Adam Ondra climbs V16

Posted on 17. Nov, 2011 by in News

Adam Ondra has made the FA of Terranova V16 at Holštejn, in the Czech Republic. This is certainly a contender for the hardest boulder problem in the world, especially in light of the fact that Paul Robinson has retroactively downgraded Lucid Dreaming in Bishop to V15. Ondra had this to say about his ascent on his scorecard:

“Well, it is (sic) not not the most inspiring line, it is a low 12 moves long traverse with interesting moves though, but climbs at the bottom of a cliff for sport climbing and ends up in a jug. Definitely not the way bouldering should look like. But I have been going around and looking those tiny holds for ages and always wondering if it is climbable and this autumn I devoted myself to it. And had fun! 11 days this autumn, 1 day last year”

This brings to light a number issues worth discussing. Often it seems that standard bearing climbs are also some of the best, in terms of quality. Some examples that come to mind are Lynn Hill’s ascent of The Nose, Chris Sharma’s ascent of Realization or Jumbo Love, or Fred Nicole’s Dreamtime. Ondra’s ascent of a traverse drop-off seems to buck the general trend. Interesting as well that Ondra previously has gone after the biggest and most inspiring lines, in both sport climbing and bouldering. Does this mean that the beauty of a problem may not be as important to the development of difficulty standards in bouldering? Is it imperative that the hardest climbs also be visually inspiring? How much does that aesthetic quality affect the “importance” of the climb as a standard bearer?

Interestingly, it seems like Dave Graham’s contributions (Big Paw, The Story of Two Worlds, From the Dirt Grows the Flowers, which are arguably also incredible problems themselves) in Switzerland are highly sought after, while John Gaskins problems (which have the reputation of being short or unimpressive aesthetically) in the UK remain, for the most part, unheard of and unrepeated.

Climbing difficulty standards have often improved in the past when climbers of a younger generation have disregarded the preconceptions of the previous generations to specify in one area of the sport. Is Ondra’s ascent a nod towards this? Or will climbers continue to hold quality as some sort of ambiguous litmus test to the importance of a hard climb? Or is this simply an obsessed climber looking for more points (which often seems to drive climbers to problems of poor quality)? Regardless of the reasons, it’s a great effort on his part, and encouraging to hear that he is honest about the quality of the problem.

And let’s not forget, Livin’ Large V15 in South Africa remains unrepeated.

36 Responses to “Adam Ondra climbs V16”

  1. big poppa chosscrush

    17. Nov, 2011

    let’s not forget, death race 2000 at lincoln lake remains unrepeated.

    standard-pushing ascents by me aside, the one aspect i think your post is missing is that sometimes, climbers devote themselves to turd climbs just to prove to themselves that they can do it. based on ondra’s comments, this seems to be the case with his new rig. he realizes it is a turd, but it is a captivating turd nonetheless.

    a bunch of climbers have felt this same weird compulsion. my example is “trolling for mank” / “illegally mundane” and pretty much any other variant i’ve FAd. sometimes when you see holds you want to connect them. maybe your turd examples are riddles in the park and mirkwood? it’s ok. we’ve all been there. no need for embarassment.

    in your rocky mountain guidebook, you also mentioned how dave graham sent some contrived turd on the kind boulder just to prove that he could pull on those certain nasty holds.

    while these climbs are not the most awe inspiring to the outer world, i think what is interesting is that the drive to send them is perhaps the most pure form of climbing psych. pulling on holds to do moves even when others question why. the why is to see if it’s possible. or, maybe the why is because it is fun.

    sometimes the most beautiful climbs and the hardest climbs are not the most fun. sometimes the most beautiful climbs and the most fun climbs are not that hard. sometimes the most hard and fun climbs are not that beautiful.

    i’d argue that hard repeats are more about padding a resume than turd first ascents that someone does knowing full well that the likihood of it becoming an accepted testpiece is nihl.

  2. Doug Lipinski

    17. Nov, 2011

    It was my impression that a major reason Ondra spent time on, and eventually sent, this particular problem was because of its location (near his home). Everybody’s done something like this, even if it’s just making up new variations at the gym because your limit is V4 and you’ve climbed all the V4s. It may be unappealing and contrived, but at least it’s new and it’s RIGHT THERE.

