/ Ondra heads for the Valley

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stp - on 13 Oct 2016
Interview with Adam Ondra on his way to Yosemite with plans for the Nose, Salathe and Dawn Wall...

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en_GB/experience-story?cid=adam-ondra-dawn-wall-interview
kevin stephens - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

ah - so not the Chew Valley then?
Graham Booth on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens:

Thought they mean Airedale and he was off to Earl!! Imagine the disappointed.....😳
Toccata on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens:
> ah - so not the Chew Valley then?

Even more parochially I though he must be going to Loudon Hill (or for a night out in Darvel).
Post edited at 08:50
1poundSOCKS - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

And he's stopping at Camp 4. Doesn't he know how grim the toilets are?
snoop6060 - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:
Interested to see how this one pans out.

What you would count as more impressive... A true onsight ascent of the Salathe (or the nose for that matter) or a multi week siege (tho ground up) of the dawn wall?


edit - did TC and KJ do the Dawn Wall ground up? I seem to recall they may have not done, so seems odd that Adam Ondra is worried about that ethic being broken. Commendable though.
Post edited at 13:34
Hat Dude on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens:

> ah - so not the Chew Valley then?

Not an Addicks fan either
1poundSOCKS - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to snoop6060:
> edit - did TC and KJ do the Dawn Wall ground up?

In the end I think they did (in a single push anyway), but they'd been working it for years.
Post edited at 13:41
snoop6060 - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Aye, but they did rap from the top for a bit of cheeky practice I think?

Not entirely clear on the ethics of big wall free climbing, its seems fairly complex. An American fella in Squamish was telling me you have to place belays on ledges or they count as a point of aid. Which I guess they are if you bolt a hanging belay half way through the blankest and hardest part of the route. Anyways, I guess a big wall free ascent doesn't count unless a) its in a single push and b) you lead every single pitch clean yourself. No swinging leads?
Hephaestus - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to snoop6060:

Think it was a ground up ascent, but not an unsupported one - they had plenty of ground support and supplies taken up to them on the wall.
James Malloch - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to snoop6060:

> edit - did TC and KJ do the Dawn Wall ground up? I seem to recall they may have not done, so seems odd that Adam Ondra is worried about that ethic being broken. Commendable though.

The actual ascent was in a single push but as others mentioned it was followed by years (7?) of working the route. It also included help from others, by way of supplies and fixed ropes to jumar to portaledges above the crux pitches before being climbed successfully (if I recall correctly).

So mixed ethics but a brilliant effort!
1poundSOCKS - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to snoop6060:

> Aye, but they did rap from the top for a bit of cheeky practice I think?

Quite a lot I think, then done in one push. Slightly confused by the ethics, I seem to recall Leo Holding, about The Prophet, saying that because they'd freed every pitch, it was a valid first ascent. Even though they improved the style by doing it in a single push later.
AlanLittle - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to snoop6060:

As I understand it the first free ascent of the Salathe had a hanging belay in what was originally the middle of a longer pitch, which was improved upon by subsequent teams (Hubers? Yuji?) doing the original long pitch in a oner without the hanging belay.
HakanT on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to AlanLittle:

Sounds right. Skinner/Piana broke the crux pitch in to two and the Huber brothers did it as one pitch.
snoop6060 - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to HakanT:

Well times move on I guess. But nailed on if ondra splits the headwall into 2 pitches like this (and it sounds like he plans to) the Yosemite police over at supertopo will just discount as aid if he actually somehow manages to onsight it.
Bulls Crack - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens:

Much more likely to be the Rivelin valley after all the talk about the grade of Altar Crack. He can't help but be intrigued.
gethin_allen on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

I was fearing for his safety/sanity for a second thinking he was going to the South Wales valleys.
Ian Parsons - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to AlanLittle:

> As I understand it the first free ascent of the Salathe had a hanging belay in what was originally the middle of a longer pitch, which was improved upon by subsequent teams (Hubers? Yuji?) doing the original long pitch in a oner without the hanging belay.

