Ondra Grabs Ascent of Chilam Balam


4/13/11 - Not wasting any time, Adam Ondra has climbed Chilam Balam, Spaniard Bernabé Fernández's controversial route in Villanueva del Rosario, Spain. Fernández claimed the first ascent in July 2003 and proposed the unprecedented grade of 5.15c (at the time, Chris Sharma's Realization, 5.15a, was the hardest route in the world). It took Ondra only three days to grab this 270-foot, 22-bolt route's first confirmed ascent.

In 2003, the revolutionary grade sparked debate around the globe, with international climbers chiming in to voice their suspicion.Not surprisingly, the proposed grade has sparked an onslaught of online controversy around the world. Alex Huber said on 8a.nu, “I cannot take Bernabé's proposal seriously as I can't see any references that would demonstrate his skills of climbing at such a high level—far above the rest of the world. I would be lying if I said that I believed in the correctness of the grade 9b+!” Fernández was witnessed climbing the route, and he posed for photos, but his ascent has never actually been confirmed. (Even his belayer was never authenticated.)

There's been a lot of internet chatter in the past few weeks following Ondra's onslaught of 5.14c onsights. Reports stated that Ondra would try to climb Chilam Balam with Sharma's help (who has attempted the route, along with Dani Andrada, many times to no avail).

According to the Czech site lezec.cz, Ondra's calling the route 5.15b.

Date of ascent: April 13, 2011

Sources: ukclimbing.com, climbing.com