Gérôme Pouvreau

Gérôme Pouvreau - photo © Sam Bié
  • 26 October 1983
  • Provence, France
  • qualified climbing instructor
  • climbing instructor at AS Climbing Club, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille
  • 2002

“I, Gerome Pouvreau, declare that :
- I love competition.
- I constantly want to push my limits,
- and come off routes totally stoked and high on life.
My life in climbing competitions over the last ten years represents something that has been a huge challenge in my life. The best word to describe it is ‘performance.’’

An unexpected discovery
“I grew up in La Rochelle and that’s where I discovered climbing. It all started at a carnival where there was a climbing wall between two caravan stands. I dragged my parents to the bottom of the wall, put on a harness and that’s when I became infected with the climbing virus. Straight after I joined the climbing club of La Rochelle. My parents were not climbers and since La Rochelle is flat and better for sailing than for climbing, I didn’t think I would make a career out of climbing. Now it is the most important thing in my life. I travel the world to climb and I have an amazing social life with friends in all corners of the globe.”
Asia, a climbing empire
“My favorite climbing spots are Yangsguo in China with its dreamlike landscape, and Hampi in India, which is like a world engulfed by zen. It’s a climbing paradise! The chaotic mess of boulders in Hampi makes you lose perspective of where you are, it seems like you are in a dream. There is also Badami, a small Indian village with a deep Indian culture, fascinating in spite of the poverty and disorganization.”
A practice written in the present
“My life happens in a village in Provence with my true friends and where climbing always comes first. This sometimes seems like an illusion but that’s not the case. I have lived here for ten years, surrounded by very beautiful rock faces and many good climbers. Aside from this I also enjoy playing football and petanque. I love barbecues with my neighbors. I love to step back for a minute at the climbing wall and, beer in hand, coach kids from the local climbing club. I teach them my passion and also my life experiences. By helping them progress, I progress too.”
Behind all this is a lot of hard work
“I get all my energy from nature itself. To be a great climber you need to focus and be a bit stubborn. In order to succeed, you must also be driven. A typical day for me is to help around the house, go climbing and flash the crux on the first try, then head for a café to talk about another beautiful day with friends.” But to get to this point, you can’t let anything stand in the way.”
So life’s cool?
“A big ‘yes’ and a little ‘no’.”

“Explanation: My life is really amazing. I'm a happy guy, but not every minute is cool. There are all the risks and struggles that those who don’t know this can never imagine. You must have perseverance and in order to stand out you must do the best and always be on point! The world tour of climbing is not free and it’s never easy. For instance, it’s very difficult to sleep the night before you try a 9a. It’s a true obsession. Your heart beats fast, you can’t think but you don’t stop! In the car I can’t stop thinking about the next send. And after I do it, I have to admit, I feel free in every sense of the word and I can even relax a little. Only then can you really chill. I admire climbers of all ages who are as motivated as the first time they climbed and they continue to push and learn new things. ”
My motto
“If you don’t try anything, you will never be anything.”
The story heard ‘round the world
The fall I took at the Millau RocTrip in 2004 was the most scared I have ever been as a climber. I don’t think I could ever be that scared again. When I fell I thought I was going to hit the ground but the rope held me just before I decked out… Doh! Now I can laugh about it.”

picto plus Major ascents

- First place at the 2010 Sheffield International Masters (UK), (lead)
- Third place in 2005 World Championship (Munich, Germany), (lead)
- 2001 World Champion (lead)
- Second place, 2001 World Cup (lead)
- Vice-champion of France (lead) 2000 and 2002
- Junior European Champion (lead) 2001
Sport climbing
- Argon (France), "Shashidananda" (9a) 2009. “When I clipped the anchor I felt like I was floating”
- Les Gorges du Loup (Nice, France) "Puntx" (9a), 2009 “Opened by my good friend, Cédric Lo Piccolo. I climbed it on a day with a severe weather warning. The rain was pounding in the Gorges du Loup but I was really motivated. It’s still a great memory for me”
- La Verrière La Dourbie (Millau, France), "La Guerre des Nerfs" (9a), 2010
- Badami (India), "Ganesh" (8b+), 2010
- Saint Victoire, Secteur les Dessous de la Vierge, "Aubade" (9a), 2010

picto rss Other informations

“King of da Caillasse, La Collets Production

picto photo Photos

picto video Videos

Video playlist featuring Gérôme Pouvreau

Gérôme Pouvreau at Red River Gorge (USA) - photo © Fred Labreveux