    As for the importance of climbs, I believe that a climb only becomes “important” in a historical sense as other climbers begin to verify its merits. Whether that means aesthetic aspects such as quality and beauty or things like difficulty and epic-ness. As a climb attracts other well known climbers its reputation grows. Since the first ascensionist has already judged this problem “not the way bouldering should look like”, I can’t imagine others will be putting in the effort need to do it. There’s just to much rock out there, if you don’t live nearby, why travel for something so unaesthetic? If I’m going to pick a long term project, I’m certainly not going to seek out a lowball traverse to a drop off jug.

    If the problem does attract others, time will tell how difficult it is, but I doubt it will be more than a minor note in climbing history other than the fact that it could be the first confirmed V16. Certainly not important or desirable in the same way as the other problems you mentioned.

  3. Peter Beal

    17. Nov, 2011

    In the realm of absolute difficulty, I think the premise that “standard bearing climbs are also some of the best, in terms of quality” is belied by the record. To take sport climbing, Wall Street, likely the first 8c in the world, is not that spectacular and was in part the result of a filled pocket. Hubble, the first 14c, is about 20 feet long and doesn’t overwhelm the viewer. Action Directe has a bit more length but sits directly adjacent to a short 13a and has about 25 feet of hard climbing.

    In bouldering, the achievements of Jim Holloway were overlooked at least in part due to their location. V12 in the late 70s? Amazing, in fact beyond amazing, but alas a contrived problem on Flagstaff Mountain didn’t have the cachet of Midnight Lightning’s position in the heart of Yosemite. And so on.

    “is this simply an obsessed climber looking for more points (which often seems to drive climbers to problems of poor quality)?”

    Jim Holloway had a relatively humble job and not a lot of free time or cash, unlike today’s “full-time” boulderers. Some of us take what we can get because we don’t have a month or two to hang out at Hueco or Switzerland. I say bravo to Ondra for turning dross into gold. He sure doesn’t need the points.

  4. B3

    17. Nov, 2011

    @sockhands While you are a climber of infamy, do you think his status as the best climber in the world changes the way he should approach things? For you, of course, you do it because you love it, but if you were being paid to do so, would that change your motivation?

  5. B3

    17. Nov, 2011

    @Peter But what about the examples I gave? you seem to dismiss them without reason. The Nose and Realization were far more important to the sport than Wall Street. Hubble was climbed after Action Direct was it not? Then that would be a regression of standards. I would argue the reason The Nose and Realiztion are so iconic is not only because their difficulty but also that they are beautiful, and if one is interested in pushing standards, it seems it must be done on a good looking piece of rock as well as a difficult one.

    Some take what they can get, admirably so, but Ondra doesn’t need to. So why bother? I certainly appreciate it for what it is, and I have climbed hundreds of awful problems, but should that change for the best in the world? I don’t think so, but I think it’s a fair question to ask.

  6. EB

    17. Nov, 2011

    …at few exceptions (Ondra at Livin Large, Woods at Gioa), people usually don’t publicize their failures..
    Perhaps we don’t hear about Gaskin’s hardest problems and routes …because nobody can repeat them!
    …but local knowledge suggests that quite a few world famous climbers had tried…

    Ah and Hubble was climbed in 1990 and Action Direct in 1991. The latest had surely more exposure since it was the world first 9a (although the real grade is X UIAA not 9a, but I’m sure you know the story..), which likely struck more the minds than the world first 8c+ But in the UK, Hubble is very famous. Perhaps it is not much elsewhere in the world also because the first non-British ascent of Hubble is still awaited (despite again quite some famous contenders..)… well.. people usually don’t publicize their failures..

  7. peter beal

    17. Nov, 2011

    I am having trouble accepting the assertion that a pioneering 8c in 1987 is somehow less important than Realization. In fact a number of repeats have suggested 9a for the route. Aesthetic for sure, breakthrough, maybe not so much in the end. And we are not even counting in Fred Rouhling’s routes.

    Freeing the Nose is very impressive, especially in a day but Piana and Skinner had already pointed the way there on the Salathe.

