Spain has been a nice haven for Chris Sharma for quite some time. With his many established routes for the world of sport climbing and his victory sending La Dura Dura, Sharma can now add the conquering of the XI Century Pilgrims Bridge, defeating 14 of the best climbers worldwide, during the Red Bull Creepers psicobloc competition to his long resumé of accomplishments.
The 14 climbing competitors gathered on Friday, July 18, to train on the bridge, Pilgrims Puente la Reina-Gares. They practiced under the main arch of the Roman Bridge of the town, 11-meters above the waters of the Arga River. The route difficulty was an 8c.
Rumors had spread throughout the township of Navarre that this psicobloc competition would be taking place on this bridge, part of the Romanesque, normally crossed by 400 pilgrims daily. After the crowd waited in anticipation until the evening of July 19, 2014, to watch this unheard location becoming the stage for these 14 competitors, they were treated to this route being completed only four times, three of which were by Chris Sharma. The only other competitor to finish the route was Finnish climber Nalle Hukkataival.
Sharma stated, “I’m really excited for being able to take part in this competition in such an amazing location. I’ve climbed in many countries and different places around the world, but very few so amazing. This bridge, part of St. James’s Way is normally crossed by the pilgrims, but we’ve been the privileged ones to climb a historic bridge. I’m really amazed by the crowd’s dedication. For us this is a format in which we are relaxed and having fun, so we’ve had a blast.”
There were around 2,500 spectators that gathered on terraces, windows, canoes, rafts, on top of the bridge or at the river’s bank. Along with Chris Sharma, other masters climber participants or ‘pro-creepers’ included Daniel Woods, Dave Graham, Iker Pou, Gelu Castro, Nalle Hukkataival, Rustam Gelmanov, Carlos Ruano, Emiliyan Kolevski and Nacho Sanchez. Local climber participants or ‘pre-creepers’ included Markel Mendieta, Ander Mendieta, Pablo Ochoa, and Daniel Fuertes.
Chris Sharma will be heading to Utah for the Psicobloc Competition held at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City for the second year, which will also correlate with the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, August 6-9, 2014. Will he be the champion to this psicobloc? If you’re in the Salt Lake City area August 6-9, get your tickets now to watch this competition set amidst the gorgeous mountains of Utah.