LOWA ACTIVE Team Helmut Achatz

A different type of moun­tain­eering

Athletes, friends or parents as role models? Who hasn’t ever heard such stories? Nobody would actually think there was really anything special about them. But what about a role model that glides through the sky, like a golden eagle, for example? Hardly a typical hero, unless you are Helmut Achatz, that is. The 53-year-old chose Bruno as his role model. “A friendly, relaxed flying colleague with an unbe­lievable feel for thermal lift.” It is an area that Helmut knows like the back of his hand. After all, he is a paraglider. Besides getting a real kick from flying, both of them love the wide expanses of the mountains.

After eight years of working with Paul Klima and his eagles, collab­orating on a motion picture and a number of different tele­vision productions, Helmut has now joined forces with the inter­na­tionally respected photo­grapher Nomi Baumgartl to create a project called “Eaglewings Protecting the Alps”. A world-famous camera on the ground, an eagle in the air and satellites in outer space are supplying new, breath-taking images of Alpine glaciers. The team will spend four years working its way through the Alps from east to west, and will be supported by athletes from the LOWA PRO Team.

Helmut Achatz has been involved in nearly every type of Alpine sport since his childhood. He has been teaching paragliding since 1989, leads paragliding trips and makes multi­vision present­ations. He has this to say about his new project, “Eaglewings Protecting the Alps” “In addition to my work with golden eagles, I’m interested in them­at­ically linking various glacier regions with summit meetings. During our tour from east to west, we will continuously report on indi­vidual stages in global media. We will show the special features of every area. Hiking, moun­tain­eering, climbing, skiing, freeriding, paragliding, canyoning, ice climbing – we know just about every type of Alpine sport and can provide fascinating insights into them. We will also take a look, from a profes­sional perspective, at a wide range of local features in terms of geology, orni­thology, flora, fauna, weather phenomena and history. I want to show the Alps as a whole, as a system on which the glaciers have a direct impact.”

Facts & figures

Home base:
Production manager
Local mountain:
1,70 m

Helmut Achatz,
Do you have a role model?

“Bruno, one of our golden eagles. A friendly, relaxed flying colleague with a tremendous feel for thermal lift.”

What was your personal highlight with the birds?

“There have been a few of them: with the eagle at the wintry north face of the Gran Zebrù – catching some thermal air from a “waterfall” of cold air; at the Vajolet Towers, when he plunged down at me from the sun; collecting a beaming, half-frozen eagle after an unbe­lievable camera flight in a snowstorm at a Dolomite wall; and the time the eagle fell asleep on my fist after a great day of filming – that’s what I call trust!”

What is your major goal or dream?

“Flying and filming with Himalayan vultures in Bhutan or with a wandering albatross on Galapagos.”

Do you have a motto?

“Money isn’t everything. We can be really satisfied if we are doing jobs in which we can make some of our own decisions and apply our strengths.”

My shoes for…