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Marcel Rèmy climbing the Les Guêpes, aged a staggering 96. Here he is pictured attempting the second pitch graded 6a
Photo by Claude Remy

The best climber in the world: Marcel Rémy aged 96 attempts 6a multi-pitch

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96-year-old Swiss alpinist Marcel Rémy has attempted to climb a 6a multi-pitch rock climb. Is he perhaps the best climber in the world. Andreas Kubin reports.

Who is the best climber in the world? The one who has 9b’s and 9c’s on his tick list? No! Because maybe tomorrow or overmorrow there will be another name in internet, someone who has climbed 9c+ (?) or even harder. In his book Above the Abyss – Vertical to Overhanging George Livanos famously wrote: “Every achievement in sports has only validity in its time.” Consequently there can be no such thing as the best climber in the world. Or can there?

Maybe it could be Marcel Rémy, who a few weeks ago at the “tender” age of 96 attempted to climb Les Guêpes, a two-pitch route at St-Loup in western Switzerland first ascended in 1974 by Marcel’s sons Yves and Claude Remy.

Although Marcel managed to send the first pitch, a stiff 5c in its own right, on the slightly overhanging 6a second pitch he stood no chance. But as he told his sons Claude and Yves, he wants to return. Before he does though, he wants to train just a little more at the climbing wall...

Anyone who aged nearly 100 years can climb a solid grade VI (UIAA) can quite rightly be headlined as one of best climbers in the world! Three years ago I had the opportunity to climb with Marcel for a day at Leonidio in Greece - this old man had so much fun while climbing, and his eyes shone brightly, were full of youthful enthusiasm...

Isn’t this guy an ideal for all of us? Someone who is getting old, actually getting much older, and nevertheless continues to climb. This is for me is the best climber of the world...

Chapeau, Marcel!

by Andreas Kubin

Link: Mammut

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