Stéphanie Bodet

Stéphanie Bodet profile - Photo © Stéphan Denys
Stéphanie Bodet profile - Photo © Sean Leary

France

FRA
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Photo portrait: 
Stéphanie Bodet - Photo © Thibault Saubusse
Date de naissance: 
14 March 1976
Lieu de résidence: 
Céüse, Hautes-Alpes, France
Formation: 
CAPES degree in modern literature, currently working on climbing instructor certification
Statut actuel: 
professional climber, French teacher
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
1996

Life on the wall is a great source of personal enrichment and self-knowledge
“I have had the good fortune to be a part of some beautiful expeditions and wonderful trips with Arnaud. I have powerful memories from all the big walls I have climbed, especially the bivouacs that are often so incredible. I want to give my best in order to be successful at something I am passionate about. In learning how to open big routes, I have noticed that I appreciate more and more a certain ethic that, in my opinion, keeps the game of climbing on the right track. Without taking risk too lightly, I really like routes that demand a certain level of commitment, that require you to focus and give 100 %. I don’t get a whole lot of pleasure out of climbing chipped routes, very little in fact. I don’t think this is elitist because regardless of your level I think anyone can hold this opinion. In Céüse, I sometimes climb with the young, new generation of climbers. It’s great to see them motivated by the same things and to see that ethics is not something that only older climbers are concerned about. On the contrary, they are often tougher than us on some points.”

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Don’t be afraid
“I like all kinds of climbing but most recently I’ve focused more on big wall climbing. I never dreamed that one day I would be living my passion. At the same time, as a child, I dreamed of becoming a shepherd or an Egyptologist. I was attracted to the unknown, adventure and wildlife so my current lifestyle does not surprise me that much. When I climb, I’m focused on the present, the future is limited to the next hold. I forget my worries, I forget myself and at the same time I have the feeling of being one with the rock. This is something I love and which is indispensable for me. I find it in other activities as well like yoga, writing and gardening. Life suddenly seems so simple. I feel good when I climb. I love to be outside in nature where I can find balance. What feeds me is the extraordinary richness of the sport from bouldering to sport climbing to leaving on an expedition. It’s pretty rare to find a different culture just as it’s difficult to find new walls. One lifetime is not enough to explore all the different aspects of climbing. Climbing is a great way to get schooled in humility. I try not to focus my attention on grades but more on how this or that route is going to challenge me or what I will learn. I am attracted by the climbing styles that I have not mastered and that make me feel like a beginner each time I try them. This renews my motivation and my curiosity. In the end, it is often the dreams of children that are actualized, or more simply, that dreams become possible once we accumulate enough experience to make them happen. That was the case for me with Trango Tower. As a young competition climber I already had dreams but it wasn’t until a few years later, after I had taken the mountains seriously and climbed a lot of granite, that the dreams became reality.”
 
 
Nature and…
“I often go for walks where I take the time to observe nature, watch birds and identify animal tracks in the winter. I am fortunate to live near Céüse in the Hautes Alpes. I admit that it’s my favorite place for climbing of course, but it’s also about the quality of life you find in the Gapençais valley. This area has remained wild with very little development and the countryside is really diverse. These are the same things that I love about Verdon. Each spring in Céüse, I marvel at all the activity around the cliff. This crag is a great home for birds and I love to watch them. I believe that, like other animals, we are only tenants of the earth. It’s not a problem to skip an 8a route that is in a place where birds are nesting. It’s interesting to watch a chough with her red beak feeding her babies in the nest, or to enjoy the dance of swallows as they build their fragile earthen nests in the holes made by the waterfall or on Biography wall. Elsewhere in the world, I love Taghia in Morocco because of the scenery and the people who live there. I’ve been going to Taghia every year for the last eight years. I’ve made some close friends and I have learned to speak a bit of Berber, which makes the trip even more rewarding.”
 
 
Literature as well...
“I’ve enjoyed reading since I was very young. My literature studies have led me to explore different authors. I have read many classics, contemporary novels and for the last 10 years, I have specialized in travel literature (Ella Maillard, Bruce Chatwin, Alexandra David-Néel…). I especially like the stories of the tribulations of Sylvain Tesson. These days I don’t read as many novels because I find myself more interested in poetry: Valérie Rouzeau, Philippe Jaccottet, Michel Jourdan, Yves Bonnefoy, Bashô, Emilie Dikinson, Henri Michaux… The book that affected me the most is without a doubt “l’Usage du Monde” by Nicolas Bouvier. His style moves me and I love the way he writes about the countryside through which he travels and of the people he meets. It’s a book that makes me want to turn myself into a balloon so that I could fly across the world. This year, I have resumed my studies and my work on Bouvier but I have also wandered from the prose of Giono to the philosophy of Nietzsche, gone through the memoires of Simone de Beauvoir and ‘Essais de Montaigne’, Henri Miller and Kenneth White… In the end I have not written a line but I’ve got some great memories. I have no mentor, the closest to that for me are the writings of those who sometimes disappear for thousands of years in which I find the questions that are close to my own, but written more beautifully. This gives me the sense of belonging to a community spirit.”
 
