Sharma in 2008
|Born||April 23, 1981|
Santa Cruz, California
|Occupation||Professional rock climber|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg)|
|Type of climber||Lead climbing, Bouldering, Deep-water solo|
|Known for||Second 9a+ (5.15a), first 9b (5.15b), second 9b+ (5.15c) ascent in lead climbing history.|
|Updated on January 31, 2019.|
Chris Omprakash Sharma (born April 23, 1981) is an American rock climber. In 2007, NPR wrote that Sharma was considered the world's best rock climber. He is known for being the world's first climber to redpoint a 9b (5.15b) route (Jumbo love, 2008) and the second to climb a 9a+ (5.15a) and a 9b+ (5.15c) route (respectively, Realization in 2001 and La Dura Dura in 2013). He is also known for climbing the world's first 9a+ (5.15a) and 9b (5.15b) deep-water solo routes (Es Pontàs in 2007 and Alasha in 2017). He bolted and first ascended many of the hardest lines of the Catalonia region in Spain. In 2015, he opened the gym Sharma Climbing BCN in Barcelona. In 2019 he plans to open Europe's largest climbing gym in Madrid, Spain.
Sharma was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, the son of Gita Jahn and Bob Sharma. He started rock climbing when he was 12 at the Pacific Edge climbing gym. Sharma went to Mount Madonna school and attended Soquel High School for one year.
At age 14, Sharma won the Bouldering Nationals. A year later, he completed the first ascent of Necessary Evil 5.14c (8c+) in the Virgin River Gorge, the highest-rated climb in North America at the time.
In July 2001, Sharma completed the extension of the established route Biographie in Ceüse, located in the Hautes-Alpes Department of France and renamed it Realization, ignoring the French tradition that equippers and not climbers name routes. At the time of the first ascent, Biographie was widely considered to be the first consensus 5.15a (9a+) in the world. He has since established or completed many routes at or above 5.15 (9a+), including La Rambla and Es Pontas (a deep water soloing project in Mallorca). In 2008 Sharma climbed the 250-foot line (76 m), Jumbo Love, at Clark Mountain in California, claiming 5.15b (9b) for the grade.
Sharma stated in 2013 that after Jumbo Love he felt something needed to change - that he had climbed routes set out by others, including 5.15b, and yet felt his limits had not been tested. He climbed a number of other 5.15b routes (Golpe de Estado, Neanderthal and Catxasa), each a project in itself, in order to understand what a route might feel like, which was beyond these, and began to search for climbs harder than these, which would "change him" and which had not yet been recognized. In 2007 he moved to Lleida, a town close to the Spanish Pyrenees, in Catalonia, Spain. He found an answer in the nearby hard limestone cliffs of Oliana, where he developed several 5.14+ and 5.15 routes over the next five years.
By 2013, Sharma had spent considerable time attempting La Dura Dura - an Oliana climb he described as "horrifyingly" difficult and perhaps "not for me", and had built up a close connection with Adam Ondra, then about 20 years old and seen as the outstanding climber of the next generation. Sharma gave guidance to Ondra, and in turn felt motivated to work harder, by working on routes jointly with him. On March 23, 2013, just short of his 32nd birthday, Sharma completed the climb of La Dura Dura.
In 2013, Sharma opened his own gym Sender One Climbing, located in Santa Ana, California.
In August 2015 he married his fiancée, Jimena Alarcón, and after living for years in Oliana (Spain), he moved to Barcelona (Spain). Three months later, he opened a new gym there called Sharma Climbing BCN
- Practice of the Wild - Magic Wood (CHE) - First Ascent, August 2004. Repeated by Tyler Landman, Daniel Woods, Adam Ondra and Dave MacLeod.
- Witness the Fitness - Ozarks (USA) - First ascent, March 2005. A 40-foot roof (12 m) problem. Repeated by Fred Nicole and Daniel Woods.
- Catalan Witness the Fitness - Cova de l’Ocell (Barcelona, ESP) - First ascent, January 2016. A tunnel-like, horizontal roof problem.
V12 (8A+) (possibly harder when climbed by Chris Sharma):
- The Mandala - The Buttermilks (Bishop, USA) - First Ascent, February 2000. Several holds have broken since Chris climbed the Mandala, including the crux holds. These changes have made the problem considerably easier, and it has been widely speculated that when the problem was first climbed, the grade was closer to V14.
