/ NEWS: VIDEO: Adam Ondra onsights The Golden ticket

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
UKC News - on 21 Nov 2012
Adam Onda on The Golden Ticket, 8c+, Red River Gorge, 3 kbThis is the video of Adam Ondra making what could quite possibly be the hardest onsight ever made: The Golden ticket, hard 8c+, or even 8c+/9a.
To me it's amazing how fast and distinct his climbing is. This is a man on a mission!
Other than that I'll just let the video do the...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67623
Michael Ryan - on 21 Nov 2012


Incredible!
Pino - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News: He is setting new standards...well done.
Watching the video, a general thought comes to my mind, about "onsighting" routes where the holds a clrearly marked. (some climbers even ask their friends to mark them, first!!)
Considering how good and a purist he is I am surprised he didn't consider this a flash.
As with a lot of routes, with clearly marked holds, one should be honest with oneself and leave onsight claims for when they really are. Nothing wrong with it, but but it makes a real onsight feel a little more special, when it really happens. Or is it just about chasing numbers....? :-)
Fraser on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Excellent! I really liked the absence of music and shouting, just the animal grunting and breathing. More please.
Enty - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
>
>
> Incredible!

Amazing - a testament to his ability is the fact that only once on the whole route did he reach up for the wrong hold first time.

Unbelievable!

E
Fultonius - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Pino: I'm intrigued. When you go to a busy crag that has routes that are nearly permanently being worked by various people and you want an ethically pure onsight, do you ask a mate to spend 2 hours abbing down and cleaning all signs of chalk of every hold?

Do you?

If so, hats off to you. The rest of us just turn up, give it a bash in its current state and see how we get on.


Back to the ascent:

I've seen people who have worked a route 20 times make more mistakes on a redpoint than he does on an onsight. A completely different level!
Pino - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Fultonius: Of course, I don't but if I feel the maked holds gave me a vague idea about the route I simply say I flashed it. Very simple. I sometimes come across arrows? I call it flash.
AJM - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Pino:

> Considering how good and a purist he is I am surprised he didn't consider this a flash.

Why in gods name would he? The generally accepted definition of an onsight is clear: you rock up under the line and you climb it in whatever state it happens to be in. Chalked or not, with in situ clips or not, it's still onsight.

Why do you think he should follow your definition of what you consider to be onsight rather than the consensus view?
Fultonius - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Pino:
> (In reply to Fultonius) Of course, I don't but if I feel the maked holds gave me a vague idea about the route I simply say I flashed it. Very simple. I sometimes come across arrows? I call it flash.

Good for you. You are my hero.
ERH - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:

When he drops off at the end and you suddenly see the angle of the wall...
shaking out on that pinch as well...
What a beast
Jon Read - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:
A-ma-zing.
AJM - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to ERH:

You really don't get a good impression of the angle until then do you.
doylo - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to Pino:

Maybe on crags that are easy to read like RRG every ascent should be considered a redpoint? Cheating bastard Ondra...
Nic on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to doylo:

Frankly until he solos it blindfold it doesn't count in my book. While we're on the subject, what exactly *is* his record on the hard coarse-grained siliceous sandstone of Northern England?
tanssop - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Wow! Hell of a climber.
swiss gneiss - on 21 Nov 2012
nic, doylo: take it easy. RRG is not england fore sure. RRG is not even a hard to read sport cliff. the ascent wasn't a redpoint by definition (this is the classical redpoint/pinkpoint mistake) but very much so an onsight pink one, if adam didn't have any previous information about the route.

true is, adam did not set new standards on his journeys to the island so far but just wait and see... maybe he will repeat all of steve's routes next time, maybe he will go into trad as well in the coming years and go for bold routes. rhapsody might fit him. who knows?

fact is, he's super talented. and this video kicks ass!
GrahamD - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to swiss gneiss:

Which one of Steve's routes hasn't he done ? he's done all the hard ones for sure.

If he decides to go for grit in the future I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't go for a high ball bouldering approach.

