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One of the World’s First 5.15 Climbers Just Onsighted 5.14b

Chris Sharma established one of America's first 5.14c sport routes back in the mid-1990s and opened Biographie 5.15a in 2001

Chris Sharma, who turns 41 on April 23, has just onsighted V for Vendetta 5.14b in Siurana, Spain. It’s not his first onsight of the grade, but according to Sharma it’s been over a decade since he accomplished such a feat.

When he was 14 years old, Sharma won the U.S.A. bouldering nationals and soon after that established Necessary Evil 5.14c. He went on to win several world cups. He’s known for being the world’s first climber to redpoint 5.15b with California’s Jumbo Love in 2008, one of the first to climb a 5.15a with Biographie in 2001, and the second to climb 5.15c with La Dura Dura in 2013.

Sharma established the world’s first 5.15a deep water solo with Es Pontas 2007, and first 5.15b deep water solo with Alasha in 2017. In 2015, he opened the Sharma Climbing BCN gym in Barcelona, and in 2019, he opened one of Europe’s largest climbing gyms in Madrid.

His send of Biographie 5.15a in France was at the time considered the first 5.15 ever climbed. However, in 2008 Adam Ondra repeated Open Air at Austria’s Schleier Wasserfall, a route first done by Alex Huber in 1996. Huber graded it 5.14d, but Ondra said it’s 100 per cent 5.15a, which made it the first ever climbed.

“Climbing has been my life since I was 12 years old, and has allowed me to discover the most beautiful places in the world,” Sharma said. “My specialty is hard new routes. This pursuit provides me with concrete goals in life and allows me to channel my energy. It’s my own personal way of being a part of society. I think it’s really important in my progression for climbing to stay excited and feel like you’re doing new things, and not get stuck in a rut.”

King Lines