I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Pierre Allain, genial genius. by Stevie Haston.

Ask an American who invented bouldering, and they will normally say John Gill if they don't say Sharma. Anyway perhaps Pierre Allain one of the fathers of bouldering at Font deserves a little credit for doing a few things before the star spangled banner. I have one of his carabiners in my hand in the above photo and this biner the first alloy biner, and the PA rock boot were undoubtedly responsible for many of the improvements in the big game of climbing.
I have been playing with this biner lately, it's real beautiful,  especially compared to older less light biners made of steel, which also used to cut your finger on the gate. Sadly I don't have a pair of PA's, or their decedent and better, the EB which were the initials of Pierre Allains business partner. The EB was the boot which did all the work in the development of our sport, all the improvements from grade 6 to 8, and it was a boot that took a lot of time to improve on!
Anyway I asked a good friend of mine who PA was and they didn't know, how sad I thought. Routes like the North Face of the Dru, the Meije face, and a bunch of obscure little sandy boulders in a forest somewhere, thank you Pierre.
PA was born in 1904 and so was lucky to be the right age to miss the Great War, he died at 97, playing with puzzles and games. I wished I'd met him, but at least I'ave done some of his routes. The North Face of the Dru was done in 1935, three years before the Eiger and the Walker spur. Anyway there you go, PA.