    Regarding the date on Hubble and Action Directe:

    Hubble was done a year before so yes it marked a progression grade-wise.

    I would argue that Ondra’s achievement is even more impressive given its unimpressive appearance. It shows true dedication to an abstract ideal of pure difficult movement, the essence of bouldering for me. For Ondra, who can climb what he wants, I think that is a real statement of his ideas about climbing.

    I would also add that Fred Nicole is no stranger to such problems if you study his record.

    Now back to Holloway. I seem to remember some comments about Meathook, still unrepeated after 30+ years. The complaint about quality may be justified but his achievement is incredible and is still under-rated, in part due to its less than charismatic aspects

  8. big poppa chosscrush

    17. Nov, 2011

    oh yeah! you are totally right. this monkey better dance the dances taht i like best at all times or he should be eliminated and replaced with another headline clone that can better fulfill the manifest destiny of sponsored climbers.


    first, chop the hair to make a statement. see if that straightens him out.

    better yet, now that he has embraced ugly lines, force him to repeat those gaskin turds all the limeys get all hot about.

    turds, ho!

  9. Ian Walters

    17. Nov, 2011

    Peter, I think your point is well made, and I tend to agree with most of it. But I’d really like to think our ideas about the “essence of bouldering” have evolved a little further than just some “abstract ideal of pure difficult movement.” As more and more gyms sprout up and more money wheedles its way into climbing, I’d like to think that what will start to set the best climbers apart from the strongest is their ability to pick a line, rather than pull on the tiniest holds.

    That said, I think Peter is much more evolved than either Jamie or myself, as we both seem unable to resist bashfully confessing our own deep personal misgivings that the strongest climber around is no longer Chris Sharma. We’re both a little shy to acknowledge that the person we used to be able to point to to champion our own romanticized delusions about climbing is now a highly public, highly awkward teen who trains hard, grades his first ascents like a type-A English teacher, who doesn’t make pilgrimages or wax candle weather predictions, and who isn’t looking for anything ‘deeper’. He screams like a little girl, and he doesn’t seem to have many problems with the sport that is making him famous. Ecoterrorist was in Sharma’s backyard. Terranova was in Adam’s. So it goes.

  10. justin

    17. Nov, 2011

    It just so happened that I ran into Josh and Brett Lowell this past weekend while they were taking a break from filming Tommy Caldwell on the Dawn Wall project. I asked them if they had any intention to work with Ondra in the near future because I hoped to see more of his climbing in American media. At this time (Saturday the 12th), none of us knew of his success on Terranova, but the brothers told me of their plans to go and shoot with him on two projects, one would be his attempt to repeat Christian Core’s Gioia and the other would be “this project that he say’s isn’t that aesthetic or anything but its at his local crag and he says its the hardest thing he’s ever tried”.

    Josh also mentioned that it is still hard for Adam to travel full time a la Dave Graham, Daniel Woods, or Paul Robinson (I’m paraphrasing here) because he’s still in school, so he’s forced to travel on weekends and school holidays. So I imagine, this pseudo-forced confinement and his desire to push his own standard lead to his interest in climbing Terranova.

  11. nortebouldering

    17. Nov, 2011

    The problem, as always, is the number. Ondra is not innocent when grading V16, had he graded V15 or nothing, and quickly his feat would fall into oblivion in the media vortex. And that is the root of the problem: to give meaning to his effort and time wasted in the climb he had to attach a number to his effort. So, apparently, this is not an inner personal quest of sheer difficulty close to home and on the other hand does not seem to be a matter of points. The matter if the most difficult climbs must be the the most beautiful and inspiring is a mere matter of chance as proof by the discussion. But when the two factors conjugate, difficulty and beauty, the result is extraordinary, not to forget that the” consensual beauty ” much depends on the photographer or videographer who captures the moment, because beauty is also built for our eyes. SM

  12. Daniel

    17. Nov, 2011

    What makes a climb important to the community and the history of climbing? The difficulty? Sure! The aesthetics?

    Absolutely! But don’t forget the climber who does them.

    Realization was so important because it was perceived as being incredibly hard, because it looks bad ass and

    because Chris Sharma is so well known and liked. But as it turns out it wasn’t actually the first 9a+.

