14.10.16 | By Caroline Ciavaldini

Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson continue in their efforts to raise the profile of this small Japanese island as a new climbing destination.

With the best planning, preparation and intentions, things can still go wrong. We were supposed to enjoy 10 days of new-routing on perfect, untouched granite. Exploring the island and the shrine, as well as opening new lines on the immaculate rock as the waves pounded unrelentingly below. We wanted to show off Kinkasan to the world in all its glory, with the hope that more climbers would visit this magical place - their money boosting the economy and speeding up the reconstruction process. The late summer typhoon however had other ideas. It rained when we left the plane, and whilst we drove through Tokyo to Yuji’s gym – the aptly named Base Camp. It rained whilst we packed our bags, and whilst we ate dinner. We even had to put our plans back by 1 day as the storm was making the ocean too rough for the ferry to run.

It was dry for the crossing, and after unpacking our bags at the shrine we bouldered on a nearby beach for 1 hour before the rain came. With so much rock to see and so little time, we hiked out anyway along the coast to search out potential lines. The rain became heavier, we became wetter, and after 4 soggy hours we returned to the shrine, hopes high but spirits low. We’d been preparing this trip since September 2015, putting the team together, finding funding from sponsors, organizing the local logistics, yet it would all be in vain if the weather didn’t brighten up.

 A morning of rain gave us the excuse to sit down and record some interviews, though truthfully we had little to say as we’d done little climbing. Toru, ever the silent optimist finally dragged me out to the closest boulder spot during a break between two showers, and we were surprisingly able to climb! Toru lived up to his reputation of boldness and brilliance, making the first ascents of two of Kinkasan’s boldest and hardest problems. Finally things were looking up. The forecast was good for the following days, and group psyche could not have been higher. We began to plan our upcoming adventure and our first trip to the other side of the island – the area with the highest concentration of rock, and the biggest cliffs, but had to cut them short as bad news broke.

The Shrine of Kinkasan Island was once enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, but after the Tsunami that number shrunk to just 5%. The islands only accommodation, a 1970’s concrete behemoth of a hotel is now almost always empty, and indeed, for the first 2 nights we’d had the place to ourselves. However, on rare occasions, the temple holds a special kind of ceremony, and hundreds of worshipers from all over Japan descend upon it. Tomorrow night was going to be one such ceremony, meaning sadly for us there was no space left at the inn and subsequently on the island! 

With the last ferry leaving the island at 10am, a 5am start was the only way to sneak in a few hours climbing before being forced back for a night on the mainland. Waking up and starting walking before first light never feels easy, but as we arrived at the climbing area with the morning sun glowing through the trees, all sleepiness was long forgotten. I opened up a beautiful short pitch on pristine sculpted granite, and whilst certainly not the hardest pitch I have ever climbed, the quality of the rock was fantastic. It is rare to be able to open new routes without the need of extensive pre-cleaning.

Bambi feeding. Two monks only live on the island, but a whole population of dears has settled there! Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Caro opened “Well dunne Dave” on Kinkasan. Easy crack first ascent, no need to clean, the dream of any climber!  Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Toru shows off his bicep efficiency on Kinkasan, in “Light”, 5.12d or plus, a gift route from Yuji. There are gifts that you don’t refuse. Photo: Eddie Gianelloni. 

Shining a light on Kinkasan

A Critical Eye

A Slow Travel Trip

As professional climbers, Caroline and I have had been fortunate to travel the world. Our profession has taken us to some of the most amazing countries, we’ve had the fortune of meeting wonderful people, and we’ve experienced climbing all over the world in both iconic and lesser known places. But, over the years we have become increasingly aware of the impact our lifestyle has on the environment and our surroundings. While we have become active in offsetting our carbon use through Mossy Earth we wanted to take a different approach to our next climbing trip.

05.09.18 | By James Pearson

Photo: James Pearson

Part 1 - Getting There

 

As we sought out a climbing goal for the summer of 2018 we were drawn to Ordesa, Spain. Through our travels we met friends who continually told us “Ordesa is worth a visit, it is beautiful, and the valley has some technical big climbs that have rarely been repeated.” Heeding those words and researching the area Caroline set her sights on A Critical Eye, a 400m 8a at the back of the valley that had only ever been climbed twice.

 

As we planned for a summer trip though it wasn’t only going to be a climb that caught our attention and determined our destination. We wanted to plan a trip that we could approach in a more eco-friendly manner. We wanted to get to our climb using the lowest carbon footprint. We wanted to experience some adventure along the way, instead of just moving as quickly as possible to climbing. And we wanted a destination where we could immerse ourselves in the people and our surroundings. 

