This short interview I did with Jibé last summer has been published before. But because I care about our planet, I've decided to recycle it.
Jean Baptiste ?Jibé? Tribout
During the late 80s and well into the 90s, Frenchman Jibé Tribout was certainly one of the big names. In 1987 he put up To bolt or not to be at Smith Rock, Oregon, the first 5.14a (8b+) in the US. A somewhat controversial and very much debated route, as bolts were yet far from being considered kosher by much of the US climbing community. In 1992, he took the game even furter when he made the coveted FA of Just do it, then 5.14c (8c+), once again at Smith Rock. At the time, it was definitely the hardest route in the US, and world wide only a few harder routes existed. Back home in France, he climbed routes like Super plafond, 8c+, and competed in many world cups (1 win, 6 podiums). 10 years ago he called it quits and switched to golf.
A couple of years ago he started climbing a little bit more serious again, and now he?s climbing 8c aged 46. And he keeps improving!
So, how come you took up climbing again?
Well, as with so many things in life... things happen that you can?t plan. The guy I play golf with hurt his back and couldn?t play for a while, so there I was with no one to play with. I still climbed once a week or so, so I figuered, why not try two times a week and see what happens. It went very well, I made progress, it was fun, so I tried three times a week and began thinking a little bit about my weight... and here we are.
Do you train as hard as you used to?
No way, it?s not like that! It?s not like it?s life or death anymore. I do it for fun, and I can still enjoy good wine and food, you know. After a big dinner, I just think a little bit more about what I?m eating the next day.
I still have the same hang-board as I had back in the day, and... it?s incredible really, because when I compare to my old results, I?m sooo much weaker, but still I climb almost as hard!
How can that be?
You know... I think it?s all in the head. Before, everything was very serious, climbing was my life. I always had something to prove. Let me give you an example: When I was at my best, I could onsight, say 98% of the 8a?s I tried. Missing an 8a onsight was then a failure in my mind, so I climbed very, very safe and slow, and didn?t take any chances. The problem was that it?s very difficult to change the way you climb just because the route is harder. I could onsight 8a+ sometimes, but 8b... no way, I didn?t have that margin. Today, I can onsight 8a, and even 8a+, again. Most of the time I fail, but it doesn?t matter, because my goal is to succeed, instead of ?not to fail?. This means I can be much more relaxed when I climb, and as every climber knows, it?s very important.
Do you think this way of thinking is something young climbers today can learn?
Yes, yes I do! That?s why I?m thinking... look at Adam Ondra, he?s now 15 and climbs 9a+. I?m sure he will be able to climb 10b or something like that in the future! I mean I?m 46, and so much weaker than I was. Still I can climb 8c now, and I?m sure, with the right route, even harder. Then imagine what he, being so strong already, could do.
So, the last question. What?s you Golf hcp?
Does that mean, you were always a better climber?
Ha, ha, yes, I think so!