You wouldn’t guess that someone with a fear of heights would go on to send some of Bishop’s tallest boulder problems including Ambrosia (V11) and This Side of Paradise (V10). But for Giovanni Traversi, that’s exactly how the story goes. Does that last name sound familiar? Yep, he’s the younger brother of professional climber Carlo Traversi.
In this week’s Climber Spotlight, Giovanni tells us about his plans to attempt Too Big To Flail, bailing on trad climbs, and the “rope incident” that happened in Bishop last season. Read on to hear his story:
Tell us about the early days of your climbing career.
I started climbing when I was 11 years old at a friends birthday party in my home town Santa Rosa, CA. My brother (Carlo Traversi) and I began climbing at the same time, so it has been cool to be able to share a similar passion with him. Even though we both started climbing at the same time, I soon found out I was afraid of heights. Obviously, through lots of mental battling I have become more okay with heights.
You’re a great storyteller on social media. What do you hope to inspire or portray with your posts?
I don’t consider myself great at storytelling but I’m glad I have made an impression, nonetheless. My main goal is to just inspire people to want to lead a life of being in nature and pushing themselves in the most positive ways they can.
What is one of your proudest climbing accomplishments?
One of my most proudest climbing moments so far is either the day I sent Ambrosia (V11) in Bishop, or sending Direct North (V14) in Bishop.
Tell us about one of your not-so-proud moments in climbing.
I don’t believe I have any (not-so-proud) moments in climbing other than bailing on trad climbs I know I am capable of doing but am just too scared of. Everything I have been through has made me who I am today. But, there was this one rope incident last winter in the Buttermilks that I got a lot of heat for online where some kid thought I was red tagging the mega highball Ambrosia, even though it is a very established climb.
The assumption came about because I had left a TR on it for multiple days in order to get it rehearsed for the solo. The young man expected I would allow him to use the same rope I was using during the same time as I was working the climb. I told him he could work the climb when I was done sessioning it on another rope that was living on top of the Boulder. The rope I was using at the time was not mine to let him use.
The main thing behind this is—certain boundaries need to be respected for people who are working a line where the risk of falling is 2 broken limbs. On top of that I didn’t feel so bad when I realized he had been stalking me on Facebook for a while … Long story short, I apologized to him for giving him that impression and all is good. I’m always a great supporter of the other up and coming climbers that continue to impress me.
What’s next for you? Any big goals/projects?
I do have quite a few goals/projects! The first being to Solo Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne Meadows by the end of this month. I also want to climb the mega highball Too Big To Flail in Bishop this season. It is always my goal to continually push myself out of my comfort zone and to do things that make me grow as an all around climber.
I also want to be a more confident trad climber. On a side note, I’m going to be spending the month of November in Bishop this year so hopefully some good will result from the trip!
If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner climber, what would it be?
My advice to beginner climbers would be to never give up believing in yourself and what you are capable of. Climbing is naturally difficult, and is not a sport that necessarily gets easier the more you do it. There will always be obstacles because the sport is based on always pushing your personal strength/physical or mental limit to the fullest.
If you could give one piece of advice to a 5.15/v15 climber, what would it be?
Start Trad climbing in Yosemite!
Giovanni is supported by Adidas Outdoor and Five Ten. A huge thank you, Giovanni, for sharing your story with us! Good luck in Bishop this season, we’re all rooting for you!