On 11 September Chris Sharma made the first ascent of Jumbo Love 9b at Clark Mountain, California, describing it as his hardest climb ever.
Chris Sharma is on a roll. The 27 year old American has just made headline news with his first ascent of Jumbo Love, an immense stamina outing at the extremely remote Clark Mountain, USA.
Located high in California's Mojave National Preserve, the route in question had originally been bolted by local climber Randy Leavitt over a decade ago as a three pitch climb, but Sharma opted to send the 45° 80m line in a single push. This latest testpiece weighs in at a mighty 5.15b (F9b) and as such must be regarded as one of the hardest sport climbs in the world.
Sharma's credentials are second to none. In 2001 he made the first ascent of the benchmark 9a+ Realization at Ceuse. In September 2006 Sharma made waves with his Deep Water Solo off Mallorca, while in December he repeated La Rambla 9a+ at Siurana. In 2007 he returned to Ceuse and added Three degrees of separation 9a to the Biografie sector, while in spring this year he spent some time in Spain and made the first ascents of Gancho Perfecto (9a, Margalef) and Papichulo (9a+, Oliana), both of which he regarded as mere training for his hardest route to date, Jumbo Love.