More interesting would be to see him try some of Gaskins problems.
AJM - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Mutation...
Skyfall - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:

What a poseur - wearing jeans to climb in !

;)
Mr Fuller on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to GrahamD: Yeah, I'd love it if him, Daniel Woods, and them other 'good' boulderers came over here and had a go at all Gaskins' stuff. Dave MacLeod's said that he doesn't think anyone would manage them.

Ondra's finger strength is obviously mega, but what impresses me most are his hips! He seems to be able to get flat to the wall no matter where his feet are and where they're going next. He even makes other exceptional climbers look like they've sloppy footwork.
Stone Muppet - on 21 Nov 2012
It strikes me that those chalked holds probably don't look as obvious from below as from above.
Robert Durran - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Incredible. He even looked like he might have a bit in hand.

I wish the the shake outs hadn't been irritatingly speeded up though - I'd quite happily give up another couple of minutes of my time to see something this good "as it happened".
James Oswald - on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:
Amazing, his climbing flows so brilliantly.
Denni on 21 Nov 2012
In reply to James Oswald:

Excellent vid, thanks for that!

PS, 1st picture caption, Ondra not Onda
AKD - on 21 Nov 2012
Same trolling about the tickmarcks as in 8a.nu, different answers (got to love British irony..."Pino", my new hero, haha), and this comment comes from an Argie...

By the way, I also would like to see him in some Gaskins stuff (Shadowplay, VNB, etc) and see what he's got to say about those problems/route.

Alejandro S - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to AKD: Whats the deal with all this gaskins talk? I cant find a single video of him climbing his supposed 'world class' boulder problems. I have a hard time putting faith in someone that shies away from the media and reputedly climbs at such a high level (there has been controversy regarding his sends in the past). I'd rather see Ondra onsighting E9 and E10 on grit.
USBRIT - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News: On sight sport route with marked holds.Impressive show of finger strenth and technique.However lets face it single pitch sport climbs (and boulders) will in the very near future be the domain of the very light pre-teenagers as it is now with the sport of gymnastics.See Ashima Shiraishi and others.
It is impressive. He is in a league of his own. It is about chasing numbers and media attention, but not by Ondra for sure. I'd say BD has more to do with it. And yes marked holds make an on-sight easier, but it's still technically an on-sight by any universally accepted definition. Just as on-sighting a long endurance route is generally easier than on-sighting a cruxy sequencey one. And what about the conditions then? They can also make an ascent incredibly harder or easier. No problem there. But Ondra proved to be amazingly consistent under all conditions and on all terrains and what he did there it's just plain impressive. I don't even care about the grade of what he climbs. I find it almost incredible to see him succeeding in almost no time where the strongest climbers in the world have spent ages. It's just amazing.
Richard Hession on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Alejandro S: I'd much rather watch a video of shadow play or VNB than a grit E9 which would be a comparative walk in the park!
andybenham - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News: Chalked holds or no, the ease in which Ondra reads and executes every move on this route is nothing short of phenomenal.

As pointed out above, only once did he seem to get the wrong sequence and have to set up again. It just seems he has an innate understanding that allows him to move so freely from one hold to the next.

Loving your work Mr Ondra!
Fraser on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Alejandro S:
> (In reply to AKD) Whats the deal with all this gaskins talk? I cant find a single video of him climbing his supposed 'world class' boulder problems.

I've seen him climb in the past and can state he's strong as ****! And a very pleasant, chilled and unassuming guy too. From memory, there's footage of him doing Anesthesia at Woodwell on one of the older bouldering videos, can't remember which one, possibly "Stick It". Maybe no longer cutting edge but it's still "quite hard" at font 8B, and that was back in about 2000.
neil the weak - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News: It is astounding eh. Not just because of the difficulty for me, but more for his speed of movement and sequence choice. If you didn't know otherwise, you'd swear he had it dialled and was redpointing. And to those going on about tick marked handholds, you'll notice he picks the correct feet for each move the whole way, no errors, no changes. Some are ticked, but mostly they're not and reading the foot sequence is usually way harder than getting the hands right. Bonkers I tell you - no-one else climbs like that I'v ever seen.