 
I don’t really have a motto, but…
“When I feel too hyperactive or unsatisfied with a day, I love to remember this beautiful phrase from Montaigne: “I did nothing today. What? Have you not lived? It is not only the most basic but the most illustrious of your occupations.
 

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Sam Beaugey

Sam Beaugey profile - Photo © David Ravanel
Sam Beaugey profile - Photo © Tony Lamiche

France

FRA
header
Photo portrait: 
Sam Beaugey - Photo © Collection S.Beaugey
Date de naissance: 
3 June 1971
Lieu de résidence: 
Chamonix, France
Formation: 
ENSA (National Ski and Alpinism School)
Statut actuel: 
mountain guide
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
2000

I learned about myself by growing up in the mountains
"My father was a high-mountain guide and he taught me about his mountain. This experience continues to add meaning to my life. The purpose of my own climbing is to conquer the useless, but more importantly to share the essence of the adventure and at the same time respect nature with a big smile and loads of good times. The main value that I share with my climbing partners is commitment. I want to show that mountaineering is not limited to a single discipline, but that it’s lots of different practices and there is always something new to discover. The joy of flying after a nice climb has become essential for me and my goal is to make the descent as significant as the ascent. The most difficult part of that is all the different injuries that come from the landing accidents."

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My circle of family and friends provide a strong foundation
"I am very close to my family and friends and especially my parents because, thanks to them, I can travel to the end of the world. The people I am closest to now are my childhood friends: Jérôme Ruby because he’s Jérôme, Dean Potter because of the dream he is living, my brother for his life that is similar to mine, Erwan Le Lann and Manu Pellissier because these guys are like brothers to me, brothers of the mountain. My inspiration comes naturally through all the other climbers and I have enormous respect for the older generation. They make me dream. I admire them. Through them I have learned to be patient. And in the same way I appreciate the work of all climbers who have contributed to the progression of mountaineering particularly through the development of gear. I think about the pioneers tinkering with their headlamps after a good caving session and I know that it’s because of the dreams of our adventurous fathers that we are able to have our own dreams today."
 
 
An evolutionary process
"It’s obvious to everyone that I participate in the evolution of mountaineering but I am also tuned into gathering all the information - whether it’s about new spots, walls, beta from everyone, and weather forecasts - thanks in part to this incredible medium to exchange and share information called the web. The entire Alps, for example, are an extraordinary playground for kids like us. We can no longer talk about exploring the area itself but we can continue to explore things like techniques and skills in new ways. I don’t consider mountaineering to be an activity, but more like everything that can be done in the mountains. The word ‘everything’ should be understood as being a lot of different activities with each activity having the same level of commitment, positive attitude and good vibes. If I can contribute towards the invention of serious new products for sport that’s not serious, then that’s awesome. Sport is not serious because in the end it has no value in and of itself. However, if it is one of the best schools for learning discipline."
 
 
As if planet Earth was my own backyard
"I don’t think I’m crazy but rather that I have an open frame of mind that allows me to think of planet Earth as my own backyard, or at the very least, as an incredible playground. The places I enjoy most on Earth are the polar regions and the Canadian territories. For example, my wildest dream is to go on a space shuttle and boost a little jump of 20,000 meters off a cliff on Mars. But seriously, an idea that’s more in line with what I do would be to leave for three years to climb from the Antarctic through the Americas to the North Pole then back to Antarctica through Asia and Africa."
 
 
Communicate
"With the Lineprod company we organize events, business seminars and conferences. We also partner with organizations that help kids experience the mountains through events like the ‘Raid Choucas’, a free adventure race for kids from France and Switzerland. Another example of the kind of things we do was during our Antarctic expedition in 2010 when we had online discussions via satellite phone with Swiss and French schools in Vallorcine and Maurienne."
 
 
My motto
"Tell your story and split."
 
