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  • American Alpine Club Announces 2016 Craggin’ Classics
  • The Battle for Indian Creek: Bears Ears, Rob Bishop & the Access Fund
  • Climb Safe: Carabiner Off-Axis and Tri/Quad-Axial Loading
  • Jon Cardwell's Biographie (9a+ 5.15a) Training and Projecting Advice
  • Dave Graham Makes Third Ascent of Delirium (V15)
  • Caroline Gleich, World-Famous Ski Mountaineer, is a Trad Addict
  • Virtual Reality: Watch Alex Honnold Solo the Needles in 360-degrees
  • Bouldering Access is Back in Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland
  • Adam Ondra Makes First Ascent of 120 Degrees (5.15a), Flatanger
  • VIDEO: Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll Loves Pain and Dirty, Wet Cracks
  • Klemen Bečan Sends Papichulo (5.15a), Disappointed With Ease
  • Margo Hayes, 18, Sends The Crew (5.14c) in Rifle
  • President Obama Takes Over Yosemite
  • Rustam Gelmanov Makes Second Ascent of Hypnotized Minds (V16)
  • RIP Ken Wilson: Editor of Mountain Magazine, Rabble-Rouser
  • Lena Herrmann, 22, Climbs 5.14c in the Frankenjura
  • The Desert – Excerpt from “American Climber” by Luke Mehall
  • Heather Weidner Sends China Doll (5.14a R) on Gear
  • INTERVIEW: USA Boulderers On the IFSC World Cup in Vail
  • Stefano Carnati Sends Action Directe (5.14d), Frankenjura
  • RIP: Nicholas Clinch, 85, Led Only American First Ascent of an 8000er
  • Jonathan Siegrist's Mission to Rediscover Switzerland's World-Class Sport Climbing
  • Megan Mascarenas Dominates 2016 Vail Bouldering World Cup
  • LIVE: IFSC Bouldering World Cup, Vail 2016 (Finals)
  • LIVE: IFSC Bouldering World Cup, Vail 2016 (Semi-Finals)
  • Mélissa Le Nevé, a Top-Three Boulderer at Vail World Cup, Talks Rock
  • VIDEO: Pump Control and Efficient Resting for Climbing
  • Virginia Sandstone Crag Opened to Climbing
  • Bouldering World Cup Comes to Vail, Colorado This Weekend
  • Alex Megos Sends Hubble (8c+), Northern Lights (9a)
  • INTERVIEW: Melissa Arnot on Climbing Everest Without Supplemental Oxygen
  • Dai Koyamada Establishes Nehanna (V14/15) in Japan
  • VIDEO: Daniel Woods on the Elusive V17 Bouldering Grade
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Makes Second Ascent of Geocache (9a+/5.15a)
  • Q&A: Jon Cardwell On Climbing Biographie/Realization (9a+/5.15a)
  • Adam Ondra Repeats Geocache (9a+/5.15a) in a Day
  • American Melissa Arnot Claims Mount Everest Record
  • Jon Cardwell Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Coxsey, Chon Win Innsbruck Bouldering World Cup
  • Nathaniel Coleman, Brooke Raboutou Win 2016 Riverrock Boulder Bash
  • Zimmerman, Wright Establish New Route in Alaska’s St. Elias Range
  • Three Dead, Two Missing and Hundreds Summit on Everest
  • Robbie Phillips and Jacob Cook Free El Cap’s 30-Pitch El Niño
  • VIDEO: Chris Sharma On His Santa Linya Project
  • Climbing and Mentorship Come Together at City Rocks
  • Japan Triumphs at Bouldering World Cup in Navi Mumbai
  • Silvio Reffo Sends Goldrake (5.15a), Cornalba, Italy
  • The Wizard - Dean Potter
  • The Great Unknown - Graham Hunt
  • Dean Potter: What I've Learned
  • VIDEO: Alex Megos Sends First Round, First Minute (5.15b)
  • Ofer Blutrich Sends Mind Control - First Israeli to Climb 5.14c
  • INTERVIEW: Sonnie Trotter on Freeing "The Prow," 5.14a Multi-pitch
  • Valley Walls: A Memoir of Climbing and Living in Yosemite
  • Block and Wall: Buildering and Raving in Trento, Italy
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Attempts The World's First 5.15a Flash
  • VIDEO: The Width of Life - Tribute to Dave Pegg, Colorado Climbing Legend
  • William Bosi, 17, Climbs Rainshadow (5.14d), Malham Cove
  • Shauna Coxsey Triumphs, Tomoa Narasaki Shocks at Chongqing World Cup
  • Alex Lowe's and David Bridges' Remains Found on Shishapangma
  • Mark Cole, Longtime Leader in SE Climbing, Passes at 58
  • The Greatest Boulderer You’ve Never Heard Of: Ryuichi Murai's on Fire
  • Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation's Khumbu Climbing Center Almost Complete
  • Climbers Remember Nepal on Anniversary of Earthquake
  • Shauna Coxsey Dominates at Kazo World Cup
  • VIDEO: Epic Climber - Sharma, Ondra, Digiulian, and Marin in Spain
  • Adam Ondra On Climbing In The Olympics
  • Crack School with Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker (Video Series)
  • Mary Harlan: Heartiness, Suffering and The Zion Link-Up
  • Chuck Pratt's "The View From Dead Horse Point"
  • VIDEO: Ethan Pringle Sends Meadowlark Lemon (V14), Red Rock
  • Megan Mascarenas Places Third At Meiringen Bouldering World Cup
  • VIDEO: Slow Details - 2016 Meiringen Bouldering World Cup
  • Tyler Armstrong, 12, Denied Permit to Climb Mount Everest
  • Drew Ruana Sends Five 5.14s, Onsights Four 5.13s at the RRG
  • Ryuichi Murai Sends Hydrangea (V15), His Third V15 in a Month