- Jumbo Love - Clark Mountain (Mojave National Preserve, USA) - First ascent, September 11, 2008. First featured in the film King Lines as an unfinished line at Clark Mountain, this route is 250 ft long (76 m), and thought to be at least 5.15b. Sharma has called it his hardest ascent to date. In climbing it, he skipped up to three clips in a row due to the difficult sequences, which resulted in falls of 70 ft (21 m) or more. Repeated by Ethan Pringle May 2015.
- Golpe de Estado - Siurana (ESP) - First ascent, December 17, 2008. Golpe de Estado is a direct version of Estado Critico (5.14c/d), linking a 5.14d start into 5.14c climbing with a poor rest in between. Repeated by Adam Ondra, March 2010.
- Neanderthal - Santa Linya (ESP) - First ascent, December 18, 2009.
- First Round First Minute - Margalef (ESP) - First ascent, April 2011. Repeated by Adam Ondra, Alex Megos, and Stefano Ghisolfi.
- Fight or Flight - Oliana (ESP) - First ascent, May 2011. Repeated by Adam Ondra February 2013.
- Stoking the Fire - Santa Linya (ESP) - First ascent, February 2013. Repeated by Adam Ondra February 2016.
- Realization - Montagne de Céüse (FRA) - First ascent, July 2001. Heralded as the world's first 5.15a upon completion.
- Papichulo - Oliana (ESP) - First ascent. 45m route starting with four-bolt 5.13d to no-hands rest followed by continuous difficult climbing on blue limestone.
- Demencia Senil - Margalef (ESP) - First ascent, February 20, 2009. (Margalef, Spain). Repeated by Iker Pou Jan 2010, Ramon Julian Puigblanque Oct 2010.
- Pachamama - Oliana (ESP) - First ascent.
- First Ley - Margalef (ESP) - First ascent.
- Power Inverter - Oliana (ESP) - First Ascent, December 2010.
- Catxasa - Santa Linya (ESP) - First Ascent, January 2011.
- La Rambla - Siurana (ESP) - Third Ascent, 2006.
- Dreamcatcher - Cacodemon boulder (Squamish, CAN) - First Ascent. A granite route starting on a technical slab that wedges the climber against the start of the overhang. Then a dyno to a sloping rail leads to a bouldery traverse across slopers and incut crimps. The crux of the route comes at the end with a deadpoint to slopers and a jug. Repeated by Sean McColl in 2009.
- Era Vella - Margalef (ESP) - First Ascent, 2010. This is one of the most repeated 9a routes in the world.
- French Gangster - Yangshuo (CHN) - April 2009 - Onsight without chipped hold, possibly harder? Originally named American Gangster but renamed as a reference to Michael Fuselier, the French climber who allegedly chipped the hold. Hardest route in China at the time.
- Humildes Pa' Casa - Oliana (ESP) - December 2008
- Divine Fury - Maple Canyon (USA) - September 2008
- T-Rex - Maple Canyon (USA) - September 2008.
Deep-water solo routes
- Alasha - Mallorca (ESP) - September 2016. First ascent. Sharma estimated its grade based on the effort it took to climb it without rope: "If it had bolts on it, it probably wouldn’t be a 9b (5.15b). But when you’re 60 feet up with no bolts, it takes the same amount of effort.” Sharma named the route after his daughter, Alana Sharma.
- U.S. Bouldering Nationals
- 1997 UIAA World Cup - Kranj
- 1999 X Games - Bouldering - Gold Medal
- 2000 Wasatch Open Bouldering Competition
- 2001 18th Annual Phoenix Bouldering Contest
- 2001 Munich Bouldering World Cup
- 2002 Ford Gorge Games
- 2003 Earth Treks Roc Comp
- 2004 Earth Treks Roc Comp
- 2004 ABS Nationals
- 2007 Mammut Bouldering Championships
- 2008 Mammut Bouldering Championships
- 2009 Ilerbloc Open Internacional
- 2010 Earth Treks Roc Comp
- 2010 Psicobloc, Bilbao, Spain
- Masters of Stone IV: Pure Force (1998)
- Free Hueco (1998)
- Rampage (1999)
- Inertia (2000)
- Dosage Vol. 1 (2001)
- The Road (2003)
- Pilgrimage (2003)
- Dosage Vol. 2 (2004)
- Best of the West (2005)
- Dosage Vol. 3 (2005)
- Big Game (2005)
- Depth Charge (2006)
- Dosage Vol. 4 (2006)
- King Lines (2007)
- Dosage Vol. 5 (2008)
- Progression (2009)
- The Players (2009)
- The Scene (2011)
- Into the Light (2013)
- Point Break (2015)
- Above The Sea (2017)
- "Chris Sharma". Mahalo.com. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016.
