Yo! Basecamp

Chris Sharma

Chris Sharma began his extraordinary relationship with rock climbing as many other kids have, at the local climbing gym. As a twelve-year-old kid growing up in Santa Cruz, California, he discovered that climbing was the sport for him. Soon he made friends with some adult mentors who were willing to take him rock climbing outside, planting the seed for his love of the magical feeling of real rock. Very early on, Sharma began to climb constantly, and soon he was re-shaping the face of modern rock climbing.

By age sixteen Chris Sharma had been hailed by many magazines as “America's greatest rock climber.” Wherever he climbed – the granite of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the limestone of Europe, or his backyard bouldering area of Castle Rock in the Santa Cruz Mountains – Sharma established boulder problems and roped climbs that pushed well beyond the limits any human had ever achieved in rock climbing. In many instances, his problems and routes were regarded as the highest standard attainable, even though Sharma himself would never give a numerical rating to his climbs. For him, the concept of assigning a numerical value to a route or problem was superfluous to the purity of climbing that he wished to pursue. Sharma felt that attaching a simple number to a climb detracted from the organic experience of climbing a rock that no human had ever even touched. For the rock climbing world, especially for those who were pushing the physical boundaries of the sport, this concept was very new and opened up a new philosophy of climbing.

Chris Sharma began working as a summer camp counselor at Yo! Basecamp Rock Climbing Camp when it was founded in 1998. His desire to teach kids rock climbing sprouted from his own roots as a climbing kid. His unshakable enthusiasm for outdoor rock climbing is something that he passes on to the many kids he comes into contact with at Yo! Basecamp. Although Sharma has competed and excelled at the highest levels, he also values the rich experiences of outdoor climbing that have nurtured his love of the outdoors and the sport of rock climbing. A native Californian, he loves to pass on his appreciation of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains to the kids who come to camp. This majestic range holds some of the best rock climbing on the planet and lies at the heart of beautiful California.

An incredibly self-motivated climber, Sharma is an expert at teaching kids how to push themselves in rock climbing. Through verbal encouragement and by his own example, Sharma inspires kids of all ages to try their hardest when at summer climbing camp. He has worked with some of the best young climbers in the country; many have learned techniques, training tools, and philosophies about attitude from this master of rock. Campers are often amazed by how Sharma can approach something he is so good at with such a calm and humble attitude, a trait that continually allows him to achieve his best in outdoor rock climbing and competition climbing. Click here to learn more about Chris Sharma Summer Climbing Camps and Yo! Basecamp Rock Climbing Camps.

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