A LOCAL'S-EYE VIEW OF SWITZERLAND'S MAGICAL BLOCS
“it’s a nice achievement to do this bouldering portfolio about my country, in the style of climbing I like the most,” says the Swiss boulderer/photographer Fred Moix, who spent the last six years shooting his native stones. “It was like a personal mission, a kind of legacy I wanted to give.”
If you’ve been living under a rock, the thing to know is, Switzerland is one of the world’s hard-bouldering epicenters, thanks in no small measure to Fred Nicole’s visionary efforts over the past 15 years. “I remember witnessing Fred cruise La Danse des Balrogs (the world’s first V13) when I was young, and I just didn’t believe my eyes,” says Moix. “Fred’s achievements and the way he’s doing them are truly impressive.”
As a country, good ol’ neutral Switzerland is a land of alpine beauty, and a melting pot of three cultures and languages (French, German, Italian). Climbable year-round, it has the four main bouldering centers of Magic Wood, Brione, Cresciano, and Chironico, all close to each other. “Magic Wood is in the German part,” says Moix, “while the three other meccas are in the Italian part, in the canton of Ticino. The French part contains only old classics and some isolated gems — it’s definitely less suited for a trip.”
Moix says his boulderer’s eye helped with this portfolio. “Being deeply invested in the community, looking for new problems, and climbing at a good level have helped me understand which problems are special and for what reasons,” he says. Shooting Swiss blocs, adds Moix, is “all about the passion to be in the rhythm. On some moments of some shoots, you get that special state of mind you encounter when you’re climbing just perfectly.”
Visit: fredmoix.com to see more of Frédéric Moix's photos.