If he is just "chasing atttention" which I doubt, then I'm glad he is - we get to see some amazing stuff. I would imagine that is actually the real motivation behind the folk doing the filming, not pushing product but simply that they want to film something they know is pretty special. Even if Adam wasn't sponsored i think we'd still be seeing these things.
In reply to Alejandro S: I don't know how long you've been climbing but Gaskins was always a very low profile climber even at the height of his powers. I'm total outsider to that part of the country and to hard bouldering and sport (well, hard any climbing really!), so my impressions just come the mags and some reports here and on UKB, but that impression was that many of his routes and problems were never considered to be super quality five star lines, but were just as hard or harder than anything else in the world. I think all the wads know exactly where the problems are (this isn't like the Si O'Connor routes!), its just no one can do them! I guess the interest is to know just how hard Gaskins was climbing year back, and that maybe only Ondra is at the level to test that?

I think having 'dark horses' like Gaskins is one of the things that makes climbing brilliant.
In reply to neil the weak:
> Not just because of the difficulty for me, but more for his speed of movement and sequence choice. If you didn't know otherwise, you'd swear he had it dialled and was redpointing.

What I thought was that it just looks likes to him, everything is a hold. Perhaps he just reads everything optimally the first time, but in someways it looks more like if he reaches it, he holds it. He's just so good he doesn't need to get the holds "the right way" first time. He just gets them and then works out the best way to use them.

A bit like me on Severe. Well, ok, a v diff. ;-)
Robert Durran - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to neil the weak)
>
> What I thought was that it just looks likes to him, everything is a hold. Perhaps he just reads everything optimally the first time, but in someways it looks more like if he reaches it, he holds it. He's just so good he doesn't need to get the holds "the right way" first time. He just gets them and then works out the best way to use them.

There was great little interview on here a while ago with Ondra where he talks about onsighting. He said that to onsight at your limit you have to climb as if on redpoint ie pick a hold/sequence and then commit to it with total conviction (presumably any faffing will drain strength and result in failure). So, in this video, is he actually always getting the optimal foot holds or even hand holds, or is he just climbing as if he has? So, while obviously he has fabulous sequence reading skills, there will certainly be an element of luck involved as well. I wonder whether, for every hard onsight he makes, he screws up another one. Does he sometimes get completely wrong-handed on a mere 8b+ and fall off? Do his sponsors only release videos of the ones where he doesn't mess up? I'm not looking to criticise here; I am genuinely interested in the skills and processes of onsighting which he has obviously pretty much perfected and which the rest of us could learn from.
Enty - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to neil the weak)
> [...]
>
> What I thought was that it just looks likes to him, everything is a hold. Perhaps he just reads everything optimally the first time, but in someways it looks more like if he reaches it, he holds it. He's just so good he doesn't need to get the holds "the right way" first time. He just gets them and then works out the best way to use them.
>


I have a mate who climbs like that - he's an old timer but good. When he touches a hold he makes a split second decision "Can I pull on this or is it worth searching for another hold" It's usually the former and he onsights lots of hard stuff.

E

biscuit - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to USBRIT:

I agree look at all the UK medallists at the olympics. Beth Tweddle is only 6 yrs old and the lad on the pommel horse is a very light 5ft tall. You can see that on Strictly Come Dancing by the way all the women tower over him and his tiny muscles ;0)

We don't know which way it will go really. Climbing is still very much in its infancy as far as it's development goes. Of course str/weight ration is important but you can have that and be stacked.

There are always examples on all sides: Chris Sharma and Fred Nicole vs Daniel Woods and Ondra. Sasha Digiulian and Ashima vs Coxsey and Puccio. Plenty more examples of different soma types performing at the same level.

It'll certainly be interesting whether single pitch sports climbing goes down the 'hard' route or 'fitness route'. It certainly seems to be going down the fitness route at present but maybe it will become about multi pitch challenges or short brick hard routes in the future. Who knows ?

biscuit - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Enty:

Is it a good hold ?

No.

Is it good enough ?

