Valandre Blog

Patrick Edlinger (F) lets loose the grip at 52


Patrick Edlinger

It’s with great sadness that we heard the news of the death of French icon rock climber Patrick Edlinger at the age of 52 in his home in Savoy this morning (16.11.12). Please allow us to present our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and to all of us who witnessed his amazing performance free climbing in the Verdon gorge.

Back in 1982, we had a gamble going on: “If Patrick is not alive by the end of the year, I will buy a round of beer, and chew my hat”. I never bought that round of beer, and never chewed my hat – because I knew that he was (like others in the early eighties) a top professional breaking the limits.

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose”, so Patrick took this to the edge of the real world, and free climbed some of the most challenging routes in the Verdon gorge.

It was the years of “Think Pink” and Patrick was the inspiratory in France. He infused climbing in France with spirituality, philosophy with an ecological approach……yet still his gymnastic performances was – as his mind of steel – of extremely high performance.

Patrick let his grip loose last night, but this is fine with me. None of us expected an everlasting life, as the thrill was on the edge.

In one of his last statements to a hungry press Patrick stated: “I am a free man and do not regret anything I have done”. Yes life on the edge – with nothing left to loose – is true in its momentary essence, no future in front, no past behind. Just the eternal NOW

Does it really matter, we used to ask? – Your question is now Patrick: Did it really matter?

We at Valandré would like to thank Patrick Edlinger for the fundamentally true impulses he infused into the climbing community in the early 80’ties.

Rest in peace Patrick…..the job was well done!