It's slightly more complicated than that! In the route's original form there are three Headwall pitches between the belay just beneath the guardian roof [atop a long groove above Sous Le Toit Ledge] and Long Ledge at the top of the Headwall. The first of these crosses the roof to a standing position just above the lip, then climbs a short flared groove before moving left to a belay in the adjacent [main] crack system. The second climbs the crack to a belay in a roofed niche. The third, fairly short, continues up the mostly thinner crack above to the left end of Long Ledge. Presumably to ease the problem of leading the initial 5.13a groove with the belayer out of sight beneath the roof and the rope dragging over it, Piana and Skinner established a new belay at the standing position - a "natural stance", in other words - just above the lip. They didn't place any bolts for this but relied on whatever natural placements were available; I don't think that these would have been brilliant, possibly making the initial groove quite spooky. After the groove they used the existing hanging belay in the main crack; they beefed this up by adding bolts. I have a vague recollection that, although none were placed there on the first ascent, bolts of some kind had appeared by the time Piana and Skinner were up there - in which case they would have been undertaking the common task on a wall of replacing old bolts with new ones. But I could be wrong; I simply vaguely recall a bolt being part of that belay a few years earlier. [To put this in context: only 12 or 13 bolts were placed on the first ascent, all on the lower "Freeblast" section; modern topos now show bolts at most of the belays throughout the route.] From that point they continued to Long Ledge in the existing two more pitches. Alex Huber used the new stance on the lip, to which he added bolts, then climbed in one pitch to the belay in the roofed niche - thereby eliminating the hanging belay just after the groove. He was able to establish the niche belay's "non-hanging" status by achieving some sort of hands-off position with his feet jammed in the crack at the back/top - the ability to take a "hands-off rest" being the crucial distinction; not very restful, I would imagine, but sufficient to satisfy his requirement that a proper redpoint ascent cannot involve any hanging belays - thus making his style of ascent purer than that of Piana and Skinner. To be fair, though: at the time of Huber's ascent a normal rope length wouldn't have been enough to get from the lip belay to Long Ledge in one pitch; he had to stop somewhere! Hirayama ticked that particular box a few years later by using a 70m rope - thereby eliminating both Headwall belays. Sometime after the Piana/Skinner ascent a protection bolt was added towards the top of the initial Headwall groove - thus reducing the chance of a fall onto the belay; it appears to be unclear whether or not this was also added by Huber.
AlanLittle - on 15 Oct 2016
In reply to Ian Parsons:

That was most informative, thank you.
Ian Parsons - on 15 Oct 2016
In reply to AlanLittle:

You're very welcome. A lot more detail on here:

http://web.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/longhf.htm#salathe
fuzzysheep01 on 18 Oct 2016
TobyA on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to fuzzysheep01:

Nice to see Mr Ondra going for the crack gloves!
mrchewy - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

And off he goes on the Dawn Wall.
stp - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to mrchewy:

Done the first 7 pitches already according to a post on UKB.
mrchewy - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

“I ripped some copperheads, took some falls but made it to the top of pitch 7 and fixed our ropes. Leading the pitches with all the fear definitely felt super hard, but once I had the rope from above, the moves felt OK. But grades on the Dawn Wall are definitely not overrated. Great success for today and 5 pitches to go tomorrow to have our ropes fixed under the crux pitches.”
JLS on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to mrchewy:

>"took some falls but made it to the top of pitch 7"

So he's blown the on-sight. He had mIght as well go home now.

He talks about top roping, I'm not sure if this is a just a reccy our whether he's been redpointing all the pitches as he goes and this IS the push. Anyone any clearer?
JLS on 19 Oct 2016
JLS on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

Seems to be at pitch 10 now. Still looks like this is only a reccy as he doesn't seem to have done P2 clean.

http://www.rockandice.com/climbing-news/adam-ondra-makes-quick-progress-on-the-dawn-wall
Dr Toph on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Straight from Generator Crack to the Dawn Wall. Taking the piss
Though the DW probably has more face climbing on it than many of the El Cap routes. Should suit him
SuperLee1985 - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

Thanks for the link.
pasbury on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

There's a guy who takes pictures of teams on El Cap and posts them on his website. Is he still doing it and can anyone remember what his site is called?
1poundSOCKS - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to pasbury:

> There's a guy who takes pictures of teams on El Cap and posts them on his website. Is he still doing it and can anyone remember what his site is called?

This...

http://www.elcapreport.com/
JLS on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to pasbury:

Tom Evans - http://www.elcapreport.com/

Seems like he's not getting up there daily and is only going up at the weekends.
I had hoped the Ondra show would have him up there but I guess he might have other stuff in his life to be getting on with.
pasbury on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Thanks that's the one; although it looks like he's stopped doing it daily except for "special events, important climbs and such" which this must count as. so hopefully he's in the meadow snapping away right now.
malk - on 20 Oct 2016
JLS on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

So, it now appears this is it. Ondra is attempting The Dawn Wall ground up.
I'm still a bit unclear as to how he overcame the fall on P2. Did he pull the ropes and start again on that pitch?
Why was he talking about the moves being easier once the rope is fixed above?
If it's ground up when would the rope ever be fixed above?