Probably.

Well carry on then :0)
jon on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Enty:

Dave B?
In reply to biscuit:

> There are always examples on all sides: Chris Sharma and Fred Nicole vs Daniel Woods and Ondra. Sasha Digiulian and Ashima vs Coxsey and Puccio.

Either of those would be excellent tag-team wrestling matches to watch...! :-)
Robert Durran - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to biscuit:
> It'll certainly be interesting whether single pitch sports climbing goes down the 'hard' route or 'fitness route'. It certainly seems to be going down the fitness route at present but maybe it will become about multi pitch challenges or short brick hard routes in the future. Who knows ?

Probably long brick hard routes in Ondra's case.

jon on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Toby, can you explain the Si O'connor mention to me. I must have missed it for some reason. Is he a modern day K McCallum?
tony on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> Toby, can you explain the Si O'connor mention to me. I must have missed it for some reason. Is he a modern day K McCallum?

Si O'Connor was a Scottish climber who claimed a whole bunch of very hard boulder problems and routes in remote locations, mostly on Skye and Lewis and Harris. I know folk who have tried to find the problems, following Si's descriptions, only to to find they're either not where they were supposed to be, or they're nowhere near as hard as he claimed. For example, one boulder problem, Atlantic Bridge, was downgraded from V14 to V4. Essentially, he was a bit of fantasist. He also had a bit of thing for overworked black-and-white photos.
jon on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

Thanks. That's what I imagined.
In reply to tony: Didn't he start out climbing in the Lakes though? I think he was the OTE lakes correspondent before he went up to Scotland. I believe he started out doing some relatively hard stuff and being part of the scene before he 'went his own way'.

Your description seems entirely fair, but perhaps misses out on some of the majesty of his madness(?). His writing was bizarrely superb at time, it's probable that most of the people he wrote about on his blog were rather well described literary characters rather than real people. Didn't he also write loads in Gaelic? We need Saor Alba to tell us if it really was Gaelic and whether O'Connor was a talented learner or a native speaker! After leaving climbing, he went on to be the world's most ambitious sea kayaker. A bit of a google reveals that it seems he has moved on from that world too, with the sea kayakers left wondering about this fascinating phantasm just like us.

The sea kayakers seem to have found his newest incarnation, as a landscape photography master: http://www.fluidr.com/photos/sgiandubhqajaq This site: http://www.redbubble.com/people/tadhgmac suggest Si is now crewing a lifeboat. I really hope he is; I would just love for him to be out there charging through mountainous seas, blasted by foamy wavetop, just the stormy petrels above for company, crinkled eyes scanning the horizon for Icelandic shores...

His fall from grace on UKC: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=235217
The good folk over at UKB discussing him: http://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php?topic=10172.0
A rather high quality parody of his climbing blog (the real one is dead and gone): http://sioconor.blogspot.fi/
Robert Durran - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> The sea kayakers seem to have found his newest incarnation, as a landscape photography master: http://www.fluidr.com/photos/sgiandubhqajaq

They're actually really good!
Calder - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA: That is some portfolio.
Horatio on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: I guess he tries to on-sight everything, make no sense not to when sport climbing. That's the impression I got from Wizards Apprentice. We just see the rare ones he manages or the hard red points he (expectantly) failed to on-sight.

Right Adam, sick of watching you make the world hardest sport routes look like 7a's, let's see you mix it up traditional stylee! ;)
The Pylon King on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:

If we are talking about cutting edge stuff then as far as i am concerned chalked up holds is NOT ONSIGHT.


Surely the closer somebody gets to 'impossible' the more rigid the ethics need to be to make certain claims?

Still very impressive though.
metal arms on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> If we are talking about cutting edge stuff then as far as i am concerned chalked up holds is NOT ONSIGHT.
>

Apologies for going off topic.

Presumably when you did Binky - http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=130755 you had your eyes shut while belaying otherwise you couldn't have done the route 'as a second, onsight?' Or is it do as I say, not as I do?

Anyway, back on topic isn't Ondra awesome.

