Posts Tagged ‘Chris Sharma’

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In praise of Chris Sharma – one of climbing’s most extreme talents

July 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+”

Chris Sharma

Chris Sharma climbing Pachamama F9a+, 195 kb

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)

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Another rock climbing mecca – Clark Mountain near Vegas

July 3, 2009

I’m on a roll…

Here’s another climbing site admirably suited to our extreme sports blog, Clark Mountain, 40 miles south of Las Vegas and 235 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The climbing here is about 300-500 feet high and about a mile long.

Clark Mountain is the high point of Mojave National Preserve and is a refreshing climb out of the desert. It is sport climbing in an alpine environment.

Geologically speaking, Clark is part of a long chain of limestone outcroppings that stretch through the Great Basin from Nevada and Utah into Wyoming and Montana.

Third tier...AMAZING....

This is Third Tier – “the most amazing wall in the USA” says Joey Kinder. Sheer white limestone for hundreds of feet, but it is hardly developed. Third Tier, also known as The Monastery,  has 34 routes including Jumbo Pumping Hate and Tusk. It is some of the best limestone in the country.

Randy Leavitt originally opened up this area having scoped it for years from the highway. It took him, with help from Jorge Vissar, Ed Worsman, and Glen Svenson, 4 years to establish over 80 routes in the four areas of Clark Mountain all the while keeping their activities quiet so they could enjoy the solitude and the magnificent climbs before others moved in.

Jumbo Pumping Hate, a Randy Leavitt route, is a 5.14a climb. It’s  long, involved and really exposed with juggy sequences and dynos.

Chris Sharma on Jumbo Love F9b, 97 kb
Chris Sharma on Jumbo Pumping Love F9b
UKC Articles, Dec 2008
© Boone Speed / Aurora Photos

As Randy Leavitt says: The finest limestone on the planet can be found here. You’ll have to work to get to it though.” However, he continues, “the quality of rock more than repays your effort. Expect your legs to gain muscle weight from the hike in, but get ready for the most spectacular sport climbing this side of the Mississippi.”

The rock quality is exceptional. Features are not limited to one type. You’ll find it all — pockets, edges, slopers, pinches, underclings, and cracks. The climbing is always interesting. Each route is distinctive. The climbing doesn’t get repetitive or boring. But be careful – help is a long way away.

The climbing of Clark Mountain began in 1992 and Hole In The Wall was the first route established on the First Tier. Read My Lips was the first route on the 2nd Tier and Religious Man on the Third Tier or The Monastery.

Randy Leavitt and Mike Booth on Jumbo Pumping Hate 5.13d (8b) at the Monastery., 67 kbRandy Leavitt and Mike Booth on Jumbo Pumping Hate 5.13d (8b) at the Monastery.
UKC News
© Jorge Visser

The climbing area is 9 miles off Interstate 15 and 5 miles south of the Nevada border.

Most of the climbing is on the East Face of Clark Mountain. There is also one developed crag on the South Face known as the Baily Road Crag.

This is sport climbing bar none…

clark local, 72 kb