In praise of Chris Sharma – one of climbing’s most extreme talentsJuly 6, 2009
“I’m still a bit confused over the grade. It’s definitely harder than Papichulo and all the other F9a+ routes I’ve done in Spain but I’m not sure if it’s F9b… the resistant style of climbing on the route isn’t quite the best style for me and I can imagine other people being better suited… For now I’d say it’s hard F9a+”
I love rock climbing, and I love writing about it. Today I thought I’d draw your attention to, if you don’t already know, a really extreme rock climber – CHRIS SHARMA.
Here’s a weird upside-down video of a veritable spiderman redpointing La Rambla, brought to us by ezsraism
Sharma started rock climbing when he was 12 years old. At age 14 he won the Bouldering nationals. A year later, he completed a 5.14c climb, which was the highest-rated climb in the American rating system at the time. He has since established or completed a few routes thought to be 5.15, including La Rambla and Es Pontas (a deep water soloing project in Mallorca). In 2008 Sharma climbed the 250 ft line, Jumbo Love, at Clark Mountain in California, claiming 5.15b for the grade. He has just completed a new 9a+/5.15a project in Oliana, Spain called Pachamama.
Picking projects at your physical and mental limits means constant exposure to the reality of failure. But failure is a word that has no place in Sharma’s vocabulary.
In professional climbing talent burns hot and fast and a decade is a long time. The physical damage to the body can be huge – ankles snap, shoulders pop from sockets and fingers calcify. And if nagging injuries weren’t enough, climbers often falter beneath the mental pressure. But not Chris Sharma.
At 26, he is an athlete endowed with unparalleled physical strength and mental tenacity, dominating world sport climbing and bouldering for the last dozen years.
In his own words, Chris Sharma about himself (bigupproductions)