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Forum: GLOBAL / Open Forum / Why has no one repeated these Chris Sharma routes? Login in to contribute
Why has no one repeated these Chris Sharma routes?
OffLine John Meget
  2013-05-08 07:25:55    
I can think of four Sharma routes no one has repeated: 1.  Jumbo Love 2.  Es Pontas 3.  FRFM 4.  3 degrees of separation My question is why?  Obviously each is real, real hard.  But are these routes specially geared towards Sharma's unique talents, and that makes them even more difficult for others to repeat?     Some comments/observations on each: Jumbo Love is remote, real hard to get to, and off the beaten track for climbers.  I'm guessing not many top climbers have tried it: maybe four or so?  According to Ethan Pringle, it may also be 9b+.  Es Pontas is real hard, requires (probably) an incredibly difficult dyno (after some intense climbing) and is over water to boot: fear of falling must take its toll, plus how easy is it to get there in the first place?  FRFM: clearly super hard, but easy to access.   3 degrees: difficult dynos (after difficult) climbing.  The 9a Dave Graham threw out seems to me way low: Ondra has failed to send it, and Pringle suggested it could be 9b.  Not hard to reach, in one of climbing's meccas.  Sharma finished all but FRFM years ago (and he did FRFM in April 2011).  So there's been plenty of time for others to repeat.  Some are hard to get to, others easy.  Do many climbers even try these routes?  For everyone but Sharma, are they a lot harder than even their super-hard grades suggest?   
OffLine Primoz Zupancic
  2013-05-08 08:24:17    
It's not only Sharma routes that remain unrepeated for a long period of time. Take Huber's Weisse Rose and Open air for example; first ascents were made in 1994/1996 and were only repeated in 2008. I believe some of Rouhling's routes are unrepeated as well (Akira, Mandalla's drive?). And I bet most of Manolo's super technical masterpieces haven't seen that many repeats ;)
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2013-05-08 11:37:44    
Good question. I guess the simple reason is that Sharma and Ondra are just ahead of the others. There are just so many beautiful 9a's that can be done relatively fast instead of spending time like Sharma like doing. I am sure Megos could repeat som if he was just interested. Daniel Woods worked Jumbo Love and came close last month saying it is a great route.
OffLine Armand Lespoir
  2013-05-08 13:58:31    
Es pontas is very easy to reach. I've stood at it's base (there's a really nice 6a traverse all around the arch :D). You park your car, and from there it's a 5 minute walk and a 1 minute swim. But deep water soloing is tedious when it comes to projecting. You need to dry up every time you fall, and you obviously can't hangdog. Moreover having dry chalk with you each go requires some advance planning, or a grandma who will sew 20 chalk bags for you ;) So that's probably why not many people have tried it.
OffLine John Meget
  2013-05-08 14:49:22    
Jens, any more details on Woods at Jumbo Love?
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2013-05-08 15:10:18    
"Jumbo is going well. Al the moves have one down, and now trying to link sections. I fell on going into the mono 2 days ago (once you stick the mono, the 14d first half is complete). Here there is a good rest and then some 13c climbing to the redpoint crux which is a 2 move 10, a brief shake, then straight into a v8. At the end of the v8 you get the victory jug at the lip of the cave and then do a 13c/d slab to the top. Jumbo is HUGE (80meters) so it will require more days to gain fitness. I hope to get through the first half tomorrow and try hard on the redpoint crux. I have the final 2 boulders dialed, just need fitness. Tomorrow is my last day, but I will come back in sept. for as long as I need."
OffLine John Meget
  2013-05-08 15:57:23    
Jens, cool description. Let's see if I get this straight. Jumbo Love starts with a 9a sports route. Some 8a+ moves follow, which lead to a V10 boulder, followed immediately by a V8 boulder. Then it finishes with an 8a+/8b slab.

I wonder if Jumbo Love fits Ondra's style?
OffLine zapfenwolfi
  2013-05-24 01:53:53    
some impressions about this  (impressive) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-fwDi0226g
OffLine John Meget
  2013-05-24 08:46:03    
I wonder how Jan Hojer might do on 3 degrees? He's so tall and powerful the dyno's might not give him much trouble.
OffLine Daniel Bähring
  2013-05-24 12:22:22    
Hey John, the German climbing magazine Klettern  did an interview with Jan Hojer a couple of months back. They asked him about routes or boulders that shut him down and he mentioned 3 Degrees of Separation.  He put in 20 days of work last summer but didn't send. Ethan Pringle and Adam Ondra have both talked about upgrading, so it's probably pretty hard. http://www.klettern.de/community/leute/mit-16-deutscher-meister-mit-18-action-directe-jan-hojer-interview.767977.5.htm
OffLine Manuel Rodriguez
  2013-05-24 18:05:46    
According to Ethan Pringle Jumbo Love may be 9b+, but yet he has never done any 9b, why so sure to skip a half a grade? Btw he look very close to the send as well (http://vimeo.com/45360164). Reading what Woods say on JL and comparing it with the description Ondra gave to Change (a 8b route followed by a 8B+ (V14) crux, followed by a 9a resistance route), it looks harder than the description of Jumbo Love even if JL is 80m long and Change "only" 55m. When Ondra went to the US and litteraly did everything possible in Red river Gorge, he said he would like to go and try JL, but didn't have enough time. According to FRFM there was al the issue about Hukkataival and Sharma before the latter did send the route, I dont know if Nalle gave some shots at it, I've read Ondra did, but only one or two tries.
OffLine Geir Evensen
  2014-06-17 15:52:01    
Just a little update on this thread: Ondra repeated FRFM in February this year, grading it 9b.
OffLine Marcel Heemskerk
  2014-06-26 11:42:14    
Jumbo Love is in a remote place and takes a stiff walk-in. I guess it's easier to find motivation if you're trying it while being followed by a camera crew who are all eager for you to send it. Maybe there were days that Sharma didn't want to go there, but the crew made the difference to go for another day trying. Everybody was waiting for Sharma to send it, they all wanted it to end. Compare this to a second ascender. It's easier to repeat a route than do a first ascent for numerous reasons, but it's harder to motivate yourself if it's just you and your belayer.  If you want to climb Es Pontas, it also helps if there is a crew with perhaps multiple boats with warm clothes, multiple dry shoes, multiple dry chalk bags.  And talking about Akira, that was in the backyard of Rouhling's house, in not the best climbing area. His wife was very sick at the time, so he wanted to project something close to his house. Again, for a visiting climber it could be harder to find motivation to also spend months in this area. End of the line: it's easier to repeat a hard route in an easy accessible area than in a remote place. Less energy waisted on hiking + easier to find motivation = more tries. 
OffLine Wigar'n
  2014-06-27 05:58:19    
No shit Sherlock?
OffLine Kenneth Rasmussen
  2015-07-28 15:47:27    
Update: Only on route left on the list now :)
OffLine Jason Crank
  2015-07-28 19:52:25    
I'd say the list sits as: El Bon Combat Es Pontas Neandertal Stoking the Fire Many of those are newer routes, but they are all in the 5.15B range.
OffLine Jaka
  2015-08-06 15:46:52    
I read an interview where Ethan said he was trying Es Pontas and came pretty close. He used a different sequence at the crux, using intermediates instead of doing the dyno. He thoght the route was "only" 8c+ or 9a, maybe harder. He also heard that someone didn't like the fact that he was doing the crux differently, so they rappeled down and chopped off the intermediate crimps, but that was only 2nd hand info and isn't necessairily true.
OffLine sloclimbing
  2016-11-02 08:36:36    
Update: Es Pontas also got it's first repeat by Jernej Kruder.