 
Sam’s anecdote
"I have always had a special relationship with bears. I have never seen a blue bear but there has been a polar bear near my tent. He took a bath, dried himself, then sat on his haunches and looked at us with a sneer. Another time in western Canada I walked for six hours without water in full winter to get past an avalanche that had blocked the route. There were grizzly tracks and although I never saw him I was afraid every step of the way."

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Diaporama Photos: 
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Video playlist featuring Sam Beaugey :

 

 
Big wall aid climbing in Baffin Island :

 

 
Holtanna Antartica project preparation :

Philippe Ribière

Philippe Ribière profile - photo © Tony Lamiche
Philippe Ribière profile - photo © coll. P.Ribière

France

FRA
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Photo portrait: 
Philippe Ribière - photo © coll. P.Ribière
Date de naissance: 
12 March 1977
Formation: 
BAC in accounting, Vocational Training Certificate in management
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
2002

Growing up
"Day after day I free myself of my handicap. It’s wonderful, at least the results have been amazing, thanks to climbing. I was born with what was called Rubinstein Täby syndrome but today the diagnosis has changed and it is supposed to be something else, of a mutant kind which is awaiting official analysis. After a series of surgical operations my adoptive parents encouraged me to practice sport to help me realize self-fulfillment. At the age of six during a family holiday at St Gervais in France I discovered the joys of climbing. I was worried about the abseil down as I did not know if I had sufficient strength to hold the rope. My instructor added a safety rope and I launched myself into the void. I remember panicking at the same time as being happy and proud that I could do the same thing as my brothers and sisters. I reached the ground, my legs trembling and my heart racing."

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Several years later I renewed the experience on a camp for teenagers.
"Our daily routine included mountain biking, kayaking, hiking and climbing. On returning home I was keen to join a cycling club. By bad, or perhaps it was good luck, the director of the club refused me a license without giving any explanation. So I joined a climbing club and two years later I got to the finals of the junior championships in France. It was a moving experience as it was my first journey where time did not matter. We had fun, we went to bed, late we forgot about healthy eating and above all we were free. It is possible that this journey had a great influence on me. Today my main activity is sport climbing with a preference for bouldering. Climbing gives me confidence, feeling in my arms and legs and the simple pleasure of being outside. Climbing fulfills my need for commitment. Climbing gives my life a purpose. Climbing allows me as an individual to reach a certain social level, to meet the best climbers, to organize events for people of reduced mobility thanks to Handi-grimpe and the Evolution Tour."
 
 
My motto is precisely that I don’t have one.
"Nothing is difficult. Everything is a question of acceptance and perception. My handicap is the most precious gift that nature has given me and overcoming it is the best way of finding myself. I don’t forget that I am only a grain of sand in the universe. My aim is to spread my experience in one direction but towards the four corners of the globe for I believe I can add my small stone to the edifice. My creed is to: commitment, honesty and respect for sporting values. One of my dreams is to go on to photography and to be able to capture the invisible."
 
 
My experiences
"Thanks to the Handi-grimpe events I have met stars of the cinema, music and fashion. One day when I was participating in a filming project a musician asked me to take part in the sound track. In the end after a month of work he pushed me onto the stage and I took part in my first gig. Since then whenever the occasion permits I get on the stage andAjam or juggle with fire."
 

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The teaser of Wild One

 
 
The teaser of Evolution Tour

 
 
The video playlist featuring Philippe "Petitou" Ribière

Nina Caprez

Nina Caprez profile - photo © Stefan Schlumpf
Nina Caprez profile - photo © Lafouche

Switzerland

CHE
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Photo portrait: 
Nina Caprez - photo © Stefan Schlumpf
Date de naissance: 
15 November 1986
Lieu de résidence: 
Grenoble, France
Statut actuel: 
top-level Athlete
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
2010

Searching for happiness in the present moment.
"I have great confidence in myself. I am someone who is sure of herself. In our sport, this is fundamental to being able to complete difficult multi-pitch routes.
Being outside, living life to the fullest, meeting people on the same wavelength, climbing together... That is happiness for me.  My first big competition was the youth championships in Beijing... It was the first big memory for 'Little Nina'. I love this feeling of succeeding in competitions. Competing with yourself doesn't really do it for me. I am always looking to improve in sport climbing and to complete the great routes that I hold really close to my heart. I grew up near Rätikon, a legendary cliff with great routes. I've always loved the sensation of height, nature and freedom... I found what I was looking for in climbing thanks to Laurent Triay who told me about a route called "Ultime démence" in Verdon. Now I am really looking for greater difficulty and big routes.
Climbing is a way of channeling myself to find out what I am made of. Pushing myself to the limit, traveling all over the world, meeting people from all four corners of the world. I have learned that the most important thing is to be happy in this world! That's what climbing is for me. It's a sport based on the simplicity of living. You just need a rock, a harness, climbing shoes and a climbing buddy."

