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My story



  • Born in the south of France, I grew up in the Southern Alps. My vacations and free time were filled with mountain sport activities initiated by my parents including not only downhill and back country skiing, but also rock climbing, hiking, spelunking, ice climbing and fly fishing. Many of my childhood friends with whom I did these activities went on to become expert mountain guides. Following my own personal passion, I first became a nationally ranked instructor and then a rescue worker with the French Spelunking Federation. In order to become a federal instructor, I followed a series of classes in which I perfected my ropes skills, studied human psychology in order to be able to best help beginning climbers to overcome their own fears and stresses, and I learned advanced first aid and rescue skills to be able to get someone out of a cave in an emergency. At the end of this training, the French Spelunking Federation recognized me as a nationally ranked instructor. I worked primarily with teenagers and young adults who were discovering caving for the first time. Through this work, I was recognized for my rescue skills and chosen to be part of the French Spelunking Rescue Team, a nationally recognized group of specially trained spelunkers who intervene in emergency climbing and caving situations in France and throughout Europe. I was a member of this elite group for twelve years until the demands of family and work made it difficult for me to give as much of myself to the on-going training and other demands of the position as I felt were needed. 
  • As I said, most of my childhood friends continued to be equally or more involved in extreme mountain sports than I was. My ability with ropes was known among them, though, so in 1995 when a group of them had the idea of creating a suspended ropes park in the forest of the Queyras National Park, they invited me to join them in trying to make this idea a reality. The park that we set up was not as researched or as extensive a project as current-day parks, but we did use cables for moving between elements and wooden platforms to separate one element from the next. This was officially my first contact with aerial adventure parks. 
  • Though my professional experience these past 12 years has centered almost exclusively on aerial adventure park design and construction, my other work experiences and skills have had significant value in helping me to contribute to the development of this industry in the United States.

Jean-Michel (Jean-Mi) Sarrazin

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New brand - New products


Today, 25 years later, I've created a new brand - Challenge Access - of climbing gear needed for recreational activities such as adventure parks and ziplines and canopy tours. My newest development is a harness that combines all of my knowledge and experience of techniques of vertical progressions with features I know you'll love:

  • Easy to put on and take off.
  • Extra waist and leg padding to make it exceptionally comfortable to wear 
  • Able to minimize discomfort of a fall
  • A pocket for your phone
  • Plus, you're going to love how it looks! 


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A Partnership of Uncompromising Quality


Based at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France, Cilao has been a trusted manufacturer of technical mountain sport equipment and climbing gear for the past 15 years. They are the obvious choice to partner with in the manufacturing of our new harness as they deliver the highest quality at the most competitive prices in the market.  I'm honored to also be able to make many of their other products available to you on the Challenge-Access website. Enjoy!

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Better yet, see us in person!

We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.

Challenge Access

5358 Saber drive, Mount Airy, MD 21771, US

(240) 620-9255