    You can doubt Bernabe Fernandez’ ascent of Chilam Balam (though I’m inclined to believe him and think he would have

    done himself a huge favor if he had graded it 9b). Then there is Fred Rouhling’s Akira, and most people believe him

    but it’s certainly not a king line. Which brings us to Open Air, Alex Huber’s masterpiece, repeated and upgraded to

    9a+ by Adam Ondra. So why didn’t it get its proper attention? Alex Huber was well known but he graded it 9a and it

    was therefore perceived as hard but not as cutting edge. Additionally, the Schleier Wasserfall looks quite impressive but the lines seem a bit chaotic and not as beautiful as Realization, Es Pontas or Jumbo Love. So only 1 or 2 factors (of the 3 listed above) apply. The same is true for John Gaskin’s problems or the numerous V15/16 first ascents of Dai Koyamada in Japan or even Dani Andrada’s 9b in the Ali Baba cave.

    It’s hardly never the difficulty alone that counts but a combination of the factors listed above and, by extension, the attention it gets from the community and media.

    Let’s turn to Adam Ondra and his most recent FA. I think AO does in fact prefere the big and beautiful lines, but don’t forget that he is still in school and cannot yet spend indefinite time abroad. I’m pretty sure he will return to TSotW and Gioia this winter. Daniel Woods might do the same, so things are going to be interesting.

  13. Chuck Fryberger

    17. Nov, 2011

    Hi Jamie,

    I’m actually in Italy at the momet, filming Adam trying Gioia for next year’s Reel Rock Tour. He was just a hair from completing the problem yesterday, and today he’s resting with the hope of sending tomorrow.

    I agree with your curiosity about the convergence of climbing ‘quality’ with climbing ‘photogenics’. Having been on both sides of the lens I understand the allure of being on the cover of a magazine, and also the allure of being the one to create the images that people watch and talk about (and buy).

    I was chatting with Adam about the project at his home area, and we agreed that it’s likely that the hardest climbs in the future will not be from areas where people travel – Ticino, Rocklands, etc… but from local areas where people can try the same project over the course of years, like Little Owl Canyon, Flagstaff, or Morrison. Wait, what?

    Earlier on this same trip I filmed Fred Nicole attempting a very hard traverse of about 14 moves at his local area, and while this particular project tops out the small cliff, it would likely fall under the same criticism as Adam’s recent FA, due to the incredible difficulty and un-photogenic stature of the climb. The other problem we filmed was an unbelieveably beautiful V13 or 14 that goes directly up one of the flattest faces I’ve ever seen this side of Amandala. It’s on a free standing boulder in the middle of the forest, and it’s uncontrived and totally pure.

    In my film CORE, I placed Nalle’s ascent of Livin Large directly next to Fred’s ascent of The Island That Does Not Exist (Cant remember the correct spelling, as it’s in French) as a way to invite comparison between the two types of climb. In my view, the two climbs are near polar opposites on the spectrum. One located in a far-off destination with a stand-start up a beautiful feature on a free-standing boulder. The definition of an impressive line. The other, a sit-start in the back of a dark cave close to Fred’s home, that meanders out the roof and then lowers from a bolt at 20 feet. Not so much impressive as simply daunting. Both are currently unrepeated.

    I think that often the media encourages climbers to worry more about the external aspects of climbs – things like the look of the line – and less on the internal aspects – the difficulty of the moves and the feeling of the movements, and as long as professional climbers use the media to improve their clout with sponsors, we’ll continue to see climbing aesthetics converge with climbing photogenics.

    Also, a random news byte. Fred recently repeated Hollows Way on flagstaff, and I would guess that his was in fact the first repeat of the problem by using the original method, keeping the feet very low and not relying on the high heel hook. A very impressive achievement and worth mentioning in my opinion, as this is possibly the first time that any of Jim Holloway’s big three have been repeated with the original method.

    Cheers from Varazze Italy,

  14. Chuck

    17. Nov, 2011

    Whoops, accidently said Hollows Way. Actually meant Trice. Sorry bout that.


