Sport Climbing Round-Up - Ondra On Fire

Adam Ondra Open Air F9a+ 3 (Vojtech Vrzba)  © individual photographers
© Vojtech Vrzba
The last few weeks have seen a number of big ascents in the world of sport-climbing, particularly from the younger generation.

First up is Czech "boy-wonder" Adam Ondra who appears to have started 2009 with much the same conviction as he ended 2008! In the final week of February Adam on-sighted the route Metaphysique Des Tubes, F8c on the beautiful tufa-clad walls of Seynes in the south of France. He then followed this up with a first repeat (red-pointed) of the soaring Papichulo F9a+, a route opened by American wad Chris Sharma at the current Catalunyan hotspot of Oliana .

More recently Adam made another F8c on-sight in Spain. This time it was L´Espiadimonis on the pocketed walls of Margalef, which was to receive the Ondra treatment. Amazingly this was Adam's fourth F8c on-sight!

Next up is thirteen-year old French star, Geoffrey De Flaugergues who after climbing a number of routes in the F8c/+ range last year, has now climbed a notch harder with a redpoint of the enormous stamina roof, El Templo De Cafe F9a at the Alquezar crags in Spain. I'm sure that this isn't the last we will hear of Geoffrey.

You can read more about what Adam Ondra and Geoffrey De Flaugergues got up to last year in this UKC article.

Another teenager who has burst onto the scene recently is thirteen-year old German climber, David Firnenberg. In early February David red-pointed L´Espiadimonis at Margalef to give his first F8c ascent. Impressive stuff!

Not quite so young but still hugely impressive are the French national team. On a recent team training camp to Catalunya, both Sylvain Millet and Manu Romain put in particularly strong performances and came away with some hard on-sight and red-point ascents. Sylvain on-sighted Falconetti and Kallea Borroka both F8b+ and managed a red-point of Columbetis F8c+ whilst Manu came away with an on-sight of L-Mens F8b+ and a flash of Aitzol F8c. He also managed a quick red-point of Columbetis.

You can read a full report of the French team's week on the FFME site.


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6 Mar, 2009
'Ondra On Fire', Isn't he always!?
6 Mar, 2009
4 8c onsights already!! jesus!
6 Mar, 2009
Good work! Just makes me wonder how far will sport climbing be pushed in upcoming years? James
6 Mar, 2009
Awesome, just plain awesome.
9 Mar, 2009
Probably old ground - but to what extent does their youth actually help them? I'm thinking in terms of physical build, strength:weight ratio etc... They're physically still developing, and I'm wondering as their bodies change will they plateau where they are until they've settled down? As my hardest route is 6b, I'm in no way qualified to even contemplate this sort of climbing - but I wonder if a parallel could be drawn with gymnastics whereby post 18 many girls don't compete at the same level.
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