  • Roland Hemetzberger Frees 22-Year-Old Project, Outro (5.15a)
  • Everest's Icefall Doctors Establish 2016 Route Through Khumbu Icefall
  • Black Diamond Recalls Camalots/Camalot Ultralights, Ascenders and Via Ferratas
  • Glen Dawson, Sierra Nevada Climbing Pioneer, Dies at 103
  • Jim Curran, British Climber and Author of "K2, The Story of The Savage Mountain," Dies
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Sends Adam Ondra’s Goldrake (5.15a)
  • John Long Writing Symposium Accepting 2016 Applications
  • Access Fund 2016 Climbing Preservation Grants
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Pure Imagination (5.14c)
  • Five New Mixed Routes in Pilot Creek, Wyoming
  • Allen Frame Hill, Climber-Filmmaker, Found Dead at Home
  • VIDEO: Profondo Sud - Bouldering in Basilicata, Italy
  • Ryan Vachon Makes Second Ascent of Saphira (M15-)
  • Adam Ondra Claims 5.15a/b and 5.14d First Ascents in One Weekend
  • Brooke Raboutou, Dru Mack Send Southern Smoke (5.14c) at the RRG
  • Durango Climbers Linkup Six Fisher Towers in Under 24 Hours
  • Margo Hayes Sends Pure Imagination (5.14c) at the Red River Gorge
  • VIDEO: Edu Marin Discovers His Limits On Alex Huber's Sansara (8b+/5.14a)
  • Matty Hong Sends Papichulo (5.15a) in Oliana, Spain
  • 2016 Piolets d’Or Award Recipients Announced
  • Jon Cardwell Sends Shadow Boxing (5.14d), Flashes Waka Flocka (5.14b)
  • Interview: Klemen Bečan on the First Ascent of Joe Mama (5.15a)
  • Ashima Shiraishi Sends V15!
  • Stefano Carnati, 17, Makes Quick Work of Goldrake (5.15a) in Italy
  • Margo Hayes, Sean Bailey Win USA Sport Open National Championships
  • Big Crowds, Big Money: Climbers Bring $3.6 Million to the RRG
  • Ethan Pringle and La Reina Mora – The Full Story
  • V15 Send Train by Adam Ondra, Sachi Amma and Jongwon Chon
  • The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies
  • The 2015 Sharp End Awards from the Access Fund
  • Alex Puccio on Grade Chasing and Climbing Media
  • Magnus Midtbø Makes Fourth Ascent of Seleccion Anal (9a+/5.15a)
  • Daniel Woods Sends Papichulo (5.15a) in Oliana, Spain
  • Legendary Climber Cal Swoager Dies at 66
  • Klemen Bečan Puts Up New 5.15a in Oliana, Spain
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ines Papert Repeat Riders on the Storm, Patagonia
  • Interview: Marc-Andre Leclerc Solos Three Routes on Stanley Headwall
  • Gaetan Raymond Repeats World's Hardest Dry Tooling Route
  • Nacho Sánchez Sends Catalán Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • First Winter Ascent of Nanga Parbat
  • The Final Frontier – Rumney, NH Land Purchase
  • Scott Cosgrove, Bold Yosemite Climber, Passes Away
  • Highlights from the 2016 Ice Climbing World Youth Championship
  • Climb Safe: Rethinking the Double-Loop Bowline
  • Felipe Camargo Repeats Catalán Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • Adam Ondra Repeats Sharma’s Stoking the Fire (5.15b)
  • Lucie Hrozová Establishes Hardest Mixed Climb in U.S.
  • ​Snowball Fight on K2: Interview with Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita
  • Drew Ruana, 16, Establishes Smith Rock’s Hardest Route
  • Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita Named Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year
  • Climb Safe: Common Belay Screw-ups and What To Do About Them
  • Jimmy Webb, Charles Albert Repeat Fontainebleau's “Hardest Climb”
  • Alex Puccio, Jakob Schubert Win 2016 Hueco Rock Rodeo
  • Climbing Anchors and the Evolution of the Quad
  • Tom Ballard Establishes World’s Hardest Dry Tooling Route
  • Tim Emmett, Klemen Preml Establish 260-Foot WI 12 at Helmcken Falls
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Big Island (V15), Toupie Carnivore assis (V14)
  • Kevin Lopata Sends Jour de Chasse (V15), Fontainebleau (with video)
  • Rocasolano Makes Second Ascent of Catalan Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • VIDEO: Jonathan Siegrist Sends Power Inverter (5.15a)
  • Black Diamond Recalls Carabiners, Quickdraws and Slings
  • Jimmy Webb Sends l’Alchemiste In Three Tries – Downgrades
  • Brette Harrington Free Solos Austríaca in Patagonia
  • Nathaniel Coleman, Megan Mascarenas Win 2016 Bouldering Nationals
  • Marianne van der Steen Flashes Kamasutra (D13+)
  • Barefoot Climber First to Repeat Original l’Alchimiste (~V14)
  • Alban Levier Cranks Third Ascent of l’Alchimiste (V15)
  • New Big Wall Route Established on El Diente North Face in Mexico
  • Epic Ascent of Yosemite’s Ephemeral Widow’s Tears
  • Colin Haley on Patagonian Solo Streak
  • VIDEO: Tom Randall Takes Down the Kraken (V13)
  • Ryan Vachon Dominates 2016 Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition
  • Guillaume Glairon-Mondet Puts Up New V16 in Fontainebleau
  • Two Experienced Climbers Killed in the Scottish Highlands