  15. sidepull

    17. Nov, 2011

    I agree with Jamie’s assertion that problems tend to have more staying power – historical significance / ability to generate interest – if they are both hard and aesthetic. The Mandala is one of the most sought after lines in the world, people literally line up on good days to take a stab at it. This doesn’t happen with Gaskins problems, not because the moves are different, but because the full sensory experience is. This doesn’t undermine Gaskins’ achievements it simply explains why they don’t generate as much interest.

    I would think what Ondra has completed here is more of a training line, as Doug is arguing. The nature of this line sounds similar to a lot of the aesthetically ugly problems that Malcolm Smith put up in overhanging quarries. Bishop, New Zealand, Font, weren’t near or convenient so he did what he could on local stone. Lots of climbers have done this, anyone that has climbed Boston’s puddingstone or Arizona’s Oak Flats or any of a thousand different bouldering areas can sympathize. I think what is interesting now that he has claimed this grade is embedded in the question “what will we see next?” Hopefully we’ll see these skills applied to something aesthetic.

    PS – I couldn’t see how the link you provided showed Paul had downgraded Lucid Dreaming, which, unlike The Game, is still waiting for a second ascent.

  16. B3

    17. Nov, 2011

    Thanks for the great comments everyone!
    @Ian I think you are misreading my words. I have said from the time I watched Adam Ondra climb Dreamtime in 2007 that he is the future. His commitment to repeating all of the most important, best and hardest sport routes, nearly systematically is to me one the highest forms of expressions of the sport. He is unquestionably the best, and that is something I have thought for a number of years now.
    @Sidepull click the first link with Paul’s name. It shows his scorecard, where he has registered LD as V15. I posted a link to the discussion because of the criticism I received for suggesting that the line might not be V16, which Paul himself now agrees with.

  17. B3

    17. Nov, 2011

    @Chuck thanks for the great comment! Much appreciated!
    Hope all is well man!

  18. B3

    17. Nov, 2011

    @Peter, Should the best climbers in the world neglect areas like Hueco, Font or South Africa because it is more noble to climb at Flagstaff?

  19. webclimber

    17. Nov, 2011

    Interesting post, like your blog!

    Two comments:
    First, for what I know Ondras only travelling on weekends, he is still in school. You make it sounds like he could have choosen a much more aestethic line, but could he?
    From his comments, (or excuses) I read he is sorry this traverse is not appealing enough for the eye.

    That said, he seems very motivated to climb as hard as possible and break records. Maybe he just feels in really good shape, and is eager to take benefit from it. (Winning two straight boulder shows last weeks speaks for that)

    Second, if you are goin to evaluate “importance” of historical climbs, it does have a relevance that both Hill and Sharma are americans. (Note I am not saying that the Nose or Realisation was not worth all the attention)
    But it´s simply so you will probebly be a bigger star if you are a sportsman from the US, it´s simply the biggest market.

  20. B3

    17. Nov, 2011

    @Chuck And good luck to Adam!! Looks like an amazing problem!

  21. peter beal

    17. Nov, 2011

    Thanks for the news about Trice, underscoring even more the radical nature of Holloway’s creations. It seems a shame he didn’t really fit the preconception of hard climbing in his own day. In this way he emulated John Gill who was also creating climbs nobody could understand and to which very few paid any attention.

    The sport of climbing has always given its adulation toward the visually photogenic route and the visually photogenic and charismatic climber. Fortunately there are still many serious climbers who actually persist in following their own vision wherever it leads even if the media or the herd can’t be bothered to notice. That is where the future of the sport usually lies, not where the writers, the photographers and the film-makers are clustered. By the time they arrive, the torch has typically moved elsewhere.

  22. peter beal

    17. Nov, 2011

    I didn’t say it was more noble to climb at Flagstaff. Nobility has nothing necessarily to do with climbing at Hueco Font or Rocklands. What is noble in climbing is seeking to follow your own path, regardless of peer or media pressure.

    Here’s a question in response to yours. Should the media and other climbers ignore world-class or groundbreaking ascents because the climb, the location or the climber don’t fit the current profile of what the world’s best should be? I ask because they have done this often in the past and continue to do so in the present.

  23. Hardin

    17. Nov, 2011

    Wow, great post and comments!
    Daniel was on the money… its a combo of the line, the grade, and the hype to make a climb the new business.

