On July 19th this year, partners Katie Schide and Germain Grangier left Cervina in Italy on an epic journey, knowing their ultimate challenge would command a deep understanding and utmost respect for the mountainous terrain and expansive glaciers they would encounter over the following four-and-a-half days of gruelling exploration across one of the highest mountain ranges in the world.
With more than 42 hours in the mountains, travelling over 188 kilometres and accumulating approximately 15,000 meters of elevation over two summits over 4,000m, the iconic ultra athletes and champion trail running duo can now add this epic adventure in the Alps to their growing bucket list-worthy series of adventures completed. This gallant expedition and compelling paradox between two people in love with each other and with the mountains is depicted in a new short animated film entitled “Taming Giants” produced by On, Studio AKA and creative director, Simon Brotherson, that is now available to watch online. As the first animated production by the Swiss sportswear company, the imaginative film tells the tale of adoration and respect for nature—a force that cannot be conquered—where giants watch over those who dare to enter its kingdom with challenging eyes.
“It’s a few days of enjoying lots of time outdoors, listening to the mountains, testing our limits, gauging risk, and constantly adapting in the moment,” says Germain. “We share adventures in the high mountains to explore new summits, ridges, valleys, and glaciers as a simple endurance challenge. It’s what we live for.”
As elite athletes in the world of trail running (both top ten UTMB contenders in 2019) Katie and Germain were eager to combine mountaineering with their love for trail running. Their latest project had been in development for some time, requiring several months of logistical planning and preparation. But as any climber will tell you, while breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring, mountains can also be cruel and unforgiving, unless you treat nature’s most arduous landscape with reverence, whereby it will offer kindness and passage in return.
“This has become the ultimate adventure, resulting in a mammoth achievement by two of the most determined ultra athletes in the world,” says Feliciano Robayna, Head of Sports Marketing at On. “Katie and Germain have a deep respect and understanding of mountain landscapes, having both studied geology, and the nature that surrounds them. The time devoted to preparing and planning their journey shows the enduring commitment they have towards accomplishing each project with extreme efficiency. We have commissioned a creative adaptation of their story into our own version of events through imaginative animation—our first production of its kind. Taming Giants is also a film about two talented and competitive athletes, doing what they do best, challenging themselves and pushing their ability to the absolute limits.”
Setting out at dawn on Sunday, July 19 in Cervinia, Italy, Katie and Germain began their journey by climbing the Breithorn, a summit over 4,000m on the border between Switzerland and Italy. After spending the night at the beautiful Schönbielhütte (Schönbiel Hut), they departed for a 120km passage on the famous Glacier Haute Route, stretching from Zermatt in Switzerland to Chamonix in France. Forced to take refuge from the weather in Chamonix, they completed their trip the next day, by climbing the Mont Blanc in less than 12 hours.
“With most of the events cancelled this year, this project was a good opportunity to go back to the roots of what we love most: spending long days moving through the mountains,” says Katie.
For more details on the story of Katie and Germain’s adventure across the Alps and to watch the release of “Taming Giants,” visit Taming Giants.