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Catherine Destivelle

World Famous Mountaineer

Catherine Destivelle is recognised and admired as the most adventurous and exciting female climber in the world today, often climbing without a rope, or any back-up support. Her daring accomplishments as a solo climber, scaling the most difficult and dangerous peaks without the use of safety ropes, support or back-up are legendary. She revived the traditional values of alpine climbing, pioneering new, untried routes up the most difficult rock-faces in the world.

"One of the most adventurous and exciting climbers in the world"

Catherine Destivelle - speaker profile photo

In detail

After taking a five-year break from climbing to further her career in physiotherapy, Catherine Destivelle appeared on the competition scene. In 1990, Catherine climbed the intimidating Trango Tower in Pakistan. The following year she opened a new route up the famous west face of the Drus, in the Mont Blanc mountain range in just 11 days. In March 1992, she conquered the 3,970 metres of the north face of the Eiger in just 17 hours, alone and unsupported. This was a truly remarkable achievement as the first woman to attempt this extremely dangerous climb unsupported. Her triumph firmly establishing her as one of the greatest climbers in the world, removing any unanswered questions about female "inferiority" in climbing.

What she offers you

Catherine Destivelle is an extraordinarily brave woman. Her desire to conquer the most challenging mountain faces in the world illustrates her self-belief and determination, driving her to attain her full potential. Her unbounded enthusiasm is infectious and her audiences are enthralled by her amazing achievements and the slides and video images she shares of her breathtaking climbs. A truly inspirational speaker, Catherine is in ever-greater demand to inform, develop and delight conference audiences all over the world.

How she presents

Catherine Destivelle is an accomplished speaker, sometimes arriving to deliver her inspirational presentations in full climbing regalia! Designed to challenge and focus an audience, her presentations are full of invaluable insights into what "it" is that enables her to achieve her own objectives and take her to limits thought previously impossible.


She presents in both English and her native French.

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Speaking topics

  • Motivation and Will to Succeed
  • Risk and Responsibility
  • Security and Quality of Preparation

Books and publications

  • 1996
    L'apprenti Alpiniste
  • 1994
    Annapurna - Duo Pour Un 8000

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