  24. Todd

    17. Nov, 2011

    Since we’re all spewing our personal feelings into the mix, I’ll add mine.

    You can stop reading if you read sidepull’s, as i’m regurgitating the same thing in my own words.

    First off, I think adam climbed it because it was local, he could easily get there, it presented a challenge, and he hadn’t climbed it. Simple as. I think he’s a kid who’s psyched on climbing, and much like many young climbers (myself included 10 years ago) he’ll climb whatevers available and preferably try something he hasn’t done.
    About the questions you pose –
    1) How is doing a low cliff band traverse disregarding “the preconceptions of the previous generations”, when you compare it to so many of the hard problems Moon and Moffat did in UK (Superman, Powernband, Parsieles Cave, etc.), or to the many problems in the Frankenjura that are on mini cliff bands that don’t topout?
    2) Yes, the quality will always matter, and yes it will always be ambiguous because everyone has different ideas of what defines quality.
    3) Yes, I think he’s an obsessed climber. No, I don’t think he’s looking for more points.

  25. james

    17. Nov, 2011

    Always love a good chat which includes a bit of the godfather Johnny G.

    In terms of the difficulty of the move I still think nothing has so far come close to Gaskin’s stuff. Unless you see them in the flesh so to speak it seems crazy that a man operating outside of the scene (or anyone in fact) could ever climb on the non-holds which are the signature of his problems. The best people to ask are fellas like Micky Page and his crew who have pissed some of the hardest stuff out there and appear to regard John’s stuff as easily the most difficult.

    I must admit we brits tend to hold the G on a pedestal but having seen a number of the hardest problems in the world, they look like jug fests when compared to Shadowplay, ill pirata, walk on by ss etc. The phrase johnny jugs is used often by brits when they see stuff elsewhere.

    @sidepull. I would argue that although the G lines are not as aesthetic as the mandala the overall experience and ambiance may be of a far higher quality. Where as at the mandala you are likely to have a number of dickheads shouting shit beta constantly at you (when I was there anyway). In the lakes there is normally just you, the peace and the stunning lakes to drive to and from.

  26. Matthew

    17. Nov, 2011

    “Does this mean that the beauty of a problem may not be as important to the development of difficulty standards in bouldering? Is it imperative that the hardest climbs also be visually inspiring? How much does that aesthetic quality affect the “importance” of the climb as a standard bearer?”

    I think the first question, are aesthetics important to establishing difficulty standards, is an easy yes. Let’s look at this in a controlled environment such as a gym (and since you are a routesetter as well as an avid outdoor cboulderer.) If you set a route in the gym, it could be the ‘next level’ in the gym as the hardest route ever set. If it climbs like crap though, no one is going to try it. If you set a V16 crimp ladder using sharp holds where people tear flappers on the first move (out of 12) people are going to give up and not care about the problem. If you throw on random holds that I made in my basement that look terrible (and are unfun) opposed to the brand new feature just released by e-grips/Teknik/whoever with bright flashy colors, people will be disinterested and go find the climb that does have those awesome holds. I think the same thing applies outside. If a route is established, notoriously not fun, unaesthetic, not pleasing, hard, in the middle of nowhere, etc… No one will travel across the world to attempt it. Recently, Alex Kahn bosted a blog ( about future trips Paul and Her are planning and discuss how the narrowed their choices based on aesthetics.

    For the second question, is it necesary for hard climbs to be visually inspiring as well as difficult, I think the answer is less clear and just an opinion. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I think if a hard climb is less inspiring than something like Dreamtime or Story, it will stay hidden for far longer from the publics eye.

    As for aesthetics affecting “standard setting” climbs, I think it is a must. I think when a hard climb is established, the public wants confirmation of the difficulty. 99% of the climbing community will never be able to climb Jumbo Love let alone just look at it in person. We require someone else to go visit this route and confirm what is reported. If a climb looks like crap, no one will want to go there and noone will confirm the grade and we get something like the Chilam Balam/Akira things where “That’s an impossible climb but I’m not going to try it or belay him or her on it because it is compeltely out of the way and I can’t climb anything there and blahblahblah and when they send it, well they didn’t actually send it. Some mystical being carried them up the route.”

