Exploring the Beautiful Birthplace of Sport Climbing

The Verdon Gorge in the French Alps is considered the birthplace of sport climbing, an exciting and important genre of rock climbing that involves using bolts to protect a climber in the event of a fall. The acceptance of bolts didn’t come easy, but it ultimately allowed climbers to push their own limits and redefine what was possible in the vertical realm. In the 1960s, alpinist Francois Guillot was one of the early climbers in the Verdon, and he describes how the invention of the cordless power drill changed everything. Emily Harrington and Matt Segal, two strong American sport climbers, make a pilgrimage to the Verdon to pay respect to the origin of the sport they both love and to reflect on the significance of this beautiful canyon, which has been called the Grand Canyon of Europe.

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