• Video: Niky Ceria Bouldering in Albarracin, Spain Before the Chalk Ban
  • Desert Climbing Legend Eric Bjornstad Has Died
  • Adam Ondra Flashes Chromosome Y (5.14d)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • Broken Rules and Broken Problems in Red Rock, Nevada
  • Will Mayo Sends Jedi Mind Tricks (M13) and Establishes Mustang (M14)
  • Jeff Mercier Onsights D13
  • Climbing Saves At-Risk Youth in Mexico
  • Ascent, Now Accepting Stories
  • Jimmy Webb Takes Down Defying Gravity (V15)
  • Climber Dies From Fall in the Gunks
  • Tommy Caldwell Sends Last Hard Pitch on the Dawn Wall
  • Ondra Takes First in Lead World Cup
  • Honnold Frees El Cap's Muir Wall (5.13b/c) in 12 Hours with No Falls
  • Clif Bar's Response: A Letter to the Climbing Community
  • Delaney Miller Jumps From V7 to V11
  • Drew Ruana, 15, Sends an American Classic - Just Do It (5.14c)
  • Alex Megos Sends Mandala Sit Start (V13/14)
  • Dave Pegg, King of Rifle, Has Died
  • Honnold, Potter, and Others Fired by Clif Bar for Soloing
  • Jorg Verhoeven Free Climbs the Nose (5.14) on El Cap
  • Jakob Schubert Wastes No Time in Magic Wood
  • Jimmy Webb Makes First Ascent of Wyoming’s Multiverse (V14)
  • New Outhouse in Indian Creek in Honor of Black Diamond Engineer
  • Gear Review: Mammut Realization Shorts
  • Another New Speed Record on the Nose for Sauter and Smith-Gobat
  • Gabriele Moroni Finishes Three-Year Project—Goldrake (5.15a)
  • Martin Stranik Repeats Practice of the Wild (V15)
  • Libby Sauter and Mayan Smith-Gobat Break El Cap Speed Record
  • Nina Caprez Sends 5.14b at a New Crag in Turkey
  • Ondra and Kim Back on Top at Inzai World Cup
  • Marieta Akalski Cranks in Spain, Sends Florida (5.14b)
  • Vandalism Across National Parks
  • Sonnie Trotter Establishes His Hardest Trad Climb - Family Man (5.14b)
  • Climber Dies in Fall at Zion National Park
  • Pete Whittaker Flashes Freerider (5.12d) on El Cap
  • Déjà Vu for Women, Ghisolfi Gets First Gold
  • Mina Leslie-Wujastyk Sends Mecca Extension (5.14b)
  • J-Star is Livin' Astro (5.14c)
  • Alex Huber Establishes 10-Pitch Alpine 5.14b
  • Bouldering in Namibia
  • Hukkataival Puts Up "One of the Best Boulders" He's Ever Climbed
  • Surprise in Korea: Ondra Out of Finals, Nice Wins for Schubert and Markovic
  • Scott Cosgrove Gravely Injured
  • Updated! Back-to-Back Strong Sends for Angela Eiter
  • DiGiulian and Marin Send 1,000-Foot 5.14 in Sardinia
  • Fabian Buhl Expands Repertoire With Six-Pitch Silbergeier (5.14a)
  • New Four-Pitch Mixed Testpiece in Utah
  • Katharina Saurwein Becomes Third Woman to Send Nuthin' But Sunshine (V13)
  • VIDEO: Mark Heal Makes FA of Holy Rails Sit (V13) in Tuolumne
  • Two V14s in a Day for Dave Graham
  • Oakdale Climbers Festival Themed "A Woman's Reach"
  • Avalanche Kills Two On 8,000m Himalayan Peak
  • Fred Nicole Sends The Escapist (V14)
  • Canadian Crusher Marieta Akalski Storms Rifle, Sends Her First 5.14a
  • The Naked Edge Done in 26 Minutes, See Video Clip
  • Mountain Guide Latest IS Victim
  • Daniel Woods Bags First Ascent at 14,000 Feet
  • VIDEO: Jorg Verhoeven and Katharina Saurwein Rip It Up in RMNP
  • Lee Sheftel Climbs 5.13b at 68 Years Old
  • Alex Puccio Sends Her Second V14, Wheel of Chaos
  • Brette Harrington Makes Second Female Ascent of the Trad Route Shadow (5.13a)
  • Cheyne Lempe and Ethan Pringle Climb New Route in Yosemite
  • Jon Cardwell Sends Wheel of Chaos (V14) In A Day
  • VIDEO: The Psychology of Climbing Champion Ramón Julián
  • World Cup Climber Sean McColl Dominates American Ninja Warrior
  • Jonathan Siegrist Develops Hard Routes in Idaho
  • Alex Megos Sends His Longest Project Yet—Geocache
  • Climber Dies From Fall On Mount Garfield, Washington
  • Q&A: Yuji Hirayama Wants More UK Trad
