I was born in Toulouse but grew up on the island of La Reunion. I loved sports from a young age, enjoying tennis, sailing, dance, and horse riding, but it was at the age of 12 that I discovered I had a passion for climbing. The following year I joined a climbing club and started to train three times a week with a dynamic and motivating group. I won the French Youth Championship in 2000 and also the French UNSS Championships.
The European Youth Cup introduced me to climbing at an elite level, and I made the tough decision to leave my family and my island home I loved in order to train in France.
After ten years of training, winning competitions and some study, I am dedicating myself to climbing outdoors, all around the world, with my husband James Pearson, an English climber, in all styles,. As we travel together, climb together, make projects together, James’ stories have become my stories. And my stories talk about James. You could find our stories on our website Once Upon A Climb.
I come from Sport climbing, I have been mainly indoor, training. But now, I search for bigger pieces of rock, challenges that push me in directions where I am not an expert. I aim to widen my horizons as a climber, by improving at trad climbing.
Trad climbing is about climbing well under real fear, about placing your own protections, and being capable to evaluate each situation: if your protections are week, you should know it, and know that falling is not an option. If they are good, then you can push more, try harder, and maybe fall. But you have to know! And that would be my greatest achievement: not to succeed hard routes while being reckless, but succeeding them with control! I am learning, working on in!
I still practice sport climbing, which is all about climbing technic and fitness. The more you train, the better you get. You have to build power, and endurance specific to climbing. It revolves a lot around the arms, the core.
In trad climbing, all of that is involved, and you add dealing with fear, staying calm, controlled, and capable to think right.
When I come down a route where I have tried very hard, gone to the very end of my energy and where I have climbed well, with technics, then I am satisfied, and it doesn’t matter if I have actually succeeded the route or failed.
I am rarely alone, as my husband, James, is a very successful sport climber, and we always team up. But if I am alone, I can go to the indoor gym, for bouldering.
We actually have a climbing wall (only little, but very efficient) in our home. 2, 3 hours a day, alternating different type of effort, short, medium or long. If you try hard every time you put your shoes on, you can’t be wrong!
Fear of underperforming, of not realizing my maximum potential, of course. I guess this is quite normal in competition.
My biggest fan? I don’t know. I guess my family accepting that I live such a different and sometimes a bit dangerous life, that is some kind of support! And my friends, who always follow what I do. My best friend and most precious person, James, who is my husband too J.
Jerome Meyer, a bouldering French world champion, told me once: “answer to the question”. He meant: it is not enough to train hard, you have to train the right things: what is your goal, what does it require. Once you know that, you target your training. That is true for every piece of rock I have climbed!
James and I are going to Philippines in February, to open some routes for the local climbing community, which is still quite small and isolated. This is part of a charity project that we have created, SPOT.
Just climb! If you want to learn slowly and safely, you can go to gyms, like the Altissimo gyms. They are everywhere around France, and they can teach you the basics. After that, it’s all in your hands. Climbing is very natural as a sport, simple rules once you know the rope management, so just climb!!!!