Carlo Traversi began rock climbing in 2002 at the age of 14. The local gym, Vertex Climbing Center, became his second home in a matter of months, and the supportive community of local climbers inspired him to perfect his abilities both on plastic and rock. Frequent trips to Bishop, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe during his teenage years also played a huge role in sculpting the climber that he is today. Upon turning 18, Carlo ventured east to Boulder, Colorado, where he established roots within the highly motivated local community. During his years in Colorado he continued to progress as a climber, culminating with a Spring 2011 ascent of The Game, V15, considered to be one of the hardest boulder problems in the world. In the years following his time in Boulder, Carlo has lived and climbed in some of the far reaches of the world and has amassed an impressive tick list of first ascents, significant repeats, and successful competition results. V15 and 5.14 First Ascents as well as hard and scary traditional climbs are just the beginning for this climber with a long career ahead. Today, Carlo spends as much time as possible traveling and experiencing the world, pushing himself in all disciplines of climbing, producing films, shooting photos and teaching clinics.
Discipline: Sport Climbing, Traditional Climbing, Bouldering
Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA
Currently Living: Boulder, CO
Height: 5’ 7”
US Sport Climbing National Champion in 2009 & 2011
10-time member of the US National Team
V15 and 5.14 First Ascents
When did you first start climbing?
What do you most enjoy about your sport?
Climbing offers a huge variety of unique challenges. Every trip and experience pushes you in new ways. The combination of mental and physical tests always keeps things interesting. I also really enjoy the opportunity that climbing gives us to see the world and appreciate it in a different way.
How do you define success?
Progressing and enhancing the lives of those around you by directly affecting there lives in a positive way and/or inspiring them through your actions.
What are you most proud of, either in life, your sport or both?
Staying true to my morals and maintaining optimism under the most difficult circumstances.
Who are your heroes?
Anyone who works hard and respects others.
What inspires you?
I am inspired anytime I see someone giving 110% to whatever they are doing purely because they love it.
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?
Photography, Filmmaking, and Surfing.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Haribo Gummy Bears
What are your hidden talents?
No real hidden talents.
Tell us about your most favorite place in the world:
South Africa holds a special place in my heart. The food, the culture, the people and the climbing are all top notch. It has a really wild but relaxed atmosphere. It’s hard to explain but it’s the only place that I actually want to cry when I leave.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was really into sports, so some kind of professional athlete. I played a lot of soccer but ultimately grew tired of the hyper competitiveness in the upper levels of the sport.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?
Not holding others and myself to unrealistic expectations. It’s unnecessary and almost always produces negative results.
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been scared:
When my brother was hospitalized for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome a few years ago, and I was halfway around the world. It’s scary to feel so helpless when someone in your family is ill. I was also terrified when my right lung collapsed a few years ago. It was spontaneous, and I had no idea what was going on, but the combination of chest pain and trouble breathing was a hard one to get over.
Describe your perfect day:
Wake up around 8 followed by a huge breakfast with lots of coffee. Then it could go a few different ways: All day sufferfest into the mountains to try a long and scary multi-pitch route. It turns into a little bit of an epic, but not too much: just enough to keep things interesting. Or going bouldering with a small group of friends in a new area. Climbing a ton of new problems on perfect stone and cold conditions. Back after dark for a BBQ and some drinks. Maybe a little late-night dancing…
How would your friends describe you?
Depends on the friend and depends on the day. :)