Caroline Ciavaldini

Climber - Trad / Bigwall

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


Reunion Island


France, Connaux

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

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 other fitness exercise

Suspension rings at the minute. So efficient!

I don’t leave home without my...



Top 5 career highlights

  • Sport Climbing Macumba (8c)
  • Sport Climbing Mind Control 8c+, Spain
  • Sport Climbing Aaron 8c, Turkey
  • Trad Climbing Chupacabra E9, Pembrokeshire
  • Trad Climbing Chicama E9, Anglesey


Caroline grew up on the tropical paradise island of Réunion. Famed for its lush vegetation, holiday-brochure beaches and first-rate scuba diving, it’s not the first place that springs to mind as producing world-class competitive sport climbers. But climbing is the island’s fourth largest sport and is practiced in schools, where 12-year-old Caroline started climbing. 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 moved to France to improve her training and spent ten years focusing on the Lead World Cup, finishing third over all in both 2005 and 2006 and she won the French lead championship every year between 2004 and 2007. After a decade of being ultra-specialised, she began to seek out fresh challenges and bigger risks outside of the climbing gym, largely due to the serendipitous meeting of her now-husband, fellow climber James Pearson.

Since then, she’s proved she’s a strong, well-rounded climber ticking off routes all over the world, in unexpected places like the Ethiopian desert and Japanese waterfalls. One highlight was leading a team to open Zembrocal (140m, 8c+), her first multi-pitch ground-up (no top-rope practice) ascent in her native Reunion Island. Another was the Voie Petit on Grand Capucin on the Mont Blanc Massif, which is 450m long, at 3,500m and maxes out at 8b.

When she and James had their first child, Arthur, they vowed to combine their roles as parents with their roles as athletes. In so doing, they faced challenges they’d never encountered before and embarked on their toughest expedition yet. It’s inspired her to seek out new adventures closer to home and has given their lives new meaning beyond climbing.



1st Chamonix World Cup, France

2011, 2009, 2008

2nd France National Championships – three time winner


1st Coupe de France Bloc de la Reunion


2nd World Cup IFSC, South Korea


2nd French National Championship


2nd International Masters, Shanghai

Discover the latest news

New Life

A journey into parenthood with Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson


Increasing risk, one step at a time, with James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini

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