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My motto: Life is too beautiful and the days too short to be sad.
"I would really like to communicate with the climbing world: expert, amateur or beginner. My way of life teaches me what the word ‘autonomous’ means. My reason for living is to follow through with my convictions. To succeed I have to channel my thoughts and my energy. If I succeed in completing a big, extreme, multi-pitch route, it's because it makes me happy. I have felt attracted to big routes for a long time now. It was just a question of time before I seriously started to work on them as projects. Since I was a young girl, I have never felt comfortable being part of a system controlled by people who think they know everything. At high school I was really unhappy because I always knew what was going to happen the next day. This feeling stopped me from growing. I had to get out of this frame of mind. In climbing, everything has is important: the way you see the route, working out a line and finally living the rock. I myself choose what's best for me. I take responsibility for my choices and decisions and I don't ever look for excuses for what I can’t manage. I was born to climb; it takes me all over the world, to beautiful, lost places. I learn, grow and then learn some more. The big routes came to me when I was ready. Whenever I make a breakthrough, it's not enough. Of course, it's better to be versatile, to know how to adapt to the type of rock. Now I listen to myself because I know that gives me strength. I have confidence in myself. I want to do exactly what I really feel like doing and try not to do things I don't feel like doing. Like many female climbers, my inspiration is Lynn Hill but the person who most directly helped me to progress in this sport is Cédric Lachat."
 
 
Choosing a climbing partner is important to me.
"The people you tie in with on the wall represent more than support, they’re more like a catalyst. To perform and succeed on a big route I require friendship and trust in my climbing partner. For example, I never climb with people who I don't feel right with. I have to sense that we are on the same wavelength, have the same thoughts and are compatible. I need to have a partner who is my equal. I always want my partner to also want to complete the route. I never take someone for reassurance alone."
 
 
The most important places for me are Verdon and Céüse.
"I spent my first sport climbing holidays in Céüse and it’s been a magical place for me since the beginning. In Verdon I discovered the climbing style I was searching for: big; sport routes. I had rarely seen such a beautiful landscape!"
 
 
Besides climbing, I like things that have rhythm...
"I do lots of ski touring. I was born with skis on my feet and I love the light feeling of skiing an untouched slope, making first tracks. I also love working with wood, tinkering with photos. I love listening to music and cooking. If I didn't climb, I would be a performer. Maybe I would be in the circus."

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Diaporama Photos: 
Diaporama Videos: 

 
Video playlist featuring Nina Caprez

Michaël Fuselier

Michaël Fuselier profile - photo © Boris Stephan
Michaël Fuselier profile - photo © Lafouche

France

FRA
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Photo portrait: 
Michaël Fuselier - photo © Tony Lamiche
Date de naissance: 
4 January 1981
Lieu de résidence: 
Grenoble (France)
Formation: 
business degree, licensed climbing instructor
Statut actuel: 
Maurienne climbing club coach, route setter for national climbing competitions
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
2005

My first summit
“My first climbing experience was an ascent of a summit, but not just any summit. I discovered climbing through John Bonin, a very good family friend who took me up the classic route of Mont Aiguille (Vercors France). It was 1995 and I was 16 years old.
How was this passion born in me that day? The Mont Aiguille was everything I thought a summit should be, it was really important to me. On the other hand, I don’t like to use the word ‘summit’ and I refuse to look at a summit as if it’s a ceiling that can’t be passed. Mont Aiguille marks the first memory I have of climbing, along with my first rope that my Mother gave me, and all the kilometers I traveled on my old mobylette to go climbing around Grenoble.”

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Towards grade 9
“This quote by Marc Twain has always inspired me: “They didn’t know it was impossible, so they did it.” Competition climbing has given me so much in both a sporting and a human way. Through training, I learned discipline and the fighting spirit. I have met a lot of good characters with great attitudes, most notably Laurent Boudier, my trainer and someone who has given me vision for my climbing and life in general. My training can be described in a few words: perseverance, discipline, focus, curiosity and passion. I regularly go running. The continuous effort it requires to stay focused while exhausted. As well as the solitude is an excellent way to think. But with bouldering you are never alone. I am always crazy for rock and always on the lookout for a new boulder or a new problem. The grade 9 challenge is always on my mind.”
 
