Carlo Traversi is an American rock climber who was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. He started rock climbing at the age of fourteen and his local gym became a second home. The community inspired him to visit nearby Yosemite, Bishop, and Lake Tahoe, all of which helped him grow into the climber he is today.
When he turned eighteen, he moved to Colorado and became a route setter at the local bouldering gym. He has since become one of the best professional climbers in the world, pushing himself to climb upwards of V15 and some of the hardest boulders. He also is talented with trad climbing and sport climbing , but those aren’t as much of a focus.
In September of 2017, Carlo Traversi took on the Triple 14 Challenge, which involves climbing a V14 and a 5.14, as well as a 14er, in only one day. He climbed Jade (V14), Pervertical Sanctuary (5.14), and then summited Long’s Peak. He was the first person to complete the challenge: here’s a cool video by Black Diamond documenting his adventure.
As for competition climbing, Carlo Traversi won the USA Climbing Sport National Champion in 2009 and 2011. He also won first place in the 2017 Tuckfest Deep Water Solo Competition, second place in the USA Climbing Bouldering National Cup Series in 2017/18, and third place in the 2016 USA Climbing Bouldering National Championships.
Carlo spends a lot of his time travelling to both old and new places, is still a very active climber, and owns a climbing gym, The Boulder Field, in Sacramento, California. He can be found teaching clinics for Professional Climbers International, learning new things, route setting, and doing some hard bouldering across the U.S.
You can follow Carlo on Instagram, Facebook, and on his website. On his website, he has some cool lists like his top 10 boulder problems and more notable sends. He also has been on the Training Beta podcast, which you can listen to here.
Magic Line (5.14c)
Black Diamond called this route “one of the hardest single pitch trad routes in the world” and Carlo Traversi claimed the fourth ascent in early 2022. You can watch a short documentary on this climb on Black Diamond’s YouTube channel here.
Dominator was perhaps one of Carlo’s most challenging problems in his climbing career and he gave it more attempts than any other boulder he’s climbed. He said it took him “easily over 1000 tries” even though it wasn’t the most difficult move he’d ever done, but it took the most patience. Dominator was first worked by Jerry Moffatt back in 1993, with the second ascent by Fred Nicole in 1995. The difficulty of this problem really shows since the second ascent was until Carlo’s in 2020 and since then it’s only been repeated another two times.
In 2018, Carlo Traversi claimed the second ascent of Meltdown, a finger crack in Yosemite that was first established by Beth Rodden in 2008. At the time, Meltdown was the hardest single pitch trad climb in America and was the hardest trad climb to be established by a woman. It had been long awaiting its first repeat and it took Carlo several years of off-and-on work but he finally did it, placing all gear on lead just as Beth had done ten years ago.
Eiger Dream: La Paciencia & MAgic Mushroom
Back in 2015, Carlo Traversi and Sasha Digiulian spent time on La Paciencia, a 23-pitch, 3,000-foot route on the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland. The route was equipped by local Stefan Siegrist with Raul Bayard and Ueli Steck in 2001-2003, but their single-push free attempt wasn’t completed until 2005.
Flash forward to 2015, when Carlo and Sasha spent several days on the wall and faced innumerable challenges with poor weather and illness. They were forced to make a tough decision, and instead turned their attention to Magic Mushroom, a 600-metre 5.13a that starts about halfway up the north face. It took them three more days of effort and they became the first American team and Sasha was the first female to climb the route.
There’s an eight video series on Vimeo documenting their time on the wall: https://vimeo.com/136615649
The Story of Two Worlds (V15)
Carlo sent his fifth V15 with The Story of Two Worlds in Cresciano, Switzerland. While the problem had a history of where the true starting point is, Carlo used a sit start “two moves lower than where Dave started.” He said it was his hardest boulder to date.
FA V13 in Colorado – Flux for Life
Located in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Endo Valley, Flux for Life is a V13 boulder problem and Carlo claimed the first ascent back in 2011. It took him five days of tough work that involved multiple split fingers, failed heel hooks, and a really sore back.
Carlo said when he visited the valley, he was “immediately taken by the beautiful roof project” and that he was “most definitely a sucker for the obvious, clean, aesthetic lines.” David Graham was the first to work on ‘the roof project’ that became Flux for Life.
The Game (V15/16)
The Game is a V15/16 boulder problem located in Boulder Canyon in Boulder, Colorado, and it’s considered one of the hardest in the world. Originally sent and repeated by Daniel Woods, Carlo Traversi claimed the 2nd ascent in March of 2011 after five days of projecting.
Daniel Woods originally gave this problem a V16 grade, but downgraded it himself after completing it again. Carlo was quoted saying: “As for the grade of this one, I honestly don’t know. 8C seems appropriate only because I haven’t climbed any others. It’s a hard boulder, that’s fun to climb on, and seems to fit my style very well. Let’s just leave it at that…”
Jade (V14) in Colorado
Jade is one of the most famous boulder problems in Colorado and one of the hardest in the USA. It has seen several repeats since Carlo claimed the seventh ascent back in 2010: you can see a video of his climb here. This boulder would later be flashed by Adam Ondra in 2015 and climbed by females Ashima Shiraishi (2021) and Alex Puccio (2014).
In June of 2009, Nalle Hukkataival claimed the first ascent of Sunseeker after just a few hours of work. A day later, Traversi took the second ascent after almost getting it first the day before. Traversi said that Sunseeker “could be one of the best boulder problems in the world.” The route has since been downgraded to a V12 but is still one of the best V12’s in the world.
Cover photo from CarloTraversi.com