posted by dpm on 04/25/2012
Compared to last spring’s onsight spree of six 5.14c onsights over a five week period, news from Ondra has been relatively quiet this year. He pulled off another one in Italy just two weeks ago as well as numerous 5.14b onsights that are so regular we stopped reporting them. It’s been no secret that Adam is gunning for the world’s first 5.14d onsight and the slowed rate at which he devours them is an indication that he’s approaching them with more caution, waiting for the right timing of conditions and physical strength. (Note: Adam has done 43 5.14d’s, almost certainly more than anyone else ever has.)
Adam in Oliana. Photo: Black Diamond
Much of his recent trip this year was spent gaining fitness on the La Dura Dura project in Oliana, Spain which he’d been working with Chris Sharma. The speculated grade on this project is 5.15c which would make it the world’s hardest. Unfortunately, Adam’s trip came to an end without clipping the chains. Before leaving Oliana, Adam went all in for another 5.14d onsight attempt on Duele la Realidad. He fell just before the anchors of the first pitch (5.14c) and lowered to the ground. The next day he returned, redpointed to the first anchors and onsighted the extension which makes the entire route 5.14d.
He also claimed the first ascent of a 5.14d link-up which he did first try but there’s a catch. The link-up, called Joe-Cita, starts on Joe Blau which is 5.14b. This section he onsighted. It then moves left into Marroncita for a section of “relatively easy” 5.13d which he’d climbed before. Then it continues up the extension of Marroncita which would be 5.14c if climbed from the ground. This part he flashed. So while it would be misleading to call it an onsight or a flash, it was a first try first ascent of a 5.14d. That’s about as close as you can get and it certainly seems that one of two things is sure to happen in the near future: 1. Adam onsights 5.14d, or 2. Adam runs out of 5.14d’s to attempt, having done all the world has to offer.