5.15 @ 15???

posted by dpm on 09/28/2008

As American climbers, we want to see progression, and like most Americans, we don’t want to have to wait for it. We want faster computers, cheaper gas prices, and we want to see more letter grades tacked on to 5.15 at least every six months. Fortunately for us, an unassuming 15 year old from the Czech Republic is about to make it happen.

In 1995, Elie Chevieux shocked the climbing world when he onsighted Massey Ferguson 14a, the first onsight of the grade. In today’s climbing world, 15 year old Adam Ondra has onsighted numerous routes graded 14a and harder. His recent onsight of Absinthe, 14b, proves that his first two 14b onsights were no fluke. In addition to his onsighting spree, Ondra has redpointed seven routes harder than 14d this year. He also shown he is a capable boulderer, by quickly dispatching Dreamtime, the V15 test piece first put up by Fred Nicole, in a four-hour session.

This summer Ondra set his sights on freeing a long alpine sport route on the Ratikon in Switzerland. After only three days work on the nearly 600 foot face, Ondra set off from the ground and redpointed each pitch in succession for a one day ascent. The seven pitch line-up breaks down like this: 14b, 13a, 14a/b, 13d, 14a, 13c, 13a. He named the route WoGu in honor of his climbing hero, Wolfgang Gullich. There is no doubt that we will be seeing amazing things from Adam in the future.


Check out the World’s Best Climber Sending Action Directe’ 14d