Tom Wallisch

Caroline Ciavaldini

Rock Climber

Caroline grew up on the majestic tropical island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean so it is no surprise that she now spends her life exploring the beauty of the outdoor world. After dedicating her early career to achieving success and technical expertise in competition climbing, she is now enjoying an exciting new chapter in her climbing life, travelling the world and sampling the endless diversity climbing has to offer.    

 

QUICK FACTS 

 

Birthdate: March 6th, 1985

Hometown: Reunion Island

Homebase: France, Connaux

Favourite book: The biography of Jerry Moffatt

Favourite food: I love variety, but I will go for a steak tartare with fries.

Biggest dream: I am living the dream life now. I have a project and I make it happen, always sharing it with James. So my biggest dream... is to keep it all!

How do I focus: I empty my mind, breathe, think of the movements. Only climbing and that is enough!

Best advice ever received: It was a discussion with Jerome Meyer, a bouldering champion. He told me: "What is the question? Answer the question". No point training hard if you don't train what is necessary. Analyse, focus.

What inspires you? Like everyone, I’ve had heroes. Today, Yuji Hirayama, who has been able to be at the top of the game in competitions but also in sport climbs. Speed climbing in Yosemite - that inspires me too!

Words to live by: Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. And remember to enjoy!

Favourite fitness exercise: Suspension rings at the minute. So efficient!

I don’t leave the house without my… The North Face Duffel

 

Biography

Variety has always motivated her. As a young girl she enjoyed tennis, dancing, sailing and horse-riding, but at the age of 12 she discovered her passion for climbing. After trying it for the first time on a small wall at her school, she was instantly hooked. Making fast progress, she won the French Youth Championship and French UNSS Championships in 2000 and was soon competing in the European Youth Cup and World Youth Championships.

At the age of 16 she made the brave decision to leave her beloved island and move to France to improve her training. Based in Aix-en-Provence, she spent ten years focusing on the Lead World Cup, finishing third over all in both 2005 and 2006. She also won the French lead championship every year between 2004 and 2007.  

But after a decade of being ultra-specialised, at the age of 26 she began to seek out fresh challenges, deliberately tasting new disciplines – from bouldering and crag climbing to multi-pitch, sport and trad climbing. Over the past six years she has pushed forwards in all of them, climbing everywhere from South Africa to Sardinia, Pembrokeshire to the Philippines. A highlight was leading a team to open Zembrocal (140m, 8c+) - her first multi-pitch ground-up ascent in her native Reunion Island.

How much does she love climbing? Put it this way: even when buying a house with her husband and climber James Pearson, the couple marked up a map of the best climbing spots in southern France to find the perfect location, then selected the house with the biggest ceiling so they could install an indoor climbing wall.

Caroline has now fully committed to adventure climbing. In 2016 she’s even braving the snow (not something she was used to on La Réunion) to seek multi-pitch and trad routes on Grand Capucin in France, before heading to the region of Fukushima in Japan where she hopes to try new climbs and inspire tourists to return to a region devastated by nuclear disaster. Blessed with strong visions and all-round technical skill, Caroline is determined to set new horizons for female climbers, but she’s having plenty of fun along the way.

Career Highlights

Sport Climbing:

  • Macumba (8c)
  • Mind Control 8c+, Spain
  • Aaron 8c, Turkey
  • Souvenir du Pic 8c, France
  • Métaphysique des Tubes 8c, Seynes
  • Guerre d’usure 8c, France
  • Les Mur des Cyclopes 8b On-Sight, France

Trad Climbing:

  • Chupacabra E9, Pembrokeshire
  • Chicama E9, Anglesey
  • Requiem E8, Scotland
  • Mercia Wall E8, Pembroke
  • Point Blank E8, Pembrokeshire
  • The Jackals E8, Pembrokeshire
  • Toploader E7, The Peak District
  • Yucan2 E7, Nescliffe
  • Hindenburg E7, Pembroke

Competition:

  • 1st Chamonix World Cup, France (2011)
  • 2nd France National Championships – three time winner (2011, 2009, 2008)
  • 1st Coupe de France Bloc de la Reunion (2011)
  • 2nd World Cup IFSC, South Korea (2010)
  • 2nd French National Championship (2010)
  • 2nd International Masters, Shanghai (2009)
  • 3rd World Games, Taiwan (2009)
  • 4th World Cup IFSC, Chamonix France (2009)
  • 1st French Championships, Valence (2008)
  • 4th World Cup, Puurs, Belgium (2008)
  • 4th Chamonix World Cup, France (2008)
  • 4th World Cup, Imst, Austria (2008)
  • 1st French Championships (2006, 2007)
  • 3rd World Cup Challenge (2006)
  • 2nd World Cup, Penne Italy (2006)
  • 2nd World Cup, China, Shanghai (2006)
  • 2nd World Cup, Puurs, Belgium (2006)
  • 2nd World Cup, Chamonix, France (2006)
  • 2nd International Open  (2006)
  • 1st French Championships, Albertville (2005)
  • 3rd World Cup, Valence (2005)
  • 1st Youth World Champion – three time winner