Before, I was interested in any form of climbing. Rock, ice, mixed. Alpine climbs, big walls, expeditions, short climbs, boulders. Gym, sport, trad, aid. However, there are some areas that I prefered and where I was better than in others. My passion has always been more for mountaineering, with its frozen waterfalls and alpine climbs. For the record, I had a list of climbs , which also served as an index to this server.
I was born and lived for more than twenty years in Paris. Although I had no predispositions for that, I became an alpinist. See some thoughts on this learning process. I am sometimes asked how one could do that much climbing while having a regular job. See how I did it. Thanks to the night trains, the fabulous mountains of the Mont-Blanc Range were not that far. That's where I learned the basics, and where I did what I still consider to be my best climbing. My local climbing area was at first the famous boulders of Fontainebleau. After I moved to the South of France, there was a variety of rock climbs close to my place.
My first impression upon coming to America was some disappointment, expressed in a (translated) letter in French. However, I found new dimensions of climbing on this continent. Locally, there were the huge Yosemite rock walls, and the novelty of big-wall climbing. And, further, I try to satisfy my love of the Cold mountains by flying to Alaska, were I had my first expedition climbing experience, and to the various ice-climbing areas.
Here are a couple of controversial opinions of mine on : soloing, ethics, safety techniques.
Here are tributes to two of my climbing partners: Frank Levy (May 1997), Paul Arene (Jan 1999).
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