Adam Ondra Returns to Outdoor Climbing With Hard Local Ascents

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In Adam Ondra’s home country of Czechia, the government has begun to lift stay-at-home mandates as the number of COVID-19 infections has fallen in the region. Within the last few weeks, businesses have started to reopen and restrictions on non-essential travel within have been loosened. Needless to say, Ondra wasted no time in getting back to outdoor climbing, and has been crushing at some local crags.

“I spent most of my time in the last two weeks climbing outdoors in various crags in the Czechia,” Ondra wrote on Instagram. “The situation is looking good here, even climbing gyms have opened, but it is basically impossible to go abroad yet. It has been really nice [to] revisit some of the crags I have neglected in the recent past but I loved them when I was [a] little kid.”

Ondra came out of quarantine with a fervor, and quickly made the second ascent of the boulder problem Iceberg (8C/V15). “It is time to test my power at some of the local testpieces,” he wrote on Instagram. “In January, Martin Stranik made the first ascent of Iceberg 8C, so it was an obvious challenge to start after the end of the lockdown.” Ondra sent the boulder problem on his fourth attempt. Watch it here.

He then went on to establish the most difficult sport route in Bohemia—the western part of Czechia—which he named Bohemian Rhapsody (9a+/5.15a). The climb is on the granite walls of Roviště and is a linkup of several difficult routes. He attempted the line five years ago, but had not been back since.

“Roviště is a great example of beautiful granite area close to Vltava River that I absolutely adored when I was like 8 years old,” Ondra wrote. “I was lucky to find a very difficult link-up, very pumpy and very fun to climb.”

Ondra made the first ascent of Bohemian Rhapsody last week, and was “absolutely stoked to find a good name for it.”

While Czechia was still on lockdown in the preceding weeks, Ondra followed the rules and stayed home, training hard and looking to brighter days. “I’m an optimist,” he said in a Road to Tokyo video, “I think it’s natural of us human beings of overcoming the crisis and coming out of it stronger and better than before.”