  • VIDEO: Inside the Mind of a Free Soloist - Tom Randall Goes Ropeless
  • Nalle Hukkataival Sends V15 Project in Australia
  • James Pearson Flashes Something’s Burning (5.13d X) in Wales
  • Yuji Hirayama Sends 5.13+ R Trad Testpiece
  • Chris Bonington, 80, Sends Old Man of Hoy for his Birthday
  • Alex Puccio's Outdoor Climbing Pays Off At Arco
  • VIDEO: Jonathan Siegrist Climbing Speed Intégrale (5.14d)
  • Ondra Dominates Bouldering Championships, Puccio Takes Silver
  • Alex Honnold Talks About the Risk of Free Soloing
  • Climber Dies in Tuolumne Meadows
  • Alex Puccio Climbs The Automator (V13)
  • Urs Moosmuller Climbs Fathers Day (5.14a) on Gear
  • Q&A: Beat Kammerlander Still Runs It Out
  • Buhrfeind and McColl Win 2014 Psicobloc Masters
  • Famed Utah Tower Falls
  • Angie Payne Gets Freaky with Her Second V13
  • Alex Puccio Sends Jade (V14)
  • Nina Caprez Redpoints All Pitches on Orbayu (5.14b)
  • First All-Female Nepalese Team Summits K2
  • Interview: Alex Megos Climbs Slow, But Sends Fast
  • VIDEO: Coxsey Climbs New Base Line (V14)
  • VIDEO: Nalle Hukkataival on Bügeleisen Sit Start (V15+)
  • Hans Florine, 50, Sets Solo Speed Record for Triple Direct on El Cap
  • Q&A: Shauna Coxsey Third Woman to Climb V14
  • Sam Davis Climbs Jade (V14)
  • Q&A: Alex Megos Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a) in Three Tries
  • Q&A: Mirko Caballero Claims His 2nd V14
  • Respected Climber Falls 50 Feet and Dies at Cathedral Ledge
  • Coxsey and Caballero Climb V14
  • Ashima Shiraishi, 13, Becomes Second Female to Climb V14
  • Mélissa Le Nevé Sends Baa Baa Black Sheep (5.14b/c)
  • Alex Puccio Sends Nuthin’ But Sunshine (V13)
  • Q&A: Joe Kinder Climbs Punks in the Gym (5.14a) in a Downpour
  • Q&A: Sam Elias and Mike Kerzhner Fire 3rd Ascent of El Cap's PreMuir (5.13+)
  • Austin Siadak Solos Evolution Traverse in a Day
  • Roland Hemetzberger Frees Multi-Pitch 5.14a in Zillertal, Austria
  • Q&A: Mirko Caballero flashes his first V11 in South Africa
  • Kyle Vassilopoulos Establishes 130-Foot 5.14 at Wolf Point
  • Hukkataival Climbs Alpine Sport Testpiece Sibergeier (5.14a)
  • Chattanooga's Take on Buildering
  • Alex Megos Frees 20-Pitch 5.14b in Switzerland
  • Trotter, Caldwell, Wharton Put Up Six-Pitch Route in Sicily
  • Jes Meiris Beats Female Solo Speed Record of the Nose by 4 Days
  • Eitan Green, 28, Remembered
  • Kilian Jornet Smashes Speed Record on Denali
  • 7-Up: Honnold and Allfrey Climb 7 El Cap Routes in 7 Days
  • How To Be a Xena of Rock Climbing
  • Vail World Cup Comp Report: Noguchi repeats from last weekend, Sharafutdinov from last time at Vail
  • Emily Harrington Runs It Out to Send Tom et Je Ris (5.14a)
  • David Mason Sends 20 Problems (V11-V13) in Vastervik, Sweden
  • Mark Anderson Establishes the Hardest Route at Independence Pass
  • Six Presumed Dead After 3,000-Foot Fall On Mount Rainier
  • Q&A: Jonathan Siegrist Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Nick Duttle Sends 10 New River Gorge 5.14s in One Month
  • Ryan Jennings and Kevin Cooper Climb Major New Route in Alaska
  • Dean Potter Responds to Criticism About Flying with His Dog
  • New Yosemite Classic: First Free Ascent of The Unemployment Line (5.12-)
  • Alex Luger Frees "Psycho" 5.14 Trad Route
  • Mélissa Le Nevé Makes First Female Ascent of Wallstreet (5.14b)
  • Jimmy Webb Sends Jour de Chasse (V15) in 15 minutes
  • Ondra Climbs Two 5.14ds and One 5.15a - Plus Amazing Send Footage
  • Interview: Megos Sends Another 5.14d in Two Hours
  • Q&A: Ethan Pringle Gives Some Love to Jumbo Love (5.15b)
  • Nalle Hukkataival Sends Emotional Landscapes (V15)
  • Ondra Onsights Il Domani (5.14d)
  • Interview: Hukkataival on Bügeleisen Sit: Hardest in the World?
