Alpine climbing maestro dies aged 99


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Geneva (AFP) – Marcel Remy, the great old man of Swiss mountaineers and one of the oldest active climbers in the world, died at the age of 99, newspapers and several specialized sites reported on Wednesday.

“For almost a century, you have inspired people all over the world with your unwavering passion for climbing,” his sponsor, Swiss mountain sports company Mammut, said on Instagram.

“Thank you for everything, Marcel. Get on in peace.”

In 2017, at the age of 94, Remy conquered the Mirror of Argentina, a Swiss climbing classic with its 500 meters of limestone wall.

Even in the late 90s, he was still tackling the 16-meter-high wall at the indoor climbing center in Villeneuve, in southwestern Switzerland, with his eldest son Claude.

Climbing has always been an important part of Remy’s life. Nourished with mountain tales, he likes to discover the great outdoors and the Alps become his playground.

Remy worked for the Swiss railways and spent all his free time in the mountains, taking his two sons with him.

“He was a tough father. With him, it was do or die, whatever the conditions,” his son Claude told AFP last year.

Remy transmitted his passion for the Alps. Claude and his brother Yves are also well known in the climbing world.

In August 2020, the French climbing magazine Grimper devoted forty pages to the exploits of the family and the most impressive climbs they have achieved together.

In an interview with AFP in June last year, Remy said the secret to his longevity was pacing.

“It’s the rhythm you have to take – for the breath, for the movements,” he explained.

“If I go beyond that, there’s a price to pay afterwards. I can’t tell you exactly what, but either the shoulders or the muscles. It’s better to go calmly, without overexertion, and then it works. “

“It gives me a lot of pleasure because you have to work, think and surpass yourself, that’s what suits me well.”

And he added, “If I’m still enjoying it and feeling good, why not continue?”


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