Adam Ondra: 9a Onsight

posted by dpm on 07/10/2013


Adam Ondra has finally claimed his first 9a (5.14d) onsight with Cabane au Canada at Rawyl, Switzerland. It's been a long road to reach this coveted achievement for Adam and a goal he's strived toward for quite some time. He amassed a base of an astonishing fifteen 8c+ onsights and one 9a flash before finally pulling it off. When he clipped the chains, he became only the second person to ever accomplish the feat after Alex Megos' historic onsight of Estado Critico (9a) at Siurana, Spain earlier this year.

Adam Ondra on Thor's Hammer (9a+) in Norway's Flatanger Cave. Photo: Petr Pavlicek

According to Planet Mountain, who interviewed Adam after the ascent, Ondra saw the route shining in the sun in the late evening and knew he had to try it early the following day. The next morning he warmed up with a failed onsight on an unknown route, ran around 'flapping' his arms to further warm up, and then jumped right on it knowing that it would go in the sun soon. He writes to Planet Mountain:

It was an amazing experience. A 30° overhanging face, with tiny crimps with some decent rests. My style of climbing, with some bouldery sections below and a difficult crux right at the top. It was hard to go for it in the beginning, but I was lucky and got through the hard sections at the start and then continued. When I got to the final moves I had to give it 100%. From an undercling you go to a shoulder move and place your right foot where your right hand is. It's the type of move I've been training all my life. Yeah, I was really lucky!

This onsight marks another benchmark for the man that brought 5.15c to the world. Read an interview with Adam Ondra in issue 22 where he discusses his first ascent of Change (5.15c) and his path toward his goal of onsighting 9a.