Chris Sharma has made the first ascent of El bon combat, 9b/+, at Cova de Ocell near Barcelona.
If confirmed at 9b/+, it is his hardest ever first ascent and among the five most difficult routes in the world.
After having focused almost exclusively on putting up new hard routes for several years, Chris needed a change. Last fall, for example, he spent one and a half month in Venezuela, where he and Dani Andrada did stunts for the remake of Point break. As he put it himself, it took a huge chunk of time out of his life, but at the same time it was a great experience...
Here is what he writes on his IG:
Two years ago after climbing La Dura Dura It was time to mix it up. Years of single pointed focus on pushing the limits of sport climbing had taken a bit of a toll.
It was time to get back to the roots of climbing, travelling, having fun, being spontaneous and opening up to new inspiration. It's interesting though, we always gravitate back to who we are.
What's the next step, where do we go from here?
Well if we are open to it, life has a way of guiding us along. My friend Martí Iglesias Galobart had a project that I'd heard about at Cova de Ocell 40 min from Barcelona and when I checked it out I was drawn back to and reminded of what my life has been about for so long; the lines that grab our imagination and inspire us to take our game up a notch, The King Lines. Something created by Mother Nature as if it were designed to be climbed, perfect shapes, just barely enough to find a path up, something worthy of dedicating yourself to 200%.
Since June I've tried this line and it's reawakened my passion for straight up, at your limit, hard climbing. After many Close calls and a ton of effort it finally came together today. So psyched to be back in the flow and very excited for more.