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BD Athlete Seb Bouin: First Ascents in Turkey—Episode 1 Lily’s Eye

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
With recent ascents up to 9b/b+ (5.15b/c), BD Athlete Seb Bouin is one of the world’s strongest climbers. And as the saying goes: like mother, like son. On a recent “first ascent” expedition to Turkey, Seb traveled with his favorite climbing partner—his mother—to establish a new route in a recently discovered limestone cave. Check out episode 1—Lily’s Eye—as Seb and his mom, Claire Cerisier, take turns bolting the area’s “king line.”
Video: Sam Bie

I heard about this place and this cave a few months before going there. When I had a look at the pictures, I immediately wanted to go there to bolt the line in the middle. I was searching for a “Mega Line” to bolt, something big, something huge. And this line was perfect.

I traveled with a good partner: my mother. She is always motivated to travel for new expeditions. However, it was her first bolting adventure. She is a novice. But it was fun to teach her the process.

I bolted the top of the route and the middle, and she bolted the lower part. It was quite a mission to start bolting this line. We spent (together with Adrien Boulon, a French climber) several hours to reach the top of the crag. There were a lot of trees and no path. We had a ton of gear in our backpack, which was very heavy. 

When we finally reached the top and hung the rope to start bolting, I realized that I had forgotten the drill! At that moment, jumping off the cliff looked like the best option, haha. I had to go back down and up, to finally start bolting at dusk.

My mother is special. It's super fun to see her climbing. She never knows where to go, so I have to guide her. Yet she is never tired, so she never falls! I am never bored with her. The relationship between mother and son is something unique in climbing and in general. It can be hard at times but it can also be amazing. That makes a special combination for a great trip.

Eventually, we bolted this “Mega Line.” I named it Lily's Eye, a tribute to my grandmother Lily. She will always have an eye on us!

--BD Athlete Seb Bouin

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