Ask any rock climber to name the top dog in the climbing world, and chances are the response will be Chris Sharma.

He’s considered the Tiger Woods of rock climbers. It’s said that Sharma handles a tricky crag like Woods guides a pressure-filled putt.

Like Woods, his natural aptitude manifested early and, like Woods, his ability is coupled with inexhaustible drive and a commitment to taking his sport to a new level, those in the climbing industry say.

Sharma, 27, will be making his first visit to the New River Gorge to give a slide show about his latest exploits, which include establishing what are considered to be some of the hardest routes in the world — most recently “Jumbo Love” at Mount Clark in Nevada.

A California native, Sharma started climbing at 12, gleaned his first press when he won a national competition at 14, and completed a 5.14c route (the hardest grade at that time) at 15. He has continued to push the standards ever since.

His slideshow is a highlight of the launch party for a new Fayetteville-based climbing magazine. Dead Point Magazine is the brainchild of Matt Stark, who moved to the area a year ago. The first free global climbing magazine is available online at www.deadpointmag.com and at Water Stone Outdoors in Fayetteville, a co-sponsor of the event.

Sharma’s Clark Mountain adventure is captured in a story written by Jorge Visser in the inaugural issue of Dead Point.

Following Saturday’s slideshow, climbing rapper Odub will perform a set of his latest satirical songs, followed by dancing to local spinmeister Jason Babkirk.

The gate opens at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25 at Burnwood, a National Park Service facility. Tickets are $5 and are available at Water Stone Outdoors in Fayetteville, not at the gate. Sharma will be signing posters at Water Stone at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call Water Stone at 304-574-2425.

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