«Catherine Destivelle, born in Oran, Algeria in 1960, grew up in Paris and started climbing as a young girl in Fontainebleau. By the age of 16 she was already leading rock routes of exceptional difficulty. As a teenager she also became a very experienced alpinist, before turning briefly to the new sport of competition climbing, with huge success.
In the late 1980s she returned to alpinism at the very highest level. She is known best for her solo ascents of hard alpine faces. With her winter solos of the Eiger, Grandes Jorasses and Matterhorn (Bonatti Route) north walls, Catherine Destivelle gave proof of a singular talent combined with an adventurous mind, great courage and strength. Several documentaries featuring Catherine Destivelle celebrate her elegant and seemingly effortless climbing style. Her autobiography, «Ascensions» (Paris 2003), is a lively, highly recommendable account of her climbing years.»
Albert Mountain Award 2008