4/19/11 - Chris Sharma turns 30 on Saturday, and his birthday gift to himself was a send of his longtime project, First Round, First Minute, in Margalef, Spain. Adam Ondra may have taken the climbing community by storm lately, including grabbing the FA of Sharma's Chaxi Raxi project (5.15b), but Sharma proved that he's still pulling just as strong.
Sharma has been working this route for almost three years. The steep, 25-move line repeatedly spit him off at the last move more than 50 times, which caused him to take a two-month break from trying the route. Yesterday, after warming up on his Perfecto Mundo project, Sharma had planned to try Dani Andrada's Politicamente Corruptos (5.14d). But because of the great conditions, he decided last-minute to jump on FRFM. No one else was around except for two French climbers and his belayer, Cristian La Miel. In a post on prana.com, he says he had no expectations regarding the climb's "loathsome crux. I didn't think, just climbed, and a few moments later, I had the finishing jug in my hand."
In an interview with Planet Mountain, Sharma says, "When you climb a route at your maximum level you need to want it more than anything else in the world. But at the same time, this desire can keep you from succeeding. So you need to find the balance, let everything go, just climb for the pure joy of climbing, let things flow and try as hard as possible while not being concerned about the outcome." Read the rest of the interview here.
Watch the video below to see him working the moves.
Read an in-depth interview with Sharma here, including his thoughts on his long-standing projects in Spain.
Date of ascent: April 19, 2011