“I dreamed of being Heidi one day and looking after the cows in the Alpine meadows”.
Born in Algeria and raised in Paris, Catherine Destivelle made friends with the mountains at a tender age. She began climbing at 13 and, while still an adolescent, she climbed some of the most demanding routes in the Alps. Thus she gained access to the top rungs of the international climbing competitions – winning the World championship several times. At the age of 32 she was crowned with the honorary title “Queen of the Peaks”.
Here are a few statements exemplifying her outstanding performances:
“Scaling sheer rock faces with her bare hands, French mountain climber Catherine Destivelle has reached the top at just 31. Four times world champion, the only way is up”.
“Catherine Destivelle enjoys a moment of triumph as she becomes the first woman to climb the dangerous north face of Eiger alone”.
“Incredible Spiderwoman in the Alps”. “Woman solos up Matterhorn. Record-setting mountain climber Catherine Destivelle of France has completed the first solo winter climb by a woman up a treacherous route of the Matterhorn.”
“Destivelle will continue doing what has made her a quiet leader.” Catherine Destivelle’s son Victor is three years old. “Inspiration, motivation, experience, work and concentration: the cocktail to face new challenges.”
Unbelievably, this extraordinary woman is still alive; and while she has significantly reduced her solo rock climbing since the late 1990s, she maintains a high profile as a lecturer and writer.
Don’t miss this awesome inspirational video about Catherine and her climbs.