http://www.epictv.com/article/adam-ondra-updates-epictv-dawn-wall-progress
Al Onsight - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

It says he is working it for an eventual ground up attempt. Ground up in the Valley seems to has a slightly different meaning to in the UK. I think it just means doing all the pitches free in without returning to the ground rather than redpointing them in isolation
jsmcfarland - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

What Al said. Step off the ground and then climb the thing free, no matter how many tries it takes on each pitch. Seems ethically fine when you have dozens of pitches
Al Onsight - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to jsmcfarland:

I pride myself in being an expert on ethics.
Fraser on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to Al Onsight:

> ... rather than redpointing them in isolation

That's not my idea of the UK "ground up" definition either (unless multi-pitch is different to single pitch) but I stand to be corrected.

JLS on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to Al Onsight:
Ah right, so I was right in my first assumption that this was just a reccy and at some point he's going to start over again at the start.

I was slightly confused by this quote which led me to conclude than he was just going for it now.

"I decided to go in a good style and go ground up, which is a pretty big adventure due to the bold character of the route and lack of trad climbing skills, but so far so good."

I suppose the reality of the situation is that they really need to fix the route from top to bottom first for the purposes of filming.
Post edited at 14:15
JLS on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to Fraser:

I'm not really sure anyone other than Ondra (and team) knows what's going on and even they might be making it up as they go along.

It's either one of two things:

1) He's redpointing all the pitches, in order, in one push.
2) He's working the route with a view to returning to the ground and then repeating all the pitches, in order, in one push.

Who knows?
Duncan Campbell - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to Fraser:

"ground-up" in the american big wall sense basically means not going in from the top I think. He is onsighting what he can and frigging his way up what he can't so he can work pitches so he can climb them clean at a later date.

It is somewhere in between abbing in from the top and going purely ground-up where the first time he hits each belay he has led every pitch below cleanly.
snoop6060 - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to Duncan Campbell:
Aye, I think Duncan is correct in this sense. He just means he isn't going to drop in from the top to get a rope on the crux pitches and practice them. He is going to get them from the ground by any means, work them, then go from the ground again to attempt to free every single pitch in one push. And I very much expect he will do that, or at least come pretty close.

Which in reality would be ridiculous even for Ondra. Tommy Caldwell has been big walling yosemite granite his whole life and probably has spent as much time on el cap as anyone else alive. To rock up and basically attempt possibly the hardest wall in the world after a few cursory glances at el captain is pretty ballsy. To actually do it in a single 6 week trip and in better style surely would be one of the worlds greatest climbing achievements. Good luck to him. He needs to be squeaky clean with his style though or they will hammer him.
Post edited at 14:35
Fraser on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to snoop6060 & Duncan:

Yeah, I got that, my comment was in relation to the UK definition of 'ground up', which was different to that given by Al onsight. No biggie, it'll all come out in the wash!

snoop6060 - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to Fraser:

We probably have a different view of what ground up means as 15m is classed as a big route here .
Fraser on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to snoop6060:

Indeed! ;-)
JLS on 21 Oct 2016
JLS on 22 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

Working the traverse pitch...
https://www.instagram.com/p/BL0HLnjBTdH/
stp - on 23 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Currently taking two rest days for his skin to repair then trying The Nose.

“Finally, already in the dark, I was pushing through pitch 16 (Dyno Pitch), but I was stopped by the final bold section of the route, where I felt I needed the light for climbing this tiny layback high above bad protection. So we just called it a day and went down back to Camp 4. Now it’s two days of rest to heal my skin and I will try the Nose.”

https://www.facebook.com/blackdiamondequipment/?fref=ts
Niblet on 23 Oct 2016
https://www.instagram.com/p/BLwycXXhNmL/

Apparently the Dawn Wall is Adam's climbing partner's first multipitch climb??
mrchewy - on 23 Oct 2016
In reply to Niblet:

I think this is really cool - Pavel's instagram makes for great reading, he's genuinely psyched to be in Yosemite and on El Cap. I guess he's only there as a worker, to belay and lug, so it doesn't matter too much.
stp - on 24 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

So he didn't complete the Nose free. It sounds like there were loads of people on it and the weather was getting crap and Great Roof pitch was wet...

'Adam finished the route around midnight and actually had to bivouac on his way down - it was too dangerous to walk down in the rain and dark.'
.
'I'm curious if he is gonna give it another try as he unfortunately didn't free climb the Great Roof.'


https://www.instagram.com/p/BL9V33ihoeS/
HeMa on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Even if Adam didn't free the Great roof, but freed everything it's still a phenomenal feat, considering he did it in roughly a day.