 

We wanted to find the perfect location for Slow Travel and Ordesa fit the bill and had us motivated for an adventure. It turns out the Slow Travel was going to be just one small part of the adventure. 

A Critical Eye

A Slow Travel Trip


A Critical Eye In Slow Travel Numbers

A Critical Eye In Slow Travel Numbers

14.10.16 | By Caroline Ciavaldini

Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson continue in their efforts to raise the profile of this small Japanese island as a new climbing destination.

With the best planning, preparation and intentions, things can still go wrong. We were supposed to enjoy 10 days of new-routing on perfect, untouched granite. Exploring the island and the shrine, as well as opening new lines on the immaculate rock as the waves pounded unrelentingly below. We wanted to show off Kinkasan to the world in all its glory, with the hope that more climbers would visit this magical place - their money boosting the economy and speeding up the reconstruction process. The late summer typhoon however had other ideas. It rained when we left the plane, and whilst we drove through Tokyo to Yuji’s gym – the aptly named Base Camp. It rained whilst we packed our bags, and whilst we ate dinner. We even had to put our plans back by 1 day as the storm was making the ocean too rough for the ferry to run.

It was dry for the crossing, and after unpacking our bags at the shrine we bouldered on a nearby beach for 1 hour before the rain came. With so much rock to see and so little time, we hiked out anyway along the coast to search out potential lines. The rain became heavier, we became wetter, and after 4 soggy hours we returned to the shrine, hopes high but spirits low. We’d been preparing this trip since September 2015, putting the team together, finding funding from sponsors, organizing the local logistics, yet it would all be in vain if the weather didn’t brighten up.

 A morning of rain gave us the excuse to sit down and record some interviews, though truthfully we had little to say as we’d done little climbing. Toru, ever the silent optimist finally dragged me out to the closest boulder spot during a break between two showers, and we were surprisingly able to climb! Toru lived up to his reputation of boldness and brilliance, making the first ascents of two of Kinkasan’s boldest and hardest problems. Finally things were looking up. The forecast was good for the following days, and group psyche could not have been higher. We began to plan our upcoming adventure and our first trip to the other side of the island – the area with the highest concentration of rock, and the biggest cliffs, but had to cut them short as bad news broke.

The Shrine of Kinkasan Island was once enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, but after the Tsunami that number shrunk to just 5%. The islands only accommodation, a 1970’s concrete behemoth of a hotel is now almost always empty, and indeed, for the first 2 nights we’d had the place to ourselves. However, on rare occasions, the temple holds a special kind of ceremony, and hundreds of worshipers from all over Japan descend upon it. Tomorrow night was going to be one such ceremony, meaning sadly for us there was no space left at the inn and subsequently on the island! 

With the last ferry leaving the island at 10am, a 5am start was the only way to sneak in a few hours climbing before being forced back for a night on the mainland. Waking up and starting walking before first light never feels easy, but as we arrived at the climbing area with the morning sun glowing through the trees, all sleepiness was long forgotten. I opened up a beautiful short pitch on pristine sculpted granite, and whilst certainly not the hardest pitch I have ever climbed, the quality of the rock was fantastic. It is rare to be able to open new routes without the need of extensive pre-cleaning.

Bambi feeding. Two monks only live on the island, but a whole population of dears has settled there! Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Caro opened “Well dunne Dave” on Kinkasan. Easy crack first ascent, no need to clean, the dream of any climber!  Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Toru shows off his bicep efficiency on Kinkasan, in “Light”, 5.12d or plus, a gift route from Yuji. There are gifts that you don’t refuse. Photo: Eddie Gianelloni. 

Shining a light on Kinkasan

A Critical Eye

A Slow Travel Trip

As professional climbers Caroline and I have had been fortunate to travel the world. Our profession has taken us to some of the most amazing countries, we’ve had the fortune of meeting wonderful people, and we’ve experienced climbing all over the world in both iconic and lesser known places. But, over the years we have become increasingly aware of the impact our lifestyle has on the environment and our surroundings. While we have become active in offsetting our carbon use through Mossy Earth we wanted to take a different approach to our next climbing trip.

05.09.18 | By James Pearson

Photo: James Pearson

 As we sought out a climbing goal for the summer of 2018 we were drawn to Ordesa, Spain. Through our travels we met friends who continually told us “Ordesa is worth a visit, it is beautiful, and the valley has some technical big climbs that have rarely been repeated.” Heeding those words and researching the area Caroline set her sights on A Critical Eye, a 400m 8a at the back of the valley that had only ever been climbed twice.

 

As we planned for a summer trip though it wasn’t only going to be a climb that caught our attention and determined our destination. We wanted to plan a trip that we could approach in a more eco-friendly manner. We wanted to get to our climb using the lowest carbon footprint. We wanted to experience some adventure along the way, instead of just moving as quickly as possible to climbing. And we wanted a destination where we could immerse ourselves in the people and our surroundings. 

