## NEWS: Adam Ondra climbs Mamichula, 9b

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Adam Ondra has made the first ascent of Mamichulo, hard 9b, which is a link up of Papichulo, 9a+, and Pachamama, hard 9a+.

Adam repeated Pachamama just the other day and went straight to work on his main objective, the linkup. Prior to making the first ascent, he said he thought it would be...

There's a longer vid now of the complete ascent...

with some minimalist bolt clipping going on.
Post edited at 00:09

that move at the end.......arf

Just wondering as a newbie to sport climbing grades, why give it 9b (hard) instead of 9b+? I thought the whole point of the + was to signify its hard for the grade?

The plus signifies a completely different grade, not just a hard one from the previous grade band (slightly confusing i know). So 9b (hard) mean it's hard for a 9b but not quite hard enough for 9b+. The next step up would be a soft 9b+ but that would still be harder that 9b (hard).

Is that like a hard hard very difficult being easier than a soft mild severe? ;)

> Is that like a hard hard very difficult being easier than a soft mild severe? ;)

Or a hard Severe being easier than a Hard Severe. I think the capital letters are crucial.

As La Benya says the plus now signifies a different grade. Though originally in France (where this grading system originated) the plus was just meant to mean exactly what you say: hard for the grade.

However, as the difficulty of all climbs is on a continuum, there seems an inevitability that once used consistently it has to become a different grade. The problem is where do you draw the boundary lines from one grade to the next. If say a plus grade was to represent the to 50% of routes in a grade then it is effectively a new grade.

Another grade that is sometimes used is the infamous slash grade. For example 8a/8a+ or just 8a/+. It's not a proper grade but sometimes used where the the first ascentionist can't decide which of the two grades it is. Likewise Ondra's grade suggestion is that his route is high in the 9b continuum of difficulty.

I'm a little surprised at Ondra's suggestion that this is a hard 9b because it didn't appear to take him long to do. But he usually seems pretty careful with grades so I guess time will tell.

I always enjoy watching Ondra climb. His speed, power and efficiency are so impressive. How often do you see him adjust a foot placement!? He really attacks hard climbs and doesn't hang around....except when he's shaking out in a rest position. And then he can look so relaxed you can almost forget he's 20 degrees overhanging or something! Not to mention the confidence to skip bolts, facing massive lobs if he messes up HARD moves. I guess he's used to that sort of thing, but for a punter like me I'm still thinking "oh, scary".

> I always enjoy watching Ondra climb. His speed, power and efficiency are so impressive.

It sometimes looks like the video has been speeded up (like is very annoyingly done the "boring" bits of some videos), but then you realise he really is climbing that fast when he stops for a shake out and time seems to slow down (unlike in the annoying videos..... ). Awesome to watch.

>.I'm a little surprised at Ondra's suggestion that this is a hard 9b because it didn't appear to take him long to do. But he usually seems pretty careful with grades so I guess time will tell.

Good point, so yeah probably not that much new climbing.

Yeah I love watching him climb too. A really interesting and unique style: ruthlessly efficient, confident and aggressive.

His skipping out bolts is interesting too. I don't think you see it to that degree with other climbers. In an interview I remember Sharma saying he felt he could push himself harder when he was nearer a bolt, which I assume is true for almost everyone. But that doesn't seem to affect Ondra. Seems like he is so focused on the climbing and so motivated to succeed that he doesn't notice it.
In reply to stp: Reckon it's more likely that he knows:
1. Exactly which bits he might fluff if he stops to clip
2. Exactly which bits are safe to take a longer plop from (probably most of the route due to the angle)
And having wired that in he just gets on with it and misses those clips. I guess he only uses them when working the route.

His dropped knee moves are amazing, even more so on that route at Flathanger - Change?

In the 2 grade system, this is a "route I can't do" +