The very few that have done NIAD free, have gone it up numerous times before. AFAIK Adam was just climbing from the ground and getting to the top.
pasbury on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to HeMa:

You've gotta admire his approach - just going cragging; only it happens to be an attempt at the Nose, free and onsight.
JLS on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

>"So he didn't complete the Nose free."

That's a shame.
I think everyone (myself included) sort of expected him to breeze up this due to the 8a+ grade but the climbing on the great roof and changing corners is so weird and technical, coming after so much climbing, O/S or quick free was always going to be a big ask, even for Ondra. I hope his other goals pan out.
La benya - on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Have many others/ anyone ever got up the nose free or not in a day on their first go?
stp - on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

Yeah, sounds like a bit of a nightmare with all the other parties on it as well. I thought it was harder than 8a+, maybe 8b+, unless you have thin fingers. I think that was the advantage Lynne Hill had on it.

I hope the weather gets good for him. Sounds like an unusual amount of rain they've had there recently.
stp - on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to La benya:

A good question and probably none I'm guessing but I don't really know.
Mick Ward - on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Was talking to an extremely competent person on the crag, a few weeks ago, about the Nose. He reckoned the Great Roof looked doable (albeit very hard) but Changing Corners seemed ridiculous.

To his credit though, Ondra manages to get up most stuff...

Mick
ashtond6 - on 25 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

>

> I think everyone (myself included) sort of expected him to breeze up this due to the 8a+ grade but the climbing on the great roof and changing corners is so weird and technical, coming after so much climbing, O/S or quick free was always going to be a big ask, even for Ondra. I hope his other goals pan out.

You mean 8A? 2 8A cruxes according to Jorg
JLS on 26 Oct 2016
In reply to ashtond6:

I stand corrected. Memory failure. Indeed, Jorg rated changing corners at F8b+. I think the Great Roof does come in at around F8a+.
stp - on 29 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Looks like attention has switched back to the main event this morning...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMJwnxKhkVI/
stp - on 30 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Looks like he is doing the loop pitch rather than the dyno. Surprising given how good a boulderer Ondra is.
jon on 30 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

Presumably this still his working/fixing ropes go, or has he started in earnest?
stp - on 30 Oct 2016
In reply to jon:

They've had ropes fixed to the portaledge camp, around halfway. Not sure whether they'd need to fix much more as the upper half is significantly easier, easy enough for Ondra to either onsight or do second try I'd imagine.

I think he's been working the pitches yesterday, not actually attempting a push. They were planning on going back down to camp 4 because of a forecast of rain. So after that who knows? More work or perhaps a proper attempt.
Chops - on 31 Oct 2016
2016/10/30 - UPDATE from Adam Ondra: "A little unlucky and frustrating days. A lot of rain and humidity in the Valley, with some some sunny and hot intermezzos. We jugged up the ropes in the evening right when the rain stopped, hoping that we would get a good session of night climbing, but instead we just got soaking wet, because even we could see the stars, it was still raining on the wall, as the water turned into a waterfall. We spent very cold and wet night on the portaledge, waited till the sun came out and dried our clothes and the wall. As the sun came, it also got really hot too. I still worked the traverse pitches, but only just destroyed my skin. We rested on the portaledge and in the late afternoon, i went on the pitch 16. I wanted to check the loop instead of dyno. I found out that loop is equally heinous as the dyno itself and super tricky. It was still really warm and my soft skin did not help either, I spent around 3 hours in this pitch, refining my beta all over again. I wanted to send pitch 16 that day, but by the time I had the beta, I was so exhausted that it was not possible any more.
Complexity and difficulty of the whole climb is just shocking to me. I might have been too optimistic, but I definitely expected it to be easier. Every single pitch is so tricky and hard and yesterday on pitch 16 was the most frustrating day so far on the wall. It revealed the real difficulty of the whole climb and crucial importance of good conditions and skin. Hats off to Tommy and Kevin, who believed that the whole climb was possible before they freeclimbed. Without having the beta, some of sections look just impossible. I have the advantage that I know that the climb is possible and that helps me to keep the faith that I might be able to do as well. I am humbled and impressed by what Tommy and Kevin did!
To make everything more clear what is going now on the wall, I will make a little recap. We spent a few days just going ground up, using free and aid climbing techniques just to fix the lines and be able to work on the pitches and get up and down easier. Which was bold and scary most of the times. So far we made it to the top of pitch 16. Above that, the climbing is by no means easy, but there are no more crux pitches. In the next week, we will continue to fix our ropes even higher and take a look at the whole route. But before that, I wanted to work on the crux pitches and see if they are possible.
These days, we are using fix ropes to jug up to the pitches I need to work and go down to the Valley in the evening after one day of climbing or we stay in the wall for two days and sleep on the portaledge. At certain point, I will decide to give it a try to climb the whole route in one single push. But before doing that, I need to see the whole route (not only first 16 pitches but all 32) and have every single pitch super wired. This will take still at least two weeks. Little intermediate goals before the final would be redpointing the individual pitches, most importantly the crux pitches (14-16).

