Chris Sharma’s groundbreaking ascent of Jumbo Love (5.15b) at Clark Mountain earlier this year has been covered exhaustively both online and in print. Since the ascent there have been several interviews with him that provide good insight into what it took to climb Jumbo Love, but I think a recent interview with Men’s Journal is worth checking out as well. It does a nice job of expounding on some of the points only briefly touched upon in previous interviews.
One point of specific interest to me is the speculation that Jumbo Love is the hardest route in the world.
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You’ll remember that I recently talked about how it might be premature to give Jumbo Love that title. Sharma offers a very thoughtful (and persuasive) response when asked by Men’s Journal how he can be sure Jumbo Love is the hardest route out there [emphasis mine]:
There’s a whole process behind rating these climbs. It is kind of a consensus after other climbers try a route. It’s hard to say it definitely is the most difficult climb in the world. This is the hardest climb I’ve ever tried. I know my limitations pretty well, and I’ve never seen something that’s been done that’s harder than this.
The rest of the interview is definitely worth checking out too. Among other topics, Sharma explains just how difficult it was to work on a route of such incredible difficulty at a remote crag like Clark Mt..
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Update: The Men’s Journal site appears to be down…
Update #2: The Men’s Journal site is back up…