Red Bull Creepers – Chris Sharma still rules

Last weekend in Puente la Reina, Spain, Chris Sharma proved once again that he’s the master of psicobloc, a.k.a. deep water soloing. The American won the Red Bull Creepers competition against some of the most talented climbers out there, including big stars like Nalle Hukkataival and Rustam Gelmanov.

Participants:

  • Chris Sharma – USA
  • Daniel Woods – USA
  • Nalle Hukkataival – Finland
  • Rustam Gelmanov – Kazakhstan
  • Dave Graham – USA
  • Iker Pou – Spain
  • Carlos Ruano – Spain
  • Nacho Sánchez – Spain
  • Emiliyan Kolevski – Bulgaria
  • Gelu Castro – Spain
  • Markel Mendieta – Spain
  • Ander Mendieta – Spain
  • Pablo Ochoa – Spain
  • Daniel Fuertes – Spain

Those 14 climbers, ranging from international stars to Spanish household names, gathered in northern Spain to take part in the first edition of the Red Bull Creepers. The competition had a dueling format and used a thousand year old bridge as climbing wall. Two symmetrical lines, with plastic holds attached to the stones, ran on the sides of the Pilgrim’s Bridge’s main arch, getting up to 11 meters above the water.

The routes had relatively easy moves at first but thy quickly gained difficulty. The crux was a all-points sideways dyno that only two climbers (Sharma and Hukkataival) managed to stick. Others were close (Sánchez, Woods, Mendieta…) but ended up falling mid-swing and hitting the water in scary positions. Luckily nobody got hurt and the crowd had a great time. Deep Water Soloing is a very impressive climbing style to watch.

The overall difficulty of the route (around 8b+/c) is way below what the participants are capable of sending, but the pressure and the fear factor limited the performances. Those guys can easily stick that dyno time and again if trying in a bouldering gym. But 9 meters above the ground things change dramatically.

In the end Chris Sharma kept it together better than the rest and send the route several times. Nalle Hukkataival also got to the top of the bridge during the semifinal duel against Rustam Gelmanov.

The competition was an interesting experiment and a unique opportunity to witness such a diverse group of talented climbers having fun in an unrivaled setting.

More pictures of the event in our Facebook Page.

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