Alex Huber on the extraordinary talent of Sharma and Ondra

by Mick Ryan – Chris Sharma and someone else On October 29th (UKC News) I was asked: “If the grade of one route falls, what happens to the grade of the others that are graded in comparison to it? Do they all collapse like a deck of cards? ” That is a topic that many top climbers are sometimes focussed on, including one of the best, the German climber Alexander Huber. In an interview with Planet Mountain Huber says that certain claims in the past are exaggerated. “What I find curious is that still today most magazines, without hesitating, place Jumbo Love together with Akira and Chilam Balam. Had 9b been climbed in 1995, more than a decade ago therefore, then Chris Sharma´s performance seems like a kindergarten! Furthermore one has to understand clearly how long Chris Sharma´s journey has been to get where he is today. And one also bear in mind what extraordinary talent Sharma possesses, and has had to use, to get where his is today. Unlike others, Sharma has proven his talent hundreds of times in the past and will do so time and time again in the future. Chris has created and earned his credibility. One thing should be clear: we all want to believe other climbers! But without this willingness I cannot believe in their ascents because the history of humanity has taught us that one shouldn´t believe blindfold.” Huber discusses his own routes, how some may need to be upgraded, placing fewer bolts, that Action Directe is maybe benchmark 8c+ not 9a, the brilliance of Adam Ondra and Hansjörg Auer, the Torre Traverse, false claims, the future and how, “the Xth grade isn´t really about the physical difficulties but rather the psychological pressure you´re under when you try to repeat a route without having checked it out previously from above.” You can read the full interview