The Remy Brothers: climbing legends you’ve never heard of

Yves and Claude Remy have been shaping rock climbing for longer than most climbers are alive. If you don’t know who they are, that’s okay, they don’t care.

In the 1970s and 1980s, two Swiss brothers reveled in the golden age of climbing. The first fingerprints of climbers are everywhere on the rocks like the Gorges du Verdon, the Sanetsch and the Schlossberg. In fact, they cracked approximately 15,000 lengths of first ascents.

Unlike the massive production of the Remy brothers, their reputation is miniscule. Why? Maybe they were having too much fun climbing.

Sponsored by Mammut in their heyday, Claude said that he and Yves had “complete freedom to do whatever we wanted to do”.

Watching the two talk about an adventure into the unknown is somewhat grounded. Their carefree but intentional approach to first ascent the methodology is obviously well anchored.

“It’s just the spirit!” Claude says in French, making me instantly realize how much better the concept of “spirit” translates into that language. “Back then, we didn’t have to say ‘we’re going, or maybe there’ and chat for hours. We just took the gear and went climbing, then came back. Basta.

For non-Italian speakers, “basta” means “enough”.

For the Remy brothers, a lifetime of adventures was enough.

Duration: 3.5 mins

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Sam Anderson
By Sam Anderson

Sam has traveled the continental United States to track adventures, explore natural wonders and find great stories. After going to college to become a writer, he was distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with commercial work. He’s had addresses in the Adirondacks, Las Vegas and, in a way, Kansas, but his heart is in the highlands of Texas.

Topics: Climbing, Rock