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Game (V15)
  • Siegrist Sends Power Inverter (5.15a), Flashes Fish Eye (5.14b) in Spain
  • Jakob Schubert Sends La Planta de Shiva (5.15b) in Spain
  • VIDEO: Ueli Steck - Accepting Risk, Reward & Danger (Part 4)
  • Epic TV's Top Three Training Videos of 2015
  • Chris Sharma Sends Catalan Witness the Fitness (V-Hard) in Spain
  • Alex Megos Sends First Round, First Minute (5.15b) and More
  • A Tribute: Doug Walker, First AAC President Killed in Office
  • VIDEO: Barefoot French Climber Sends V12 Traverse
  • Two-time Mugs Stump Award Winner Ryan Jennings Dies on Ice Climb
  • Climbers We Lost in 2015
  • VIDEO: Tragedy Strikes Ueli Steck’s 82 Summit Project
  • Climbers Against Cancer Founder John Ellison Dies
  • VIDEO: Alexey Rubtsov Climbs Three Magic Wood V14s
  • Ashima Shiraishi Sends Phenomena (V14) in 30 Minutes
  • Kayah Gaydish Climbing Accident Update
  • Climb Safe: To Screamer Or Not To Screamer
  • VIDEO: Ueli Steck Runs Up 18 4,000 Meter Peaks In A Day
  • North Carolina Climber Dies in 50-foot Fall
  • Jimmy Webb Puts Up The Matriarch - The Southeast's First V15
  • The Classic Alpinist: Ueli Steck Climbs 82 Summits In 62 Days - Part 1
  • 2016 Mugs Stump Award Recipients
  • Access Fund Launches Second Batmobile
  • VIDEO: Road to the Top - World Cup Training with Alex Puccio
  • Lost in Mozambique – First Ascent on Mt. Namuli
  • The Top 7 Climbing Achievements of 2015
  • Sarah Hueniken First North American Woman to Send M14
  • Climb Safe: Full Strength Haul Loops
  • Will Gadd Sends The Mustang P-51 (M14-) Second Go - with Video
  • Walton, Grainger Claim Another Triple Crown Victory
  • Founder of The North Face, Doug Tompkins Dies in Patagonia
  • VIDEO: Highlights from La Sportiva Legends Only 2015
  • Top 10 Weekend Whippers of 2015
  • Kai Lightner Storms Bishop, Hikes The Mandala (V12)
  • Southern Rampage – Jimmy Webb Establishes Four V14s
  • Janja Garnbret Dominates La Sportiva Legends Only
  • Alex Megos Hikes Demencia Senil (5.15a)
  • Pirmin Bertle Sends Meiose (~5.15b) in Switzerland
  • VIDEO: Martin Stráník Climbs Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • Q&A: Ueli Steck On Reclaiming the Eiger Speed Record
  • GEAR OF THE YEAR 2015
  • Edu Marin Redpoints Chilam Balam (5.15b)
  • Martin Stráník Sends Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • Top 10 Climbing Videos of 2015
  • A Step Too Far - The Tragic First Ascent of Kuksar
  • VIDEO: Ondra and Markovič Crush in Kranj
  • Ueli Steck Reclaims Eiger Speed Record
  • Kai Lightner Reflects on Competitions, Bouldering and the Future
  • Jonathan Siegrist Crushes Papichulo (5.15a)
  • Dani Andrada Sends Chilam Balam (5.15b)
  • Ondra, Markovič Crowned 2015 Lead World Champions
  • Crack Fix – How to Build a Home Crack Training System
  • VIDEO: Alex Puccio Storms the Buttermilks—Bishop, California
  • The K2 Summit Controversy
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra and Stefano Ghisolfi Send New 5.15b's
  • The Locomotive: Roy McMurtrey – 87 and Still Climbing
  • Whittaker, McManus Claim 2nd Ascent of The Secret Passage, El Cap
  • Sherpa Makes Solo First Ascent on Himalayan Peak
  • Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces Winners
  • VIDEO: Climbing the 9th Grade (5.14d)
  • Hound Ears Competition Postponed Again
  • Jorg Verhoeven Sends Wheel of Life (V15)
  • Adam Ondra Establishes France's Hardest Route
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Establishes Italy’s First 5.15b
  • No Expectations: Joe Kinder Sends 6 5.14c's in Spain
  • Solar, Rock and Landmines—Alex Honnold Explores Angola
  • Spotlight: Megan Mascarenas - The Logician
  • Big Wall Soloing on Bugs
  • Triple Crown Bouldering Series Kicks Off at Stone Fort
  • Niky Ceria Repeats Voyager Sit (V14)
  • Alpine Warriors - History of Alpinists in Yugoslavia
  • VIDEO: Joe Kinder and Patxi Usobiaga Explore Cala Gonone, Italy
  • Sonnie Trotter Fires Blue Jeans Direct (5.14a), Mount Yamnuska, Canada
  • Megos Cruises the Red River Gorge
  • Logan Barber Frees Honeycomb Dome (5.13d) in China
  • Ondra, Kim Sweep Lead World Cup in Wujiang, China
  • How to Build a Home Climbing Wall
  • Winners of the 8th Annual Rock and Ice / Mammut Photo Contest
  • Alex Megos Sweeps the New River Gorge
  • $10,000 Granted for Anchor Replacement Across U.S.
  • Three Sherpas Complete Three Himalayan First Ascents in Three Days
  • Ashima Shiraishi Sends Nuclear War (V14), New York
  • Dan Mirsky Sends The Crew (5.14c) – Rifle, Colorado
  • Marc-André Leclerc Free Solos Aguja Standhardt in Patagonia
  • David Lama Establishes Lebanon's Hardest Route
  • Dave Graham Sends Thor's Hammer
  • Q&A: The Willpower of Mar Álvarez
  • Q&A: Ethan Pringle on Thor's Hammer (5.15a)
  • Tufas in Paradise – Angy Eiter Puts Up New 5.14s in Greece
