• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
  • TNB: Honnold's Biggest Solo
  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
  • TNB: When Gear Attacks
  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
  • TNB: The Pad Problem - Honnold, Kehl on Headpoints and Highballs
  • TNB: Travels with Delaney Miller - National Champ Turns to Rock
  • TNB: Jail Food and Booty
  • TNB: Love on the Road
  • TNB: Is Pakistan Safe for Climbers?
  • TNB: Flash Floods, Climbers and How to Get Out of the Way
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Level
  • TNB: Best in Show - Brand New Gear from the Outdoor Retailer Show
  • TNB: Adam Ondra Ties the Knot
  • TNB: Under Pressure - Trotter and Honnold On How Bets Can Help You Send
  • TNB: The Tragedy of Tito Traversa
  • TNB: DR's Crazy Brain Puzzle. Get It Correct or Else.
  • TNB: What Happened To Climbing Films?
  • TNB: Cry of the Colorado Fussy Snivel
  • TNB: Mystery Solved!
  • TNB: The Mystery of Moses Tower - Help Answer a 25-Year-Old Question
  • TNB: No Such Luck
  • TNB: Erasing Midnight Lightning
  • TNB: Mayhem - Crawling, Balling & Brawling on the Evere$t Soap Opera
  • TNB: Watching the Boston Marathon
  • TNB: Chasing the Devil's Snort
  • TNB: Born-Again Gumby
  • TNB: Super Unknown - Austin Dark Horse Establishes 5.14d in Random Texas Cave
  • TNB: Fearless?
  • TNB: The Big Freaking Deal, Ain't Bouldering
  • TNB: Honnold's Achilles' Heel
  • TNB: He's Either Crazy or a Poet
  • TNB: The Fish Cheat and the Prince of Climbing
  • TNB: A Letter from Santa... I mean Sharma
  • TNB: Traveler's Advisory - El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • TNB: A Year Ago - Athol
  • TNB: Gun Control
  • TNB: What's the Problem?
  • TNB: Derek Hersey's Magic Carpet
  • TNB: The Apprentices
  • TNB: The Jungle
  • TNB: Klem Loskot is Back Climbing V15 and 5.15
  • TNB: Eliminated
  • TNB: The Hurt Locker
  • TNB: The Perils of Sport Climbing
  • TNB: Baddest Climb of the Year
  • TNB: Crossfit Misfit
  • TNB: Eating People and the Real Seventh Summit
  • TNB: Bring It On, Bitch!
  • TNB: What Would Warren Harding Do?
  • TNB: The Curse Of The Bandit
  • TNB: Reality Pro
  • TNB: Chris Sharma and The Art of Jeep Maintenance
  • TNB: American Dirtbag
  • TNB: How Not To Climb 5.12
  • TNB: Project FAIL
  • TNB: The Backwards Future of Climbing
  • TNB: The Death of Progress
  • TNB: The Da Vinci CO
  • TNB: The Philosopher King
  • TNB: Spam Alert
  • TNB: Bad Genes - The Different Types of Gumbies
  • TNB: Mouth Wide Shut
  • TNB: Outside Reality
  • TNB: The Day I Saved Jésus
  • TNB: My Pad, Your Problem
  • TNB: House Rules
  • TNB: Five Things I Don't Hate About Climbing
  • TNB: Metro-Pointing
  • TNB: Beast in the East
  • TNB: Artificial Intelligence
  • TNB: To Boldly Go Sprad Climbing
  • TNB: Self-Destruction
  • TNB: Soul Sport
  • TNB: Nine Pitches
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    TNB: A Letter from Santa... I mean Sharma


    Sharma keeps it chill in Spain. Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://images.visualimpact.ch/">Visual Impact / Rainer Eder</a>. Chris Sharma doesn’t want to get “overwhelmed by taking it all too seriously…”

    But, as climbers, we do like to take it seriously.

    We want to debate why Sharma didn’t send La Dura Dura (5.15c) first, and then guess about the significance of Ondra’s recent coup of sending the world’s hardest sport climb. We want to comment on Internet news stories’ inaccuracies and spark debate. And then we want to wax philosophically about “the changing of the guard.”

