27 March 2008

Jibé Tribout just did it!

Jibé Tribout just did it again!

Article by Laurent Zoutte. Translation French to English by Marie Sunde.

Twelve years after his last 8c, Le Bronx at Orgon, not long ago Jibé Tribout, at 46 years, linked Guerre d’Usure (War of Attrition), 8c, an atypical and really superb route at Claret. In Jibé's case, though (…), «little worn by attrition» would be more appropriate, since after a couple of tries two years ago, four other tries was enough to send the thing.

In 1986, "Les spécialistes", 8b+ at Verdon. Photo: Philippe Royer

...20 years later a bouldering session at the Bleau. Photo: Prana

Jibé knows almost everything about the evolution of climbing (except for the espadrilles and hemp ropes! Although!?... :-) and he contributed a large part to it. Artificial routes to free, the first routes equipped from above, the first steps of the eigth grade, face climbing at Mouriès or Verdon in plain summer, the drop-knee to adapt to more and more pronounced overhangs, the campus board, the first woodies, the first competitions in the middle of the 80s… At Smith Rock, Oregon, in 1986, he frees To bolt or not to bolt, the first 8b+ of the States. He recidivates in 1992 with Just do it, then the first 8c+ of the country, that very few natives have succeeded to take literally… In France, one will especially retain Superplafond (Superroof), 8c+ at Volx, of which the repetitions can still be counted on the fingers of one hand. (To know more, read the interview accorded to Jibé by escalademag (in French).

By force of his path and achievements, it's almost only towards himself that he has, from time to time, things to prove!... Nobody'd blame him for no longer being on top of his possibilities! But there it is, Jibé does not have the intention of cutting down on his demands for himself, and it's certainly what brought him to his highest level.

It's true! Why stay good when you can be excellent!?...

Today the father of three sons and in the lead of an enterprise of outdoor products, we've wanted to know what's been his way to recover the great shape.

With the family at Happy Boulder. Photo: Valou Tribout

"Copa de Cigala", 8a+, Siurana. Photo: Laurent Zoutte

Since 1997, when I stopped being «pro», I climbed à la «cool», a little heavy, forcing from time to time, but without ever really giving myself the means to go further. It's not easy to put yourself in danger, and one quickly finds oneself excuses. Since two years ago I've started wanting to climb hard again, and little by little, my appetite's come back. A first trip two years before showed me that I could do Guerre d’usure if I was in shape. And really that's where the problem is… Being in shape, it's very easy to say it and dream about it, but very difficult to put to work, so much does it demand that one breaks one's habits, and especially that one forces oneself a little.

The beginning of January, I truly started training resistance, and especially to lose a little weight! How hard it is to lose weight when you're «overweight» (still light!)!! And that's where the mental process is interesting, because you face yourself, about your choices: do I really want to do harder routes or do I content myself with my cushy routine? Up to where am I ready to make efforts to climb harder?

In fact, I accepted the challenge, and two months later, 3 kilos lighter and following a couple of fine resistance workouts with my sons, my shape arrived. Afterwards, «war» was done very quickly. I climbed through it in the sun and before nightfall I gave it a try. I was a little surprised, in spite of it all, I fall on the last hard move! The try after, too worked by the lack of time and rest, I fall lower down… Nevertheless, I felt it could be done quickly.

Football Fan, 8a, Fraguel - Photo Valou Tribout

A bout de souffle, 8b, Peilhon - Photo Valou Tribout

In spite of all my experience, what's amusing is that again, pressure rises in me before the demand of success, and I recovered sensations that I lived when I didn't do anything but climb. You think about the route, you watch the weather forecast, the skin on your fingers, you go through the moves in your head... sometimes wanting to say to yourself: «No, you'll climb it later, when you're in better shape.» That'd be so much more comfortable! In short, one restday later, I find myself at the foot of the climb again. The sky is grey, perfect, although a little cold and humid. After a 7a warm-up, I put in a try «to see», and I fall very high, fingers frozen. I take advantage to still clean a couple of foot details, and one hour later, it's off again!

And then, loosened up a bit, I feel that it'll go. I really want to. I'm there, my fingers are warm, Valou is ready and as concentrated as I am. Everything is ok. The vague thought of a possible failure is quickly rejected, and it's off. I climb neat. I clip with my left hand from the undercling before the crux, and throw myself into the atrocious arched hold with my left hand, it hasn't gotten bigger but I feel it well, I get my right foot up, slam on the sloper, stabilize with my thumb, and make the catch with my left hand. This is the most delicate for me: I heel hook my right foot, capture really stretched out the twofinger, come back to the ledge; I have one last uncertain foot move left that I do just, just... before making a good catch to the quasi final hold (editor's note: and let go a very in «Aaah»:-). I have to clip, and there… No, I'm a little limit, so I continue, skipping the clip!! Not too my style! And it's done! A good scream, a good dose of adrenalin, and how one feels good!...


There's how twelve years after my last 8c, I make this level again! Of course, this gives one ideas to continue a little in this direction!!! We'll see in the months to come if a couple of routes will actually let me pass to the chains!? Anyway, I spent two very interesting months on the mental level in order to accord my successes with what I wanted. This is the approach I've been wanting for a long time.

"Médérik craque", 8a+, Gorges du Tarn. Photo: Laurent Zoutte


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