  • Yosemite Facelift - Finding Beauty Behind the Trash
  • Novice Climbers Could Be Banned from Everest to “Maintain the Glory”
  • Daniel Woods Smashes Thor's Hammer (5.15a)
  • Sport Climbing Makes Shortlist for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
  • Kim, Škofic Climb the Podium in Puurs
  • Trail Runner Now Hiring
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  • VIDEO: Brette Harrington - Free Solo of Chiaro di Luna (5.11a)
  • Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2015 Finalists
  • A Youth Wasted Climbing
  • Toru Nakajima Sends Paint It Black (V15) in RMNP
  • Q&A: Jesse Grupper – Youth World Championships Silver Medalist
  • Everest ’96 – Unheard Voices of the 1996 Disaster
  • Paige Claassen Sends The Bleeding, Discusses First Female Ascents
  • Nalle Hukkataival Puts Up New V15 – The Stepping Stone
  • Sachi Amma Redpoints Jungle Boogie, 5.15a
  • Nina Caprez and Barbara Zangerl Redpoint 1,400-foot Rätikon 5.14
  • Bouldering Bub - Isaac Caldiero
  • REEL ROCK 10 - Interview with Filmmaker Peter Mortimer
  • Jonathan Siegrist Establishes New 5.14+ in the Fins
  • IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: DMM Carabiner Recall
  • Climber Dies in Fall on Crestone Needle, CO
  • Alex Honnold Talks REEL ROCK 10
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  • The Dawn of Urban Big Wall Speed Climbing
  • She Goes! - Half Dome’s Regular Route Climbed After Rockfall
  • Spotlight: Alexander Ruchkin - Russian Locomotive
  • Climbing Beta: Rocktown, Georgia
  • Tex Bossier, Golden Age Climber, Dies in France
  • Ondra Pioneers Four FA's in Norway
  • Alpinists Killed Attempting New Route in Cordillera Blanca, Peru
  • Shiraishi, Garnbret Win Again at Arco Youth World Championships
  • Climbing Beta: El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • Q&A: Sasha DiGiulian on Climbing the Eiger
  • Q&A: Carlo Traversi on Climbing the Eiger
  • Americans Claim Two Karakoram First Ascents
  • VIDEO: How To Climb 5.14d and Hold A Job
  • Scottish Team Climbs Paciencia on the Eiger North Face
  • USA Girls Rise Up in Arco's IFSC Bouldering Youth and Junior World Championships
  • Rocklands – How Far Are You
  • Seb Bouin Claims First Ascent in Verdon Gorge
  • Jakob Schubert Takes Third Ascent of Thor’s Hammer (5.15a)
  • Dave Graham Repeats Spray of Light (V15)
  • Sasha DiGiulian and Carlo Traversi Climb the Eiger North Face
  • VIDEO: Jonathan Siegrist Climbs La Rambla (5.15a)
  • Stormed Out – Sasha DiGiulian and Carlo Traversi Bail on Paciencia
  • Roskelleys Climb NE Buttress of Mount Slesse
  • Climb Safe: How to Extend a Rappel
  • Alex Megos Repeats Thor’s Hammer (5.15a), Flatanger Cave
  • Isabelle Faus Sends Amandla (V14)
  • Markovič, Supper Claim Gold in Stavanger
  • First Ascent of the Southwest Buttress of Mt. Waddington, B.C.
  • Andy Kirkpatrick Solos Sea of Dreams on El Cap
  • How To Make Your Own Clip Stick - Tips from Jonathan Siegrist
  • Sasha DiGiulian, Carlo Traversi Go for Eiger Summit Push Tomorrow
  • Jonathan Hörst, 12, Sends Two 5.14’s
  • Best New Climbing Gear of 2016
  • Stanhope, Segal Free Bugaboos' Tom Egan Memorial Route at 5.14
  • Shauna Coxsey, Alexey Rubtsov Win Final Bouldering WC of the Year
  • Chon, Noguchi Crowned 2015 Bouldering World Cup Champions
  • Jon Krakauer: Climbing Everest was the Biggest Mistake I've Ever Made
  • 82 and Done – Ueli Steck Completes Alps Mission in 61 Days
  • Lightning Halts Psicobloc, Jimmy Webb and Charlotte Durif Take Gold
  • Potrero Chico First Ascentionist “Magic” Ed Wright Dies
  • Staying Alive in the Death Sport Capital of the World
  • Mina Markovič, Romain Desgranges Win Lead World Cup, Imst, Austria
  • Jon Cardwell Snags Second Ascent of Shadowboxing (5.14d), Rifle
  • Eight Day Solo First Ascent of Bigwall Route on Mt. Huashan, China
  • Robert Pizem – Father First, Climber Second
  • Czech Up - Adam Ondra Climbs A Sparsely Bolted Sandstone Arête
  • British Team Makes First Ascent of The Mirror Wall, Greenland
  • Keep 'er Wild - Leave No Trace Tips for Rock Climbers
  • New Route and Deaths on Annapurna - World's Deadliest Mountain
  • Julianne Wurm and Jan Hojer On Sending Spree in Silvretta, Austria
  • Adam Ondra Claims Second Ascent of Sharma’s Three Degrees of Separation (5.14d), Céüse
  • Homestead: Access Fund Saves 360 Acres of Climbing Access in Arizona
  • MERU: Highly Anticipated Climbing Film Premieres August 14th
  • Alex Johnson - The Pro Life and Growing Up as a Climber
  • 32-Year-Old Dutch Mountaineer Dies in Fall on Mount Blanc Massif
  • Margo Hayes, 17, Sends Two Rifle 5.14s in One Day
  • Jesse Huey, Brette Harrington Claim Second and Third Free Ascents of Edge of Pan (5.13 R), Squamish
  • Vikki Weldon Makes Fourth Free Ascent of Adder Crack (5.13 R)
  • VIDEO: Stefano Ghisolfi Repeats Chris Sharma's Demencia Senil (5.15a)
