Home > Indoor Climbing

Throwback Thursday: Watch Sharma in Old Boulder Comps

Chris Sharma at the Unified Bouldering Championships in 2010

Chris Sharma has been the face of hard outdoor climbing for nearly 20 years, but during his early days he was a top comp climber.

At age 14, Sharma won the USA bouldering nationals, one year before he made the first ascent of the now-classic Necessary Evil 5.14c in Virgin River Gorge. It was the hardest route in the country at the time.

In 2001, he competed at a big event in France, one of many international comps he took part in. It was during the same summer he made the first ascent of Biographie/Realization 5.15a.

Watch Sharma compete in Barcelona in 2007 at the España Championships.

Sharma in Barcelona

Sharma recently wrote an essay for the new book Vantage Point: 50 Years of the Best Climbing Stories Ever Told which you can order here.

“I was one of the first climbing-gym-generation kids,” Sharma wrote. “Up to that point, usually it was an uncle or a friend—a mentor—who introduced the next generation to climbing. My dad was a surfer and grew up in a different world.

“I always had a natural inclination for scrambling up trees, but I started climbing in gyms in the early 1990s because there was one close to my home in Santa Cruz, California.

“There, at the Pacific Edge Climbing Gym, I met climbers who took me under their wing. To this day, I feel super grateful to them for showing me around Castle Rock, Pinnacles National Park, Yosemite, and beyond.”

The talented team over at onbouldering.com pieced this great clip together which gives some history and shows Sharma in 2001. He starts climbing at 2:10.

Sharma Comp 2001