The Traditionalist

A Global-Trad Climbing Exploration


descubre más

As Jacopo Larcher topped out on his multi-year project ‘Tribe’ in Cadarese, Italy,
the climbing world took note.

It was 2019 and Jacopo had long-since proven himself to be among the best all-round rock climbers in the world. His successful first ascent of Tribe had followed a plethora of other hard big-wall, sport and trad-climbing ascents – which included sport climbs up to 9a+ and dangerous E11 trad-routes.



Climber - Trad / Bigwall
discover jacopo’s bio

Following his ascent of Tribe, Jacopo declined to propose a fixed grade for the route; hesitant to try and sum all of the work, time and emotions that he’d put into this climb in just a simple number grade.

In alluding to the fact that this was his most difficult climb to date, the climbing community, by large, took that to mean that Tribe must in-fact be the ‘hardest’ trad route in the world.

Jacopo wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but from what he had learned through the process of climbing Tribe, he knew that the answer wasn’t quite a simple as that.


In this new 3-part series from acclaimed film-maker Andrea Cossu, we follow Jacopo as he travels from Europe, to America and the UK to gain a deeper understanding of trad-climbing as an art-form, it’s diverse community, culture, ethics and history - exploring what ‘hard-trad’ actually means and whether, when push comes to shove, the grades actually matter.


United States

Jacopo’s first stop is Yosemite, California.

Jacopo has visited the valley on multiple occasions in the last decade, but usually with his focus on a big-wall objective.

This time, he returns with his sights firmly focussed on experiencing the trad culture and history by sampling some of the area’s most iconic classic routes and attempting one of its hardest.

“Yosemite, I guess, is the Mecca for climbing. It’s the kind of place every climber dreams about.”

United Kingdom

In our second instalment, Jacopo journeys to the birthplace of Trad.

In the UK, he finds another culture steeped in tradition, ethics and a rich history. On his short visit, Jacopo tries to soak up as much variety as he can, by climbing on different types of rock and different styles of routes.

Far from the powerful, but relatively safe climbing of the Yosemite cracks, how will Jacopo fare, when faced with the psychological challenge of one of the Peak District’s most dangerous and mentally challenging classics?

“The climbing in the UK is completely different. It’s really cool that they basically tried not to bolt anything. So, you really have to adapt yourself to what the rock offers you.”


Last but not least, we’re back in mainland Europe, where it all began for Jacopo.

He takes us to some of his favourite spots and we get to follow along as Jacopo repeats some of the area’s hardest routes, some new first ascents and some hard retro-trad.

Summing up his experiences across all three chapters, Jacopo gives his perspective on the bright future for European Trad Climbing and what it means to him.

“Here in Europe, it’s a wild mix between different styles & ethics, with different influences from other countries. Somehow it’s nice that Trad is still a young movement here and this leaves a lot of room to creativity”.