First mountaineer into the Mille family, Charles Dubouloz is rapidly becoming the rising star of what is aptly called “alpinisme” in his native France, scaling heights in France and all over the world – including new routes in such faraway places as the Nepalese Himalayas. He attracted widespread attention in January 2022 when he came to grips with the notorious “Rolling Stones”, one of the most forbidding ascents in the Grandes Jorasses Mont Blanc massif. For 6 days, in a historic solo climb, hanging perilously on the treacherous North face in minus 20 temperatures, Charles was alone against rock and ice.
These were the Alps which watched him grow up in Annecy. What made him want to conquer them? The view? The challenge? Spiritual contemplation? “It was actually the need to channel some of my boundless energy! I like to push the cursor in everything I do. Mountains are the place where I can express myself,” explains Charles in language remarkably similar to that of another member of the family, free-diver Arnaud Jerald.
“Arnaud and I align ourselves to the vertical. At opposite ends of the spectrum, we both find osmosis with the elements at their most raw.”
“This is why I’m attracted to the Richard Mille brand. There’s something “extreme” about it. Time is relative. One single moment can last forever, or a whole day disappears in an instant. I factor in fear. If there was no fear, mountaineering would be meaningless. Fear connects you to the “now”. The day I have no fear, I’ll stop climbing. I seek the intensity I don’t get in “horizontal life and only then, when I’m up there, I allow myself, just for a few seconds to take it all in and say “wow!”