Catherine Destivelle- Profile by Beth Wald Climbing 1988


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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 26, 2010 - 02:06pm PT
This one is for Jeff, the Dreamer who has become the Dream...From Climbing October 1988. Dream on...


from where the anecdotes roam
Sep 26, 2010 - 02:23pm PT
in response to a thread asking "the best thing i ever heard from a leader while belaying was ..."
i sketched out the following vignette:

i was thrilled to watch the world comps or cup or whatever at snowbird and after the main event a less formal speed climbing race broke out on the side wall.

the crowd was not held back and contestants sort of just stepped up as the rope became available. catherine destivelle tied in and no one was paying attention to the other end of the rope so i just stepped up.

she didn't say a thing but everything your sposed to say was contained in a brief penetrating fixing of the eyes.

she swarmed it like a leopard and hauling in the slack took my share of adrenalin to boot. when i took her weight and zipped her adroitly to the ground it crossed my mind that i would never be anonymous again if i dropped her.
it was a lose or not situation for me, or so i thought.

as history will attest she lives! boy and how. her eyes alone
spoke of sweet domination and vivacious joy ...
more than i could have imagined.

if she had uttered anything in her native tongue,
well it was she who might have dropped me

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Sep 26, 2010 - 02:32pm PT
Ahhhhh! how many times did I dream of her?

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 26, 2010 - 03:59pm PT

Steve, now we kneed an article about Beth Wald by Catherine!!!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2010 - 07:45pm PT
There is a Beth Wald profile out there...

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
Sep 26, 2010 - 11:58pm PT
Catherine rocks. Always.
Though I'm intruiged. That would be a worthy endeavour.
Insight? Maybe. Interesting? Certainly.

Social climber
Newport, OR
Sep 27, 2010 - 12:54am PT
Thanx Steve!! :) I got to meet Catherine while she was in Josh, and she's a really nice person as well!!!

Trad climber
Long Beach, CA
Sep 27, 2010 - 01:04am PT
<<<< was/is a huge fan. :)

Social climber
No Ut
Sep 27, 2010 - 01:10am PT
Catherine is the best I've ever known at taking a climbing dream, and in a few deceptively simple steps turning it into her personal reality. Of course she'sphysically strong but her greatest asset is her desire to complete her dreams. She's a mother now, and a very good one. At 50 she's not going to be doing the earth-shaking climbs she once did. However, she's moved on to other spheres, like books and films, which she pursues with equal passion. She currently working on a feature film, with major backing, that is a work of fiction based on her own experience. She tells me it will be a love story.

Catherine is not simply one in a million - she's absolutely unique.

Thanks for posting this up, Steve!

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2010 - 10:36am PT
My dream is our hear the ten thousand tales of soaring desire!

A little taste from the Frost book in progress...

"Here the summit of the Fou floated in the clouds and the towering cumulus all around reminded me of many similar moments while flying. However, here one could actually feel the elements and be part of them. These sculptured forms, ever-changing like life itself, made mockery of our Fou. The south face of the Fou, perhaps the hardest climb in the western Alps, yet it could not compare to a soaring cliff of vapor with cracks and chimneys of translucent crystals never to feel a human hand." John Harlin 1963.

I bet she came to prefer Jello over cheesecake...just not at Snowbird!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2010 - 09:31pm PT
Nordwand Bump!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2010 - 11:16pm PT
Snowbird Bump!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 14, 2010 - 11:22pm PT
Ah....Snowbird, the end of the game before it began.

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:13am PT
French Bump

from where the anecdotes roam
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:16am PT
if i get your meaning jim, that made them like mint proofs without the production run.

i was absolutely delirious when edlinger pulled through the spot that shed so many others.
part of the joy was for the course setter(s?) who were suddenly redeemed. till then,
what we had witnessed was a slap-off from the same high holds.

nothing in my whole climbing career made me want to scream, shout and hug raw strangers like that moment. it's what comes to mind when i hear the expression "don't know what to do with myself."

and then the beauty with which the rest of the route was executed was
a measured application of sure glory, tempered by a shade of portent.

this exception disproved the rule; it can be a spectator sport. thankyou jello, thankyou!

patrick went and sat indian style on the ground and i had no doubt that his edge had
something to do with properly managing the body electric. it seemed a deliberate follow through
to get himself grounded, while the antics around him played out as they may.

my pride was running over for the home team when mari ruled the qualifier. we who knew her knew how good she was, but to be there to learn that on that day there were none better, while she just inhabited her beauty like an unassuming deer, i wouldn't trade those memories for woodstock

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 26, 2012 - 10:53pm PT
Catherine bump...

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Apr 26, 2012 - 11:14pm PT
did she do the bonatti route in winter or is that someone else

I don't give a phuck about verdon

Ice climber
Chula Vista, CA
Apr 26, 2012 - 11:40pm PT
bumpety bump - Catherine Destivelle - hear hear - lizards can't even do some that stuff.

Sport climber
Feb 11, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Catherine Destivelle. Vertical 62, 1993. Photos: Guy Martin-Ravel.

Sport climber
Feb 23, 2013 - 04:57pm PT
Catherine Destivelle - Interview Trento Film festival
[Click to View YouTube Video]
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