She is known as "the Rock Queen", as a mountaineering legend who now is publisher of books about the mountains: Catherine Destivelle.
Why do we love the mountains? Why do we want to climb its peaks? When and how did it begin to fascinate and attract people? These simple questions are the starting point of Catherine Destivelle. She goes back to the origins of mountaineering, not in the Alps, but in the middle of the sea, on an island. When we think of mountains, we rarely think of Great Britain. Yet it was in the UK that the pioneers of this practice, which ranges from simple high-altitude hiking to high-level climbing, were born.
So, to go back to the roots and understand where and how this unprecedented desire to conquer the summits was born, Catherine explores from the south of England to the northern extremity of the British Isle, in Scotland. She takes us to the very places that awakened this impulse towards the heavens, this desire to grasp the rock and find a form of freedom. Each new place explored will be the occasion for an encounter to grasp a little more of the very essence of this sensibility at the origin of mountaineering.
This quest echoes the story of Catherine Destivelle. Just as she was revealed by the British, mountaineering also owes everything to the subjects of the Crown. This parallel destiny will enable us to rope together the small and large history of our relationship with the mountains.
Direction: Vincent Perazio & Bertrand Delapierre
Production: ZED for ARTE France
Delivery: March 2024
With Catherine Destivelle