Watch Chris Sharma Make the First Ascent of Pont d'Arc (5.14a/8b+)
In June 2017, Chris Sharma made the first ascent of Pont d'Arc, a unique 100-foot deep water solo in Southern France, rating it 5.14a (8b+).
Sharma decided to climb the route from the ground-up, using no rappel or rope to establish the line or work individual sections. He was also forced to test the depth of the water in 15-foot incremements, as he was unable to gauge the depth of the water.
Pont d'Arc is so different because unlike most deep water solo climbs it's above a river, not open water. In clear open water, you're able to gauge the depth - but that's not the case with the murky, cloudy waters under the Pont d'Arc.
Whilst not as technically difficult as Sharma's last DWS first ascent - Es Pontas, 5.15a/9a+, a 65-foot route in Mallorca, Spain, above the crystal clear Mediterranean sea - Pont d'Arc is undoubtedly more difficult psychologically.
Could this be the start of DWS transitioning from open water to rivers?