/ INTERVIEW: Adam Ondra about his flash of Supercrackinette, 9a+
Really interesting interview. I think it's amazing just how far ahead of everyone else Adam is and this ascent really underlines that. It would be quite easy for him to rest on his laurels, take it easy, comfortable that he's the best in the world and wait to see if anyone can catch him up. But instead he continues to push things forward even further. Whilst it sounds like he's physically in top shape what impresses me most is his mental drive. The idea of flashing a 9a+ is unthinkable to everyone else, so coming up with that as a goal and then achieving is visionary and just so damned impressive. The only climber in history I can think of that has been anywhere close to this is Jerry Moffatt. The fact Adam thinks he needs to be a 'better climber in general' before specializing is pretty extraordinary too and will be interesting to see what that looks like.
Also how hard the are the Saint Leger projects? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
It seems like climbing standards in general have seen a big jump over the past couple of years and there's currently not much record breaking in terms of grades likely to happen for a while. I could see Janja onsighting 8c+ if she focused on rock but her main focus seems to be comps. Maybe font 8C could get flashed by someone. But in general it seems like a period of consolidation is needed. How long will it take for the rest of the world to catch up with Adam's ground breaking ascents of today? I could easily see that taking a decade or more.
Fascinating interview with an utter phenomenon
Really interesting interview, although I found it a bit sad - as if he's achieved everything he can now.
I think we'll find standards skyrocket now climbing is an Olympic sport and more data-based research is being done into training and performance. Sadly, I think the days of keen amateurs achieving world-class performances is coming to an end.
> The idea of flashing a 9a+ is unthinkable to everyone else, so coming up with that as a goal and then achieving is visionary and just so damned impressive.
Is flashing 9a+ actually any harder than onsighting 9a? I mean the latter is surely just as unthinkable to most mortals.
I never been able to flash half a letter grade harder than my best onsight grade. I know some people who have been, but I know of no well rounded climber who has flashed a full letter grade harder than their best onsight grade.
I'd say that onsighting 7c+ is easier than flashing 8a. Grades are linear, so I am sure the same holds for 9a and 9a+
I also don't think many amateur climbers take flashing very seriously. As in, normally if you flash something, you've seen your mate on it, or someone told you about a hidden hold or something of that sort.
Some pros would study a route extensively and then be sure of every bit of beta and how and where to rest as Adam has described.
> Is flashing 9a+ actually any harder than onsighting 9a? I mean the latter is surely just as unthinkable to most mortals.
Whether its harder as a single achievement I'm not sure but as Ondra said he has very limited chances to achieve a 9a+ flash due to the real shortage of routes - onsighting and flashing at your limit has an element of luck, the more times you attempt it the more likely you will finally be successfully.
> I also don't think many amateur climbers take flashing very seriously. As in, normally if you flash something, you've seen your mate on it, or someone told you about a hidden hold or something of that sort.
> Some pros would study a route extensively and then be sure of every bit of beta and how and where to rest as Adam has described.
That's why it seems surprising to me that it would necessarily be harder overall. A bit of beta for many climbers could mean the difference between failure and success on some routes, so extensive study would likely make even more of a difference?
> Is flashing 9a+ actually any harder than onsighting 9a?
Well onsighting 9a has been done so we know it's possible - at least for some. But flashing 9a+ is breaking new ground because it's never been done before. Mentally one could just accept it's never been done and leave it at that. For me it's the fact that Adam believed it was possible and then went out to make it a reality that's so impressive.
If someone else also flashes this route it will be very impressive, but not as impressive as Adam. They'll just be following in his footsteps doing something they know is at least feasible.
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