The Italian website Planet Mountain has published an excellent interview with new details from Adam Ondra about Change, a likely candidate for the world’s first 9b+ (5.15c). The interview was conducted shortly after the 19-year-old Czech climber completed the 55-meter sport climb, which traverses the Hanshelleren Cave near Flatanger, Norway.
Route description: The technical crux is a six-move boulder problem, “about 8B+,” or V14, in the first 12 meters of the route. After a “pretty decent” rest at 20 meters, the route continues with a 6-meter bouldery section, followed by continuous climbing all the way to the chains. “I’d say that on many sections of this route I was completely at my limit,” Ondra told Planet Mountain.
Redpoint crux: Although the route gets easier the higher you get, Ondra had to fight the hardest after the second boulder problem. He said he nearly fell off at the second-to-last bolt during his successful redpoint.
Working the route: Ondra put three weeks into the climb this summer, and another two weeks in the fall, the longest he had ever worked a route.
Grade: After he sent the first crux and felt “fresh” on the second section’s crux passage while working the climb, Ondra thought the route might be “only” 9b. [He has climbed at least five 9b (5.15b) routes before.] “But in the end I kept falling off that first section so often, it became such a demanding process both physically and mentally that I believe it is significantly harder than all the other 9b’s I’ve done,” he said.
Date of ascent: October 4, 2012