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The 10 Most-Viewed Climbing Videos of 2015

The most popular climbing videos of the year, as chosen by the eyeballs of our readers.

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#10 Adam Ondra Flashes Jade (V14)

“Hardest flash in the world, it’s just gotta be,” says Dave Graham. And it’s hard to argue. After two days of competing at the Vail World Cup (placing third), Adam Ondra took a tour of Rocky Mountain National Park classics. In this video, he flashes both Don’t Get Too Greedy (V13) and the infamous Jade (V14). Jade was discovered by Graham in 2001, who accompanied Ondra, but wasn’t sent until Daniel Woods took down the line in 2007. Ondra makes it look so easy that it’s almost anticlimactic.

#9 Jorg Verhoeven Frees the Nose

In October of 2014, Jorg Verhoeven spent 30 days in Yosemite with one goal in mind; Make a free ascent of the Nose (5.14), on El Capitan, arguably one of the world’s most famous climbs. Join Jorg as he explains why this route is so hard, what keeps people from climbing this iconic route free, and what he personally invested into his remarkable ascent. Tommy Caldwell and Lynn Hill help narrate this incredible story of determination and perseverance that ultimately leads to the 5th free ascent of the Nose.

#8 Ellen DeGeneres Interviews Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson

Remember the Dawn Wall? Of course you do, because no other climbing story has received more coverage from the general media. Ever. Millions of non-climbers watched as Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell topped out on top of El Capitan and climbed into the limelight. The fame was well deserved. It was an incredible climb and an inspiring story. A fun side effect was that we all got to see two rock climbers appear on a daytime talk show. What a strange and exciting time to be alive.

#7 The First Ascent of One of Australia’s Hardest Trad Routes

Lee Cossey puts a long-standing Grampians project to bed, and in nailing the first ascent of Agent of Cool (31, 5.13d), he establishes one of the hardest all-trad routes in Australia. As if the moves weren’t hard enough on their own, the route required a “complicated anti-rope drag moment.” Basically, Cossey put in a couple pieces, tied a figure-eight on a bight, clipped it, then went off belay and pulled up all the rope so it came out of his previous protection, dropped it back down to his belayer, went back on belay, then continued up. He accomplished all of that while free hanging from one hand for a clean send in damn-good style.

#6 One Gnarly DWS Fall

Watch climber Benjamin Solon blow a dyno roughly 25 feet up a Massachusetts deep water solo. Solon manages to deflect himself away from the wall below, but sets himself up for one gnarly belly flop in the process. The sound of his body impacting the water echos off the quarry walls. It’s savage. Solon managed to walk away from unscathed, and he’s since pointed out that he is not to blame for the obnoxious music in the background.

#5 Alex Honnold Solos 290 Pitches on his Birthday (Outtakes)

On Alex Honnold’s 29th birthday he soloed 290 routes in Squamish, BC. These are the outtakes from that monumental day, including 1000% more complaining and cookie eating than the original video.

#4 Climber Isaac Caldiero Wins American Ninja Warrior

Watch as climber Isaac Caldiero effortlessly dispatches obstacle after obstacle to become the first winner of American Ninja Warrior. Not technically a climbing video, but we’re letting it slide because it’s as impressive as it is fun to watch. 

#3 Alex Puccio Sends Her First V14

2014 was a monster year for Alex Puccio. She sent her first V13 on only her second day of working it. Five days later she sent her second V13. Then just a few weeks after that, she jumped to the next grade by taking down the iconic test piece Jade (V14). That’s not to say it was easy. Puccio battled with challenging moves, humid conditions and split tips, but in the end she emerged victorious and became the fourth woman to climb the grade, as seen in this footage (released in 2015).

#2 Will Stanhope Free Solos Hard Joshua Tree Cracks

Will Stanhope spends most of his time climbing by himself, regularly cranking out several routes before breakfast. Inspired by classic footage of Stonemaster John Bachar, Stanhope solos a number of Joshua Tree super-classics before roping up to take on the laser-cut splitter Asteroid Crack (5.13).

#1 The Insane Power of Louis Parkinson

Our most popular video of 2015, and it’s easy to see why. Louis Parkinson is such a beast that it’s hard to watch this just once. We usually like to say that rock climbing is all about footwork, but as he proves here, if you’re strong enough, you can do whatever you want.

Film: How Matt Cornell Free Soloed One of America’s Classic Hard Mixed Routes

"The Nutcracker" explores the mental challenges of solo climbing and the tactics Cornell used to help him send the route.