Climbing expeditions also work with babies. Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson provide the proof with the first ascent of Excalibur at the Tigray Towers in Ethiopia.

The region in Ethiopia looks back on an eventful climbing history and has always offered the opportunity to discover a completely different world. Priests and believers have been climbing the stone towers and cliffs since the 4th century and erecting churches and places of worship between the rocks that are still in use today.

Spectacular ambience at the Tigray Towers in Ethiopia.

Looking for old routes and new adventures, Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson set out to explore the region last fall. As an additional challenge, they brought a new team member - their little son Arthur.

A baby on an expedition brings with it both emotional and logistical challenges.

Going on an expedition with a baby brought with it completely new difficulties - both emotionally and logistically. But for Caroline and James, their need to discover new routes went hand in hand with the desire to open up a world of possibilities for Arthur - with the help of the locals.

The famous rock towers of Tigray in Ethiopia. (Photo The North Face)

Her quest for adventures led her to Excalibur, an almost perfect stone tower in the Gheralta Mountains. The complexity of the route became clear when the two started climbing. Sand, loose rock and variable protection measures slowed her pace. The first five meters alone took two hours. So the first day was all about project planning.

Here you can climb with mobile belay devices.

After working out and drawing the route on the first day, they returned to the wall to complete it - a unique historical experience for both

"I am not a religious person, but since I first stood on one of these towers and felt the power of the place, I think I can understand why they want to be up there."

Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson successfully climbed “Excalibur” in autumn 2019.


Video about the expedition of Caroline Ciavaldini, James Pearson and their son Arthur

That might interest you

+ + +
Credits: picture and text The North Face

Climbing