- "Rock Climber Chris Sharma Chases Next 'King Line'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
- Melissa Block (1 November 2007). "Rock Climber Chris Sharma Chases Next 'King Line'". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Chris Sharma to Open Madrid Climbing Gym". Gripped Magazine. 2019-02-19. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
- Metroactive - Rock Star
- Jason Campbell sends Necessary Evil, 5.14c - 09 FEB 2000
- Jack Geldard (August 2012). "Exclusive Interview: Chris Sharma Talks 9b+". UK Climbing. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Climbing - Sharma Redpoints Clark Mountain Project Archived September 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- BigUP Production - Progression
- "Aaaaarrggh!". Dave MacLeod. May 27, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- "Witness the Fitness: Chris Sharma's craziest and hardest line". Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- January 4, 2016. "Sharma Sends Wild Roof Boulder". Climbing. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Parker, Chris (8 March 2015). "Chris Sharma Sends El Bon Combat (5.15b/c)". Rock and Ice. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- MacDonald, Dougald (8 March 2015). "Sharma Sends Solid 5.15 Project". Climbing. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Jumbo Love - Big Up Productions
- "Ethan Pringle Repeats Jumbo Love". Climbing.com. Climbing Magazine.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Chris Sharma climbs Realization (Biographie extension)!". Camp4. 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "Sharma Climbs 5.15, Heads to Vail World Cup". Climbing.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "daila ojeda: 9a+ FA for Chris Sharma". Englishdailaojeda.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
-  Archived January 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "UKC News - Demencia senil, 9a+, by Ramonet". Ukclimbing.com. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Desnivel (2012)"Nuevo 9a+ de Chris Sharma y segundo 9a para Tom Bolger". Desnivel.com. Archived from the original on 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "McColl Bags 2nd Ascent of Dreamcatcher (5.14d)". Archived from the original on March 17, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- "daila ojeda". Englishdailaojeda.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2015-02-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Mountain Zone - Necessary Evil
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2015-02-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- climbingnarc.com, ed. (April 9, 2009). "Hard Onsights & New Projects For Chris Sharma In China". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- Pete O'Donovan. ukclimbing.com (ed.). "Catalunya Report - December 8th, 8c Onsight + more". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- Dougald MacDonald. climbing.com (ed.). "Sharma Onsights Two 5.14's". Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- "Chris Sharma Sends Five-Year 5.15 Deep Water Solo Project". Rock and Ice. September 29, 2016. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- "Chris Sharma sends his mega Arch Project in Mallorca - News". FreakClimbing.com. 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "Reel Rock: King Lines, Part 2". Youtube. September 9, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- Lewis, Ashley (December 2007). "King Lines". ukclimbing.com.
- Ralf Becker  (2009-06-05). "digital ROCK: UIAA Worldcup - Kranj 1997". Digitalrock.de. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "climb.mountainzone.com". climb.mountainzone.com. 2000-02-07. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Sacin - Competition News
-  Archived May 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Earth Trek Comp Presented by Mountain Hardwear". Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "Climbing Sharma, Payne Win ABS National". Climbing.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- Climbing - Sharma, Puccio Win SLC Comp Archived September 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Victor Fernandez (2004-02-26). "Iler Bloc: Clasificacion Final Open Internacional". Ilerbloc.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "2010 UBC Pro Tour Earth Treks Roc Comp Results | Climbing Narcissist". Climbingnarc.com. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "prAna blog » Chris Sharma Wins The Masters Series I Psicobloc! (video)". Prana.com. 2010-10-25. Archived from the original on 2010-10-31. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "Chris Scharma in: Into the Light". IMDb. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
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