Enzo Oddo

Enzo Oddo profile - Photo © Arnaud Petit
  • 22 February 1995
  • Côte d’Azur (French Riviera - France)
  • 2010

Enzo, full of youthful exuberance…
«I’ve enjoyed climbing from early childhood. Why? I was born in Nice, there’s rock everywhere and the weather’s good year round, so going climbing is easy. My parents climbed. When I was little my parents brought with them all the time when they went climbing. I feel right at home climbing.
Until the age of 13, I really enjoyed climbing the cliffs of the French Riviera, but now, after having traveled with Team Petzl, it’s not the same type of enjoyment.»

Landscapes I prefer the most?
«With the Team, there are so many new and unique places to discover. We take an original approach to developing new areas and to putting up new routes, which always out in the wilderness somewhere. The best are bouldering spots like Bishop, Millau, the Tarn valley, outside Briançon, Entraigues, and Roche de Rame. I feel relaxed in the mountains. Perhaps it’s an inherent need for peace and quiet...»
To feel like I’m progressing
«What do I like about climbing? I don’t know. I just enjoy it. I don’t have any long term goals. But when I’m in the moment it’s a powerful feeling. Climbing is an overall experience, something that recharges my battery. I don’t enjoy sending a route for the sake of sending a route, what I enjoy is progressing, moving forward. I like to succeed in feeling comfortable with the route, like a day that just goes well without knowing exactly why.»
And the future?
«I don’t really think about it. Time will tell. I’d like to continue climbing as much as possible. I don’t see myself working in climbing all my life until retirement. That’s not my thing. I’m neither interested in becoming a certified climbing instructor, nor in creating a company to coach or to train climbers. At the same time, I can’t imagine my life without climbing. For everything else, I’m confident that it will all work out. In the beginning, I had a hard time convincing my parents to let me stop going to school. Now they fully support me; a big thanks to them. They only ask that I do the best I can in life, and to be serious about what I like to do. Since I’m almost 17, I should be at least somewhat focused.»
Any difficulties or limitations?
«I need to work more on those areas where I do not excel. For example I need to be more disciplined in working on endurance. That said, I don’t compete, so I don’t have that limitation. Competitions take up too much time. Indoor climbing is not at all representative of what I like to do. It’s something else. I’m not able to express myself when climbing plastic. For me, it has nothing to do with the sport, with the freedom of climbing in the great outdoors.»
In life…
«The people with whom I’m the closest are climbers. At this point in time I only hang out with climbers, often climbers who in the 16 to 24 age group. My favorite book is "The Centenarian Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared", by Jonas Jonasson. My favorite film is "A Serious Man", by the Coen brothers.»
Enzo's anecdote
«During an evening get together with friends in March, 2011, I said to a friend ‘do you want to go climbing?’ He said okay. So I took him to the top of a crane at a nearby construction site to do a pendulum. He had never put on a harness in his life. It’s three in the morning, and we have no right to be there, no headlamps, and no helmets. We’re both sixteen years old. We had a rope, a GRIGRI, and one quickdraw between the two of us. He took forever to climb from one rung to another. We wanted to swing like the trapeze at the circus, but halfway up the crane’s boom, he collapsed, exhausted and scared. What a mess. Charles was just hanging there. At least we were roped up. I was pulled to the side. I then lowered him down and things turned out just fine.»
What they say about Enzo:
Mike Fuselier
«Enzo is young, which means that he is totally unpredictable and spontaneous. Climbing with Enzo is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get… There are plenty of stories to tell, but here’s a good one. The story takes place in Cuba, at a guest house. During a discussion about American movies, Enzo talks about the boldness of Jean-Claude Van Damme, who takes a coconut to the abs when dropped from 10 meters above. To prove his nerve, we decided that he should experience a similar feat of strength, so we blindfolded him and started pummeling his powerful abdominal muscles with a few water bottles. He went from being a little nervous to wanting to see just how powerful a blow he could take. The dare only lasted a few minutes and Enzo took on the onslaught of bottle blows no problem… at the time. But the next day, his stomach covered in bruises demonstrated just how much he really took. "It’ll help build abs, which are good for locking off", Enzo said. All in good humor…»
Aymeric Clouet
«When we were with Arnaud in Morocco, in the Taghia region of Atlas Mountains, we were explaining basic aid technique to Enzo, how to use hooks, various safety measures, and how to use ascenders to climb up a rope. At some point in the discussion it was clear that Enzo had stopped paying attention and was no longer listening. Arnaud and I decided to stop for the day thinking that we would pick up where we left of later. Just afterwards we could tell that he had understood everything. Enzo learns quickly, is able to apply everything right away, and in addition has a great memory. He’s amazing.»
Nina Caprez
«I have a wonderful memory of when we were in Cuba. The title of the story could be, ‘psychoanalysis.’
On our last day in Cuba we went to the beach. In general Enzo is not too nit-picky when it comes to how clean his clothes are. But on this particular day he took a change of clean clothes for after the beach. He was already cleaned up and ready for the bus trip back while the rest of us were still in our bathing suits when Cédric found nothing better to do than to spray Coca-Cola all over Enzo’s clothes. Given how rare the situation was for Enzo (perfectly clean white clothes), the moment that followed was classic. Enzo got all angry and yelled, "What the hell, I was perfect!" Everyone ended up having a good laugh, including Enzo once he realized what he had said. There you have it, "I was perfect", Enzo’s new saying.»

picto plus Major ascents

Sport climbing
- Ceüse (Gap, France) «Biographie» (9a+) 2010.
- Entraigues (Briançonnais, France) «San Ku Kai» (9a) 2011.
- Gorges du Loup (Alpes maritimes, France) «Puntx» (9a) 2011.
- Sainte Victoire (Provence, France) «Aubade directe» (9a+) 2011.

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Enzo Oddo sends Biographie (9a+) - Photo © Sam Bié