Emily Harrington (Lead)
For three thousand years, civilizations rose and fell along the Turkish coast. Today, this mysterious, stony landscape, nestled among olive groves and ancient ruins, is the new arena for a generation of hard-core technical climbers. In March 2010, Emily Harrington - one of the only women to have climbed the stupendously hard grade of 5.14b - will lead the crème de la crème of The North Face rock climbing team on a Turkish road trip that will interweave cutting-edge cragging with an exploration of the rich history and culture of this ancient country.
Joining Emily will be Americans Daniel Woods, one of the world's strongest boulderers and a top-ranking player on the competition scene; Sam Elias, an all-rounder who has climbed elite levels on rock, boulders, ice and mixed climbing; Britain's James Pearson, known for bold trad routes on his homeland's gritstone and sea cliffs; Basque brothers Iker and Eneko Pou, whose accomplishments include their five-year Seven Walls, Seven Continents Project, which recently netted what could be the hardest bigwall free climb on earth, an 8c+ on Spain's Naranjo de Bulnes peak; and, from Japan, Yuji Hirayama, a 41-year-old legend on rock whose accomplishments include winning the World Cup Circuit twice, free climbing Yosemite's El Capitan, on-sighting White Zombie (5.14b), and establishing a 5.15 first ascent, Flat Mountain.
The team will be guided by local Turkish rock star and regional The North Face athlete Serkan Ercan, who'll escort the group from Herakleia's granite boulder fields to the limestone crags of Antalya, which rise along the Mediterranean Sea. These regions are making Turkey the latest hotspot for extreme first ascents, and with a talent pool of climbing youth like this, its certain that a crop of hard new routes and repeats will be left in their wake.