  • Special Report: Enough Misinformation, The Truth of Everest
  • Adam Ondra Climbs Two 5.14d’s While Training for the World Cup
  • Wharton Frees Hallucinogen in A Day
  • A Tribute To Our Brother, Ankaji Sherpa
  • 14-Year-Old Kai Lightner Climbs Lucifer (5.14c)
  • Jimmy Webb Climbs Multiple V15s in Magic Wood, Switzerland
  • Fransico “Novato” Marín Is the Oldest Person in the World to Climb 5.14a
  • Rad Video: Mirko Caballero Climbing Meadowlark Lemon
  • Save Getu Climbing From Destruction
  • Jan Hojer Sends The Story of Two Worlds (V15) and Big Kat (V14)
  • Jonathan Siegrist Establishes 5.14 Testpiece at Quality Arizona Crag
  • Alpine Ascent of the Season: Lindic and Krajnc Free Rolling Stones
  • Shauna Coxsey Climbs Her Second V13 in Albarracín, Spain
  • Video: Rok Klancnik Makes Third Ascent of Bügeleisen (V14/15)
  • Hazel Findlay Becomes the First British Woman to Climb 5.14b
  • Sasha DiGiulian Climbs Red Bull Stadium
  • David Roetzel Solos 15 Pitches of Hard Ice in One Day
  • Ueli Steck's Solo, Slawinsky and Welsted's K6 Ascent Win Piolets d'Or
  • Is Bishop World Class? Niccolò Ceria Says Don’t Believe The Hype
  • Dani Arnold Free Solos 1,100-Foot WI 6 in 27 Minutes!
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Story of Two Worlds (V15) in Switzerland
  • Mirko Caballero Becomes Youngest Person to Climb V14
  • Katy Whittaker Climbs China Crisis (5.14a)
  • Sean "Stanley" Leary Killed BASE Jumping
  • Red Flag! Help protect access to the Red River Gorge’s most popular crag.
  • American Climbers Crush in Switzerland
  • Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma Attempt Massive Oman Cave Route
  • Mark Anderson Makes Third Ascent of Mission Impossible (5.14c/d)
  • Crazy Video: Free-Solo Aerial Dancing
  • Isabelle Faus Climbs the World’s First V12 Trice
  • Barbara Zangerl Sends the Spicy Trad Pitch Prinzip Hoffnung (5.14a)
  • Five Ten Adds Mirko Caballero to their Elite Team
  • VIDEO: Woods and Webb Crush The Nest (V15)
  • The Secret Climb of Chris Sharma and Stefan Glowacz
  • Cool Vid: Dave Graham's Process and Send of Foundation's Edge (V15)
  • Dan Goodwin Sets New World Record for Longest Lead Climb
  • Avalanche Kills Two Climbers in the Caucasus Mountains
  • Nepalese Government To Penalize Everest Climbers Who Leave Trash
  • Final Update: UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup and Olympics
  • Sean O’Neill Becomes First Paraplegic to Climb Bridal Veil Falls
  • Climbing Borders: Non-Profit Uses Climbing to Help At-Risk Youth
  • Piolets d’Or 2014 Nominations Announced
  • Nepal Changes Fees to Climb Everest: But Are They Lower or Higher?
