The Rock Star Who Fell to Earth

Follow a climber's tumble from the top of his game and his attempt to regain his mojo and pride.
By Steve Root

If you heard that a climber had taken a bad fall, you’d be concerned, right? After all, the sport can be a deadly one.

But what if that fall was less in a physical sense and more metaphysical? What if it was a fall from grace? You’d be intrigued, right?

That’s exactly what happened in the case of rising young British climbing star James Pearson, whose skills shot him to the top of the scene in his native England but whose oversized ego, lack of experience in the tradition of grading climbs and brashness about his exploits brought him down faster than a novice with a busted nut and no belayer.




Pearson survived, but the same can’t be said for his career — nor his psyche. In this episode of “Reel Rock,” the chastened and humbled climber returns to the UK from self-imposed exile on the European continent to take on the most challenging climb in the country, a legendary ascent he knows he must tackle in order to regain his self-worth and earn redemption.

It’s a fascinating look at what drives an athlete to the highest heights, and a frank self-examination of the man who fell to Earth from way up there. Click to watch the episode now.

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