Since 1945, only five presidents have succeeded Gaston Cathiard, the founding father of the Syndicat National des Moniteurs du Ski Français (SNMSF), demonstrating, according to La Fontaine's adage, that "Patience and length of time are more than force or rage" …
Gaston Cathiard | The builder (1945-1969, esf Val d'Isère)
Born and raised in Uriage where he made his first slides, Gaston Cathiard was an undisputed leader, charismatic and inspired. His various professional experiences, from his father's grocery store in Félix Potin in Paris, to the snow in Chamrousse, Le Mont-Dore, Villard-de-Lans and Chamonix, where he was a guide for two seasons, taught him how to be a good listener.
Director of esf Val d'Isère (1942-1960), sensing the white gold rush, he succeeded in convincing people from Val d'Isère, Chamonix, Mégevette, Chablais, Dauphiné and the Pyrenees to unite to create the SNMSF. A year later, he was also at the origin, alongside Armand Charlet and Etienne Livacic, of the Syndicat national des guides... For nearly a quarter of a century, he made a major contribution to the renown of French skiing before leaving the keys to the red house of which "he laid the foundation", as Gilles Chabert said, and starting a brilliant career as an industrialist at Poma. Unfortunately, he passed away in the Himalayas in October 1983.