Laurent Laporte is Flathold’s greatest French ally. He has over 30 years of setting and hold making experience. Curious about people and their ideas, he became the Swiss duo’s partner and advisor after having met Manu at a World Cup in Grindelwald in 2006. He shapes for his own brand, Cheeta and is an international setter. Strip all pretentiousness from the word “mentor” and you may get how inspiring he is to Manu and Mathieu as setters and shapers. The Frenchman’s story began with a lot of mountaineering in the north Alps. At 17 he climbed the face sud du Fou, Mont Blanc. He discovered bouldering on a trip to the United States, where he made the first ascent of one of Hueco’s first v10s. With Laurent you feel great humility and an almost childlike ingenuity. Early in the 90s, he took part in a few competitions but was mostly attracted to setting. He rapidly became one of the very first international route setters. He probably would not like to be labeled a pioneer, although he certainly could. As a setter he invented a sequence of movements known as the clock; we also have him to thank for screw-ons. Those who have set for competitions with him in the past 30 years say that he can play any part. “My thing is the brain” he claims. What he likes is the psychological aspect of competition:“to feel the climbers doubt between two moves”.