Enzo is the youngest member of our team of climbers. The fifteen-year-old from Nice has already sent several 9a+ routes. This summer, on the 15th of August, he achieved his greatest success with the mythical "Biographie 9+" at Ceuse.
We had the opportunity to meet with Enzo and ask him a few questions about his tick of the summer.
Petzl : What prompted you to try this route?
Enzo : It's one of the rare routes at this grade in France, and of course I'd seen Chris Sharma's video. I wanted to see if I could do it; it's really my style. I made a first attempt on the route in November 2009, but I really didn't have enough reach for the big move... I ate soup all winter and went back, starting on the first weekends in June. A few precious centimeters allowed me to finally get the move. I started working it at the beginning of summer, with a break in mid-July because of my shredded fingers!!! At the end of July, the key hold on the start broke, but I didn't let it get to me. I rested a bit again and went back 5 days later. Actually, I figured out the new boulder move for the start pretty fast. It felt like it would work! And in the end it didn't change the difficulty of the route much.
I immediately started working "Biographie" again by alternating with days on other routes and at other crags (Entraygues). It's important for motivation, so you don't get saturated. And voila! On the 15th of August it got done!!! Physically I still had something left, mentally I was focused and relaxed, and voila! I got it.
Petzl : How many attempts did it take?
Enzo : I must have put in at least forty. I sent the first part at least 25 times.
Petzl : What were you feeling when you clipped that anchor?
Enzo : It was a real feeling of happiness and also true freedom since this is the route I've worked the most, it's my first 9a+. It really demanded a lot of work and motivation. When you work a route for a long time, it generates a lot of stress, and getting it releases all that pressure!!!
Petzl : Did you do any specific training?
Enzo : Not really, but working and sending "Victima Perez" at Margalef really helped me. It's the same style: super endurance with no big rest.
Petzl : The day you sent it, were there a lot of people there to encourage you?
Enzo : It's true that there were about 30 people on the ground, but it was cool; it didn't bother me. When I make an attempt, I isolate myself. I get into my bubble, and I ignore everything except the next move. I have to concentrate to the max.
Petzl : So, you're number what to have done Biographie?
Enzo : I must be the seventh person (after Chris, Sylvain, Patxi, Dave, Ethan and Ramon).
Petzl : Ceuse ?
Enzo : It's really a huge crag, with so many beautiful routes, and they should all be done. It's also one of the advantages of Biographie that you can also do other routes next to it to relax and stay motivated!
Petzl : What projects do you have now?
Enzo : I'm planning to have a pretty intense year of climbing. I'm super psyched to try Papi Chullo 9a+ at Oliana, and there are lots of new routes to do at Margalef this winter. This fall I'm looking for a window to go to Frankenjura. I've got to get on Action Directe 9a and Shangri La 8c+.
I'm continuing my schooling by correspondence with the CNED. I'm starting my second year! But I'm really going to increase my climbing this year. I'm also planning a good month at Bleau to do a ton of bouldering. That's also part of my climbing. With bouldering, I know I'll have problems with my reach and that I'll have to forget about some moves, but that's ok. Also, tomorrow I'm going back up to Grand Sablat for a few days. It's a crazy site, and it's cool up there with the altitude. The view over the Meije is amazing. I'll also be part of the Petzl Roc Trip in Mexico!!
Petzl : Do you put up routes?
Enzo : It's something I'm really interested in, but I don't have any experience yet. I dream of finding new crags with nice lines. I'm not that motivated to put up connections on crags that are already full.
Petzl : How important are grades for you?
Enzo : I find the grades quite good overall. What's most important is the real difficulty of the moves, the effort I'll need to send it. I know that Shangri La is going to be very difficult for me, and that's what motivates me to go.
Petzl : Your future in climbing?
Enzo : I want to do it as much as possible and maybe make a living from it for a while. I still haven't decided on my future career.
Petzl : Which climbers do you admire the most?
Enzo : Alex Huber, Dave Graham, Chris Sharma, Daniel Woods and Ty Landman (I've just seen his "Between the trees" video. It's incredible, he conquered the forest in a month; only "The Island" held him off.
Petzl : Competitions?
Enzo : I do them a bit from time to time. Next year I'm planning to enter a few "Open" comps to see what happens!
Petzl : Besides climbing?
Enzo : I hang out with my friends, I read a lot, and I spend time on the computer! I mostly listen to music, lots of rock, but also everything else (except for French pop!). Now : "Nothing else matters" Metallica, "Next Episode" Dr. Dre et "How we do" de Mount Sims.
Sam Bié was lucky to be there behind his camera on that beautiful August 15th day. The thrill of the red-point didn't throw him off at all, and he was able to apply all his talent to capturing this moment.
Large pictures : portrait, voie 1, voie 2.