Rock climbing is a very diverse sport and naming the five best rock climbers is like listing the five best runners. There are many different aspects to the sport of climbing and many sub specialties in climbing – from bouldering to mountaineering. All climbing disciplines command a different skill set. Here are five of the best rock climbers based on difficult attempts and awards won.
- Chris Sharma. Sharma is known as the best rock climber in the United States. He literally lives under a rock. He doesn't own a home, but instead travels around the world looking for the next best climb. He has completed some of the most technically difficult and dangerous climbs in the world. Sharma views climbing "like a dance." In his movie, "King Lines," Sharma is not afraid to fall as he attempts insanely difficult free climbs in France.
- Russell Brice. Brice is the CEO of Himalayan Experience, a mountaineering guide company. Brice is one of the best climbers and mountaineers in the world and he has summited Mt. Everest twice. He has also summited Cho Oyo and Himal Chuli. The Discovery Channel filmed a documentary on his second ascent to the top of Everest.
- Dean Potter. Potter is a free climber and base jumper. He has made successful ascents to the Patagonia and Yosemite. Potter is best known for his daring free climbs with no live saving gear and his controversial climb of the Delicate Arches in Utah. In fact, the reason that Arches National Park enacted new regulations which strictly prohibit climbing on the Arches is because of Potter.
- Tommy Caldwell. Caldwell was born in 1978. He is skilled in diverse climbing disciplines and free climbed the Nose of El Capitan. He is best known for pioneering some of the most difficult routes, such as the West Buttress, located in Yosemite Valley. Also the honeymoon is over in Long Peak Colorado. Sidenote: Caldwell accidently sawed off most of his index finger. Even though doctors were able to re-attach it, he elected to remove it so as not to hinder his climbing.
- Josune Bereziartu. Bereziartu started climbing when she was 17 years old. She is from Basque country, Spain and she has climbed the most difficult course out of any other female that has been recorded (Bain de Sang in 2002 and Logical Progression). Bereziartu climbs routes most accomplished male climbers won't even attempt.