Didier Berthod is Back / Interview with Swiss crack climbing legend
In the early 2000’s one of the leading figures in the sophisticated art of crack climbing was Didier Berthod, the Swissman who left his mark with many hard routes throughout Europe, notably the first ascent of Greenspit in Italy’s Valle dell’Orco, recently repeated by Jacopo Larcher. First ascended pinkpoint with preplaced gear in 2003 and then without preplaced gear in 2005, this roof was hailed as one of, if not the, hardest pure crack climb at the time.
Berthod’s exceptional attempts at freeing Cobra Crack at Squamish in Canada (freed by Sonnie Trotter in 2006) were documented in the cult climbing film First Ascent. At the height of his powers and aged only 25, following a knee injury in 2006 Berthod quit climbing altogether and retreated to a monastery in Switzerland.
For the next 13 years he dedicated his life to monkshood. But in recent times he decided to work as a pries. And also return to climbing. Crack expert Tom Randall has now made this interesting, in-depth interview on his Wideboyz channel with Berthod who, unsurprisingly, has various projects in store.
Berthod is back
Shortly after the film “First Ascent,”Didier joined a monastery and quit climbing. No one heard from him for 13 years. And to us and a lot of others he remained a climbing mystery that we could only watch on screen, idolize and aspire to. Now Didier is back climbing. We got the privilege of speaking to the legend himself to hear how the last 13 years have been, how his passion for climbing has been revitalized. And what the future holds.
This is an iconic interview and not one to be missed! A massive thanks must go to Didier of course for agreeing and chatting to us