I was born the 21st of May 1970 in Vevey, Switzerland. My parents are more interested in arts and culture then sport, so my principal activities as a child were drawing, painting and later reading. My only relation with the mountains was a grand-grand-father on my father’s side, Edmond Jacquier, who was an alpinist.
I started climbing when I was 14. My brother François, who had already started climbing two years before, decided to take me with him to Eclepens. It was a terrible experience and I never thought I would go climbing again. I was afraid, had no power and no talent at all! Nevertheless 6 months later I tried again. This time I had some real fun. After that day climbing was part of my life. Very soon I went to the Alps in Arolla (Valais) with an alpine ski and mountaineering school. It was a nice time, but I soon discovered rock climbing was more my style. Back then “freeclimbing” was still a marginal activity. We discovered real free climbing with the movies from Patrick Edlinger and the few magazines we were able to get. We went to Buoux and Verdon to see what it was like. We were very impressed and at the same time inspired to do the same in our region in Switzerland. This way we opened the first 5.13 and harder in St. Loup. It was very anonymous and regional.
What made people hear about us in the climbing scene, was our repeat of “Le Toit d’Auguste” 8b+ a mythical route from Patrick Berhault.Without entering in to many details, we met Philippe Steulet after that and taught me that being a professional climber was possible. Many people plaid an important role on my climbing journey after Philippe Steulet; Todd Skinner, Jacky Godoffe and Patrick Edlinger to only mention a few. I’m very thankful for all of them. I’m also very grateful for the sponsors that believed in me and made my life as a climber possible!
Photos courtesy of Elie Chevieux