 
Discover, Deliver, Expand
“The recipe for a perfect being is to find a certain balance. Life for a climber isn’t always flowing like a calm stream. There are thousands of drawers to open and close. It’s a bit like the good and the bad; there can be a fine line between what is there and what is not! Experiences will aid progression and a good memory never forgets experiences. I like the feeling of being part of a kind of tribe. A group of people joined by their activity, their connection with the environment, and their mutual respect for some unwritten rules. I like the social side that surrounds climbing and making friends of all generations. It’s a good mix. At a new spot, we discover things together and everyone has their own kind of fun. These days as an instructor, I try to be an example to the younger generation through my life experiences. To do so makes complete sense. It’s my duty. I try to explain and share the many choices that are available. I like to construct and make the ideas real, the ones that inspired my own life experiences. Preparing a route is a little like how a carpenter makes furniture and what’s more I love working with wood!”
 
 
Travel
“I don’t have a favorite climbing spot. Everywhere is different and that’s the best thing about climbing. In the United States I really like spots like Smith Rock and Red River Gorge. Climbing a few days in Hampi (India) or in the dessert of Algeria and the Tassili plateau is all so amazing. It’s amazing to love such different places but for me they form a whole. These mineral landscapes with their animals and flowers are unique and unforgettable. It’s all about discovering new areas and understanding their fragility and vulnerability. The inhabitants of these places have their own cultures and their own outlook on life. It’s rewarding to rub shoulders with people who live in an environment that is totally different to ours. I am totally up for meeting these people.”
 
 
The search for something real
“If anything was possible, I would travel the world. I would travel back in time and see the world as it evolved with my own eyes. How, why and above all, who is real and who is not. My life is a continuous questioning of what is written. I would like to see from the beginning, for myself, what is real, how everything started and why it started. It’s an impossible experiment in our present understanding but after this, I am happy to be where I am and see nature evolve day by day. With the skills, methods, and understanding I have learned my mistakes become more relevant. I really like analyzing my experiences, both good and bad. The more places I climb and the more the more climbers I meet the more I enjoy other views and the contradictions surrounding them and the more I can conceive what might seem inconceivable. The more I look into things and try to work them out the more possible they seem to the more I discover, the more curiosity I have to push further.”

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Martina Čufar

Martina Čufar profile - photo © Tony Lamiche
Martina Čufar profile - photo © Keith Ladzinski

Slovenia

SVN
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Photo portrait: 
Martina Čufar - photo © Tony Lamiche
Date de naissance: 
14 January 1977
Lieu de résidence: 
Mojstrana, Slovenia
Formation: 
sports teacher, director of the training of climbing instructors for the Slovenian
Statut actuel: 
high-level athlete in the Slovenian army
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
2010

Imaginary and real
“In his book The Alchemist, Paul Coelho says, “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help us achieve our dream.” There is truth in that quote. For example, a photo of a wall inspires me and I do everything to fulfill my dream of climbing it.
I was born under the sign of Capricorn and also under the highest mountain in Slovenia (Triglav, 2864m) so perhaps climbing is in my genes and it’s because of this that I better understand the positive effects of this sport on the body and spirit. I started climbing in the mountains at the age of 10 with my Dad. I soon realized that sport climbing is really exciting and I started training for my first competitions.
I love adventure, to discover the lost places like El Gigante in Mexico or Tadratate in Morocco where you can rely only on yourself and your climbing partner, where you feel really close to nature and where you must search a little to find the route.”

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My lifestyle: carpe diem!
“I live in the mountains. But I really discovered climbing in Austria when I was 11 years old while visiting a holiday camp. I fell in love with this sport! I wanted to climb all the time and I forced my father to take me to the cliffs. I knew right away that climbing was my life and I could not see myself doing anything else. It is simply an activity I can’t do without. There are so many walls to discover, so many challenges that after a bit of work become feasible. I want to learn every day. The movements of this sport are so complex that I want to master them all. And then, there are all these exciting thoughts in my head, like for example: on a difficult route, well above my last piece of protection, to be able to stay calm and at the same time have the feeling of accomplishment on the project.”
 
 
“Yoga is a good compliment to climbing. I love starting the day, early in the morning, when only the birds are awake. I prepare my body and my spirit for the challenges of the day. In addition, I also love to skydive. The sensation of falling into the void is like a drug.”
 
