Marc Bourdon

Age: 42, Years climbing: 22, Hometown: Squamish, BC, Favorite product: SOLUTION


Do you clip bolts, plug cams, stack pads, or crush ice?

The beauty of living in Squamish is climbing diversity, so we tend to dabble in all genres. Although I'm retired now, I worked as a rock guide for well over a decade and did a lot of cam plugging in the process. As a current book publisher, I've authored a few bouldering guidebooks to Squamish, which necessitated a fair amount of pad stacking. However, my heart yearns to clip bolts. I just love the continuity of physical movement on long, overhanging pitches. I love the flow.

How long have you been an athlete with La Sportiva?

Unofficially, about 10 months.

What are some of your lifetime climbing goals?

I'm a numbers-oriented climber and actually achieved all of my lifetime goals a few years ago (maybe I set the bar too low?). In the process, I climbed at some pretty amazing crags around the world. If I had a current goal, it would be to simply work around my current injuries and physical limitations so that I can still climb at a relatively high standard well into my '50s.

Do you have a claim to fame?

I've been accused of climbing in "too much control". I guess that means if you're not screaming and shaking, you're not trying hard enough. I kind of like to like to feel fluid and smooth, even when I'm at my limit. I think this is a good way to climb that promotes longevity.

Do you have any vices?

Sugar. Definitely sugar.

What makes you tick as a climber and in the real world?

The toughest question yet! I guess I'd describe myself as goal oriented and experience driven, both in climbing and in life. I'm more interested in collecting experiences than flashy possessions. In other words, I love travelling to new places, seeing new sights and climbing new climbs as much as possible. I'm always keen to see what's hidden around the next corner.

What drives you to climb? The money? The groupies? The fame? What?

My wife and 5-year-old daughter are my only groupies, I'm making zero money as a climber and any fame I had was pretty short lived, so I need lots of self-motivation. For me, the physical and mental challenge of climbing a long, pumpy pitch gives me great personal satisfaction. This has a ripple effect that helps me be more positive in other aspects of my life. Climbing is my meditation.

What is your favorite movie?

Another tough question, because I'm a big movie watcher. If I had a gun to my head to pick only one, I guess I'd go with the director's cut of Blade Runner. Although I'm not really a big sci-fi fan, I think Ridley Scott's vision of the future was way ahead of its time and the movie he made was brilliant on many levels.

Do you have any nicknames? Explain:

I've had a couple over the years. "Tickmaster" for my penchant to climb every route at the crag, and "Young and Serious" for my general demeanour and approach to climbing. (That would be "Old and Serious" now.) I've probably got some other nicknames that I'm (thankfully) not aware of.

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Why?

Probably about 24 hours, both for international travel and for competition route setting, which I did when I was young and semi-indestructible.

If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?

I'm from Canada, eh?

What did you have for lunch yesterday?

A bagel sandwich followed by a homemade cupcake that my daughter and I whipped up the day before!

If you could hook up a thought monitor to your head, would you see pictures, hear words or would music be playing?

If you are talking about while I'm climbing, you'd hear some pretty interesting, internal gibberish that is necessary to keep my mind focused and my nerves at bay.

What really scares you about climbing?

Getting injured. Period. I've had multiple shoulder injuries over the years and hearing a faint "click" in a joint while cranking through a tough crux is a truly sickening feeling. Losing half a year of physical activity is a terrifying prospect.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?

I like "Let's Keep Going", but my wife would probably vote for "Affliction".

Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?

Northern Spain. It has the best and most plentiful limestone in the world, and a great climate to boot!

Have no food or have no gasoline?

Since I live within walking distance of most things I need, including climbing, I'll keep the food, thank you very much.

Do you wish you had sexier feet?

I broke my right heel jumping a crevasse on skies when I was 20 years old. I've had a gnarly-looking heel spur where the fracture healed ever since. So, yes, I definitely wish I had sexier feet!