Chris Sharma.

11-03-2018Carles Domènec

Chris Sharma from California is one of the world's leading climbers. He has helped to spread the word about psicobloc in Majorca. Known also as deep water soloing, this is a form of solo rock climbing that relies solely upon the presence of water at the base of a climb to protect against injury from falls from generally high-difficulty routes. On Thursday 15 March, he will be giving a presentation at Palma's Trui Theatre during which he will show films about psicobloc.

Why is psicobloc so important to you?
Largely because I ended up living in Catalonia having come to Majorca some fifteen years ago. To me, psicobloc revolutionised the way of climbing. The union of the sea and rock was a discovery that changed everything.

Do you prefer psicobloc to other forms of climbing?
Definitely. It's not a style that is for everyone. You have to know how to move yourself in the water. Being able to climb without rope allows me to reach the maximum level. Majorca has the perfect rock - very solid but rounded at the same time.

What do you think your contribution has been to the world of psicobloc?
I am well known in the climbing world. I've spent twenty years doing the most difficult climbs. Psicobloc is like my way of being. Climbing is a high-performance sport but also a lifestyle, a way of being with nature: sport and art. On the cliffs of Majorca I felt free to interpret the climbs in my way. In Catalonia there are designated routes. Psicobloc is a blank canvas that allows you to interpret the climb.

Why do you like promoting climbing?
It's my life. I enjoy being an ambassador for the sport. It's gratifying to share it in order to inspire more people. It's important to share, to contribute something and be in touch with the community. Climbing has a lot to offer society. It's healthy, it connects you with nature, it allows you to overcome challenges. There are ever more people who now climb. It's no longer just four crazy people. Families can practise it: from the age of six to eighty. Climbing is also a great way to travel. It is a lifestyle.

How will climbing change when it becomes an Olympic sport in 2020?
With the Olympics there will be brands and more money. This could distort the essence of climbing, something which has been very pure. There are some who believe it will lead to climbing areas becoming overcrowded. Personally, I have had great experiences from climbing, so I think it's positive that more will be known about the sport. There will be work with federations and education for people using climbing walls. There is an indoor climbing boom at present; it's an alternative to the gym. It's a fun activity and keeps people in good shape. There will, because of the Olympics, be more people who professionalise the sport.

What is special about the Es Pontàs (Santanyi) climb?
By the age of 20 I had already undertaken the most difficult climbing routes in the world - in France. I had won all the climbing championships. I was unclear as to my next step. I thought it was time to dedicate myself to something else, as I had already experienced everything I could have dreamt of. But coming to Majorca and getting to know psicobloc, I discovered my future in climbing. I liked going back to the roots of pure fun, freedom and enjoyment. Over four trips I felt increasingly in love with Majorca and with psicobloc. I was looking for something as difficult as I had done with rope but now in the psicobloc style. This all came together in Es Pontàs. I've returned several times. I learned to speak Spanish and started to establish roots here. It felt like home.

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