Maurice Monter (July 18, 1929- July 1, 2004) was a French adventurer, entrepreneur and actor, who became famous for being the youngest person to Ski down Mt. Blanc at the age of 13.
Maurice was born in the French city of Lyon to a wealthy family. Monter’s parents, Josie and Auguste, were well-known fashion designers, who designed clothes for many celebrities, including the Queen of England. Auguste Monter (Maurice’s father) known for his extravagant lifestyle owned many vacation homes, including a cabin in Grenoble, a southeastern French city located at the foot of the French Alps. It was during an annual family trip to their cabin where Maurice developed his love for skiing. Maurice was described by his father as having a “natural ability and a relentless attitude in continuing to ski even after suffering many serious injuries”.
At nine years of age Maurice began skiing very seriously, deciding to move to Grenoble from his hometown of Lyon. He exclusively skied everyday, and gained attention from local sports clubs, however, he chose not to join any clubs and instead train by himself. After intensely training for four years, Maurice decided that he was finally ready to conquer Mt. Blanc. Maurice’s successful run of the 15,000 ft. mountain gained global attention and his career skyrocketed.
Maurice’s remarkable feat was turned into a movie, giving way to his first and only acting job. In addition, Maurice decided to play himself in the movie, even doing all his own stunts, where he decided to sky down the mountain again. The movie titled “Mont Blanc” won 13 Oscars, which set a new record for most Oscars won by single movie, beating out Titanic.
In 1950, Maurice started his own clothing line, selling garments similar to those he wore while skiing Mt. Blanc. Auguste, his father, designed all the items for the company. The Brand which Maurice named Monter (meaning to climb in French), was widely accepted, even being worn by Sir Edmund Hillary on the first ever climb of Mount Everest.
Monter was tragically paralyzed in 1990, after falling of his skis while instructing a skiing class in the United States. In the ensuing years following the accident, Maurice became very depressed and never left his home. After dealing with various health problems for many years, Maurice passed away in 2004.
Fiver years after Maurice’s death, the city of Grenoble decided to name a Mountain after Maurice. He is still to this day the only person to ever Ski down Mt. Blanc.