  27. Justin

    17. Nov, 2011

    “Here’s a question in response to yours. Should the media and other climbers ignore world-class or groundbreaking ascents because the climb, the location or the climber don’t fit the current profile of what the world’s best should be? I ask because they have done this often in the past and continue to do so in the present.”

    Re-posted because I want to know what people think about this.

    Also, if someone who is not Adam Ondra established this line and it got reported half as widely (considering it got reported at all), I would pity them for the worlds response. Stuff like this is what makes Adam one of my greatest inspirations in rock climbing. He obviously has great respect for all aspects of the sport, and everyone who has and will participate in it. I wish I was strong enough to repeat this line, as I find it very inspiring. I am also a bit disappointed that I have to hear about an exciting ascent like Fred’s repeat of Trice with Holloway’s original beta buried deep in the comments section of some blog (did he grade it?). Do we really care this little about the truth?

  28. jabroni

    18. Nov, 2011

    Hate to sound old-school here, but I feel slightly disappointed by the convergence of grading systems. V-grades used to be about the hardest move. Now a few V13 moves + a lot of V10 and some other grades chucked in = V16. Nothing actually harder than V13 of course.

    The inference is that with escalating grades that the human body is producing greater and more amazing movement in climbing and this is false. The only thing climbers are gaining is endurance and adaptability; we are not climbing on any smaller holds, or with larger movements than we have for many years. Adam Ondra is a great onsight climber – if a whiny crybaby – but is he really onsighting moves that are harder than anyone else ever has, or just onsighting more of them in one go?

    Similar thing with sport climbing. Is a 9c going to be way harder moves than a 9a? No, just fewer easy moves.

  29. Erich

    18. Nov, 2011

    Ondra himself says the line is not that aesthetic and not that proud. It was more of an experiment for him to see what are the smallest holds he could use.

  30. big poppa chosscrush

    18. Nov, 2011

    i’ve re-thought all my comments. ondra did not have a pure expression of climber psych in this new turd. in fact, he was merely trying to be me. that’s quite a lofty goal and i applaud his efforts. however, fact of the matter is that he will never be me until he cuts that damn hair. (and eat 53 candybar minis a day).

    i know chuck can be bought for the right price. maybe i can get this done with an agency arrangement and paypal?

  31. The nose

    20. Nov, 2011

    The Nose is completely manufactured and covered in climber piss. The great roof and changing corners are ‘chipped’ worse than the Jardine traverse from piton scars. There are good pitches on the nose but none of them are the cruxes

  32. zip

    21. Nov, 2011

    or maybe he just loves his home crag despite being the big boss.

  33. Michael

    24. Nov, 2011

    in Reference to what Jabroni said about grades

    Take the Grand Ledge traverse for example

    There is no move that is harder than V0 and its still a project

  34. stu

    24. Nov, 2011

    Young master Ondra is a nice kid and he’s simply doing what the rest of us want to do: climb as much, and as hard, as he can. We’ve all done problems/routes that we’re proud to spray about, whether it’s to our mates or the big sponsors, but we’ve also done plenty that we wouldn’t write home to mother about either. Rocks are there, and despite what they look like, we will cilmb them.

    Also, I’ve heard from many sources that old Gaskins’ problems are super hard. I have no doubt this is true, but out of interest what’s he done outside of the UK?? Surely he must have traveled and destroyed a few things here an there, yes?

  35. EB

    02. Dec, 2011

    from the (few) info available, Gaskin having a full-time job only traveled a bit out of the UK but still quickly repeated Gossip, 8C (Frankenjura) in 2004 before being called a liar by its first ascensionist Markus Bock, because it was “impossible” that he did it.
    He worked for many years on some of his hardest problems or routes (like 11 years before sending Violent New Breed 9a+ (5.15a) in 2004).

  36. JMB

    07. Dec, 2011

    Adam Ondra has repeated Gioia, giving it a grade of 8C+/V16 and saying flat-out that if it’s 8C/V15 then all the 8B+/V14 routes and most of the 8C/V15s would have to be downgraded. I’m sure Jamie is going to have some fun with this one.

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