  • Puccio and Woods Each Win Eighth ABS National Titles
  • Charlie Porter Dies
  • Nalle Hukkataival Nabs Third Ascent of Gioia (V16)
  • Ian McNaught-Davis: 1929-2014
  • Will Gadd and Team Make First Ascent of Overhead Hazard (M13+)
  • Woods and Wurm Win 21st Annual Hueco Rock Rodeo
  • Paul Robinson Establishes New V14 in Hueco Tanks
  • Sharma to Chouinard in a Weekend
  • Honnold and Caldwell Complete First Ascent of Fitz Traverse
  • Chad Kellogg Killed in Patagonia
  • Help Protect Eagle Bluff in Clifton, Maine
  • Updated: Magnus Midtbø is STILL Working on Neanderthal (5.15b)
  • Film Review: The Last Great Climb
  • New Multi-Pitch M11 Mixed-Route Goes Up in Ouray, Colorado
  • Jay Renneberg Remembered
  • Update: UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Switzerland and France
  • Adam Ondra Nabs Second Ascent of First Round, First Minute (5.15b)
  • Record Conditions for Redstone Winterfest
  • Q&A: Daniel Woods Gets "Obsessed" to Send Lucid Dreaming (V15)
  • Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest Celebrates 21 Years
  • 70-Year-Old Legends Tick Bird Brain Boulevard (IV Wi 5)
  • Help Open Climbing in Hawaii
  • Daniel Woods Sends Lucid Dreaming (V15)
  • Update: Climber Found Unresponsive at Rock Gym and Declared Dead
  • Cardwell and Puccio Win Di'Namik Comp
  • VIDEO: David Lama and Dani Arnold on First Ascent of Moose's Tooth
  • Update: UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup
  • Greg Mortenson Grateful for Allegations
  • Q&A: Honnold Takes A "Step Forward" by Soloing El Sendero Luminoso
  • Honnold Free-Solos the 1,750-Foot El Sendero Luminoso (5.12d)
  • Climbing Friend Accused of Killing Geoff Farrar at Carderock
  • John Long Writing Symposium Announced
  • Best In Gear For 2014
  • French Stars Storm Ouray: Mercier and Maureau Win 2014 Mixed Comp
  • VIDEO: Bernd Zangerl's Hardest Problem Yet--V16?
  • Robert Jasper Sends Cutting Edge Mixed Climb: The Black Death
  • Two Killed on Aconcagua
  • VIDEO: Sasha DiGiulian and Edu Marin Send Bellavista (5.14b)
  • 2014 Spitzer Award Winners
  • Roskelley First American Awarded Piolet d’Or Career Award
  • Raw Send Footage of Adam Ondra on New 5.14d First Ascent
  • John Ewbank, 1948-Dec. 2, 2013
  • The Hardest Pitch in Yosemite Goes Down!
  • Mallorca Access Problems for Climbers
  • Paige Claassen Sends India's Hardest Route--Ganesh (5.14)
  • Will Gadd Edged Out at Bozeman UIAA Mixed Comp
  • David Lama Solos New Winter Route in the Alps
  • Webb and Woods Both Send/Downgrade Meadowlark Lemon (V15/14)
  • Jan Hojer Claims V15 First Ascent in Fontainebleau
  • Tommy Caldwell Is Back on the Dawn Wall!
  • Exclusive Dawn Wall Videos: Episodes 3 & 4
  • Interview with Ondra on New 5.15c
  • Ondra Climbs Third 5.15c
  • Watch the Exclusive Dawn Wall Project: Episodes 1 & 2
  • Interview with Ty Landman on the Smiling Buttress FA
  • New Psychological 5.13d Testpiece in the Alps
  • Jimmy Webb Wins La Sportiva Legends Only 2013 Comp
  • Andy Turner Gets Second Ascent Of Powerdab (M13)
  • Muriel Sarkany Becomes Fourth Woman to Redpoint 5.14d
  • Liberty Cap Gets Second FFA of the Year: Scarface (5.12)
  • Q&A: Daniel Woods Defies Gravity
  • How-To's for Gym-Outdoor Transition, Barry Blanchard Memoir and More!