 

We wanted to find the perfect location for Slow Travel and Ordesa fit the bill and had us motivated for an adventure. It turns out the Slow Travel was going to be just one small part of the adventure. 

Part 1 - Getting There

 

Part 3 - Going Slow

 

Taking In Your Surroundings, New Experiences, & Eco-Travel.

Coming Soon!

Part 2 - The Route

 

Taking on a bold route in Ordesa Spain.

Coming Soon!!

 

Part 3 - Going Slow

 

Taking In Your Surroundings, New Experiences, & Eco-Travel.

Coming Soon!

14.10.16 | By Caroline Ciavaldini

Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson continue in their efforts to raise the profile of this small Japanese island as a new climbing destination.

With the best planning, preparation and intentions, things can still go wrong. We were supposed to enjoy 10 days of new-routing on perfect, untouched granite. Exploring the island and the shrine, as well as opening new lines on the immaculate rock as the waves pounded unrelentingly below. We wanted to show off Kinkasan to the world in all its glory, with the hope that more climbers would visit this magical place - their money boosting the economy and speeding up the reconstruction process. The late summer typhoon however had other ideas. It rained when we left the plane, and whilst we drove through Tokyo to Yuji’s gym – the aptly named Base Camp. It rained whilst we packed our bags, and whilst we ate dinner. We even had to put our plans back by 1 day as the storm was making the ocean too rough for the ferry to run.

It was dry for the crossing, and after unpacking our bags at the shrine we bouldered on a nearby beach for 1 hour before the rain came. With so much rock to see and so little time, we hiked out anyway along the coast to search out potential lines. The rain became heavier, we became wetter, and after 4 soggy hours we returned to the shrine, hopes high but spirits low. We’d been preparing this trip since September 2015, putting the team together, finding funding from sponsors, organizing the local logistics, yet it would all be in vain if the weather didn’t brighten up.

 A morning of rain gave us the excuse to sit down and record some interviews, though truthfully we had little to say as we’d done little climbing. Toru, ever the silent optimist finally dragged me out to the closest boulder spot during a break between two showers, and we were surprisingly able to climb! Toru lived up to his reputation of boldness and brilliance, making the first ascents of two of Kinkasan’s boldest and hardest problems. Finally things were looking up. The forecast was good for the following days, and group psyche could not have been higher. We began to plan our upcoming adventure and our first trip to the other side of the island – the area with the highest concentration of rock, and the biggest cliffs, but had to cut them short as bad news broke.

The Shrine of Kinkasan Island was once enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, but after the Tsunami that number shrunk to just 5%. The islands only accommodation, a 1970’s concrete behemoth of a hotel is now almost always empty, and indeed, for the first 2 nights we’d had the place to ourselves. However, on rare occasions, the temple holds a special kind of ceremony, and hundreds of worshipers from all over Japan descend upon it. Tomorrow night was going to be one such ceremony, meaning sadly for us there was no space left at the inn and subsequently on the island! 

With the last ferry leaving the island at 10am, a 5am start was the only way to sneak in a few hours climbing before being forced back for a night on the mainland. Waking up and starting walking before first light never feels easy, but as we arrived at the climbing area with the morning sun glowing through the trees, all sleepiness was long forgotten. I opened up a beautiful short pitch on pristine sculpted granite, and whilst certainly not the hardest pitch I have ever climbed, the quality of the rock was fantastic. It is rare to be able to open new routes without the need of extensive pre-cleaning.

Bambi feeding. Two monks only live on the island, but a whole population of dears has settled there! Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Caro opened “Well dunne Dave” on Kinkasan. Easy crack first ascent, no need to clean, the dream of any climber!  Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Toru shows off his bicep efficiency on Kinkasan, in “Light”, 5.12d or plus, a gift route from Yuji. There are gifts that you don’t refuse. Photo: Eddie Gianelloni. 

Shining a light on Kinkasan

A Critical Eye

A Slow Travel Trip

As professional climbers Caroline and I have had been fortunate to travel the world. Our profession has taken us to some of the most amazing countries, we’ve had the fortune of meeting wonderful people, and we’ve experienced climbing all over the world in both iconic and lesser known places. But, over the years we have become increasingly aware of the impact our lifestyle has on the environment and our surroundings. While we have become active in offsetting our carbon use through Mossy Earth we wanted to take a different approach to our next climbing trip.

