Adam Ondra

Posted on 15. Dec, 2011 by in News

Apologies for the website going down. It was unexpected on my end as well, but things are up and running again and will continue to do so. Now on to more pressing matters…

Adam Ondra has been on an absolute bouldering tear lately. Not only has he recently established his own V16 Terranova, but he also made the second ascent of Christian Core’s Gioia uprating that to V16. Here is uncut video of the ascent, in case you haven’t yet seen it:

Now he has traveled to the famed forest of Fontainebleau, where he made very quick work of a number of classics, including a flash ascent of Gecko Assis, which he promptly downgraded to V13.

First of all, it’s great to see Ondra bouldering. For a while his focus seemed to be only on sport climbing. While I had a vague understanding that he was doing things that other people found to be really difficult, it’s given me a more personal perspective now that he is climbing on things I’m more familiar with. His recent achievements are without compare, and given that he is only 18 years old (4 years younger than Daniel Woods), it’s hard to imagine there are not many, many more incredible things for his future.

Secondly, Ondra isn’t shy about downgrading things he thinks are soft. It is the responsibility of the best climbers to give their opinions about grades (e.g. in 2005 when Dave Graham downrated many of the hardest problems in Switzerland, and after 6 years it turned out he was generally right). While grades remain subjective, it’s nice to see a top climber take a stand, particularly when his stand seems to come from an honest desire to make grades as accurate as possible, and are backed up by him repeating almost all of the benchmarks.

Finally, the most admirable quality of his climbing is his radically forward thinking mentality. Ondra is putting far more considerable weight on the flash attempt, and it is yielding some significant results. It is clear that his climbing is extremely well thought out, and the conclusions he reaches via his analysis seems to be spot on. It seems almost imminent that he will give a serious flash attempt of, for example, Realization, or that all of this bouldering could even be training for such on attempt.

Regardless, while many will praise Adam Ondra for the achievements of his body, it is arguable that, like all of the truly great climbers, his are achievements of a well-thinking mind. I am impressed.

8 Responses to “Adam Ondra”

  1. SeanP

    15. Dec, 2011

    Nice post, Jamie. Do you feel like Gioia is the first confirmed V16 in the world now that Ondra has repeated it? I assume it will now get even more attention after his ascent.

  2. Davin

    15. Dec, 2011

    Rare video of a boy climbing into manhood. Very Impressive!

  3. B3

    15. Dec, 2011

    It doesn’t mean that it is, but after his successes in Font it seems more likely his suggestion to uprate could be correct. It does however follow a pattern: that many top climbers uprate or take higher grades on the hardest problems and downrate their easier sends. Again, I think time will tell, but either way his sending is to be commended.

  4. Markku Laine

    15. Dec, 2011

    Hi Jamie,
    You have a typo in the name of Christian Core’s boulder problem, Goia –> Gioia, appearing in the second paragraph.

  5. Zach

    16. Dec, 2011

    Is it possible that the climb was just not Adam’s style?

    Supposedly, when Daniel visited he did all the moves to Gioia on his first day in sub-optimal conditions.

    From the footage, the climb seems to be mostly a test of core tension and pure finger strength. Adam is an amazing boulderer, but he does not have the world’s strongest fingers.
    I think other climbers might have an easier time w/ this boulder and would not give it V16. (e.g. Daniel/Paul/Koyamada)

    This is all just speculation, though. Time will tell =)

  6. Nach

    16. Dec, 2011

    Zach, Really?
    Adam seems quite humble when talking about his strong points (many IMO) but he use to say that the crimpy stile fits him very well and you can see from the competitions videos (”legends” for instance) that he crimps seemingly effortless where others you mention struggle (not meaning the others are weak but proving Adam’s strong point very accurate)

  7. Pellet

    16. Dec, 2011

    For the records, koyamada tried the problem and could not do it, neither sit or stand start. The first part (5 moves) according to Ondra, fits very well his style and can be upper end 8B+. From there it’s 8B or 8A+, it depends on the beta too. Ondra used the same as Core and Niccol├▓ Ceria (second ascent of the stand start), while Gabri Moroni (3rd ascent) used a different method which seems to be slightly easier if you are not crazy strong on big moves. Or at least it was for him. Anyway the grade does not seem to change that much for that part.

  8. Zach

    17. Dec, 2011

    I didn’t know Dai had tried it.

    Maybe you are right. Adam is definitely one of the best ever on small crimps. I think alot of his ability, though comes from his perfect technique, control, and flexibility. Moves like the crux around 0:14 seem like they kinda take that away from him. I’m just speculating that someone like Daniel might have an easier time esp. w/ that bunchy middle section.

    We should see soon as Gioa’s new publicity attracts the challengers!

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