Carlo Traversi Completes 14x3 Climbs
To accomplish his 14x3, Traversi chose Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park for a trio of climbs he felt would serve his purpose.
Traversi began with Jade, a V14 boulder problem that was originally graded a V15. He then followed that up with Sarchasm (5.14a) and Longs Peak. For good measure, Traversi also climbed the 5.11a route, Pervertical Sanctuary, as his six-pitch approach to the 14,259-foot Longs Peak.
FloClimbing was able to ask Carlo a few questions about his Triple 14:
1. In total, how much elevation was climbed? The approach to Sarchasm is a feat in itself from what I heard. How long did it take you after completing Jade to get to Sarchasm, climb it, and then reach Longs Peak and ascend that? Just to confirm, you also had to knock out a 5.11a (Pervertical Sanctuary) just to get to Long's Peak, correct? At that point, what were you thinking/feeling?
In total, the elevation gain/loss over the course of the day was around 12,842 feet. The approach to Sarchasm was more difficult than usual, because I chose to hike from the Bear Lake parking lot, which is on the opposite side of the mountain than the normal trailhead. I didn't want to use a car throughout the course of the day, so this decision added a bit of time and difficulty. I finished Jade around 6:45 AM and topped out Longs Peak at 9:30 PM, so that's 14 hours and 45 minutes from the top of Jade to the top of Longs Peak via the Diamond, with an ascent of Sarchasm in between. I could have just hiked up Longs Peak via the Keyhole route, but I was intent on making the day a multi-discipline climbing endeavor. Climbing a fifth-class route up the Diamond was a perfect way to achieve this goal and Pervertical Sanctuary 5.11a was a great route to finish the day. It's a route that I have climbed a few times before and never found it very challenging, but at the end of such a huge day I was definitely trying hard on the last few pitches. I was exhausted but ecstatic when I topped out the Diamond. I couldn't believe that it had actually happened. Looking back, each stage of the challenge almost seemed like a whole day in and of itself. I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the whole thing.
2. Would you consider this your best/most impressive/proudest climbing accomplishment? If so, why? If not, what other climb(s) hold a special place in your heart?
It stands out in my mind, because it is very different from my other accomplishments in climbing. It's hard to compare it with anything else. It was also a very personal goal, something that I had no idea if other people would even care about, and I was perfectly OK with that. It was something that I really wanted to do for myself. And for that reason, it definitely sits right near the top of the list for me in terms of my proudest climbing accomplishments.
3. What is prepping for something like a Triple 14 like? How long did it take from ideation to actualization to make this happen? What inspired it?
I was inspired by a conversation that I had with Tommy Caldwell about four years ago. We were talking about the variety of climbing available in RMNP and how cool it would be to combine them into one big day. The Triple 14 day was a logical progression of that idea, because each individual aspect of the challenge requires a high level of skill and fitness. I remember Tommy joking that if he ever climbed a V14 in RMNP he would just hike over and do the rest to finish off the day. I would imagine that after climbing the V14, the rest of the challenge would be cake for him. Not so much for me. But at the time I had already done a few V14's in the park and knew that combining everything could be a real possibility in the future. It's been in the back of my mind ever since. This year, after committing to stay in Colorado for the whole summer season, I started finding ways to train for this idea by setting short term goals. I started hiking to Upper Upper Chaos a few days a week and working on new and existing boulder problems. The hiking was a great way of increases my overall fitness. Then I climbed the Diamond a few times and made sure I was solid and efficient on the wall. And finally I was able to climb Sarchasm 5.14a rather quickly in mid-July. With each of the stages completed on their own, it was only a matter of time before I was ready to go for the whole thing.
Luckily for me, I was able to pull it off on the first try. It was brutal day. Jade took longer than expected and severely split my tip on the send go. This definitely made the rest of the day more difficult, both mentally and physically. But after 20 hours and 23 miles of hiking, I was finally back at the car, barely able to stay awake.
By Joe Dimeck