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Carlo Traversi's Lifelong Pursuit Of Inspiration Through Challenge

Carlo Traversi's Lifelong Pursuit Of Inspiration Through Challenge
Photo: Greg Mionske
Carlo Traversi seems to have an insatiable thirst for challenges. He has sent some of the hardest boulders and sport climbs in the world is continuing to raise his own bar by pushing the limit of his abilities. His approach to training, climbing, and life seems to be more of a pursuit of truth and passion than one involving numbers.

When asked in an interview with FloClimbing how he feels about his climbing, Carlo said, "Absolutely fulfilling. I've met so many cool people, traveled to some of the most beautiful places on the planet, and shared countless adventures with good friends. What more could I ask for? The peace is in the journey."

This weekend, Traversi is traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina, to compete in the Tuck Fest Deep Water Solo Competition for a chance at a $15,000 cash purse.


Here's a look into some of the moments that have made up Carlo's journey so far and what we have to look forward to in the near future:

Traversi seemed destined for the outdoors at birth, as he was given the middle name Denali--a name he shares with the tallest peak in North America. Hailing from Santa Rosa, California, Traversi found his second home at the local climbing gym when he discovered the sport at the age of 14. With some of the most iconic climbing areas in the world right in his backyard, frequent climbing trips helped quickly mold Traversi into one of the most well-rounded climbers in the United States.

From his time on everything from the boulders of Bishop to the big walls of Yosemite, Traversi began to amass a set of skills that would lead to success on both rock and plastic. Traversi has racked up countless boulders graded in the double digits, including repeats of some of the world's hardest such as In Search of Time Lost V15 and The Game V15.

Traversi has also made headlines on the bouldering scene for his willingness to downgrade problems on his 8a.nu scorecard after their completion. Possibly his most notorious downgrade was his suggestion of V14 for Jade in RMNP after achieving the sixth ascent.

On ropes, Traversi has racked up an impressive resume, including ascents of some of the nation's hardest testpieces. His most notable has to be from 2015 when he managed a send of the historic Kryptonite 5.14d, established by Tommy Caldwell at the Fortress of Solitude in Colorado and the first of its grade in the United States. This wasn't Traversi's only success at the grade, as he has also finished off Bad Boys Club in Rifle, Colorado.

He has found other creative ways of challenging himself outdoors that don't include a high-water grade mark. For his 26th birthday, he completed his own "Birthday Challenge," sending 26 boulder problems graded V5 or harder. The result was some severely battered skin and over 200 V-points on the day.

In September 2016, Traversi set a new goal for himself: a 14x3 in his current stomping grounds of Colorado. The challenge consisted of climbing a V14, a 5.14, and summiting a 14,000-foot peak all in one day. Starting the day off with a repeat of Jade V14, he then moved on to Sarchasm 5.14a before tackling Longs Peak at 14,259 feet -- an incredible feat that in total took over 14 hours to accomplish.

Traversi has also found success on the competitive scene, earning the title of national champion for his 2009 victory at the USAC Sport Open Nationals (then called SCS Nationals). While he has been unable to repeat his success at this level, he has come close numerous times with two silver medals (2011 and 2013) and a recent bronze at the 2016 Bouldering Open Nationals. This past year he also placed sixth in the National Cup Series rankings, a new system implemented by USA Climbing used to rank competitors on their performance throughout the season.

With a passion for climbing coupled with a predominant creative streak, Carlo is known for his accomplishments as a producer as well. He is behind such iconic climbing films as "On The Circuit," "Heritage," and "Chasing Winter." 

What's next for Carlo Traversi?
After competing this weekend at the Tuck Fest, Carlo has recently made it public that he will be opening a chain of climbing gyms in his home state of California. Focusing on what he calls the "underserved" markets in Sacramento and Sonoma County, his new gyms named "The Bouldering Field" are set to open in the summer of 2017. This exciting next step for Carlo seems to be a perfect addition to the legacy of a great American climber.

USAC Bouldering Open Nationals - 3rd, 2016
USAC Sport Open Nationals - 1st, 2009; 2nd, 2011, 2013

Kryptonite 5.14d - Fortress of Solitude, CO
Bad Boys Club 5.14d - Rifle, CO
The Game V15 - Boulder Canyon, CO
In Search of Time Lost V15 - Magic Wood, Switzerland
Jade V14 - RMNP, CO


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Archived Competition Footage

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