  • Defying Gravity (V15) FA for Daniel Woods
  • Boswell and Bullock Go Big in Canada
  • First Ascent of Unclimbed Peak in the Everest Region, Nepal
  • Building Ethiopia's Potential: Rock Climbing Near Addis Ababa
  • Ryan Vachon Sends M12 Testpiece on Gear
  • Cheyne Lempe Sets New Solo Record on El Cap
  • Gear Guide Contest Winners
  • Jimmy Webb Sends Bridge of Ashes (V15/14) in a Session
  • Updated: Three New Ice Routes on Mt. Evans, Colorado
  • Kevin Jorgeson Is Still Gunning for the Dawn Wall
  • Interview: Daniel Woods on His Hardest Boulder Problem Yet
  • Tommy Caldwell Hurt on the Dawn Wall
  • Jimmy Webb Repeats The Penrose Step (V14)
  • Get power the German way: New training book, new guidebooks and MORE
  • Q&A: Paul Robinson Sends Jaws II (5.15a)
  • Interview: Hazel Findlay Climbs Freerider (5.12d) on El Cap
  • New Ice Route on the Diamond: Window Pain (WI 6+)
  • Ondra Sends Three 5.14d's in One Day
  • Send in your Accident Reports and Win $1000 in Gear
  • Update: Jimmy Webb Flashes Two V12s, One V13 at Leavenworth
  • Interview and Video: Pete Whittaker on the First Ascent of Baron Greenback (5.13d R)
  • Rumney Local Makes Fourth Ascent of Jaws II (5.15a)
  • Traversi Takes Down the Leavenworth Project to Establish The Penrose Step (V14)
  • Graham Makes FA of Foundation's Edge (V15) in Switzerland
  • Woman Paraplegic Climbs El Cap Despite Yosemite's Closure
  • In the Cloud (V12): Hardest Boulder Problem Established by a Woman?
  • Sisu Masters 2013: Finland's Unique Bouldering Competition
  • Megos Makes Easy Work of Kalymnos Climbing Festival
  • Update: New Info on Ueli Steck's 28-Hour Solo of Annapurna's South Face
  • Ueli Steck Summits Annapurna's South Face ... Solo!
  • Sharma to Try New Clark Mountain Project, Possible 5.15+
  • Nick Duttle Sends 5.13 at 14,000 Feet
  • Yosemite Climbers Keep Climbing Despite Shutdown
  • Ashima Shiraishi Makes First Female Ascent of 24 Karats (5.14c) in the Red
  • UPDATED: Rave Reviews and Sleepless Sending at 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell
  • Chris Sharma to Try Dawn Wall Project on El Cap
  • Q&A: Paige Claassen on Sending One of the Word's Hardest Slabs--Art Attack (5.14b)
  • Government Shutdown Forces National Park Closures
  • New Female Speed Record on El Cap's Nose by Smith-Gobat and Sauter
  • Fatal Gym Accident
  • Memoirs of Big Walls and Peaks; Tahoe bouldering, Sonora Pass, Missouri Granite
  • Two More 5.15a's for Ondra in Norway
  • New Route on Kapura Peak, Pakistan
  • Yesterday's Gear Guide Giveaway Winner Announced!
  • Bellavista for MacLeod and Cassidy
  • Amazing Helicopter Mountain Rescue Caught on Video!
  • Ueli Steck Heads Back to Himalaya
  • Wide Boy Randall Ticks Cobra Crack (5.14) on Last Day
  • Wide Boy Pete Whittaker Sends the Cobra Crack (5.14)
  • New 5.14 Alpine Route on Mt. Hooker, Wyoming
  • Arizona Climbing Area at Risk of Destruction
  • More V15's for Graham and Webb
  • Wharton and Walsh Send the North Pillar of Twins Tower
  • Yesterday's Gear Guide Giveaway Winner Announced Here!
