Chris Sharma has freed Stoking the Fire, a new 9b at Santa Linya in Spain. The 31-year-old climber sent this “pretty solid 9b” that was initially bolted by Czech professional climber, Tomaz Mrazek, a few years ago. Mrazek stopped bolting at the jug at the end of the 5.15b section. Sharma stepped in and continued bolting the line straight up. This has been one of Sharma’s long term projects, and as of yesterday, February 6, 2013, it is now complete.
The successful ascent of Stoking the Fire was posted by Sharma via Instagram where he stated, "The last couple of years I've been focusing all of my energy trying these in insanely hard projects that I've rarely had the pleasure to actually send a route. Today in Santa Linya was one of those illusive moments. I sent a project that I've been trying the last few years. I think I'm going to call it Stoking the Fire and I think it's a pretty solid 9b. So many hard complex sequences with no rests!”
Just two weeks ago I had the pleasure of running into Chris Sharma at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was chatting with fellow climber Dave Graham and was more than happy to oblige when I asked him to autograph something for my son, who is a huge fan of Sharma’s. Not wanting to occupy too much of his time as there were a few waiting to get an autograph, I snapped a photo of him and Dave Graham with my camera, and he asked me to snap another with his phone. There was nothing but good vibes radiating off this accomplished climber.
Now that Sharma has another one of his projects complete and under his belt, maybe he’ll return to La Dura Dura and finish that off now that Adam Ondra has conquered that beast. Sharma still has it in him. There were definitely no doubts coming from here. And as Sharma said, "Climbing is so much about the process and all of the lessons we learn along the way but it sure is good to get to the top once in a while. It's nice to remember what that feels like and that I still have it in me! Psyched for more!!"
Congratulations to Sharma and definitely can’t wait to hear of his next feat.