Carlo Traversi, tell us about your name.
My full name is Carlo Denali Traversi. I have strong Italian roots from both sides of my family and my parents were psyched on hooking me up with a very Italian name. That accounts for my first and last name. Just don’t call me Carlos, I’m not Mexican. And I don’t really like to Traverse, but I guess Traversi is a fitting last name because it’s similar to the climbing term. As for my middle name, my parents lived in Anchorage, Alaska for a few years before I was born under the shadow of Mt. McKinley. The Native American name for Mt. McKinley is Denali and I guess they were just inspired. I guess I’ll have to climb that thing some day.
What’s the fascination with bouldering in Boulder?
I wouldn’t say everyone is psyched on just boulders. The young generation definitely seems to be though. I guess that’s what I’m a part of. All of my friends purely boulder, my girlfriend purely boulders, I work at The Spot which is purely bouldering. It’s hard not to get sucked in. I’m definitely psyched on routes though.
Tell me about your intro to sport climbing.
More like a re-intro. I went to China with the Junior National Team for the Youth World Championships in 2005, so I have had a bit of experience in the past. I always considered myself as more of an endurance athlete. I like that kinda shit. Once again I got sucked into the bouldering scene in CO and didn’t really ever climb on a rope till I went to Rifle this last September. Got psyched real fast. Learned how to relax while climbing. Feels good to get the blood flowing. Rope climbing to me is like this epic battle. Like on long routes where you encounter multiple crux boulder problems and shitty rests in between. You’re just fighting to hang on the whole damn time. Great fun.
Did training at the gym(s) help your rapid ascent of “Girl Talk”?
I didn’t really train at all before climbing Girl Talk. Not even boulders. I climbed Simply Read a few days before and then the endurance just came rushing back. My base bouldering ability easily got me through the cruxes and it was just a matter of holding on until the end. I was just plain psyched on the route, and sometimes that’s just enough to get me through things.
Are you psyched on off-widths too?
I went through a period of psych on them. I was traditional climbing in Yosemite about 4 years ago and I got super pissed off that all the long routes I wanted to do had some random off-width pitch on it. That shit used to scare the shit out of me. The idea of wrestling my way up a large crack hundreds of feet off the deck with no protection and super insecure jams was not appealing. So I spent a few days trying to tick off all the classic one pitch off-widths in the Valley. My most memorable experience was Generator Crack which is like 10d. I spent 30 minutes trying to get my ass off the ground and when I finally did it took me another hour to get up the 40 foot climb. I got to the top and just about threw up and was sweating profusely and bleeding from head to toe. I was psyched though. I climbed it a few more times that day to hone the technique and each time it felt easier and easier. I don’t see much off-width climbing in my near future though.
Describe living in Boulder as a rock climber.
Lots of rock. Lots of gyms. Lots of climbers. Lots of shit-talking. Whole Foods pizza…amazing.
Describe the sensation of wearing Verve Yojimbo pants.
Has Christian (Verve) Griffith ever tried to make you wear a thong?
No, but I have tried out the male version of the booty short. That’s some scandalous shit right there.
Tell me where you have been in the past two months?
Horse Pens 40, Yosemite, Bishop, Little Rock City, Laurel Snow. Driving to all of them. Which means I’ve been all across the country.
What boulders have you done?
Dogwood V11 (4th Ascent)
King Air V10 (4th Ascent?)
Evilution V12 (4th Ascent, 1st Groundup)
A Maze Of Death V12
The Buttermilker V12
Haroun and the Sea of Stories V12
Vapor Lock V11
Western Gold V11 (3rd Ascent)
Alex just did Maze of Death V12, is Alex Puccio (Carlo’s girlfriend) stronger than you?
Hell No. HaHa. She’s crazy strong. But I still manage to keep ahead of her. She’s whooped my ass on some heel-hook moves in the gym. I gotta watch out though, she’s catching up.
Are you in school? Are you taking time off from school to travel? Who are you traveling with?
I finished one year at the University of Colorado in Boulder and have since called it quits, indefinitely. I most certainly want to go back, but the psych for school is going to have to come back first. I’ve realized that it’s completely impossible for me to accomplish things when I’m not psyched. That’s true in all facets of my life. But I’m definitely psyched on rock climbing and traveling. That’s basically what Alex and I have been doing for the last year and a half.
What climbing areas have you had success at?
It depends on how you measure success. I feel like I’ve been fairly successful in most of my recent trips. There are definitely things in each area I’ve been to that I wish I could have finished up. My goal for my few days in the Red this year was to on-sight 5.14. That was a failure. I fell off the last bolt of two near sends. I still had fun though.
What's in the future for you?
Arkansas? Hueco? Then lots of routes. Maybe Mt. Clark? Looks sweet up there.
Photo Credits: Jeff Wales, Matt Lewis, Carlo