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  • REEL ROCK 10 Film Tour Lineup
  • Jain Kim, Gautier Supper Win Gold in Briançon, France
  • Karoline Sinnhuber Sends First V13, Charity Boulder, Silvretta
  • VIDEO: Sicilian Deep Water Soloing
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  • Rock Climbing Saved My Life: A Veteran’s Struggle with PTSD
  • Conrad Anker, David Lama Put Up New Route on Temple of Sinewava
  • Barbara Zangerl Sends Bellavista (5.14a, 500m)
  • Mina Markovič, Ramón Julián Puigblanque Win Lead World Cup, Chamonix, France
  • Daniel Woods V15 FA Spray of Light, Rocklands
  • ​The Edge of Extinction - First Ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge
  • Seb Bouin Establishes 5.15a at Pic Saint-Loup
  • UK/US Expedition Summits Unclimbed Himalayan Peak
  • Ueli Steck Reaches Halfway Point on 82 Summits Project
  • Dave Graham Claims FA of Hatchet Prow (V14), Rocklands
  • MOVES - How Many Climbs Can You Identify From Just One Move?
  • Jimmy Webb Makes Second Ascent of Livin Large (V15), Rocklands
  • Belay Ledge Disappears on Half Dome’s Regular Route
  • Giorgia Tesio, 14, Makes First Female Ascent of Chay (5.13d)
  • Dimitri Vogt, 18, Sends Cabane au Canada (5.14d)
  • Time-Lapse: Lightning Triggers Multiple Wildfires in Zion
  • Anthony Johnson Onsights Jihad - Third Ascent of “Terrifying” Vedauwoo Offwidth
  • Only Two Seats Left at the John Long Writing Symposium
  • Nacho Sánchez Sends Monkey Wedding (V15)—Rocklands
  • Climbing Access Victory – Michigan’s AAA Walls Re-Opened
  • ​First World Cup Victory for Petra Klingler - Haiyang, China
  • Grampians: Best Bouldering in the World or Overrated?
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Sends Sharma’s Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Sean McColl, Akiyo Noguchi Win Bouldering World Cup, Chongqing, China
  • Ueli Steck, Michi Wohlleben: Eighty-two Summits in 80 days
  • The Beatnik of the Alps: A tale of FA's, Rescues, Love, and Suicide
  • Untouched Rock: Angie Eiter, Bernie Ruech Develop New Crag in Greece
  • Massive Rockfall in Yosemite's Tenaya Canyon
  • Hazel Findlay on Positivity, Being Bold and Staying Focused
  • Cameron Hörst, 14, Sends First 5.14b, Raubritter
  • Josh Ibbertson, 11, Sends Raindogs (5.13b)
  • Jonathan Siegrist: 5.14 First Ascent in the Flatirons, Colorado
  • Sasha DiGiulian Makes First Female Ascent of La Coccinelle Trump L'oeil (5.14), Verdon Gorge
  • Chris Sharma Free-Climbs California’s Redwoods
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Sends Hell'Avaro (5.14c/d)
  • For Sale: 10 Acres at Donner Summit
  • Roland Hemetzberger Repeats Ondra’s Fugu (5.14d)
  • Iranian Team Climbs First Ascent on Karambony Tower, Madagascar
  • Megan Mascarenas, Nathaniel Coleman on the Podium in Vail
  • Inside the Mind of Ethan Pringle – Climbing Jumbo Love (5.15b)
  • Sachi Amma - Second and Last Ascent of Tinipi (5.15a), Borneo Earthquake
  • Adam Ondra Flashes Jade (V14), Don’t Get Too Greedy (V13) after Vail WC
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  • VIDEO: Hazel Findlay - Giving El Cap's Pre-Muir (5.13+) a Try
  • GoPro Mountain Games Hosts Bouldering World Cup
  • Austrian Alpinists Summit Unclimbed Mt. Reaper in Alaska.
  • Adam Ondra Sends White Noise (V14/15), Flashes Bear Toss (V13)
  • Mateusz Haladaj Sends Sharma’s Papichulo (9a+/5.15a)
  • Anna Stöhr and Alban Levier Take Gold in Toronto
  • Twenty-two Year Old Dies in Rappelling Accident on El Cap
  • Ramp Up Your Training with Fun
  • IFSC World Cup in Toronto May 30-31
  • Sébastian Bouin Claims Third Ascent of Chilam Balam (5.15b), Spain
  • Bouldering Competition to be Held in Memory of Tito Traversa
  • Only Two Spots Left in the John Long Writing Symposium!
  • VIDEO: Tommy Caldwell Cruises Ice-Covered Crack
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  • Alex Puccio on Training, Bodyweight and Crowdfunding
  • Siegrist Sends Le Cadre Nouvelle (5.14d)–“Best climbing trip of my life”
  • Kev Shields – High Solace: Demons, Depression and Solo Climbing
  • VIDEO: Raw Power vs Flawless Technique
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  • Dean Potter Killed in Wingsuit Accident in Yosemite
  • Solo Climber Found Dead on Denali
  • VIDEO: Gord McArthur - The Man Behind the Machine
  • Training Beta: How to Warm Up For Route Climbing
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  • Calling All Non-Sponsored Climbers
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  • Melloblocco 2015: World's Largest International Bouldering Festival
  • Dean Potter Sets New Half Dome FKT
  • Indian Creek, Cedar Mesa Under Threat by Utah Legislature
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    Stormbringer, No Retreat - Ice Climbing in Norway
    Stormbringer, No Retreat - Ice Climbing in Norway



