Yesterday, Adam Ondra made a valiant attempt to onsight the Nose - only one week into his trip to Yosemite. Starting with his dad at first light, Adam described it as 'the longest climbing day of my life.' He onsighted all of the pitches up to the Great Roof (5.13), which unfortunately got the better of him.
In reply to UKC News: Imagine being someone who only does sport climbing and hasn't even BEEN to the grit almost on-sighting the nose. What does he think this is? A clip up? He should come and do some UK trad. hen we'd see if he can really climb. There. Got that all out of the way.
PS yes I know what this means and it's damn exciting.
> Imagine being someone who only does sport climbing and hasn't even BEEN to the grit almost on-sighting the nose. What does he think this is? A clip up? He should come and do some UK trad. hen we'd see if he can really climb. There. Got that all out of the way....
Beardy, so far 3 people have disliked your humorous and light-hearted post! I can see you're joking, and I liked your post. Sometimes UKC has a massive sense of humour failure. Goodnight all.
I take it you've not seen the other thread? Just clearing out all the bollocks "what's he done on grit" "he's only a sport climber" "he's never done trad" "he should come over here" ironic jokes so we can get on with discussing what a total wad Ondra is. That is all. As I said - there. Got that out of the way.
Hmm I'm pretty certain we agree so that would make you one of you people. Anyway. So how long do we think it's going to take him to go back and get the remaining two pitches free - ones got to assume he's capable having just waltzed up the rest of it seemingly with his eyes shut as more or less a first big-wall outing bar giving the hardest wall in the world a bash. Also I liked the comment about him being boxed after giving the great roof the first go and only trying it twice again before just climbing to the top. Whilst totally boxed. Whats the great roof? Pitch 20 or something?
So basically you have a gym climber who thinks he'll head to Yosemite and show the world what he's made of, but instead only manages to do what Alex Honnold has free soloed. The Great Roof and Changing Corners pitches are ultimately what makes The Nose the climb it is. Success on every other pitch is irrelevant.
When I heard he was heading for Yosemite I couldn't help but think this is how it would pan out. Sorry if this sounds harsh but describing it as anything else is a disservice to all those climbers who have carved their names into the Valley's history books. I wonder when/if he'll dial down the hubris?
Honnold didn't free solo it. He solo aided it. So far Lynn Hill, Scott Backes, Tommy Caldwell and jeorg verhoeven, I think that's it, have freed the great roof and changing corners. And they all did it with much pre-practice. Trying to onsight it or even ground up it is a pretty major step. If he does it next go it will still be the best style ever accomplished. From the best gym climber.
> So far Lynn Hill, Scott Backes*, Tommy Caldwell ** and Jorg Verhoeven, I think that's it, have freed the great roof and changing corners.
* Scott Burke (not Backes) toproped cleanly the Great Roof pitch, but did not lead it. That said, it's a traverse, so perhaps the term "toprope" is a bit misleading.
** Tommy 1st did a team free ascent with Beth Rodden, on which each pitch was lead cleanly by one of the tema and then seconded cleanly by the other. Later Tommy blasted up Nose in about 12h free climbing every pitch.
He said "instead only manages to do what Alex Honnold has free soloed". Alex Honnold hasn't free soloed the two crux pitches, therefore he is entirely correct!
I did think the post a bit negative. I can sympathise as I don't particularly like the idea of him waltzing up what others have put their life's work into, but do find this more interesting than the latest 9a+ single pitch. Good luck to him on his other Yosemite plans.
I was under the impression, maybe I'm wrong, that Scott Burke (what a div I am...) lead all pitches cleanly but not in a single push, and that when he went for his final push the GR was wet so didn't get it clean on that occasion? Ie he's led the GR and Cc but not on the same occasion... so couldn't claim a complete ascent...
It does put that accomplishment squarely into perspective doesn't it. Lynn was a complete legend for having the ability to complete it. Although Scott actually was the first to give it a good go... I'm sure Todd Skinner and Paul Piana's climb will be put into perspective by Adams attempt at the Salathe...
> So is he going for Freerider then? Because saying Salather and meaning Freerider are two different things...
No; I'm unaware of any suggestion that he doesn't intend to climb The Headwall. The majority [I think] of free ascents of the Salathé have used the Monster Offwidth; it seems to have become the standard way of doing the route. But it avoids the pitch above The Ear which was the original free line taken by Piana and Skinner - and was one of their cruxes.
In reply to Ian Parsons: Has anyone onsighted any route on El Cap free?
I found an article where Steck nearly onsighted Golden Gate 5.13b but slipped on a 5.11 pitch and one where Leo Houlding took one fall on Freerider, 5.12d ('only' 7c so I guess someone could have by now?)
