/ Adam Ondra at Kendal

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keith-ratcliffe on 18 Nov 2017
Just back from Kendal Mountain Festival where I went to the Adam Ondra session. I was really looking forward to this event and it exceeded my expectations. There were three sections - early days with supportive parents nurturing his climbing as a child then teenage exploration on local crags, Dawn Wall - great footage and insight into his ascent - with tributes to the route's designer and then finally footage of Silence - his 9c climb in Norway.
There was a tremendous sense of enthusiasm and fun about his delivery but what struck me most about his talk was the contrast between his deeply analytical approach to his sport climbs yet his almost cavalier attitude to the big wall - he adapted to this totally new environment so quickly - in particular the intricacies of placing protection - it was a remarkable example of accelerated learning.
The Q&A session began with the question "Why did you make it look so easy?" from a Mr T Caldwell. The two joined at the front for an impromptu exchange about the Dawn Wall with tributes exchanged for each other's achievement.
When asked when he might break the 10a barrier he was very clear that he thought the next step would have to be significantly harder than today's 9c and he admitted that he thought he would not be the person to do it - it would come from the other younger climbers currently climbing at their top levels. Quite humble really.
He talked about Silence as requiring several specialised new techniques that he only discovered recently - in particular through the use of a physiotherapist. One idea that he spoke about was that although we are essentially two legged animals we still have some deeply wired remnants of our four legged past and that if we can discover some of the ways to use those links (Like moving opposing limbs in combination) we can become more agile & powerful.
The last revelation came from the question about future projects where he said that some of them were on hold because of the Olympics - a clear indication that he expects to compete in Tokyo.
It was implied in the closing remarks that he hoped to get on Steve McLure's Rainman while he was over here - no report so far.
planetmarshall on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Currently at the festival but unfortunately missed this event, to my regret. It's astounding that he's not even in his mid twenties - it seems like he's been around forever. Who knows what's still to come?
MischaHY - on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Steve McClure reports Ondra tried Rainman and confirmed the grade, hopes to come back and tick it soon.
Fraser on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Thanks for the synopsis, I wish I'd been there to hear and see the lecture first hand, it sounds as if it was very interesting. Looking fwd to the Rainman updates.
Mark Collins - on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Although this makes me wish I'd gone to this now, thanks for posting very interesting to read. By the way, did anyone ask TC where the Dawn Wall film was at?
JLS on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to Mark Collins:

Yeah, it's been a long wait for that one. Sender said on Facebook last month... "Spring 2018".
So there is still hope...
Nick Brown - UKC - on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to JLS:

It looks like they're well into post-production: https://www.instagram.com/p/BbOQc-Wln2_/?taken-by=joshlowell
JLS on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to Nick Brown - UKC:

Cool. It is really happening then!
Andrew Kin - on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

I was there with my daughter and friends. My friends daughter managed to get a question in about his power grunting which was well answered and as ever done for performance reasons.

Really enjoyed it and he came across fantastically. A real inspiration. Cant believe how undersubscribed it was for so long. We got tickets easily when my pal mentioned it a while ago but it wasn't until closer to the date it sold out and it wasn't for a massive audience either. It was mega value for money too.
keith-ratcliffe on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to Andrew Kin:
I liked that question!
I went to Tommy at the Leisure Centre in 2015, Alex Megos in the big theatre in 2016 and they were packed out - I thought Adam would be even bigger - but a small venue and a couple of empty seats.
We were privileged to a great event.
Andrew Kin - on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

I really wanted to ask about his food intake when climbing the big wall, however I am much to shy to ask in public. There was a shot of him eating something out of a jetboil . It would have been nice to hear what he needs to fuel that kind of work load.
stp - on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Great and thanks for the synopsis. Would have really liked to see that. I wonder if it was videoed and will end up on the web somewhere, sometime?
JSTaylor - on 20 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Yes, the Ondra session was excellent. The other session that was a real standout for me was Paul Ramsden’s session at 9.00am on Sunday. Really excellent content and fantastic delivery. Deserving of a much better slot and a much bigger audience.
SDM on 21 Nov 2017
In reply to Andrew Kin:

He discussed diet a fair bit in a recent interview for training beta. I think it was more on general diet and crag food rather than for Dawn Wall specifically.

https://www.trainingbeta.com/media/adam-ondra-silence/
gav - on 21 Nov 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
> I went to Tommy at the Leisure Centre in 2015, Alex Megos in the big theatre in 2016 and they were packed out - I thought Adam would be even bigger - but a small venue and a couple of empty seats.

The theatre only seats 8 more people than the town hall, and I don't believe there were any more empty seats for Adam than Alex...
Post edited at 10:15
flaneur - on 21 Nov 2017
In reply to Andrew Kin:

In the two training beta podcasts he says he eats a plant-based diet: mostly vegetables, pulses and nuts. He has been eating a little more fish recently. He says he doesn't feel the need for protein suppliments.

He doesn't mention his Dawn Wall diet. He seems to have quickly adapted to local ways so perhaps he ate bagels, pop tarts and canned peaches, and drank malt liquor, like a proper Yosemite climber.

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