    Perfect Play: What It Took to Climb La Dura Dura (5.15c)--The World's Hardest Route

    27-Nov-2013
    By

    Sharma working the boulder crux on <em>La Dura Dura</em>. This photo was taken in 2009, right after he bolted it. Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.boonespeed.com/">Boone Speed</a>.At the tail end of last winter, two of the world’s best rock climbers were tangling with a route that both considered a new, if incremental, step forward in difficulty—La Dura Dura: the hardest of the hard.

    Chris Sharma, 31, the freakishly strong American who climbed the world’s first 5.15a and 5.15b, had bolted the route at Oliana, a radically overhanging limestone cliff in Spain spattered with features barely big enough to grab. After getting the bolts in and working out the sequences, Sharma could do every move on the route. The moves were so severe, however, he eventually concluded that linking them all would be impossible for him, but might be a great project for the next generation.

    When Adam Ondra arrived in Oliana in 2011, the then 19-year-old Czech prodigy was on a tear, onsighting 5.14c’s by the handful. Sharma was struck by Ondra’s fierce passion and tremendous talent and introduced the youngster to La Dura Dura, saying, “Hey, if you’re looking for that next level route, I think I have something for you.”

    Thus began Ondra’s biggest and longest campaign to redpoint a single route. Over the next year and a half—taking nine weeks of effort spread over five different trips—Ondra battled with La Dura Dura. Sharma joined him on it, at first to share beta and just have fun working on a route with someone. Soon both climbers were earnestly training and gunning for the first ascent. Suddenly, these two exemplars of different styles and different generations were in a race to redefine the possible, and by extension, to claim the title of world’s best.

    ==

    La Dura Dura took on its first faint rendering within Chris Sharma’s mind some five years ago as he realized that something in his life needed to change.

    In 2008, at 27 years old, Sharma had just sent Jumbo Love, establishing the first rock climb rated 5.15b. By most accounts, he was the best climber of his generation, something he had been told all his adult life.

    The hype had always made him cautious, and after sending Jumbo Love he realized why. Sharma had been climbing for 15 years and, thus far, he hadn’t really had to try very hard to be the best.

    “Up until that point, in a lot of ways, I’d been just riding on my talent,” he says. “I thought: ‘OK, enough of this. Let’s see what happens if I really dedicate myself to sport climbing. Let’s see how far I can push it, if I give everything to it.’”

    “One of the hardest things is having that vision—seeing something that has never been done,” says Sharma. “Once you see it and you do it, you’re like, ‘OK, maybe there’s room for something harder.’”After he’d climbed the world’s first 5.15a and 5.15b, his next step was obvious. 5.15c. But what does 5.15c even look like? Where is it? How do you begin?

    Both Realization and Jumbo Love were OPP: Other People’s Projects, abandoned and given to Sharma as gifts. After ticking those two routes, Sharma faced a world without pre-bolted next-level king lines. If he wanted to take the next step, he’d have to create it.

    “That’s the thing about being on the cutting edge. You have to invent it,” he says.

    He could have chosen virtually any place in the world to begin that work, but Sharma picked Spain for its concentration of steep limestone. Then the process of discovery, both external and internal, began.

    Chris Sharma was born in 1981 in Santa Cruz, California, where he started climbing in a local gym—one of the first in the country—when he was 12. Along with Tommy Caldwell, Katie Brown, Beth Rodden and others, Sharma was one of the sport’s first child prodigies. He was winning national adult competitions by the time he was 14, and by the next year he easily climbed every undone route at the Hood in Mount Charleston, including Hasta La Vista (5.14b/c), within a week; also Just Do It (5.14c) at Smith Rock; and in a two-day blitz through Rifle, a one-day ascent of Lung Fish (5.14a/b) and, the next day, an FA of Zulu (5.14a). A little-known footnote to that Rifle trip was the fact that Sharma sent Lungfish on his 20th attempt—a harbinger of the stamina that would later serve him so well.

    In the mid 1990s, Boone Speed was the top sport climber in America, the first to climb 5.14b. When Sharma tore through the Western U.S., Speed was focusing his attention on the Virgin River Gorge, trying a project called Necessary Evil (5.14c). With barely-there crimps and sustained V10 sequences, Necessary Evil would be the hardest climb in the U.S.—if someone ever did it. Speed showed the 15-year-old Sharma the project and in Necessary Evil Sharma finally found something to sink his teeth into.
     
    “That was the first time climbing got hard for me,” says Sharma. “I was like, ‘OK, this is awesome!’”

    What Sharma discovered was the way difficult sport climbing can completely order your life and give you a sense of purpose and meaning. Speed was one of Sharma’s first mentors and he shared all that he’d learned in terms of surviving the mental maze that redpointing a hard sport climb demands.

    “Boone’s vision gave me the head start I needed,” says Sharma.
    ==
    This shot was taken during the actual redpoint of <em>La Dura Dura</em>. Four days prior, Sharma fell at this exact spot when his foot slipped. Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.boonespeed.com/">Boone Speed</a>. Doing Necessary Evil was a confidence boost for Sharma, and a catalyst for the ensuing 15-year journey that would drive him inexorably toward La Dura Dura

    “One of the hardest things is having that vision—seeing something that has never been done,” says Sharma. “Once you see it and you do it, you’re like, ‘OK, maybe there’s room for something harder.’”

