Skiing became a focus of Jacques' life at an early age. He would head to Chamonix from Paris in his teens, earning money by selling his drawings.

Jacques, the skier
Jacques, the Skier

He was one of the earliest members of the Ski Club Alpin Parisien (SCAP), a prestigious Paris ski club founded by his friends Jacques Klein and Jean Carle.

S.C.A.P. silk scarf, designed by Jacques

He participated in the University Olympiad in skiing and Bobsleigh, earning bronze medals. He was 3 times champion of the SCAP challenge and one of France’s first licensed ski instructors. He served in the French military as a Chasseur Alpin, the stealth ski troops defending the Alps.

In 1936, following his participation in the Winter Olympics where he skied for France in Garmisch, he sailed to Chile, where he became the coach of the ski team and helped the Chilean army establish the Andean Corps, inspired by the Chasseurs Alpins. During the Chilean summer, he was a pioneering ski instructor in Stowe, Vermont USA with Sepp Ruschpp. After the war and his career as an aviator, he was part of the group that ‘discovered’ the Swiss village of Klosters, and turned it into a destination. His other favorite spots were Saint Moritz and Gstaad, where he lived out his shortened life.


In 1936, following his participation in the Olympiads in Garmisch Partenkirchen as a selection for the French Ski Team, Jacques and his friend Daniel DeWulf (both among the very first licensed ski instructors in France) boarded a cargo ship headed for Chile, where they had been hired to train Andean ski Troops to emulate the famed Chasseurs Alpins, who guarded the Alps and where he had done his military service.

They rose to the rank of full Colonels in the Chilean Army, partly to help them get the attention of the troops they were instructing. The story of their crossing and their first month is chronicled in the attached article, written in French by DeWulf. Another article of interest was published in the publication Andes, in 2007.

Chile PlaqueIn 1987, his children were invited to the Chilean Embassy in Paris to meet with the Chiefs of Staff and receive a posthumous plaque commemorating his service to the country of Chile.

A glacier was named after him in the famous southern region of Torres del Paine.

Also, during that period, he visited most of South America; writing and drawing for Pan American Films.


Among his firiends and teammates were Robert Frison-Roche and Marcel Ichac, both ski Olympians and movie makers. He appeared in Premier de Cordée and Ichac’s movies.


Jacques traveled to Vermont in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months, where he became the first French instructor in this famed resort in 1937.

There, he befriended an Austrian ski instructor, Sepp Ruschp, who founded the ski school and eventually became the CEO of the Mount Mansfield Company; the company that operated and maintained the resort's lift operation.

One of his students, and good friend, was Lowell Thomas, who used to do his winter broadcasts from Stowe's Great Mountain Inn. Lowell wrote the introduction to “Bombers Across”, a book about the RAF Ferry Command, where Jacques served during WWII. Thomas relates a story about a young Frenchman, known as the ‘Blue Devil’, Jacques Charmoz.


Lowel Thomas (second from left) did much to publicize skiing in America. Here, he is pictured broadcasting from the Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, Vermont, in 1938. Joe Fountain (left) was in charge of publicity for the Connecticut, Valley Railroad, and Bob Ishman, manager of the lodge, is sitting between Lowel Thomas and Jacques Charmoz, one of the very few French Ski instructors in the United States.

Trail Map 1941
Trail Map 1941

1941 maps of ski trails in Stow, Vermont


It is not possible to describe Jacque's ski life without mentioning Klosters; a sleepy village in Switzerland that he and others turned into a glitzy ski resort starting in the 50’s. There, he and Bobbie played all winter with their good friends the Shaws, the Berensons, the Houstons, the Gautiers, the Viertels… and rubbed elbows with British royalty, writers, movie moguls, actors and directors....


Jacques was commissioned to create a poster for the resort, as well as multiple items for the Chesa Grishuna Hotel, the epicenter of dining and gathering for Aprés ski.

Poster promoting Klosters

Souvenir Chesa Grishuna Hankerchief

Barbara (Bobbie) in Klosters

Jacques, Barbara, and Remy in Klosters

Jacques with Irwin Shaw, Jim Nolan and others, in Klosters

Jacques with Gogo Berenson in Klosters

Rica and Remy at the Casa Antica in Klosters

Jacques and Peter Viertel in Klosters