From the beginning I started mountaineering, I was strangely attracted by the art of suffering and enduring hard conditions, thus most of my expeditions have taken me to the wildest, remote parts of the world. These locations, far from the claws of human civilisation, were the places of my best adventures in which I scoured my best memories of my life. Most of these climbs or attempts have taken me to my extreme limit and I were often close to the edge. It’s just the deep nature of pushing it on hard unclimbed territory. In these remote places, big part of the challenge is managing the risk and surviving. And that’s how I feel, should be real adventure!
A freezing winter big wall climb or an unlikely alpine line when often found ourselves pushing everything to the limits, is the quintessence of climbing and mountaineering for me.
To me the best adventure climbing place around the world in the past 30 years decidedly was Patagonia. In spite of that, in these past 30 years I left my mountaineering boot prints on 6 of the 7 continents.
In Himalaya I learned the art of patience, while in Patagonia I learned forever, that you are not much of a mountaineer if you have not been a frustrated mountaineer. In those mountains of perfect granite walls caressed by freezing howling winds I also learned to never regret a retreat… and this kind of healthy paranoia kept me alive, at least until today…
Nevertheless, my approach of climbing has changed a lot as I have got older. It’s not a very serious thing anymore, it’s just fun. The numbers and quantities become ridiculously insignificant and climbing it’s no more so important in my personal scheme as it was in the past. The style and ethics have remained the only definitions to respect in my view about mountaineering and climbing. I left the stage of high level and the “elite” world of mountaineering once I realized life is more than just climbing mountains … In the same period I also left the leading position of GHM (Groupe de Haute Montagne).
Then I became once again the simple mountaineer that I was in my early days!
Nowadays I balance real life, having fun, travelling, climbing and finally working as little as possible… I don’t try so hard anymore at climbing, nevertheless it still takes up a lot of my time, but it doesn’t define me anymore.
What become most important in these last years is to share my passion and my experience. That’s why in the last 10 years I focused primarily on organising mountaineering courses and makes mountaineering movies on my various mountaineering experiences.
And more than ever, these last years I avoid media and all mountain entertainments where ego exults in front of the camera and dumbfounded people seeking the modern adventurer…