 
Like a Zen garden…
“Most of my favorite landscapes are in peaceful valleys far from the commercial and crazy world. For example, Taghia in Morocco where the lifestyle is very simple: no telephone, no Internet, no car… And also in worlds like El Gigante in Mexico. There are also many beautiful places like the south of France: Saint Léger, Buoux, Saint Guilhem le Désert. And then close to my home, there is a climbing school called Warmbad.
In other places like Yosemite, you can meet the entire global climbing community, which is great because we talk about sequences and routes. We interact with people who understand us 100 %.”
 
 
My community
“Above all, I feel committed and involved in the climbing community, particularly my friends on the Slovenian climbing team with whom I have shared so many years of competition and climbing. I find that those who share the passion for climbing represent one big family. I especially feel that when I am in the United States where I was alone once without a climbing partner. I didn’t have any problem finding one and the feeling I had was like we already knew each other. My lifestyle allows me to be in contact with people who practice other adventure-related sports: climbing, skydiving, BASE jumping. Many of them are not professionals; they have successful careers in medicine, architecture, engineering… These are people whose lives are very rich and filled with experiences. Sport and career go well together and represent a nice balance.”

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Lynn Hill

Lynn Hill profile - photo © Stephan Denys
Lynn Hill profile - photo © Guérin / Lynn Hill collection

USA

USA
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Photo portrait: 
Lynn Hill - photo © Stephan Denys
Date de naissance: 
3 January 1961
Lieu de résidence: 
Boulder, Colorado, USA
Formation: 
Masters degree in biology from State University of New York at New Paltz followed by studies in psychotherapy
Statut actuel: 
ambassador for the brands Patagonia, Petzl and Béal
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
1989

A passion
“My primary activity is rock climbing and bouldering, but sometimes I climb longer routes. I love to go climbing with my friends on good quality rock. My favorite rock is well-featured limestone with big stalactites. I learned to climb when I was fourteen years old with my brother and my older sister. I had absolutely no idea that my life would be this beautiful because at the time, this lifestyle was not really an option. My lifestyle has changed as I have continued to live my passion for climbing and I am very grateful to have had such a beautiful life so far. Climbing is my therapy! It allows me to stay healthy and to be happy at nearly every level of existence. And what climbing does not bring me in terms of life balance I have been able to find in other aspects of my life with my son, my family, my friends and through various projects that I am now working on.”

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Still climbing
“I am often referred to as one of the best climbers in the world. As one of the most famous American climbers… From the beginning of my childhood, I started with gymnastics, running and of course lots of climbing when I was a teenager. In 1978, I was already considered to be among the best in my category because I adhered to a style of climbing very close to the most stringent criteria in the U.S. (placing nuts, a method of climbing straight up the overhangs).
In 1979, I was the first female to climb a route rated 5.12d.I discovered competitive climbing on a trip to France in 1986. I was soon leading the circuit and I won more than thirty international competitions including the Rock Master d’Arco in Italy five times. And since then I’ve tried to match myself. Anecdote: I was invited to the White House and often asked to be on American television to talk about my experiences…
As I will be 50 years old in 2011, I will celebrate by climbing more. I want to find the right balance between being a good mother and a good person. Why not celebrate by getting more involved in the activity that I have loved so much for the past thirty-five years? ”

 
 
Goals ?

“Of course I have goals! I am always working on projects involving education, public speaking, writing, and different media like photography, video and radio interviews. I would like to share my passion and my different experiences with everyone who is interested, especially young people who have so much to learn from life! For the past three years, I have worked on a video about climbing techniques, which integrates the elements of culture, history, and psychological anecdotes that have influenced my progression as a free climber over the past thirty-five years.”
 
 
My aspirations
- “I want to divide my time between climbing, running, skiing, traveling to the most beautiful places on the planet and my son Owen.”
- “In the years to come, I would love to create a company that will design and build climbing structures for playgrounds and parks. I think it could bring together communities and people of all ages in a useful and pleasant way.”
- “I love to tell my story, to push myself and to ask myself about the meaning of life, and address the challenges as well.”
- “I do not like to see people suffer.”
- “I do not like to see the planet deteriorate and the way it affects all forms of life on Earth.”
- “The most difficult thing for me is to maintain a healthy balance in a hectic world.”
- “If I was not a climber, I would be a surfer on a beautiful island where the water is crystal clear.”
- “I want fresh fruit, unpolluted fish, to have a beautiful garden surrounded by a loving community and huge limestone cliffs, which would be located on one of the nearby hills of the island.”
- “I want good food.”
- “I want wonderful days of climbing in an incredible place with my friends, a bit of laughter and all the material comforts that I love!”

