From the deep: the Petzl adventure


A novel about a company and its environment. From the first caving ladders to self-adjusting headlamps, the Petzl story is one of a series of inventions that revolutionized access to the vertical world.


Watch the video – an interview with Paul Petzl


The Petzl adventure started almost four decades ago, and I can tell its history interests people. I’ve seen that the founders, the environment in which the company works and thrives, its products, the fact that it’s family-owned, its growth and success are all things that pique people’s curiosity. The amount of interest surrounding all of this sometimes leaves me speechless; I often get questions on the matter. On more than one occasion, I’ve been asked to put Petzl’s story in writing. Why bother?…Over time, through both successes and challenges, I have come to understand that the company’s past, the path it has taken, and the story of those who first imagined what it could accomplish, are not simply antiquated musings but one of Petzl’s major strengths.

Paul Petzl


The tools that helped shape the world of mountain exploration

grigri - Michel Suhubiette

Though rarely in the spotlight, climbing equipment represents more than a simple accessory for mountaineers. The evolution of such carefully designed gear bears witness to the intelligence climbers use to overcome increasingly challenging terrain, and embodies their ethical choices. The tools climbers use clearly reflect their approach to the mountains.


Men and women who serve the mountain environment

For forty years, Petzl and its founders have played a major role in the history of the mountains. With caving as the starting point of its legacy – an activity in which Fernand Petzl played a pioneering role – the equipment manufacturer has explored vastly different realms of the vertical world: rock, ice, snow, and nighttime. The company has also successfully transferred its expertise to both rescue and work-at-height.



Family heritage, and a passion for speleology!

To tell the history of Petzl means telling the story of a team of cavers who discovered an underground network of galleries and shafts while at the same time inventing the means with which to explore them. This is also the story of a family that started out with almost nothing and built, through sheer determination and ingenuity, a world-renowned company.



Discover the book

Leaf through an excerpt in French version >>

See a slide show >>



Buy the book

From the deep: the Petzl adventure
"From the deep: the Petzl adventure" by Sophie Cuenot and Hervé Bodeau
Format 23 x 23 cm - 272 pages - available in French and English versions
Éditions Guérin
Price: 35 € (including tax)