Last Thursday, Chris Sharma managed the first ascent of a super high deep water soloing route on the Pont d'Arc arch in Ardèche, France.
Chris Sharma is well known for committing tough sport climbing routes and opening spectacular deep water soloing routes (What is Deep Water Soloing?). The top destination for unsecured climbing over the water is definitely Mallorca. The coast of the island is lined by overhanging walls with compact rock and ideal jump area above the water. The most famous line, the Chris Sharma on the island in the year 2005 first came is Es Pontas (9?), A violent rock arch a few meters off the coast of the island.
Pont d'Arc - an absolute dream line
Chris sets new standards with the ascent of the Pont d'Arc arch in Ardèche last Thursday. He opened the 30-meter-high route from below, so he had to climb higher and higher and accept higher and higher falls. In fact, he deliberately made higher and higher jumps to test whether the water was deep enough, explains Chris in an interview.
The difficulty level of his latest creation is Chris 8b +, but relativizes the whole thing. More in the following comment from Chris Sharma:
"Free soloing has never been my cup of tea. But put some deep water below and now you're talking! Last week I climbed one of the best routes of my life. After so many years, it's amazing to keep finding routes that inspire me in new ways. The Pont d'Arc is an absolute dream line. It's hard to believe something like this even exists! After 4 days trying from the ground up and taking some big falls I was finally able to link to through the arch. It tops out at around 30 meters on the far side of the arch (that you can't see in the photo). A perfect line, on perfect rock in a perfect location. It's hard to get more perfect haha. I'd say its around 8b + (5.14). Although it felt plenty hard, it may not be the most difficult climb I've ever climbed. It's interesting how a grade is only a small part of what defines the whole challenge or the value of our climbing experience. "
Chris Sharma of the route Es Pontas in Mallorca
Video material of the ascent of the Pont d'Arc will follow. Until then you can enjoy the ascent of Es Pontas in Mallorca to heart.
+ + +
Credits: Image Ricardo Giancola