Chris Sharma has made the first ascent of Alasha, a Deep Water Solo (DWS) route which he says is of roughly the same difficulty as Es Pontas. The latter was opened almost exactly ten years ago.
Last week I was able to send a long term project that I'd been trying over the last 5 years on the northwest coast of Mallorca. In honor of my beautiful daughter I named the line Alasha. So proud of this one. I really had to work hard, dig deep and pull out all the tricks in the book.
The crux comes at around 18 meters and is, according to Chris, around 8B. Imagine committing on an ~8B boulder problem knowing that if you fail, there's an 18m fall waiting...
Chris says he took the fall multiple times, but that he, of course worked it a fair bit with a rope.
I tried it a ton without a rope, but I realized I had no chance unless I rapped in and figured out the super tricky beta. It's super techy and bouldery with very bad feet and tricky body positions.
Felt like one of my top 10 climbing moments!
Chris never gave Es Pontas a grade, and it's been speculated to be anything from 9a to 9b. My guesstimate would be both routes are around 9a+ in sport climbing terms. On the other hand Deep water soloing is very different compared to sport climbing and takes a very strong head, so perhaps attaching a sport grade to a DWS route isn't really fair...