    I mean, I personally wanted to know why Sharma didn’t red-tag La Dura Dura, considering he had bolted, cleaned, and was close to sending what was to be the coveted World’s Hardest Sport Climb! After all, he’d politely asked Nalle Hukkataival to stay clear of First Round, First Minute (5.15b), and eventually he sent the rig and retained his crown as sport climbing’s baddest mofo.

    But the poetry of Sharma’s words above—which he e-mailed me after the news of Ondra’s send had blasted through the fiber optic cables of the Internet faster than a Japanese train—struck a big, fat, E-major chord, deep within my soul.

    Just the day before, Sharma had completed the first ascent of yet another 5.15b, Stoking the Fire. As online editor for Rock and Ice, I was completely consumed with the news, and along with the rest of the climbing world, immediately began to draw conclusions about what was going to happen next.

    Sharma is going to send La Dura Dura! He’s on fire. Just look at his new route’s name!

    So later that night, I summoned the nerve to e-mail Chris Sharma—someone so mytho-mystical to me, so awe-inspiring, in fact, that he’s not even like a real person to me—more of a superhero. Even his name has a comic book ring to it … Sharma! Shazam!

    So later that night, I summoned the nerve to e-mail Chris Sharma—someone so mytho-mystical to me, that he’s not even like a real person to me—more of a superhero. Even his name has a comic book ring to it … Sharma! Shazam!The phrase “Dude, you went all Sharma on it!” has probably come out of the mouth of every climber born post-1984 at least once.

    But with hesitation, I typed out the first of many drafts of an e-mail.

    Dear Chris. No wait that’s lame; it’s not a freaking letter.

    Yo Chris! Hell no. He doesn’t even know you!

    Hi Chris,
    This is Chris, from Rock and Ice. Shit! We have the same name! It sounds so stupid!

    Eventually I settled on a draft and courageously hit send. And like writing a letter to Santa (whoa! Sharma even sounds a little like Santa), I waited in anticipation, though believing, and almost knowing the whole time that no response was forthcoming.

    And then, the very next day, Adam Ondra sent La Dura Dura.

    Once again the breaking news enveloped my whole day—writing, revising, researching, posting. But the whole time, somewhere just beneath the surface, bubbling like a little geyser, were my thoughts about Sharma. How does he feel? A sadness began to develop and I realized that I’d wanted Sharma to send La Dura Dura. After all, he is the American hero of sport climbing.

    Sharma cranking on <em>Stoking the Fire</em> (5.15b). Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://images.visualimpact.ch/">Visual Impact / Rainer Eder</a>But then it came, lighting up my inbox like a glow-worm in the dirt, an e-mail from Chris Sharma.

    Hi Chris
    I’ll just answer below the questions
    all the best

    The answers to my questions were typed out below—directly from the man himself. My hand shook as I double clicked the message.

    I quickly skimmed and found what was to me the most interesting question.

    “Will you focus on La Dura Dura now?” I had asked, unaware of Ondra’s future send.

    “I’m super psyched to keep working on La Dura Dura,” wrote Sharma. “It is so inspiring that Adam sent today!”

    I studied the exclamation point. Wow, he’s psyched?

    I read more of his answers, and began to realize that, in fact, Sharma seemed extremely happy.

    On Stoking the Fire, he wrote, “I’m super happy to have done this route!”

    I once again studied the exclamation point.

    And slowly, as I read Sharma’s words, a blanket of happiness wrapped over me, too. Sharma was stoked. He was stoked on climbing, he was stoked on sending, and he was stoked for Adam Ondra—his friend.

    Regarding multiple projects, he wrote, “I work on several projects at once, since it’s a good way of keeping things fresh, staying inspired and not getting overwhelmed by taking things too seriously.”

    So with the help of Sharma’s words, I realized that tomorrow will bring another news story, and another “world’s hardest route.” But most importantly, I realized that the game we all play—climbing—is supposed to be fun. Even though for some it is a serious business, for the best it is still just a game that is not to be taken “too seriously.”


    For the full interview with Sharma click HERE.

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