Last night, over macadamia white chocolate chip cookies at John and Libby’s cozy house, I was exposed to what may single-handedly be the most phenomenal exhibition of climbing on plastic holds that I have ever witnessed. This deep water soloing competition was held in Bilbao, Spain, last week. Naturally, Chris Sharma reigned champion, but the real glory is in the success of the sporting event. Thousands of spectators flocked to the waterfront, cheering the climbers on as they scaled a massive artificial wall dotted with tiny crimpers and holds that called for powerful moves.
Sharma himself asserted that this new style of climbing competitions could easily become the new standard for bringing rock-climbing into the limelight. The thrilling scene of watching muscled individuals battle their way up a complex sequence of movements while dangling over an enormous body of water transforms the art of climbing into a spectator sport that can be enjoyed by anyone. Future Olympic sport, anyone?
Check out Dead Point Magazine’s coverage of the event in this article. The piece boasts that 4000+ spectators crowded around the downtown area to catch a glimpse of this exciting display of sportsmanship. Anyone down for a deep water soloing trip?