|Climber||Suggested Grade||Date of Ascent||Notes|
|Chris Sharma||9b+/5.15c||28th Mar 2023||His second 9b+ at the age of 41! Instagram Post and Video|
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+.
When asked by 8a.nu 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.
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.”
Wall of Glory
First Ascent: Chris Sharma
28th Mar 2023
Although Sleeping Lion has yet to be climbed by another climber, it is already a part of history. With Chris Sharma, one of the fathers of modern hard climbing, not only bolting but also leading the first ascent, it’s clear that this route, the new crown jewel of El Pati, will attract the world’s best climbers, just as other Spanish climbs with Sharma’s name did.
As far as we know, Chris isn’t content and is working on new projects, one of which is a multi-pitch climb in Mont-Rebei. We can only keep an eye on him and wait to see what else he brings to the table.
Header image: ©Ricardo Giancola