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Sleeping Lion

Sleeping Lion, the king of climbs in El Pati, is located on the ancient limestone walls of Siurana, not far from the already classic routes of La Rambla (9a+) and La Reina Mora (9a). The limestone route with small pockets, an intricate mix of bad rests, bouldery moves, and daring dynos is the most recent addition to this Mecca for the world’s best climbers.








40m (131ft)

First Ascent

Chris Sharma

Date of FA


Sleeping Lion

Ascent Log

ClimberSuggested GradeDate of AscentNotes
Chris Sharma9b+/5.15c28th Mar 2023His second 9b+ at the age of 41! Instagram Post and Video
Alex Megos9b/5.15b5th Jan 2024Megos downgraded Sleeping Lion to a 9b. He felt it was more of an endurance route and didn’t struggle with the cruxInstagram Post
Jorge Diaz-Rullo9b/5.15b25th Feb 2024It took Jorge a lot of deliberation, but he settled on a hard 9b, agreeing with Alex Megos on the grade. Instagram Post

Climb Profile

The Route

Bolted in 2021, Sleeping Lion is the latest hard climb bolted by Chris Sharma, unclimbed by anyone until now apart from The Man himself. Inspired by the reggae song “Sleepin’ Lion” by Clinton Fearon, the lyrics “Don’t play with fire if you don’t wanna get burn” describe perfectly this sequence of hard bouldery moves ranging from 7b+ up to 8a+.

La Rambla Topo
The El Pati crag which houses some of the most iconic lines in the world

When asked by how he found the route, Sharma said that he is familiar with Suriana, having climbed there for over 15 years and he always saw that line wondering if it’s climbable. One day, he decided to bolt it, and this is how the Sleeping Lion was born.

Once confirmed by subsequent climbers, Sleeping Lion will be the fourth 9b+ climb in Spain after La Dura Dura, Perfecto Mundo, and King Capella (although King Capella might be more of a 9b). La Dura Dura is the only climb 9b+ Sharma has done, exactly a decade before this latest achievement.

According to Chris, the route can be broken into five sections of 7B/+, 8A, 8A, 8A+, and 8A separated by bad rests. The most intense part of the climb is a so-called Mega Line, a 35-move boulder problem with only three points where you could reach into your chalk bag.

Chris Sharma climbing Sleeping Lion
Sharma climbing a 9b+ route at the age of 41 ©Ricardo Giancola

Even if to most of us 9b+ is way out of the ballpark, Sharma described that climbing Sleeping Lion was heavy on the psychic because of the endless falls and doubt.

“The last hard move of the route, move #54 or something…. I fell off there 16 times over three months. So there was a big psychological element in being able to endure that and not lose hope. Very happy it finally clicked.”

First Ascent

28th Mar 2023: Chris Sharma

After almost a decade since his last hard climb, Chris Sharma went back to Siurana to end some unfinished business with the Sleeping Lion. Aged 41, Sharma’s last hard ascent was in 2015 with El Bon Combat a 9b/+ also located in Spain, in the Oliana region.

It’s been two years since Sleeping Lion was bolted and ten years since La Dura Dura, so it was about time that Sharma sent something he considers ‘hard’. He isn’t getting any younger, as he told Climbing Magazine, so he worked on combining staying in shape with keeping up with his family and business life. 

“I never wanted to let go of my climbing goals. But as the years go by, you start to wonder, are things going to coalesce? Am I just saying that to myself, that I’m still in shape and ready?”

Located just a few hours’ drive from his home, Chris has been projecting this route since its beginning, but business interfered.

When asked about the process of working on Sleeping Lion, he stated:

The route pushed me in many ways. Physically of course but also mentally and emotionally. It’s one thing to feel capable of something but it’s a whole other thing to restructure your life around an objective like that and bring it into reality.

“I guess, I worked the route into submission. In that process I also worked my own ego into submission as well. When I got to the point that I didn’t even really care anymore I was able to let go and go all out a little bit harder.”
If the grade is confirmed, Sleeping Lion will be Chris Sharma’s hardest FA, and what a beautiful celebration of ten years since his first 9b+!

Chris Sharma climbing Sleeping Lion 9b+
Sharma on Sleeping Lion ©Ricardo Giancola

Second Ascent

5th Jan 2023: Alex Megos

The second ascent was recently made by German climber Alex Megos. Having climbed it in just 8 days (not surprising from Megos!) he felt like a grade of 9b was appropriate, citing “Personally, the route was more of an endurance problem. I could do all the crux sections of the route quite easily.”

Megos actually ended up breaking a hold half way up the route which Chris Sharma glued back together. This was a key hold for clipping, but even after it was glued back, it didn’t make the clipping position any better so Megos ended up skipping that clip altogether. He said the broken hold doesn’t affect the grade.

Megos never fails to impress!

Climber Alex Megos on Sleeping Lion
Alex making the second ascent on Sharma’s newest line ©christoph_hanke

Third Ascent

25th Feb: Jorge Diaz Rullo

Sleeping Lion saw its third ascent by Spanish powerhouse Jorge Diaz Rullo. It took him longer than expected but between some bad conditions and waiting for skin to heal, he managed to make this incredible ascent.

I think we can all agree that grading at the highest level isn’t easy. From not wanting to undermine the first ascensionist or saying it was a 9b+ just to bag another ‘hard’ grade, it wasn’t easy for Jorge to decide. From his latest Instagram posts, he’s clearly put in a lot of thought into the grade while still showing so much respect for Chris Sharma.

Jorge decided to suggest a 9b grade, the same as Megos. He said that it could be a hard 9b and is looking forward to what other climbers have to say. Nevertheless, there is no doubt Sleeping Lion is hard, and Chris Sharma is still an absolute legend for putting up this amazing line.

Jorge Diaz Rullo making the third ascent of Sleeping Lion
Jorge Diaz Rullo making the third ascent of Sleeping Lion ©Marco Zanone

Header image: ©Ricardo Giancola

Video Library


Born and raised in Jiu Valley, Romania, I am a true mountain enthusiast, absorbing knowledge from each sport the area offers. Snowboarder in the winter and a hiker and climber in the summer, I love spending my days up in the Carpathians. I have had a passion for writing ever since I laid my hands on my first keyboard, and I always have a curiosity for gear and great stories. I split my time between various jobs and hobbies, including being a full-time psychologist, repairing skis in the winter, and working with kids at my local gym whenever I have time.

Salathé Wall

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