Jakob Schubert’s 2018 is off to roaring start. On Friday, January 5, the 27-year-old Austrian crusher reported on Instagram that he had sent Stoking the Fire, a Chris Sharma 9b/5.15b in Santa Linya, Spain, that has rebuffed Schubert’s efforts for a long while.
Schubert’s is the third ascent of the route, following Sharma’s first ascent in 2013 and Adam Ondra’s first repeat in 2016. “I enjoyed [the] whole process of trying something hard a lot,” Schubert wrote on Instagram. “It feels like I could have [sent] this one much faster but this way I learned some more lessons again and an ascent always feels even better if it took a bit of a psychological battle as well.”
In an interview with Rock and Ice following his first ascent, Sharma said, “The style of the route is very steep, powerful and continuous … there aren’t any places to shake and you just have to climb super tight and precise nonstop.” He also described the line as “pretty solid 9b.”
Stoking the Fire is Schubert’s third 9b, following his ascents of Chris Sharma’s Fight or Flight in Oliana Spain, in 2014, and Adam Ondra’s Planta de Shiva in Malaga, Spain, in 2016. (Angy Eiter climbed Planta de Shiva in October 2017, becoming the first woman to climb a 9b/5.15b.) Other hard sends for Schubert include Papichulo, in 2011.
With Stoking the Fire crossed off the list, Schubert only has one route of equal or greater difficulty in the Santa Linya Cave to focus his efforts on, should he choose to do so: Neanderthal (9b/5.15b). Another Sharma creation, the route has been tried by the likes of Ondra and Magnus Midtbø, but remains unrepeated.
What do you say Jakob?