On May 17, 2015, Ethan Pringle achieved the second ascent of America’s hardest sport climb: Jumbo Love (5.15b) at Clark Mountain in California.
It’s the most inspiring climb I’ve seen. It has everything I seek in a sport-climbing project and then some—it’s an obvious line, steep, long and engaging, intimidating, and it features fun climbing throughout, all at a crag that has very few visitors.
First sent by Chris Sharma in 2008, Ethan dedicated eight years to projecting this mega and seemingly impossible 250-foot limestone route—giving roughly 80-90 attempts before finally reaching its daunting and emotional finish.
When I topped out I felt happiness, relief, surprise, and some disbelief. I wept some tears of joy for finally completing this goal that meant more to me than any other, and of sadness for all the time I’d spent doubting and convincing myself that I was unworthy.
While you may have already seen some clips of Ethan’s send, The RV Project’s recently released full, uncut footage—sans dubstep or fancy edits—brings us the raw, powerful, and deeply moving journey rarely showcased so simply, yet beautifully in this day and age of climbing films. You can hear about the compelling reasons for why and how they came to release the footage in this way, here.
And if you’re keen to enrich the experience of what it takes to send a route this stout, consider purchasing the full footage with director/climber commentary (for a mere 3 bucks!). This move-by-move conversation with Ethan adds a layer of engagement that delivers deep insight into the incredible challenge that is Jumbo Love.
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