Adam Ondra, the 15-year-old Czech who has already completed nine 5.14d or harder routes, added perhaps the first and most famous 5.14+ to his resume this week: Action Directe in Germany’s Frankenjura. On May 19, Ondra redpointed the classic Wolfgang Güllich testpiece, characterized by dynamic moves between tiny limestone pockets. He had thought at first that one dyno on the big overhang might be too powerful for him, but after about 15 tries he stuck the move. Güllich first climbed Action Directe in 1991, two years before Ondra was born. It has been repeated about nine times in the 17 years since.
Ondra had already completed one 5.14d this month in the Frankenjura: Unplugged, the Markus Bock route that Ondra called his hardest send yet, taking five days of effort. Ondra also recently won the bouldering competition at Melloblocco in northern Italy’s Val Masino, a festival that drew more than 4,000 people. Watch the video of Ondra making the first repeat of Antropos (8B/V13) during Melloblocco:
Video of Ondra on Action Directe
Planet Mountain has published a good interview with Ondra, in which he reveals some of his training and sending tactics, including resting a full three to five hours between burns on hard endurance routes, and up to two hours between attempts on bouldery routes. Surprisingly for a climber who’s most famous for his outdoor leads, Ondra trains in the off-season almost exclusively on a small bouldering wall—he says he visits indoor lead-climbing gyms only a couple of times each winter. Read the interview here.
Bock, meanwhile, has created another 9a (5.14d) in the Frankenjura: The Essential, a project dating back to the 1980s! Earlier in May, Bock completed an 8c+ (5.14c) project in the Frankenjura called Three Suns and One Star.
Date of Ascent: May 19, 2008 (Action Directe)
Ondra on Antropos (8B/V13)