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Diaporama Photos: 
Diaporama Videos: 

Video playlist featuring Lynn Hill :

Liv Sansoz

Liv Sansoz - photo © Evrard Wendenbaum
Liv Sansoz profile - photo © Keith Ladzinski

France

FRA
header
Photo portrait: 
Liv Sansoz - photo © Evrard Wendenbaum
Date de naissance: 
12 February 1977
Lieu de résidence: 
Savoie (France)
Formation: 
Master 2 with research in neuro-cognition and social cognition, qualified climbing
Statut actuel: 
High-level athlete
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
1994

Passion, excellence, humility, to know and respect the mountain
«I want to follow my passion, to dream, to achieve those dreams and then share them in the hope that they will inspire other women and men climbers. When I have an idea, I charge it. I do things thoroughly, I get fully involved. My main activity? It’s climbing in many different forms: sport climbing, mountain routes, bouldering… I love the different approaches and the diversity. Climbing gives a certain meaning to my life. It’s what drives my motivation and some of my desires. Climbing is an excellent school of life. It allows me to live and share exceptional moments, to meet particularly interesting people and to continually evolve. Climbing has many beautiful aspects. Above all I love the pleasure that comes simply from climbing, sharing it with others who are experiencing the same thing with the same intensity. Then there is the beauty. The beauty of the line, the beauty of movement, the beauty of a battle in which one commits oneself to a successful route. Finally, there is the feeling of freedom and of privilege. Climbing is a sport, a part of which is to give of yourself and become fully committed. I love the idea of a project. To leave from Point A and arrive at point Z via a series of steps (B, C, D,…) that are all experiences that further enrich our lives. That’s how I work. Even if I sometimes doubt myself or find myself moving away from my project, there are always signs and desires that bring me back. And when I have an idea in the back of my head, I listen and fully commit to it.»

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One with nature where I grew up
«In France, we have a multitude of great places for everything from bouldering to mountaineering with fabulous sport climbing in between. It’s difficult to say which is best between Fontainebleau, the Verdon, Gorges du Tran and all the other sites with excellent rock and magnificent routes, not to mention the many alpine routes between Chamonix, les Ecrins en Oisans, etc. Personally, I have more connection with the mountains where I live and where I was born than with a climbing area. My ancestors are from the same valley so my roots are deep. There is a certain kind of connection with the nature where I grew up. I have the impression that I am part of the trees, of knowing the rocks in the river and to feel a certain well-being in the mountains that surround me. I feel like I am a part of nature here and not some foreign object that’s been added to the scenery. It is the same for the people. I know a lot of the locals who live in Bourg Saint Maurice from grandparents to grandkids. All of this because I am not indifferent to the changes that have happened in the valley: the problems of urbanisation, the development of new ski lifts and pistes that destroy the mountainsides, of the snow culture and the overcrowding in winter.»
 
 
Communication
«I am interested in human nature. I like to understand how we function. I like to learn about others and about myself, or simply learning to learn. I love to be surprised and challenged by my interactions, by exchanges and their effects. Sometimes a simple meeting makes me aware of a very important element in my life. Without meeting this person, it would have otherwise taken years.
At first I was completely focused on questions centred around performance. How do you explain that one climber should win while another climber never reaches the top when they have the same physical level, technique, strategy? But my interest in human nature is becoming greater with time. Also, for me it’s very important to pass along certain things to the next generation. To participate in my own way to their progression. To inspire others to live their dream, to inspire their aspirations and give them a boost of energy. This is often done implicitly. And then one day I receive a letter, an e-mail or I see someone who says thanks because three years ago or ten years ago I have said or done something that has triggered a desire or motivation in that person. It’s powerful. That’s what I try to do when I’m working with a young person to help them with their performance (more commonly called mental preparation). I accompany them in their high-level preparation, but I also try to give them the keys to their future lives as adults. It’s extremely rewarding.»
 
 
Inner strength, energy
«It’s an inner strength when we feel something that we cherish and which goes with a certain determination, will and imagination. Imagine that these things are possible and to be capable of putting every effort towards success. This inner strength is a kind of energy, a fluid. And energy is everything. It is the basis for all action, for all emotion, for every desire and dream. This is what makes it possible for us to do the things we do. Our energy drives us and pushes us in everything we do. Strangely, I also want to use the word ‘mission’. I see my energy as if my mission depends intimately upon it. But it’s difficult to describe it further.»
 
