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Chris Sharma on Biographie at Ceuse, France.
Chris Sharma on Biographie at Ceuse, France.
Photo by Roberto Fioravanti
The fantastic view onto Ceüse, Haute Alpes, France.
The fantastic view onto Ceüse, Haute Alpes, France.
Photo by Planetmountain.com

Chris Sharma, the energy of Biographie

20.09.2001 by Roberto Fioravanti

Three years of trying, walking up to the crag, putting on climbing shoes, lighting incense, chalking up and setting off for the next attempt. Chris Sharma has now realised his dream called Biographie - Realization.

So Chris, you’ve finally done it!
Yes, it was great. I’m really happy, it was hard, extremely hard. Now I can leave feeling satisfied, truly satisfied, even if I know that this satisfaction won’t last long. This, like all others, is just passing by; I’ll look for true happiness elsewhere.

Tell us about that day, how things went.
The weather was bad in the morning; it was raining and very cold. I didn’t even want to go up in the beginning and waited for a few hours, then I said to myself “let’s go and see what happens.” So we went up, slowly towards the crag. It was still drizzling. I went up with all my friends and soon the weather improved, it stopped raining and the wind dried the rock.
We started to warm up, the rock was still a bit damp, but when I was ready to try the route it was completely dry.

What was the atmosphere like at that moment beneath the route?
There was something magic in the air. A sort of electricity, an incredible energy, something subtle yet at the same time extremely powerful. I sensed it, very powerful, very strong. I felt extremely at ease, also because there were few people there, since due to the morning rain few had come up to the crag. This too gave me strength, an inner peace that helped me.
I like it if there are people who help by inciting me and take part emotionally in my climbs. When people give me this precious help, their support and calls filter through the air, reach me and give me strength. It’s not always like this though, as sometimes their calls transform into a type of anxiety to perform that reflects onto me.
The situation with “Biographie” was a bit different, this route really confronted me with all my strengths and weaknesses. At a certain point I realised that the route was within me, that I had the strength and control of my movements, and that I had to work on a much deeper level, on and within me.

What do you mean, how did you approach this aspect? How did you prepare for this?
I did exercises to help me relax, I meditated, visualized the moves one by one, immobile, concentrating on my emotions. These exercises helped me a lot. My mother taught me exercises to hypnotize myself. Climbing the route was a bit like being in a “parallel dimension”, the moves followed each other with clear precision. And everything happened so quickly…

Wow, it was a long route…
Yes, about 60 moves. By now I had memorised the sequence for the first and second section really well and it was all down to getting past the hard move, a type of knot that I got each time I reached the crux. Thanks to the meditation and the visualisation I managed to overcome this block.

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