Adam Ondra is tearing the climbing world apart. The youngster from the Czech Republic has climbed more F9a's than most of us have had wet days at Stanage. A few weeks ago we started a Forum Thread asking you for the questions you would most like to put to him. Unfortunately we didn't get chance to speak to Adam face to face, but his sponsor, Tendon Ropes, kindly forwarded the questions on for us.
© Pete O'Donovan
Tendon Ropes also have an interview with Adam on their site mytendon.com - with an excellent photo gallery.
Slacky: Does trad climbing appeal to you, and if so what lines do you find inspiring?
Adam: Well, I would like to try it. On the other hand, I do not like the idea of training for days on toprope and then making one redpoint burn, when the route is more like soloing. But Rhapsody seems to be good; hard climbing and in case of a fall you don't hit the ground.
Andy Farnell: Are you going to come to the UK and try some of Steve McClure's 9a/9a+s?Adam: I would like to if more time remained. I have many other rarely repeated routes on my list of goals (just in my mind) in areas much closer to Brno (my home). But anyway, it would be interesting.
GrahamD: How did/do you balance your time between study and climbing?Adam: My training has been just climbing two hours on the wall, so still a lot of time reamians for me to study something if it is essential. In fact we go climbing abroad more or less just at weekends, so I do not miss school too much. Not enourmously more than my classmates. Only on the rare occasions that we go climbing for longer trips. There are usually a few hectic school days after my arrival home from such a trip, but on the other hand - what one would not do for 14 days of climbing...
TimB: What do you find more motivating, the line of a route, or the moves on a route?Adam: Both are important. The line is the what you are looking at first from the ground. The moves are in second place.
ALX: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?Adam: It would be amazing to live in such a beautiful place like Ratikon. But It takes 45 minutes to get down. It would be cool to have a house in a peaceful place with rocks above your head, out of the city. I also need a school and other things in the city near my home, so that is not completely suitable.
LiamDobson: Have you ever thought of setting up a UKClimbing.com user profile?Adam: No.
Lurking Dave: Adam, you have had an amazing couple of years, no doubt the expectations are continuing to rise... what advice have you been given from the older guys about avoiding burnout? Has any of this advice changed your objectives.
Adam Ondra on fire at Mello Blocco 2008
© Giulio Malfer
Adam: In my early climbing years, I climbed almost just on-sight. Nobody advised me to do that, but I think it could be good advice for other climbers. I felt it is natural. It would not even come to my mind to be on one route more than one day. I would rather postpone it for a year later.
TommyZero: Firstly - keep up the good work. It's really inspiring to watch people climbing so well at the top of the game. My Question: Jim Morrison thought that the self interview was an important way of thinking for people. So what is the most important question you would ask of yourself and what would the answer be?Adam: Why do I like climbing so much? Why do I want to climb another route/boulder despite desperately destroyed skin? Such great liberty of climbing up. That is what makes climbers happy, also being satisfied from a hard climb. But during a hard climb I personally do not feel anything, I am just focused on following the moves. Satisfaction comes after the ascent, because you can tell yourself: “Yes, I managed it!“
Tall Clare: Would you ever consider diversifying into, say, alpinism?Adam: Well, truly real alpinism with snow and a lot of hard work does not tempt me. I consider myself as a rock climber, I would like to face myself against some serious bigwall one day, but for sure it has to be about climbing and not walking in snow.
Max_01: You've clearly started young and achieved much. Have you been lucky enough to avoid injuries, and are you taking precautions against injuries in the future such as training antagonistic muscles and building rest into your climbing schedule?
Adam: I have a curved spine (like all climbers), but as well mine is also curved to one side. Because of it I am training mostly on an exercise ball, specifically some excercices in order to train the muscles around my backbone. Anyway, I have been lucky with some other injuries. Once I fell quite badly under the second bolt, head-first, but fortunately the only result was a lump.
Thanks to Adam for taking the time to answer our questions and thanks to Tendon Ropes and Ian Smith for making this happen.