 
Inspiration, experience, dreams, travel
«I love to read mountaineering stories and novels as well as books that are more philosophical. When I was a teenager, I was touched by the book “Les Carnets du Vertige” (Tales of Vertigo) and its main character, Louis Lachenal. You could say that he really inspired me. I loved the hardcore side of his personality. But there is also something else. We feel that beneath his tough shell, there is a man with a certain humility, a certain etiquette. Through his physical strength and strength of character, there is something beautiful. And also, I love his can-do attitude: no time to lose on the approach, no time to question yourself when faced with an obstacle, learn to cope, react at the right time and in the best way to a situation. In any case, this is how I saw him. As for the reading of certain books, there are journeys that we all take and which pass. And there are journeys that make an impact on you for life. I think it’s all a question of convergence at a precise moment of your life. Connecting… once again. Connecting with a country, with the people of that country, and with yourself. The journey at this moment of your life will not be the same experience nor have the same impact as if we had done it three years ago. It is the same for a book. For the connection to work properly it should also be linked with other things: our energy, our desire to open up to things, to others… Seen from this angle, a journey doesn’t necessarily have to be a long one.»

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Video playlist featuring Liv Sansoz

Josune Bereziartu

Josune Bereziartu - photo © Rikar Otegui
Josune Bereziartu profile - photo © Rikar Otegui

Spain

ESP
header
Photo portrait: 
Josune Bereziartu - photo © Rikar Otegui
Date de naissance: 
19 January 1972
Lieu de résidence: 
Basque Country, Spain
Statut actuel: 
semi-professional athlete
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
2002

A life close to nature and a search for truth.
“My climbs are moments of my life that I want to live with intensity. The mere fact of attempting a route is already the beginning of the journey, and the journey doesn’t always end in success. Success is important but not as important as appreciating the road you traveled to get there. I am a persevering person. I’m fully committed to the choices I make. If I don’t achieve my objective in the end, it’s not the end of the world. At least I know I did everything I could to make a good attempt. I am passionate and I love living life with passion.”

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Living close to nature
“I discovered climbing by accident while watching a program on Spanish T.V.  Two girls were climbing in the Verdon Gorge. I was captivated and surprised. I wanted to try this new sport right away. It was like a door opening onto everything that hadn’t existed for me before. I love landscapes that have contrasts. I live in San Sebastian in the Basque Country between the mountains and the ocean. It’s an amazing place in a natural environment with climbing spots as well as the sea. In the same way, and for the same reason, I love Japan and its culture.  I would love to reread “The Sea of Fertility” by Yujio Mishima. If I wasn’t a climber, I’d be a sailor…”
 
 
Try, try and try again
“That means constantly pushing your limits. I don’t know how to say no. I am open to anything. Climbing and the mountains have taught me to be patient. I want to carry on playing with the limits. It’s no fun having nothing to overcome. Limits are what make me enjoy climbing. Having said that, when I complete 9a routes I realize I am living my life to the fullest.”
 
 
Josune’s anecdote
“A few winters ago, I was climbing in the Riglos, a strange climbing spot in northern Spain. The car broke down. We went to a garage that we knew and he gave us a courtesy car. We arrived at the cliff late and the days were short at that time. We attached the car keys to a shoe lace and then tied them to the harness. By the sixth pitch it was dark and the last two pitches were true adventures. Every anchor I came across was a real savior. Once we reached the summit, we put on our shoes to come down and we got lost many times. Slightly preoccupied, we eventually reached the car. Keys? Where are the car keys? They must be at the foot of the wall, no? We couldn’t get into the car so we determinedly went to get the keys from the foot of the wall but we found nothing. The keys could only be on the summit of Visera. Tired, we walked up to the summit on a footpath and when we got there, there were the keys exactly where we’d put on our shoes. At three in the morning, we headed back home.”
 

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Gérôme Pouvreau

Gérôme Pouvreau profile - photo © Sam Bié
Gérôme Pouvreau profile - photo © Keith Ladzinski

France

FRA
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Photo portrait: 
Gérôme Pouvreau - photo © Sam Bié
Date de naissance: 
26 October 1983
Lieu de résidence: 
Provence, France
Formation: 
qualified climbing instructor
Statut actuel: 
climbing instructor at AS Climbing Club, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille
Date d'entrée dans le Team Petzl: 
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.’’

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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.”
 

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Diaporama Photos: 
Diaporama Videos: 

 
 
Video playlist featuring Gérôme Pouvreau