posted by dpm on 02/07/2013
Yesterday, Chris Sharma completed one of his long term projects at Spain's Santa Linya cave. Chris posted word of his success via Instagram and commented:
"The last couple of years I've been focusing all of my energy trying these in insanely hard projects that I've rarely had the pleasure to actually send a route. Today in Santa Linya was one of those illusive moments. I sent a project that I've been trying the last few years. I think I'm going to call it Stoking The Fire and I think it's pretty solid 9b. So many hard complex sequences with no rests! Climbing is so much about the process and all of the lessons we learn along the way but it sure is good to get to the top once in a while. It's nice to remember what that feels like and that I still have it in me! Psyched for more!!"
Chris Sharma on Stoking the Fire (5.15b). Photo: Sharma's instagram
The majority of the line was bolted by Tomas Mrazek a few years ago. Tomas stopped bolting at a jug at the end of the 5.15b section, unsure of where to finish. Speaking with 8a.nu, Sharma explained that he stepped in and continued bolting the line straight up but couldn't imagine linking the whole thing. Stoking the Fire climbs the 5.15b section to the jug and then cuts left to finish on Mercenaris del Pasat. This finish is about 5.13c. The full line remains a project and Sharma estimates that it would add a 5.14d section on top of the 5.15b. The world's only 5.15c (Adam Ondra's Change) is considered 5.15a/b to a nearly no-hands rest to 5.14d. This unsent project would have a harder intro to a bad rest to 5.14d. Does that add up to 5.15d?
Speaking of Ondra, he too is hanging out in the Santa Linya cave and getting ridiculously close to sending La Dura Dura project. He's fallen a few times from the upper crux now, a few days ago falling at the very end of the difficult climbing (relatively speaking.) Ondra has stated that La Dura Dura is harder than Change though at the similar grade of 5.15c it will be the hardest sport route in the world if completed. Sharma's been swapping burns with Adam on La Dura Dura as well. With yesterday's confidence boost under his belt, it seems that someone might pull off The Hard Hard this year.
Joe Kinder bolting Joe Blau (5.14c). Photo: Joe's blog
Also in Catalunya, Joe Kinder ticked off his nemesis route at Oliana. Joe Blau is a 5.14c that Kinder bolted and left as an open project that was first sent by Chris Sharma. He was, of course, psyched to send it and commented on 8a, "Now I can move on. ONWARD! I swear...This thing took me the same amount of effort as a 9a+ (5.15a) would take. DANG!" Appropriately, Kinder's been dabbling with Papichulo (5.15a).
Also in Oliana, Silvio Reffo made an impressive flash of Mind Control. Previously considered 5.14c, Silvio, and a few others, are suggesting 5.14b for the line. Reffo also sent Joe Blau, as well as Era Vella (5.14d) at Margalef.