/ ARTICLE: Antoine Le Menestrel's Diary: Soloing Revelations

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UKC Articles 10 Jun 2019
Antoine mid-solo Released a few weeks ago, our new documentary 'Statement of Youth' chronicles some of the key moments in the development of British sport climbing. One of the most important episodes in the film, and a pivotal event in climbing history, is Antoine Le Menestrel's jaw-dropping solo of Revelations.

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john arran 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

One of the most compelling accounts of the personal motivation for a climb that I can remember. Haunting.

jon 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Clearly the best UKC article ever. By a long way.

Tyler 10 Jun 2019
In reply to jon:

Agree!

TobyA 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Tyler:

Do you chaps reckon the sandstone reference means gritstone? I wonder what route "scared" JB - maybe they did a Team France rampage long before Team America turned up...

myrddinmuse 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Utterly captivating throughout. The final entry was what got me. I wonder what his choice was..

Phil Kelly 10 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Do you chaps reckon the sandstone reference means gritstone? I wonder what route "scared" JB

Doesn't he actually say that he was climbing with JB and 'we get scared'?

If its any help, it was indeed a gritstone day and they visited Froggatt, Curbar and Stanage.

UKB Shark 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

“One or two pads..”

Tyler 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Phil Kelly:

Where were they staying, I always assumed they were staying with the English climbers but reading the article that doesn't seem to be the case

Nick Brown - UKC 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

> “One or two pads..”

Alright, a few then...

> Where were they staying, I always assumed they were staying with the English climbers but reading the article that doesn't seem to be the case

I'm fairly certain they were staying in 84 Hunter House Road with Chris Gore, Basher, Pollitt etc

ericinbristol 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Poetic!

teh_mark 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

I love the 'honesty' with which he climbs. I felt compelled to read more about him after watching Statement of Youth, and couldn't help but form the impression that he climbs for the climbing and for himself - not for the competition, not for others. I find that truly inspiring.

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Presley Whippet 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Best thing I have read in quite a while. 

Funny that the birth of UK sport climbing, the change in ethics from yo yo ing to working was inspired by a solo ascent. One in the eye for those who deride sport climbing. 

Cheers Antoine for making this available, inspirational stuff. 

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UKB Shark 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

I wonder if the Brits banging on about the inferiority of redpointing was the nudge (conscious or otherwise) that inspired him to consider soloing Revelation. If not it was the best of answers.

Phil Kelly 10 Jun 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

> I wonder if the Brits banging on about the inferiority of redpointing was the nudge (conscious or otherwise) that inspired him to consider soloing Revelation.

Didn't Jibe do a link-up the day before the big solo? Weedkiller/Rooster Booster/Sardine - and called it 'Allo Ethique' - is that correct? Clearly there was some discussion going on between the protagonists at the time.

UKB Shark 10 Jun 2019
In reply to Phil Kelly:

Don’t know the timing but ‘Ello Ethique’ I think I saw it written as - don’t know what that translates as.

A friend who was there (Mark Mitchell) said that when he got to the Sardine crux he stopped and announced “ow can anyone fall off zis? zee olds are so big!” then carried on

snoop6060 11 Jun 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

To be fair they are pretty big

DubyaJamesDubya 11 Jun 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

> I wonder if the Brits banging on about the inferiority of redpointing was the nudge (conscious or otherwise) that inspired him to consider soloing Revelation. If not it was the best of answers.

I doubt anyone thought redpointing was inferior in a 'getting results sense' they just thought it represented a lower ethical standard. Which may be true. 

DubyaJamesDubya 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Funny that the birth of UK sport climbing, the change in ethics from yo yo ing to working was inspired by a solo ascent. One in the eye for those who deride sport climbing. 

Given that he thought the solo was the purest ascent it could be viewed as nothing of the sort.

Southvillain 11 Jun 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> I doubt anyone thought redpointing was inferior in a 'getting results sense' they just thought it represented a lower ethical standard. Which may be true. 


I was thinking about the use of the term "ethics" when I read the piece. Ethics. Def: moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity. How was/is yo-yoing morally superior to redpointing? Wouldn't `style' be a more honest distinction? (*runs away quickly*)

john arran 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Southvillain:

It's long been generally accepted that climbing 'ethics' is a misnomer and 'style' is what is intended. Indeed the use of 'ethics' is pretty rate nowadays compared to 'style'.

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DubyaJamesDubya 11 Jun 2019
In reply to Southvillain:

> I was thinking about the use of the term "ethics" when I read the piece. Ethics. Def: moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity. How was/is yo-yoing morally superior to redpointing? Wouldn't `style' be a more honest distinction? (*runs away quickly*)

Ultimately he chose to do it in a style that trumped the redpoint and yoyoing.

1
Presley Whippet 11 Jun 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

But used both (or at least one) to enable it. 

pbla4024 11 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Can you post the diary in French as well?

DubyaJamesDubya 12 Jun 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

It could be argued he laid the ground for the headpoint approach we have today.

Jon Read 12 Jun 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Contributed, I would say, rather than laying foundations. However, I would say the adoption of the french redpoint style for sport routes in the UK certainly helped provide the clarity for headpointing to be defined and distinguished from the melee of existing 'dubious' tactics (frigging, dogging, etc). Alan Austin headpointed Wall of Horrors -- he just didn't know it!

steveb2006 12 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article and film - I was surprided that there was seemimgly film of the solo - well done as I couldnt tell it wasnt old film.  Good effort from NF too.  Also I always did wonder how ALM got down after the solo - now all explained. 

Phil Kelly 13 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

If you want to a couple of minutes of Antoine talking about part of the build up to his solo, there’s a brief snippet here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kFhYot1Ubc

Gordon Stainforth 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Phil Kelly:

What I love most about this is the international friendship that it displays, that all climbing promotes and always has done. It smashes down all international boundaries, has contempt for all borders. Borders of all kinds: psychological, physical, and political. That, I believe, is the nature of climbing. <End of statement; I feel that it's so uncontroversial that there's no need to say any more about it.>

aln 13 Jun 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

That just pissed me off, billed as a film of Antoine's solo of Revelations. But it isn't 

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