(Update comes via Tendon Ropes)
MischaHY - on 31 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

I think this really legitimises the absolute incredible performance and stamina that Tommy and Kevin put in to complete that single push.

I also really appreciate how open and honest Adam is about trying the route, he is obviously struggling but still mega psyched.
stp - on 31 Oct 2016
In reply to Chops:

Good report. The conditions sound really sh*te. I'm sure that style of climbing must be a bit like grit in that conditions make a massive difference to how hard one can climb. Also it's going to make a big difference to how long one can climb for before shredding one's tips. Hope the weather gets better for him.
Chops - on 04 Nov 2016
Another update via Tendon...

"After the period of rain and two days of rest, we went into the wall with Pavel for three days. The plan was to semd pitch 15 and 16 the first night. Hauling took us a while, so we got tonour basecamp under the crux pitches already in te dark. But it did not matter really, it was finally cold enough for the pitch 15! Unfortunately the very beginining of the pitch was still wet after the big rain, so I had to skip the first 5 meters, which are not very difficult. Finally, on my fourth go I could send this shortened pitch 15. Suoer excited about it! I worked hard on pitch 16 later that night. I got pretty close, I tried it via loop pitch and tried to continue all the way into the pitch 17 (5.14a), which makes sense to me. It is much harder, the whole pitch could be around 5.14c, but I think it is worth it. But let's see what I will think in the push;-)
Right now, we are resting on the portaledge this morning, I would like to work on 4 pitches around 5.13c-5.13d to the Wino Tower tonight and tomorrow, we will go to summit and complete our ground free/aid ascent, cool style in my opinion to justify use of fixed ropes.
Life portaledge is just great, we have just had an oatmeal for breakfast, it is pleasant temperature to hang around on the sun and we have even solar panels to charge our phones. Life is pretty sweet up here. Even use of Wag bag when neccessary is not as bad as I thought."
stp - on 04 Nov 2016
In reply to Chops:

Cool. And another update from Pavel's Instagram..

'We just made it to the top of ElCap. Adam onsighted most of the pitches between BC and the top. More details later.'

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMXXFF8hIX3/?taken-by=pavelblazek
pasbury on 04 Nov 2016
In reply to stp:

So are they going to try it again from the ground? I've been slightly confused about their approach.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.
ashtond6 - on 05 Nov 2016
In reply to pasbury:

Yes. For a valid ascent they need to start at the Base and do every pitch in order
stp - on 09 Nov 2016
In reply to stp:

The latest Instagram update says that he's now redpointed pitch 10, a bold 14a pitch which for him is the hardest pitch aside from the the two crux traverse pitches.

Another day of work then two days rest before starting the push. Hope he gets good weather.
stp - on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to stp:

So he's planning to start the push tomorrow:

Tomorrow going for the push! First two days of heat and climbing the first 13 pitches, then one restday of rain and then perfect conditions for the crux pitches on day 4. Starting tomorrow at 3 AM to get done as many pitches as possible before the remorseless sun hits the wall.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMw46IFA9ie/

3am?! That's hardcore.
pasbury on 13 Nov 2016
In reply to stp:

Authentic desire!
stp - on 14 Nov 2016
In reply to pasbury:

Definitely. Sounds like they couldn't even wait until 3am...

PavelBlazek 2:46 AM - Adam starts to climb

So the Push is now underway. Hope the weather is good for them.
puppythedog on 14 Nov 2016
In reply to stp:

Hi, where are you getting your info from. I am checking in here but would like to keep track myself on other social media if it is there?
MarkM - on 14 Nov 2016
In reply to puppythedog:

Instagram... PavelBlazek and adam.ondra the accounts to follow. Sometimes more regular updates from Pavel (who's belaying)

Cheers
Mark
stp - on 14 Nov 2016
In reply to puppythedog:

If you don't use (anti)social media (I don't) you can get RSS feeds for Instagram from here:

http://rssbridge.buddylist.co/
puppythedog on 15 Nov 2016
In reply to stp:

Thanks. I have gotten and insta thingy for just this purpose

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