    In Spain, Sharma sought the route that would change him more than any other.

    “A lot of people have this desire to do something, but they often don’t know what it is that they want to do,” he says. “I wanted to push myself to the next level. Where is that? I had to discover it. That was a big process in itself. So I bolted all these routes. And a lot of them ended up being that next level.”

    Before Spain, Sharma had only done one 5.15b; he’d need to climb at least a few more before he could realistically understand what 5.15c might feel like. So he bolted and climbed Golpe de Estado, Neanderthal and Catxasa—all of them taking many months. But Sharma wasn’t just trying to find something he could rate 5.15c. The trip was more about searching for that one scary monster and desperate battle that would give him a sense of purpose.

    “I climbed at Santa Linya, Margalef, Siurana, but none of those places had the potential I was really looking for. Then I went to Oliana, and I was like, ‘Wow, this place is sick!’”

    In the last five years, thanks almost single-handedly to Sharma’s new-routing efforts, Oliana has become to sport climbing what Mavericks is to surfing: a place for the biggest names in the sport to come and prove themselves. Today this single wall contains more 5.14+ and 5.15s than all of North America combined.

    In the last five years, thanks almost single-handedly to Sharma’s new-routing efforts, Oliana has become to sport climbing what Mavericks is to surfing: a place for the biggest names in the sport to come and prove themselves.Oliana was virtually untouched when Sharma arrived. He bolted the two most obvious lines: Pachamama and Papichulo, both clocking in at 5.15a. Then, drawn to La Dura Dura’s aesthetic quality—a beautiful, if blank-looking, streak of blue and white stone—he bolted it next. “That’s what I’ve always looked for in rock climbs,” he says. “Not just a physical challenge, but something beautiful to look at and climb.”

    When Sharma tried the moves on La Dura Dura, he was almost horrified by the difficulty.

    “I didn’t think La Dura Dura was for me,” he says. “I did all the moves on it. That’s the requisite for knowing it’s a climb, right? But each move seemed so ridiculously hard that I couldn’t ever imagine doing them consecutively. I never saw myself being able to climb it.”

    Adam Ondra started climbing at age 6, and by the time he was 13 years old he’d already done a 5.14d. Since then, he has more or less repeated every hard route in the world—easily.

    Having already decided the route wasn’t possible for him, Sharma suggested to Ondra that he give La Dura Dura a try. Then, just by watching Ondra making links, Sharma got psyched.

    “It was a really positive experience, a really friendly atmosphere. We could both learn so much from each other,” says Ondra. “You know, it’s much more fun to try a hard route with someone else, isn’t it?! When working the route alone, you often stick to your own beta, unwilling to change. But when you’re working on a climb with another person, sometimes the other person has an idea to make things a tiny bit easier. This change doesn’t even have to work for him, but perhaps it works for you. And this tiny little thing can mean a lot if you arrive at the crux just a little bit more fresh.”

    Sharma knew it was only natural that one day there would be better climbers doing much harder routes. Of all the young up-and-coming climbers, though, Ondra was leading the pack by a large margin.

    After working on the Dura Dura project for a few weeks in the spring of 2012, Ondra left Spain and spent his summer in the enormous Flatanger cave in coastal Norway. After five weeks there, he claimed the first ascent of Change, a 180-foot roof and the world’s first 5.15c.
     
    5.15c had been established … surprisingly, not by Sharma. But instead of being jealous, Sharma says he felt like a burden had been lifted. He didn’t have to be the one pushing the world standard anymore. Ondra had arrived.

    Then a couple of interesting things happened. 
    ==
    Adam Ondra gunning for the FA of the hardest route in the world. By sending <em>La Dura Dura</em>, Ondra taught Sharma how to try harder. Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bernardogimenez.com/">Bernardo Gimenez</a>. First, Ondra decided that La Dura Dura was actually harder than Change. Maybe not 5.15d, but certainly upper-end 5.15c. Change took Ondra only five weeks of work and he had already spent at least that long trying La Dura Dura, yet the first ascent still felt elusive.
     
    Sharma thought Ondra was probably right. “He knows more about hard routes than anybody,” he says. “He’s repeated all the hardest routes in the world, so he has more perspective than anyone.”

    Second, Sharma started climbing really well on La Dura Dura. On certain days, he was making even better links than Ondra, and suddenly it looked like Sharma might get the first ascent, and regain his stature as world’s best.

    “At the beginning I just surrendered to the fact that Adam is the future—he’s arrived, I’m on my way out and it’s all good. It’s the natural order of things,” says Sharma. “When I started actually doing well on it, I realized that I might be able to do it. And then, yeah, all those thoughts crept in. Maybe I can do this first and hold onto my ‘title,’ or whatever. That definitely crossed my mind.

    “I realized I had something to gain, and something to lose. That’s when I started wondering, ‘Why do I really want to do this route?’ Is it because I want to hold onto that title and image? Or is it just because I like climbing and this is what I want to be doing?”

    February 8, 2013, was Ondra’s second day on. He and Sharma had climbed together the day before, and he had gotten a high point, falling only when he got nervous.
     
    “That next morning I felt sore; my forearms felt tired,” says Ondra. “Chris sent me a text message saying that he wouldn’t come and that he was going to take a rest day. I thought maybe I’d do the same.”

    “At the beginning I just surrendered to the fact that Adam is the future—he’s arrived, I’m on my way out and it’s all good. It’s the natural order of things,” says Sharma. “When I started actually doing well on it, I realized that I might be able to do it." Despite feeling fatigued, Ondra decided he’d just give it a go, not expecting much from himself.
     
