You da man!

The best climber in the world?

(posted on Most climbers would be content with redpointing a single 9a (5.14d) route in their lifetime, but not Patxi Usobiaga. This week the 27 year-old Spaniard climbed La Rambla 9a+ (5.15a) in a total of eight attempts spread over a period of a few years and during the same day redpointed Estado Crítico 9a (5.14d) on his second try. Only a handful of individuals have ever climbed 9a+ and none have succeeded in also redpointing 9a during the same day. These single day accomplishments redefine difficult rock climbing and confirm Patxi as the best sportclimber in the world.  Usobiaga has onsighted 22 routes 5.14 or harder.


After climbing two V16 boulder problems and crushing nearly everything he's ever tried, the worlds best boulderer is now in Germany to test himself against the most finger dependant problems known to man.  Last year Dai Koyomada cruised Action Direct 5.14d, this year he is unstoppable.

During his trip, Dai has climbed Alpha Man, Black Ball, Riot Act all hard 8B+ as well as Miozan and White Links both 8B all of this in just a few short days of climbing,  he's also repeated Forget About life for a while 8B+ in less than two hours and Longbow 8B+ in two days.  The boys over at are now waiting for him to dispatch Gossip 8C and Corona 9a+, and he'll have absolutely no reason to return to the Frank.


Ethan Pringle onsights a pile of 5.13d and 5.14a routes in Spain and repeats Realization or as the Euro's call it, Biography 5.15 but more like 5.14d according to the "new school" ratings.  He also down rates some Dave Graham climbs.

Speaking of downrating, this kid Adam Ondra, what is he like 13 years old and he's ranked 4th in the world?  if he wasn't so freaking strong he would stop downrating climbs which would put him at number 2.  But he's not trying to rank himself, he's trying to test himself and all this talk is making my head spin. Who is the worlds best climber?

Chris Sharma?

I love it.  Well, he's certainly the most marketable, and possibly the most naturally talented, but when you look at these climbers around the world who are absolutely destroying standards, standards only set a few years back,  it's hard to believe that 'the worlds best climber' label can be attached to just one person.  I think they are all the worlds best and it pisses me off when people try to say that one man deserves that title.  Even the best climbers of today are standing on the shoulders of the best climbers of yesterday, it's a group effort and that's the best part, that is what should be celebrated.  Good on these men and women for pushing themselves, I thank them, I still read the web reports and I still get motivated by the worlds best, and the most attractive lines, they make me want to climb harder, longer and never let go.  Just don't fool yourself into thinking that climbing has one person who is the worlds best,  it's good to have hero's ( I have many) but the way I see it, climbing will eventually and hopefully go in the direction of surfing, where there is less nit-picking of grades, points and ranks and more focus on soul, spirit and adventure.  Just a random thought. It's minus 20 outside and I got a heavy arm from a Hep B injection.  Lydia and I are leaving for India in a few weeks and I need to get so much done before we go.  It's just harder to do in cold weather, my van will barely turn over and everything inside is frozen solid, stuck to each other, huh, it's going to be a tough week I think.


  • There was no talk there about some of the people that are up there in the ranks of hard trad climbs and there resume of what they have climbed!

    U are a modest MF’er Sonnie, and I think thats why your glutts appeal to me… if you know what I mean.

    I am gonna add you to the above

  • David

    Well said Sonnie…

    the only thing anyone can say about climbing and climbers is that it’s essence is the struggle. The struggle to overcome, to succeed, to affirm. Since climbing is an open ended grading system…it seems almost trivial to talk about the “best”….

    Every time I climb I see lizards and such taking naps on 5.18 terrain….THAT is humbling. What is great about climbing is the acknowledgment of the struggle we all share and the understanding that, no matter what grade were at, were all in the same place.

    People who have really struggled and fought, suffered and cried for their fleeting successes are experienced enough to know that each success just leads to the next battle.

    It sounds corny, but anyone who is struggling is the best. Man….I must be really GOOD! hahahaha : )

    Have fun in Inda bro….stay safe and say Hi to Lydia! Let’s do Freeway when you’re back this way.

  • Sonnie Trotter

    Thanks Stripes, you add me to the list and I’ll add you, I think we both deserve it, ha ha.

    David, Freeway, YES! So stoked.