Sharma Flashes Infinity Road @ the Petzl Rock Trip

posted by dpm on 07/01/2009

The Petzl Rock Trip was in full swing this weekend, and Petzl's top climbing athletes were poised and ready to sample the sheer limestone cliffs of Millau, France. This multi- sport event also featured some of the world's best mountain bikers, paragliders, and kayakers.

In the climbing arena were Petzl athletes Sean McColl, Mickaël Fuselier, Steve McClure, Dani Andrada, Gerhard Hörager, Tony Lamiche, Enzo Oddo, Daniel Dulac, Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Nina Caprez, Martina Cùfar, Chloé Minoret and Lynn Hill...to name a few. The Iranian National Team was also present and competed in the climbing competition.

Martina Cufar on the women's Ultimate Route

The Petzl Rock Trip, pits climbers against established routes and projects on natural stone. Routes are given point values and some routes have incentives for completion. The "Ultimate Route" is the competition's most difficult line. Competitor's were only allowed to try the route once. Onsights or flashes were the only way to acquire points. This year's ultimate route for the men was a 90 meter endurance route that ascended the overhanging Cathédrale, in the Gorges de la Jonte, dubbed Infinity Lane.  Nearby, another route, Infinity Lane Féminine (apparently there is a shortage of route names) provided the women with their "Ultimate Route." Martina Cufar wasted no time. She flashed the "Fem's Ultimate Route" on Day 1 of the event. Daniel Dulac and Dani Andrada made early attempts of the men's "Ultimate Route" on Day 1, but fell short of the upper crux.

Daniel Dulac attempting the Men's Ultimate Route

Andrada returned on Day2 to become the route's first ascensionist, but he fell three draws from the top. Adjacent to him were Nina Caprez and Chloé Minoret, who both sent Infinity Lane Féminine on their first try.

The following day (Day 3), Tony Lamiche, Mickaël Fuselier and Steve McClure woke early to capitalize on the cooler early morning air. Each one fell on the upper wall beyond the final crux. It looked as though the route would not see an ascent during the event...until Chris Sharma arrived at the Cathédrale.

Steve McClure on the Women's Ultimate Route

Sharma on the flash of Infinity Lane

He had spent the day relaxing and climbing easier routes in the Tarn, and to the amazement of the crowd and slew of photographers, Chris flashed the 8c (14b) 90 meter pitch! For more information check out Petzl's blog