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Taming Giants: Katie and Germain's Greatest Adventure Yet

Discover Taming Giants. A mixed-media production blending animation and video to capture the incredible story of On athletes Katie Schide and Germain Grangier’s greatest adventure to date: climbing, hiking and running from Cervinia, Italy, to Chamonix, France.


Once upon a time, there was a girl called Katie and a boy called Germain.


Courageous and free of spirit, both were made for adventure. In fact, they’d already successfully set out on numerous epic quests, off-road treks and daring exploits together. 


But one summer, they wanted more. They wanted the journey of a lifetime. 


They wanted to be transported to a world of giants and magical shoes. Where limits existed only to be left behind. Where greatness was within reach. They wanted to find out if they were worthy of climbing some of the biggest mountains in the world, of taming Earth’s greatest giants.  


This is the story of their biggest-ever adventure. This is Taming Giants. 



Setting out at dawn on Sunday, July 19 in Cervinia, Italy, Katie and Germain began their epic journey by climbing the Breithorn (4,164m).


After spending the night at the beautiful Schönbielhütte (Schönbiel hut) on the mountain, they departed for a 120km passage along the Haute Route, stretching from Zermatt, Switzerland, to Chamonix, France.


Forced to take refuge from the weather, they restarted and completed their trip the next day on Thursday, July 23 by taking down the Mont Blanc in just a single day.


All in all, that’s 190km, 13,700m of elevation and two summits topped in 42 hours. 


Sounds a little hard to believe, right? Like the stuff of fairy tales?


Well, if you follow the adventures of On’s mountain-dwelling, trail-running twosome then you’re probably getting used to their epic adventures by now. 



Whether they’re winning grueling 100+ km races on some of the most technically-trying terrain or smashing FKTs (Fastest Known Times) amid stunning mountain scenery, this dynamic duo is always up to something extraordinary. 


Usually at this time of year, they’d be gearing up for another season of competition at the highest level. But with races cancelled all over the world, Katie and Germain decided to take on a different kind of challenge. 


And what better way for us to tell this epic fairy-tale-esque story than with a mix-media film blending real footage with animation to transport viewers to a world where anything can happen? 


Keep reading for a Q&A with our protagonists or get a more detailed look at the full adventure in the article.



Hey guys, what made you come up with this idea to do this?


"We had planned a different project for the summer that included a combination of races and mountaineering. But with the global health crisis and race cancellations we realized it was no longer going to be possible, so we started thinking about other fun ideas that wouldn't depend on race schedules. 


"We had both always been interested in the Glacier Haute Route and had intended on climbing the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc this summer so it seemed logical to connect the two summits via the Haute Route. In the end, the conditions, weather window, and timing just weren't going to work out for the Matterhorn so we started with the Breithorn instead. Now we have a good excuse to return to the area."


The Trail Breaker
"The Trail Breaker is light and protects from the wind on the glaciers, but it’s not too warm when we’re trying to move fast. It's great that it has the half zipper, so you don’t have the deal with the zipper crossing the hip belt on a backpack, but it’s also big enough that you can even take it off over a helmet."


How did you prepare for the adventure?


"Our training wasn't so different from our normal preparation for ultra races but we did spend around three weeks in the region ahead of time, making sure we were familiar with the route and checking the conditions of the glaciers."


How was the trip? Any particular moments that stand out?


"Fun, exhausting, beautiful. The highlight was definitely sunrise on Mont Blanc. It was one of those moments that's hard to describe. Suddenly the clouds cleared and the light was just incredible." 


Are you always supported by your friends and family when you have these ideas for new adventures?


"We're lucky that we are each other's closest friends and family, so yes we always support each other. Of course, it's important to surround yourself with positive people."



What did it feel like reaching the top of the Mont Blanc?


"In some ways it was a big sense of relief, especially after such uncertain weather forecasts and not knowing if we would be forced to turn around at some point. But then when we realized we still had to descend 4000m on tired legs it didn't feel as relaxing."


The Cloudventure Peak
The next-gen ultralight trail racing shoe featuring Missiongrip™ for hold on tough alpine inclines and CloudTec® for clever downhill cushioning over long distances.
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Take a look at Katie and Germain’s Strava activity and find out what it takes to tame giants:       

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