  • Polish Team Establishes New Route on Great Trango Tower
  • Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg Rescued from Frendo Spur
  • Daniel Woods Spins The Wheel of Wolvo (V15)
  • Kausch Breaks Record for 6000m Peaks Climbed in Andes
  • Barbara Zangerl Sends Des Kaisers neue Kleider (5.14a) and Completes the Alpine Trilogy
  • Heritage Featuring Carlo Traversi in Switzerland
  • Fischhuber and Stöhr Win European Bouldering Championships
  • Five Ten announces winners of 2013 CORE Awards
  • Trotter Sends New 5.14 Big Wall
  • Black Diamond Engineer Killed in Climbing Fall
  • 12-Year-Old Mirko Caballero Climbs His First 5.14b
  • New Guides to Bouldering in the Winds, Shuteye Ridge, Yosemite and More
  • Interview: Being Alex Megos
  • Ashima Sends V13 in Colorado
  • Alex Megos Establishes 5.15a Link-Up in Australia’s Grampians
  • Manslaughter Charges Filed in Death of Tito Traversa
  • Federation President Killed on G1
  • IFSC 2013 World Youth Championship Results
  • Mario Richard Killed in BASE Jump
  • Alex Megos Establishes Australia's First 5.14d
  • 12-Year-Olds Mirko Caballero and Ashima Shiraishi Send V13 in Magic Wood
  • New 5.12d Free Route on The Eiger's North Face
  • Sasha DiGiulian Makes First Female Ascent of Bellavista (5.14b) in the Dolomites
  • DiGiulian Continues to Roll, Onsights Italy’s Pole Position (5.13c)
  • Weekend Whipper: Psicobloc Choss
  • Mount Everest: New Regulations and "Government Mechanism" to Police Mountain
  • New 5.13b Free Route in Yosemite Valley by Mason Earle
  • Adam Ondra Makes First Ascent of Iron Curtain (5.15b)
  • DiGiulian and Webb Win Psicobloc: Photos and Video
  • Updated: Tommy Caldwell Repeats The Path (5.14 R)
  • Father and Son Killed on K2
  • Rocklands Climbing In Jeopardy
  • New Route Opened in Alaska's Rugged Revelation Mountains
  • Alex Honnold to Climb a Building on Live T.V. but Which One?
  • Weekend Whipper: How to Spot a Bad Spotter
  • New Guidebooks! Beta for Fitz Roy, Rifle and More ...
  • Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright Traverse California's 14ers By Bike and Free Solo
  • 24,278-Foot Mountain in Karakoram Finally Sees First Ascent
  • Gérôme Pouvreau Sends Silbergeier (5.14a) in the Rätikon
  • Kilian Jornet Breaks Speed Record on Mont Blanc
  • DiGiulian Cranks Another 5.14 First Ascent
  • Siegrist Repeats Moonshine (5.14d) in Wyoming
  • Ullrich and Muskett Climb Indian Face (E9 6c/5.13ax)
  • Interview: Adam Ondra About Onsighting La Cabane au Canada (5.14d)
  • Weekend Whipper: Don't Get Your Foot Caught!
  • Remembering Layton Kor
  • Brain Puzzle Winner, Wins!
  • Sasha DiGiulian Cranks the First Ascent of a 5.14c in South Africa
  • Alex Megos Sends The Wheel of Life (V15)
  • Adam Ondra Onsights La Cabane Au Canada (5.14d)
  • Paige Claassen Opens 5.14, Starts Charity Tour
  • 12-Year-Old Tito Traversa Dies From Climbing Fall
  • Austrians Make Second Ascent of Ozturk and Wilkinson's Tooth Traverse in Alaska
  • Randy Udall, Missing in Wind Rivers, Has Deep Mountain Roots
  • Five Ten Accepting Applicants for 2013 CORE AWARD
  • Enormocast Features Rock and Ice Publisher Duane Raleigh
  • Jimmy Webb Crushing Rocklands, South Africa
  • Shauna Coxsey Cranks First Female Ascent of Nuthin' But Sunshine (V13)
  • Video: James Kassay on the First Ascent of The Wheel of Life Direct (V16)
  • Ramonet Sends Sharma's Tierra Negra (5.14d/.15a) Second Try
  • Colorado Man Dies on Grand Teton
  • Nine Climbers Murdered on Nanga Parbat
  • 12-Year-Old Mirko Caballero Crushes In Europe
  • Nalle Hukkataival Sends Long-Standing Swiss Project
  • Two Events Commemorate Layton Kor
  • The Future of Bouldering?
  • Dave Graham Cranks the Second Ascent of The Full Circle (V14)
  • Daring High Altitude Rescue on Everest Sets Records
  • Alex Puccio Third, Stöhr and Sharafutdinov Win Vail World Cup
  • Yosemite's Liberty Cap Goes Free
  • Sharma and Crew Bring First Deep Water Soloing Competition to America!
