The realization that one is getting old can be a tough pill to swallow. The knees creak, the back aches, the energy wanes. It can be hard to keep going with the things you love. At some point, many of us will wake up (or already have woken up) and realized that the things we used to be passionate about are just dusty old memories. The passion remains, but the physical actions have been left somewhere on the mountain or out in the water. Unless, that is, you just… keep… going. Much like Roland Cachot has.
Roland Cachot is 82 years young. His face is weather-worn. His eyes twinkle with years of experience. His smile says more than he does, although when he does speak, he’s likely to say something profound. In the winters, he skis. Every other season, he walks in the mountains. He appears to be a man who takes immense joy in the simple things. Things like a snow-covered peak, or a lung full of crisp alpine wind. Things like the sound of a bell ringing through a valley, or the act of walking for the sake of walking, not for the sake of getting somewhere.
He mostly tours on his skis now, because as he says, “skiing on the slopes is boring.” Spoken like a man who has skied a lot of slopes. He’ll keep doing it, too, as long as his body allows. Most of the people he used to ski with aren’t around anymore, of course. “The old ones are gone forever,” he says, “or they stopped coming up. Those who are still coming are twenty years younger than me.”
Cachot, however, is still keeping up. In the video above, filmed by his son Tim Cachot and Jules Guarneri, Cachot returns to his favorite place: Ovronnaz, in Valais. It’s in southern Switzerland, near the Matterhorn; a vast area so full of breathtaking views it’s hard to comprehend.
Roland Cachot loves it there. And that’s why he just keeps going. And he’ll keep going for as long as he can.