Chris
TheDrunkenBakers - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News: Rubbish, he didnt even get the the top.
Epsilon - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC News:

Expecting chalk and fixed draws to be removed for onsights of modern overhanging sport routes is unrealistic and places a huge burden on whatever climber wants to onsight the route. You'd have to find volunteers to strip the route and clean it, which is going to take more than just a few minutes work. With regards to the Red River Gorge in particular, there is chalk everywhere because it sticks like glue to anything that it touches, and cleaning it from that sandstone would probably require a pressure hose; it's not simply going to brush off. Also, pretty much everything that might be a possible hold has chalk on it because someone has touched it at some point, so you can't simply just follow the chalk marks up, as many of them will lead you to the "wrong" holds.
Tyler - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to mattbirch:

> It would be great to see shadow play get a first ascent if ondra came over.

So are we to assume from your comment that people are starting to question that he was operating at a level above every other boulderer in the world?
PeterJuggler - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Tyler: I think there is some doubt by some people (not me) because his ascent of Shadow Play came shortly after the Markus Bock Gossip thing and so he may have been trying to prove a point. The fact that he gave it such a low grade considering its difficulty as well (V14).
AJM - on 22 Nov 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

I'm sure I saw a video or interview with him a while back where he commented that some places are harder to onsight in than others, unsurprisingly, but made some specific comments about the Frankenjura where he said he could only onsight 8b there if he got everything exactly right, that if he made one mistake he usually just couldn't recover from it and that was the ascent gone. From the sounds of things RRG is very onsight friendly so perhaps the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of ability to muddle through.

I suspect with high end onsighting there's a percentages game to play as there is with onsighting at my punter level - he's done a number of 9as second go and things like that hasn't he...? If I could be bothered I'd check 8a.nu, but I'm sure he has.
Franz the Stampede - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

Robert, Adam doesn't systematically onsight every route up to 8c+. This is the interview where it does admit that the whole onsight at high level is completely route-dependent

http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=40198

this year he could not onsight routes as "low" as 8a, for example.

His 8a.nu scorecard is a very (if not totally) transparent and complete record of what he's done since the beginnings. Going through it really shows what he has achieved and it's no surprise that even top climbers like Dani Andrada and Ethan Pringle totally look up to Adam they way most of us could look up to them.

By now Adam has onsighted 14 routes he logged as 8c+, 3 of them are on granite, 2 on sandstone, the other ones on limestone (6 of which in Spain).

Not sure about all the comments about perfect sequences without a comparison (Pringle's video maybe?). He just finds sequences that are good enough to keep going and, as somebody said before, minimise the faffing.

A good enough decision in a short time is better than a perfect decision in a longer time.
neil the weak - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Franz the Stampede: And here it is, Pringle on redpoint on the same route. I still think Ondra has better looking sequences and climbs faster on his onsight!

http://www.vimeo.com/19496386
IainAM on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies:
> (In reply to UKC News)
>
> If we are talking about cutting edge stuff then as far as i am concerned chalked up holds is NOT ONSIGHT.
>
>
> Surely the closer somebody gets to 'impossible' the more rigid the ethics need to be to make certain claims?
>

That would mean every single time Ondra (or anyone else) tried to onsight a route someone else would need to clean it of every trace of chalk and rubber. You (or Pino) willing?
There's also a lot more to climbing a route than knowing where there may be holds.

Meanwhile in the real world Adam O did an as pure as is practically possible onsight of Golden Ticket, otherwise known as an onsight.

Just amazing, I love watching him climb.
koalapie - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to metal arms:
> (In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies)
> [...]
>
> Apologies for going off topic.
>
> Presumably when you did Binky - http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=130755 you had your eyes shut while belaying otherwise you couldn't have done the route 'as a second, onsight?' Or is it do as I say, not as I do?
>
> Anyway, back on topic isn't Ondra awesome.
>
> Chris

Thats very funny!
Matt Vigg - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to neil the weak:

Watching that makes you realise how incredible Ondra's onsight was, he makes it look so easy in comparison....
ads.ukclimbing.com

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.