Via Prana’s blog is this nice audio interview that The Joy Trip Project did with Chris Sharma when he was at the New River Rendezvous last month.
Over the course of the 14 minute interview they discuss (among other topics) how Sharma got into climbing and deep water soloing, how he wound up living in Spain and how he named one of his most recent FAs (the 5.
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14d Era Bella at Margalef) after his new house.
I don’t understand why an interviewer would still be dwelling on events such as Chris’s send of Es Pontas, no one cares anymore! He climbed it like 5 years ago.
How about some new information about Chris we didn’t hear a million times already.
I read your comment before I listened to the interview and thought it was harsh…
But after listening, I definitely agree. For a discussion that happened this year, the guy seemed fairly uninformed. Might as well have asked Sharma what it was like driving around with Obe in that RV in Rampage.
Ya we want to know if he’s on Team Jacob or Team Edward
or if Daila has a sister
I’ll be the first person to admit that I am amazingly uninformed. I’ve know Chris for a couple of years now but I can’t say that I’ve followed his career with the same passionate interest that his truest fans clearly have. I’m really sorry that I didn’t delve into topics that are more timely, but to be honest I typically only ask questions to which I don’t know the answers in the hopes of introducing a complex subject like Chris to an audience who has no idea who is.
Imagine if he came over to your house and your dad who’s not a climber wanted to know more about this charming young man he’s meeting for the first time. Now imagine your dad tried to pretend to know all about him, using terms and expressions that are obviously unfamiliar. What kind of douche would he sound like? And how embarrassed would you be to stand there listening to it? I don’t know about you, but it would kill me!
Like I said, I’ve known Chris for while but this was the first time I actually had a long conversation with him. I think he’s really interesting and I was thrill for the opportunity. But as a guest on my little podcast it only makes sense for him and for me to ask questions within the scope of my personal experience and ability to follow along.
But I’ll tell you what, if I get the opportunity to speak to him again ( and I just might), I’m curious to know what questions his most avid fans might ask. Let me know and I’ll pass them along and maybe get some answers. Then the next interview we have might be more to your liking.
I aim to please.
Ha… thanks for the response. I understand that in the context the interview was intended for, the questions and topics may have been perfectly appropriate. When the context moves to a blog like this where we follow his every move, an interview like yours leaves us nitpicking and wanting more. Maybe something like a newspaper article being republished in a scientific journal.
Anyway, “uninformed” was probably too far. No offense meant.
If you get to interview him again, apologize on my behalf for the time I saw him at Miguel’s and just stared, unable to get a word out even after he said “hey” to me.
hmm, i don’t know..
most of the questions were obviously brought up by watching king lines.
at least you could have made an effort and watched the progression movie or some movie more recent like that.
if you want to interview somebody i don’t think it is too much to ask for to do just a little research about the latest achievements of the person in question.
it’s a part of decent journalism i guess.
Thanks to James for stopping by to share his thoughts.
I guess this was more my fault than anything. Perhaps I should have warned people? I don’t know. I enjoyed the interview so I thought I’d share it. Was it the most probing interview? No, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Kinko – this was a podcast done at a climbing festival, not an interview with the New York Times. What were you expecting??
Thanks Narc, both for posting the interview and supporting my response. Kinko you’re right. I could have prepared a little better. If it helps Chris and I spoke the day after he gave a slide show that focused a lot on deep-water soloing and his climb of Es Pontas. I simply assumed that’s what was of greatest interest to him so that’s what we talked about.
I hope you all can appreciate how much I’m loving this exchange. In the vacuum of social media I don’t get a lot feedback. With no editor to keep me honest I rely on readers to point out these shortcomings. As a journalist I want nothing more than to ask the questions that you might if you had the opportunity to speak candidly with a person of notoriety as I often do. I consider myself very fortunate to have that privilege but I understand that with it comes the responsibility to do the best job I can. No, it’s not the New York Times. But you should expect nothing less.
too add to listen to an audio interview let alone listen to one that does not offer anything that folks did not know.
Thank you for the effort but this is something that was meant to be for my mom to learn about chris sharma, not on this site with ultra fan boys of the “king”
James, thanks for making yourself available. If you do get a chance to interview Chris again – and this time for a podcast tailored to the climbers reading blogs on a saturday afternoon – here a few questions you might ask Chris:
– Has he ever considered establishing hard trad lines? He is well known for his super-human bouldering/sport climbing accomplishments, but it would be interesting to hear if he has goals in other styles (trad, ice, mixed, big wall), and if not why not?
– What is behind his lack of enthusiasm for the online climbing community? He doesnt write a blog, tick on 8a.nu, or actively post videos of himself. Considering he doesnt need to do those things for his sponsorships it is completely understandable and probably more fulfilling; does he lack interest for the online community or is his absence a more proactive attempt to keep his life private? This could be an interesting theme simply because he is THE rockstar of the sport, yet evades our glare so well.
– How does he feel his body is holding up? Does he feel stronger than ever or does it seem like he is nearing the peak/decline of his physical potential?
– Does Chris look favorably upon climbing as an Olympic sport? If so, would he train to compete?
– In all his years climbing, what is the closest he has come to an accident/death? Does he still experience fear when climbing routes?
– What are his feelings about soloing? Has he ever done it? Thought about it? Is he impressed by Alex Honnold?
– What are his go-to meals pre and post climbing?
Thanks James, if you can get all that in you’ll be a hero.
I’m sure everyone would agree that that you should have done the interview.
This interview is like Obama on abc….no substance.
Oh i’m going to get some negative votes for that comment, but it’s the truth
For question 2 – I’d prefer to call us the “online peanut gallery” as opposed to the “online climbing community”. Less validity, more honesty.
stoafoam, i don’t think he cares about the online community because he’s been climbing since he was 14… 1994? the internet was new and he was outside climbing. he’s never worked in an office, didn’t go to college, and was always on the road, i’m sure he’s as competent as my mom on a computer.