    “When I set off I felt significantly weaker than the day before. I barely made it through the first part. Somehow I miraculously didn’t fall off those terrible two moves that had tested me so much in the past and I managed to reach the jug. I really don’t know how! As I did, I felt my heart skip a beat. I was at the rest. It was really hard to calm down, recover well and get ready for the final 5.13d section.”
     
    Ondra had reached this jug once before, and had fallen on the final stretch—a level of difficulty he routinely onsights. But on this day—after nine weeks of effort on the route and specific training on the campus board—he paused, composed himself and climbed to the top.
     
    How is it possible that Ondra, on a day he felt tired and “significantly weaker” than before, managed to do the hardest route in the world?

    “My mind was empty, I had no worries and no doubts,” he says. “Perhaps this did the trick.”

    “There’s this Buddhist text about rejoicing in the success of others and being selfless,” says Sharma. “For me this was an opportunity to practice that. Really, it was the only option if I wanted to be happy. Embrace all those negative emotions and then let them go. And by letting go of my image, and being genuinely happy for Adam, I found that that gave me so much strength.”

    Strangely, Sharma suddenly found himself more psyched than ever to climb La Dura Dura. He was just a few months away from his 32nd birthday and he began viewing the route as a symbolic doorway leading him to a new phase in life. The route wasn’t just another tick; it was a culmination of a five-year period of pushing the limits of sport climbing and he felt like he needed to do La Dura Dura before he could ever move on.

    “Adam totally lit a fire under my butt,” says Sharma. “He made me realize that I probably wasn’t trying hard enough either. When there’s no one around to push you, it’s hard to push yourself that extra bit.”

    Just as Boone Speed had mentored Sharma all those years ago, Sharma was now sharing his routes and knowledge with Ondra. In return, through his talent and perseverance, Ondra was teaching Sharma how to progress.

    “Here was this 19-year-old kid, working his ass off,” says Sharma. “Look how hard he’s trying! I should be trying at least as hard as he is if I want to be doing this. In that sense, there really wasn’t much shame in not doing it first. Look who I’m climbing with.”

    Sharma had already missed a couple of opportunities to send the pitch. In December of 2012, he had come really close—falling going to the jug at the end of the second crux. But then his fitness had peaked and the opportunity seemingly passed. He started falling lower and lower.
    ==
    Oliana. This single wall has more 5.14+ and 5.15 climbs than all of North America combined. Sharma is largely responsible for its development and popularity. Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.boonespeed.com/">Boone Speed</a> “At a certain point, I was like, ‘Damn, it might not happen this year,’” says Sharma. “This route always felt just so far beyond my limit. I realized that I am either going to catch one of these windows of opportunity, or I’m going to have to raise my limit to where this route was below it. And that’s kinda what happened.”

    In the wake of Ondra’s first ascent, Sharma discovered a motivation he never knew he possessed. He trained on his home climbing wall; did sets on a campus board; ate well, slept well, rested well. Yet at the same time, he remained unsure that he would ever actually send. “I had to change,” says Sharma. “I had to really hone in. I couldn’t be just the free-flowing spontaneous guy. I had to be disciplined, to focus and prioritize my life for what I really wanted.”

    Sport climbing is not like other sports, where games or races are scheduled, and you can train to reach your peak on a certain day. In climbing, any day could be your day so long as conditions, skin, psych, strength and the right mental state align.

    “There were so many times I went to the crag and didn’t do it,” says Sharma. “It became this normal thing. Well, how do you keep finding satisfaction in that? I began to think of going climbing as a routine. It wasn’t some big important thing. Rather I treated it like I was just going for a run, or doing a daily yoga practice. Climbing is my routine. Go to the cliff, give 100 percent, and whatever happens happens. I was just satisfied that I got to go climbing.”

    In March, Sharma started getting close to the redpoint again. He was climbing up to his previous high point and the window of opportunity was opening. One day he climbed through the most difficult moves and didn’t even feel tired. He told himself, ‘OK, this is my time to do it.’ Then his foot slipped.

    “The next time I went back,” says Sharma, “I felt that pressure. I knew I could do it. This should be my day.” But he fell on the first big dyno move.

    He found himself sitting at the base, thinking about missing yet another opportunity. He wasn’t sure when he’d be able to climb next. The heat of summer was just around the corner. If he didn’t send the route that day, would he have to wait until next December for it to cool down enough for serious redpointing efforts? By then he’d be older, maybe heavier. The possibility existed that he might never do it.

    Sharma touches down after redpointing <em>La Dura Dura</em> on March 23, 2013. Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.boonespeed.com/">Boone Speed</a>On March 23, Sharma tied in for the day’s first redpoint burn, but fell at the first crux. This time his thoughts turned to something a Brazilian climber had told him on the way to the cliff that day.


    “He said, ‘Go out there to play, but play perfectly.’ That was the mentality. Play. Have fun. But play perfectly. It got me back into that mindset of going out to do my yoga practice, my ritual, my daily exercise just to feel good. That’s why I climb.”




    Sharma tied in and thought, play perfectly. It was just him and his friends, including one of his first mentors, Boone Speed. He was simply happy to be out climbing and spending a day playing in the vertical with his friends.

    “That was a trippy thing. I just forgot about the goal. I was just using this time on the route as my training. Not training for something. Just training to be a master of your own body, a master of yourself.”

    Ten short, transcendent minutes later, he found himself at the top of La Dura Dura.
     
    “Maybe you’ll never be at your limit—you’ll always be climbing a little bit below it. But when I did it, that day I felt certain that I was capable of doing something harder.”

    Andrew Bisharat is editor at large for Rock and Ice.
     

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