I think the answer is still no, although some people have come very close - in the instances (and others) to which you and Nick refer, and also on El Niño. I presume, to his great credit, that Ondra's priority is to climb a route of enormous historical significance - not to mention classic quality - in the best style that he can achieve, rather than the possibly more PR-pleasing tick of being the first to onsight El Cap; were the latter the case, Freerider would offer the better chance of success.
And in answer to your pre-edit post: none of this matters, obviously - it's only a game
> It does put that accomplishment squarely into perspective doesn't it.
I don't know about that. To be fair to Ondra (and something Tom Knowles didn't acknowledge), it wasn't as though he was trying for a no falls ascent after several days on the line. He was going for the onsight, and perhaps would have himself thought his chances low (but still worth a shot!).
Interesting perhaps, rather than inspiring? Maybe the latter for the likes of Caldwell etc. But yes, on reflection I agree with you. A single push no falls ascent of Dawn Wall (after practice obviously) sounds like it could be a big target for Ondra or future top sport climbers.
> I did think the post a bit negative. I can sympathise as I don't particularly like the idea of him waltzing up what others have put their life's work into...
Surely that's just the nature of progression? Yesterday's challenges become tomorrow's warmups. If anything the fact that a full time professional climber of Ondra's ability still found it such a challenge with all of modern training knowledge at his disposal, puts the achievement of Lynn Hill and others in perspective.
Ondra hasn't been a full time climber, but a student until very lately (I seem to recall he got his bachelor this summer/spring)... Of course, a Uni student is hardly the same as a deskjockey... but still not full time either.
> I don't know about that. To be fair to Ondra (and something Tom Knowles didn't acknowledge), it wasn't as though he was trying for a no falls ascent after several days on the line. He was going for the onsight, and perhaps would have himself thought his chances low (but still worth a shot!).
What I mean is that considering where climbing was at the time Lynn Hill did it (I have no idea what sport grade was the max at the time? Must have been around the time Hubble was put up? So high 8's very early 9's?) it was a pretty visionary thing to be doing. And that Ondra didn't just breeze the crux goes to show it is climbing of the highest order, still today. At the end of the day, Ondra isn't just a sport jockey who's never placed gear in his life, he was brought up on Czech sandstone which is notorious for its hard trad - it might be what he's concentrated on for many years but frankly it's not that hard to place gear in straight as a die granite cracks when you've got a bunch of cams hanging off your harness is it. That Lynn even contemplated getting on something which most men at the time hadn't even thought about trying is pretty special, and that feat remained unrepeated for such a long time considering it's prominence in climbing history adds to this. At any rate I have a sneaking suspicion we will have to change "whats he ever done on grit" to whats he ever done on the big stone" soon...
Quite a few more hours than a couple per week. Check out some older EpicTV vids and interviews of Ondra training... I seem to recall him going out training at 6 AM so he could get a couple of hours of bouldering done before lectures... and then a similar or perhaps a longer training set after all the lectures.
If you're dedicated, you can get climbing and training done, whilst still "working" 9 to 5.
baron27 Oct 2016
In reply to HeMa:
Jeez man, it was only 30 years ago! Back when we had proper universities with proper courses! While the uni might have required a certain number of hours attendance at lectures all the best climbers (along with the drug taking hippies) were notable by their absence.
> When I heard he was heading for Yosemite I couldn't help but think this is how it would pan out. Sorry if this sounds harsh but describing it as anything else is a disservice to all those climbers who have carved their names into the Valley's history books. I wonder when/if he'll dial down the hubris?
I think that's really unfair. I really respect Ondra's attitude, he's really honest about what he wants to do, and he gets on with it. And there don't seem to be many excuses when it doesn't work out. He works really hard, seems to having a great time, and seems a very genuine character. What's not to like?
It's sad that people always seem to look to detract from others. Justify it how you like but the negativity is that. Any one of the detracting posts could have been framed differently, still said the same thing and have been supportive rather than detracting.
I suspect Adam won't care, he's off having a ball and pushing his own boat out. Wish I had the time and oomph to do half of what he does at a tenth of the grade.
> Nah, it would be boring if everyone had the same opinion.
I agree to an extent. Though I think a lot of the negative commentary has far more to do with the state of mind of the poster rather than the actual topic. Maybe they're in a bad mood, depressed, lack self esteem etc. So it's like the forum equivalent of being stuck in a room with grumpy bugger, something I'd prefer to avoid. Alternatively it's often an effort to become the centre of attention by writing something deliberately controversial, the troll. Either way I prefer discussions with more balanced individuals.
Not saying all criticism is bad though. I think it comes down to whether it's sincere that's important.
Jobs Head Route Setter, The Climbing Hangar - Swansea
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