05.09.18 | By James Pearson

Photo: James Pearson

 Peddling into Ordesa after a few minor delays in our travels and the hard cycle, push, bike-ski over the Pyrenees we were full of energy and looking forward to A Critical Eye. The route has only ever been repeated once after it was established in 2007 and although we did not have a lot of information on it we knew it would be testing. After two days though we found out just how testing it really would be. This was a route that might just have reset our scales of judgment on what loose, sketchy climbing really is.  

Part 2 - The Route





14.10.16 | By Caroline Ciavaldini

Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson continue in their efforts to raise the profile of this small Japanese island as a new climbing destination.

With the best planning, preparation and intentions, things can still go wrong. We were supposed to enjoy 10 days of new-routing on perfect, untouched granite. Exploring the island and the shrine, as well as opening new lines on the immaculate rock as the waves pounded unrelentingly below. We wanted to show off Kinkasan to the world in all its glory, with the hope that more climbers would visit this magical place - their money boosting the economy and speeding up the reconstruction process. The late summer typhoon however had other ideas. It rained when we left the plane, and whilst we drove through Tokyo to Yuji’s gym – the aptly named Base Camp. It rained whilst we packed our bags, and whilst we ate dinner. We even had to put our plans back by 1 day as the storm was making the ocean too rough for the ferry to run.

It was dry for the crossing, and after unpacking our bags at the shrine we bouldered on a nearby beach for 1 hour before the rain came. With so much rock to see and so little time, we hiked out anyway along the coast to search out potential lines. The rain became heavier, we became wetter, and after 4 soggy hours we returned to the shrine, hopes high but spirits low. We’d been preparing this trip since September 2015, putting the team together, finding funding from sponsors, organizing the local logistics, yet it would all be in vain if the weather didn’t brighten up.

 A morning of rain gave us the excuse to sit down and record some interviews, though truthfully we had little to say as we’d done little climbing. Toru, ever the silent optimist finally dragged me out to the closest boulder spot during a break between two showers, and we were surprisingly able to climb! Toru lived up to his reputation of boldness and brilliance, making the first ascents of two of Kinkasan’s boldest and hardest problems. Finally things were looking up. The forecast was good for the following days, and group psyche could not have been higher. We began to plan our upcoming adventure and our first trip to the other side of the island – the area with the highest concentration of rock, and the biggest cliffs, but had to cut them short as bad news broke.

The Shrine of Kinkasan Island was once enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, but after the Tsunami that number shrunk to just 5%. The islands only accommodation, a 1970’s concrete behemoth of a hotel is now almost always empty, and indeed, for the first 2 nights we’d had the place to ourselves. However, on rare occasions, the temple holds a special kind of ceremony, and hundreds of worshipers from all over Japan descend upon it. Tomorrow night was going to be one such ceremony, meaning sadly for us there was no space left at the inn and subsequently on the island! 

With the last ferry leaving the island at 10am, a 5am start was the only way to sneak in a few hours climbing before being forced back for a night on the mainland. Waking up and starting walking before first light never feels easy, but as we arrived at the climbing area with the morning sun glowing through the trees, all sleepiness was long forgotten. I opened up a beautiful short pitch on pristine sculpted granite, and whilst certainly not the hardest pitch I have ever climbed, the quality of the rock was fantastic. It is rare to be able to open new routes without the need of extensive pre-cleaning.

Bambi feeding. Two monks only live on the island, but a whole population of dears has settled there! Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Caro opened “Well dunne Dave” on Kinkasan. Easy crack first ascent, no need to clean, the dream of any climber!  Photo: Eddie Gianelloni

Toru shows off his bicep efficiency on Kinkasan, in “Light”, 5.12d or plus, a gift route from Yuji. There are gifts that you don’t refuse. Photo: Eddie Gianelloni. 

Shining a light on Kinkasan

A Critical Eye

A Slow Travel Trip

As professional climbers Caroline and I have had been fortunate to travel the world. Our profession has taken us to some of the most amazing countries, we’ve had the fortune of meeting wonderful people, and we’ve experienced climbing all over the world in both iconic and lesser known places. But, over the years we have become increasingly aware of the impact our lifestyle has on the environment and our surroundings. While we have become active in offsetting our carbon use through Mossy Earth we wanted to take a different approach to our next climbing trip.

05.09.18 | By James Pearson

Photo: James Pearson

 Part of this whole trip was to get more out of a location than just experiencing a climb. This is something that Caroline and I have integrated into all of our travels, maybe sometimes it’s not exactly done on purpose but it is something important to us. Traveling, seeing the world, experiencing different cultures, and meeting people; all of this opens us up to new ideas and teaches humanities first hand. We also find it important to implement all of the same eco and green habits we do at home, even though this can be tricky at times it is really important. So after tackling A Critical Eye, we took the time to experience more of Ordesa.  

Part 3 - Going Slow