The Frenchman Sébastien Bouin is one of the best climbers in the world and is currently also the best French climber. Last year he climbed with „The Move “ and his new route „La Rage d’Adam“ two routes in the Climb intermediate grade 9b/ +. He also managed the 2nd ascent of „ Hossana“ the hardest MSL in France.
We were now allowed to interview him:
When did you first start climbing?
I started climbing when I was 11 / 12 years old. I started with my mother. She was a beginner too, and we growed up together in this sport.
What do you most enjoy about your sport?
I enjoy to be outdoor, in the nature. I like to practice my sport on the rock. Something made by the nature and not the human. I like to be in outstanding places. I like to find different routes everytime in climbing. Each route is different, that makes our sport incredible.
How do you define success?
We fail almost 99% of the time in our sport. Success is exceptional. I learnt to not searching success but searching the fight. Success is the bonus of a good fight. If we are happy about a good fight, we will be happy Everyday. If we are happy about success, we will be happy 1% of our days 🙂
Who are your climbing heroes?
I have not specific persons in mind. I am thinking to all these climbers who gave me motivation, to all these climbers who are trying harder and harder. I learn from everyone, my hereo is the guy with the motvation at 100% hight. What inspires you? My inspiration come from the beauty of the line, of the rock, of the place. More the route is impressive, beautiful, and hard, more I will be motivate to try it and come back many times to send it.
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?
Climbing takes me a lot of time. But I like doing other things. I like running, Walking in mountains. I like playing in general (evey kind of games). I like discovering new places, be outdoor. What’s your guilty pleasure? I like to sleep during the morning haha. yet it doesn’t work really well for climbing when you have to be early at the crag ! What are your hidden talents? Good question ! I think I am doing the best creps ever :-). And I am stubborn. When I have Something in mind I will give everything to achieve it, even if I have a low pourcentage of success. But I Don’t know if it’s a talent.
Tell us about your most favorite place in the world:
My most favorite place in the world is definitly the Verdon Gorges. It’s a wild place with a ton of rocks everywhere. There is a huge potential for climbing, but not only climbing. For Walking, biking, seeing animals,.. If you love nature you have to go there one day.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?
If I can have some extra power and a good coordination, I wouldn’t say no 🙂
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been scared:
I was bolting alone from the ground a mega line in the Verdon Gorges „La côte d’usure“. it’s a big prow in the middle of Verdon Gorges. Just before to put the Anchor I was thinking it can be easy to climb few meters and then put the Anchor. Yet, it was harder than expected, and I was in bad position few metters higher than the last bolt with all material (drill, bolts,..). I definitly didn’t want to fall there, nobody was belaying. I was bealying myself, yet the fall could be really bad. At the end I found a three and I put a sling, but it was limit. Describe your perfect day: It’s a Sunny day, with a beautiful crag in a beautiful place. There is a perfect project to try with good friends to laught. How would your friends describe you? They can say : authentic, stubborn, funny, smiling everytime, too much focus
This year you climbs with ‘Move’ and ‚La Rage d’Adam‘ two routes in the grade 9b/+ . There is only a little step to the ‘magical’ grad 9b+. What is your plans to achieve this grade as the 5th climber and first French climber? Do you have a potential 9b+ (or harder) project?
Haha, yes I have many plans in my head. I would like to try some 9b+ already established (La dura dura, perfecto mundo,..). And I have big big projects at home around this grade too. So I have a lot to do. I want also to travel and try hard routes around the world. In Spring I would like to try Jumbo Love.
Climbing competitions are not your passion. Was not Olympia a destination for you?
Definitly not. I need to be outdoor, it’s impossible to prepare yoursefl for olympics if you want to climb outddor. And I Don’t like speed climbing at all.
You like opening new routes. Do you know how many are now? Which are your most beautiful routes?
I opened more than 40 routes I think. I am searching Mega Lines. I want to bolt the hardest, the most beautiful, and the most impressive lines possible. „La côte d’usure“ 9a+ is my best one I think. „CRS“ (first french 9b) is one of the best too. What are your goals for next year and the future? I would like to improve my climbing level for sure. I want also to try some hard multipicth (Vahalla, Dawn wall?) and I want to bolt new Mega Lines around my house and around the world.