Sharma has delivered everything that "the next generation" is supposed to in rock climbing. He has been setting new standards for 15 years—half his life. And now, on April 23, he turns 30.
On May 27 in Rocky Mountain National Park, Carlo Traversi completed the sixth ascent of Jade, a notoriously crimpy problem established in 2007 by Daniel Woods.
Never a fan of guidebooks, I’ve long had a “just pick a route that looks good and climb“ mentality. “It’s supposed to be an adventure!“ I’d tell myself. Until one fateful day at Colorado‘s Eldorado Canyon.
By Cedar Wright - Photos by Dean Fidelman - The Stone Monkeys are a slightly more inclusive, modern-day equivalent of the “Stonemasters,” the amorphous band of Valley hardmen who pushed the limits of climbing in the 1970s and ‘80s. However, to be a Stone Monkey, you don’t have to climb hard or be famous (though quite a few Monkeys fit this bill).
By Matt Samet, Kenneth Long, Fitz Cahall, Majka Burhardt, and Chad Shepard - We’ve gathered five essays linked by a common thread: dark manifestations of the climber mind because many climbers face these issues, but cowed by the cacophony of the dirtbag-chic, free-wheelin’ climbing community, silence themselves.
Chris Sharma, 26, an athlete endowed with unparalleled physical strength and mental tenacity, has dominated world sport climbing and bouldering for the last dozen years.
I climbed a desert tower, Ancient Art. I got close to the top, and it has this sidewalk that you have to cross and you have to end up on this weird formation. I got across the sidewalk part, and it started raining and storming. I had never been in that kind of situation. And it was surprising to me that so many people go through that, and they really enjoy that, I think. And I was just really terrified.
When I hang out with other pro climbing photographers, we don’t talk about things like f/stops, shutter speeds, or the newest and lightest camera body. Catching up over drinks by an open fire at Indian Creek or at some lame industry party at the Salt Lake trade show, we talk shit. Sometimes literally. This is not a story about how professional climbing photographers capture the ultimate climbing moment. These are our tales of comedy and peril—and shit.
Corey Rich's storytelling passion and keen eye—and a dose of good luck—have turned him into one of the most successful rock climbing and mountaineering photographers in the outdoor industry. As a partner of the prolific Aurora stock agency, his business skill and savvy are almost as impressive as his imagery. Rich, 35, has a down-to-earth persona that belies his success.
Dean Fidelman, 54, grew up in L.A., learned to climb at age 15, and in the 1970s became a member—and the unofficial team photographer—of the Stonemasters. His black-and-white imagery of Bachar, Hill, Long, Sorenson, Yablonski, and the rest of that hardcore SoCal group might be the most celebrated climbing action-portraiture ever done.
With user-friendly, DIY websites, anyone can run a rock climbing blog. But few update their blogs several times daily—and attract more than 2,500 unique visitors per day. Brian Runnells, aka the Climbing Narcissist, is one of those few. The Wisconsin native created Climbingnarc.com about four years ago, and he now spends 10 to 20 hours a week posting competition results, news of hard ascents around the world, videos, and debates over controversial topics.
Adam Henry, 39, one of the Southeast’s leading access and new-route advocates, was born in Houston to an engineer father who passed away when Henry was 9. His mother did whatever was necessary to keep life comfortable, despite money struggles. At 14, Henry worked 12-hour days in construction — earning $20 a day — to help pay the bills. From age 5 to 18, Henry played football, leaving the sport after he discovered climbing at the Palisades, Alabama.