Antoine Le Menestrel was one of the best climbers of his generation. In the 1980s he opened the doors to the eighth degree. He also incarnated the values of free climbing, an ethic, a simplicity, a purity of gesture. 35 years later, he has kept all his childhood utopias. Those that made him give up competition, to turn to an artistic expression of climbing at the highest level.
On the site of Buoux, one of the most famous cliffs in the south, he wrote an important page in the history of climbing with his brother Marc and the famous “Parisian gang”. They spent weeks camping near the cliffs, in more than spartan conditions. But nothing mattered more than the gesture, the opening of new routes and the chivalrous principles of this brotherhood of climbers.
Antoine stayed in Buoux. He married the daughter of the mayor, the same man who had forbidden them access to the cliffs a few years earlier. The years have passed, the look has remained intense, almost feverish. At 55, the eldest of the Le Menestrels has become the most active representative of “dance climbing”. Today he claims to be free of performance and to be able to enjoy the pleasure, the serenity and the detachment. Learning to love the path, not the goal, taking care of his body and sharing climbing, this is his credo today. A generosity that we find in the voice of the climber and author Stéphanie Bodet, her lifelong friend who also testifies in this beautiful documentary.
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