  • Climber Dies on El Cap
  • New Climbing Area Purchased in Kentucky
  • Climbing Doesn't Make Olympics
  • Possible 5.15a by Steve McClure
  • Whittaker Says Missed Sex and Salad Most
  • 5.14d First Ascent for Adam Ondra
  • Nico Favresse Sends His Hardest Crack Climb!
  • Five Climbers Missing on Kangchenjunga
  • Tragic Climbing Accident at Tahquitz Rock, California
  • Trotter, Cardwell, Traversi and Schulte Join Photo Camp
  • Kenton Cool and Dorje Gylgen Sherpa Summit Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse
  • Updated: Death on El Cap
  • Woods and Robinson Send The Ice Knife (V15)
  • Daniel Woods Establishes New V14
  • Death on Everest
  • National Park Service Authorizes Fixed Anchors in Wilderness
  • Alexander Megos Sends Frankenjura's Hardest
  • Visiting Climbers Ignored Bolt Ban, Prompting Armenian Basalt Closure
  • Climbing Banned at Idaho's Castle Rocks
  • 5.14c Onsight for Adam Ondra
  • Climbing Banned on Armenian Basalt Columns
  • James Pearson Skips Bolts and Places Gear on 5.14a
  • 5.15a First Ascent for Alex Megos
  • Ueli Steck Attacked on Everest
  • Help Layton Kor's Family
  • Lama and Arnold Blitz New Route in Alaska
  • Q&A: Samuel Johnson Solos Mount Hayes
  • Barbara Raudner Climbs Mind Control (5.14c)
  • Female Onsight of Los Humildes pa Casa (5.14a)
  • Sachi Amma Throws Down in Spain
  • Interview: Wilder Sends 5.13d Trad at the New River Gorge
  • 13-Year-Old Drew Ruana Climbs To Bolt or Not to Be (5.14a)
  • Said Belhaj Cranks 5.14d Second Try
  • Climber Dies in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado
  • Hard New Mixed Route in Alaska's Kichatna Range
  • Nalle Hukkataival Repeats Bügeleisen (V14)
  • First Ski Descent of Grand Teton North Face
  • Solid Gold: Dan Mirsky Opens New 5.14c
  • Joshua Tree Climbing Area Closed Due to Vandalism
  • Sherpa Killed Fixing Lines on Everest
  • VIDEO#2: Honnold Sending A Gift From Wyoming
  • Daniel Woods and Charlotte Durif Win SCS Nationals
  • Everyone Wins at Piolets d'Or
  • VIDEO: Honnold Sending A Gift from Wyoming (5.13) in Yosemite
  • Ramon Julian Sends Three New 5.14's in Spain
  • Hazel Findlay Sends 5.13c Trad Testpiece
  • VIDEO: Robert Jasper's Trad M12 Scarefest
  • Emmett and Gresham Do First One-Day Ascent of Three Welsh Classics
  • Carlo Traversi Sends New V15 in Switzerland
  • Megos Strikes Again with 5.15a Second Try
  • VIDEO: Guntram Jörg Sends V14 in the Canary Islands
  • Q&A: Traversi vs The Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • Sasha DiGiulian Sends Two 5.14bs in One Day
  • Traversi Repeats The Story of Two Worlds (V15)
  • World's First 5.14d Onsight!
  • Chris Sharma Sends La Dura Dura (5.15c)
  • George Lowe, Member of Everest '53 Team, Dead at 89
  • Piolets d'Or Committee Hails Controversial Cerro Torre Climbs
  • The Struggle For Portugal's Hardest Sport Climb
  • Paul Robinson Cranks New V15
  • Lama, Ortner, and Auer Claim Bold Winter Ascent
  • Bouldering and Speed Climbing Join 2020 Olympic Bid
  • VIDEO: Magnus Midtbø Sends Ciudad de Dios (5.14d/.15a) in Santa Linya, Spain.
  • 5.13 First Free Ascents in Chile
  • Weekend Whipper: 60-Foot Fall!
  • VIDEO: Mina Leslie-Wujastyk Does FFA of Jason's Roof (V10/11)
  • Caldwell and Honnold Rip it Up in Zion
  • Kennedy/Dempster 3rd of Ogre Nominated for Piolet d'Or
  • Three North Faces, Solo, in Winter. Check.
  • Ethical Debate: Dave MacLeod's Routes Disputed
  • Daniel Woods Repeats Bridge of Ashes (V15)
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    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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