Climbing has introduced many things into British climber James Pearson’s life: world travel, fame, community, scrutiny, redemption, his wife, French climber Caroline Ciavaldini, and in 2019, a child.
A skillful and charismatic climber with a passionate vision, James’ climbing career began in the Peak District of England near his home of Derbyshire. At the age of 15, James took to climbing quite naturally, moving on the rock with a fluid, elegant, yet powerful style. Less than five years later, he was one of the UK’s brightest climbing stars. Since then, James’s quest for challenging and aesthetic Trad routes has taken him from his local gritstone outcrops to walls and crags in exotic locations around the globe, from Chad to Tasmania.
A decade ago, James climbed what he believed was the hardest route in the UK, grading Walk of Life an E12, the first of its kind. The grading choice and his subsequent status within the UK climbing community prompted the acclaimed 2014 film, “Redemption: The James Pearson Story”, in which James gives his side of the controversial story and goes on to climb the hardest route in the UK.
In the last several years, the 32-year-old has re-established himself as one of the world’s great trad climbers. In 2017, James made the first ascent of Le Voyage, graded E10 7a, arguably the hardest single pitch trad route in France. In 2018, he made the first free ascent of Power Ranger, a bold and difficult 5.14R at Sunset Rocks in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- First ascent of the highest waterfall in Japan
- First ascent of the highest sea cliff in Europe, Cape Enniberg, Faroe Island
- Repetition of Rhapsody, E11
- First free ascent Le Voyage, Annot, E10 7a
- Produced films like the Bronx and Beyond the Mostest