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The King Of Kings: The Complete Chris Sharma Interview

© Climbing magazine and website
"Picking projects at your physical and mental limits means constant exposure to the reality of failure. The struggle crushes many, weeding out the strong-fingered charlatans from the lifers. Above it all reigns Chris Sharma, 26, an athlete endowed with unparalleled physical strength and mental tenacity, dominating world sport climbing and bouldering for the last dozen years.

Last July, six years after his historic ascent of Realization — the first confirmed 5.15a in the world — Sharma returned to Ceüse to tick another monster, Three Degrees of Separation, redpointed on July 23. This 5.14d follows desperate climbing up tufas and micro-crimps to series of three spectacular, all-points-off dynos, a hyper-dynamic line one French climber deemed "c'est moderne." For someone who's spent the last decade on the road, the Ceüse trip was a coming home of sorts."

Read the full interview by Fitz Cahall only at Climbing.com.


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25 Sep, 2007
I know what I'm reading over my dinner tonight!
26 Sep, 2007
Great interview, Mick. Thanks for putting it on. Amazing to think that Sharma is still only 26. He's packed so much into the last 10 years. Fantastic to see someone with the courage to follow their dreams. Mick
26 Sep, 2007
Yeah, I'd thought, oh he must be 30+ by now. I think he looks and sounds older (in the interview). His thus far nomadic lifestyle appears very lonely.
26 Sep, 2007
I've not met Sharma (I quit before he came on the scene) but he seems a top bloke. His climbing style is inspirational as you can always see how f*****g HARD he's trying. The Dreamcatcher video never fails to get the palms sweating. I think it's fascinating that he doesn't train. I was reading some stuff about Rich Simpson yesterday and the two completely different approaches to reach similar goals are very interesting. Rich was putting in 35 hour weeks on the boards, Sharma just gets on the route to get strong. Simpson said that he thought you could get to a certain level (8b) without training if you were naturally talented but no further. Sharma disproves this theory completely. I already had my doubts about the statement from my personal experience but to find out that perhaps the highest achieving climber of his generation does no training is amazing. However Simpson got to 9a in 5 years by training like a demon whereas Sharma has climbed since he was a lad so has had far longer to build up power and technique. All very interesting imvho.
26 Sep, 2007
Yeah that's very true. One of the reasons Rich quit appears to have been the frankly disgraceful funding that climbers in this country get. He was truly world class and yet he got pretty much f**k all for his trouble. It must have been utterly demoralising when he was working Action Directe at the same time as Dai Koyamada who had a film crew, manager etc with him and who is a millionaire through climbing. Look at Malc Smith. World famous, supremely talented and yet unable to climb to the limit of his capabilities because he has to have time off to work on the rigs. Experienced this myself 15 years ago but you would have thought that things would have improved by now. And people wonder why we only have one world class sport climber in this country. Go figure.
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