On Wednesday the 21st of October, 2020, James Pearson nabbed the second ascent of ‘Tribe’ at Cadarese, Italy, widely considered the hardest trad route in the world. The 34-year old British crack climbing phenom has known about the line for a decade but lacked the confidence that it was protectable or possible. Jacopo Larcher made the first ascent after years of attempts, reigniting Pearson’s interest in claiming an ascent, but the birth of his son Arthur forced patience.
Pearson finally got out and spent a few days battling wet conditions to work the moves out, with the bouldery finish thwarted him; he prevailed to gain the second ascent on his seventh go.
Neither Larcher nor Pearson assigned a grade to the route that could have been bolted as a sport climb. “For me, Tribe is by far the hardest series of moves I have ever done on a trad-route, and it’s a real miracle that the thing is actually possible on gear,” said Pearson, “It’s rare to find a piece of rock compact enough to make a series of sustained hard movements, but with just enough decent gear placements.” Pearson also stated that the avoidance of bolts made the king line even more special; “Mother Nature gave us everything that we need, right here… an amazing line, a cool series of holds, and gear placements, right where you need them.”