Weekend Warm-Up: ‘Everyday’ Pablo Dirtbags it For the Rest of Us

“The plan is to go from crag to crag, and climb a lot.”

For one man on a simple quest in France, it doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

No, I mean it. The guy doesn’t even need to pay for a gas bill to get around.

a man cycling


This is Pablo, the protagonist of Everyday Climbers, Episode 3.

In this punchy mini-doc, we pick up the 24-year-old biking around France’s famous crags in search of one thing: the country’s best 8a (5.13b) route.

To him, it’s just an added challenge. He appears totally happy pedaling around country roads, making small talk with livestock and lampooning bad weather.

It’s a humble life, but an enthralling prospect. If you’ve ever dirtbagged before, you’ll recognize yourself in the instances that comprise Pablo’s transient existence.

One moment your conditioned back muscles ripple in the sun on an overturned shield of heroic gold limestone.

a rock climber on a steep cliff


The next, you curl up alone at the base of a dark cliff in your sleeping bag. You’re all in, and nothing can stop you except yourself.

sleeping at the cliff


Not only a send

“I want to prove to myself, and to the world, that it is possible to redefine performance,” Pablo says. “Seeing it not only as a send…but taking into account everything about it.”

Ok, we’ve heard this one before. Everything’s harder if you don’t use resources or technology to get it. But if that reeks of old books and pipe tobacco and Reinhold Messner and, most pungently, gatekeeping, just watch the clip instead. This kid lives in a tent, not a castle in the clouds.

There are moments that will strike poignantly, like when he discusses the difference between laughing with strangers versus laughing with friends. There’s a silly outburst here and there, and there are the tribulations of a budding lifer in the rock climbing scene. (Watch the procedural interview that follows the film’s climactic success around the 10-minute mark to see what I mean.)

Somewhere along the way, the quest for the best 8a in arguably the world’s best sport climbing country gets lost. But the only thing it shows was that finding the best climb was never really the point anyway.

Is Everyday Climbers, Episode 3 a portrait of an artist? Nope. It’s not supposed to be.

Pablo embracing a sign that says "0 crux ave"

Photo: Screenshot


It’s a portrait of a young man.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.