VIDEO: Ondra At It Again - 'Om' F9a

Adam Ondra warming up - screen shot from video
© Bernartwood

Alex Huber on the first ascent of Om - F9a, 99 kb
Alex Huber on the first ascent of Om - F9a
© Heinz Zak
Back in 1992 Alex Huber climbed Om at Endstal in Germany. Huber graded it F8c+, keeping it in line with the famous route by Wolfgang Gullich; Action Directe, which he also considered to be F8c+. Om waited 17 years for a repeat.

On the 14th of June 2009, 16 year old Adam Ondra, the Czech youngster who has taken World climbing by storm, made a very fast ascent of Om, the only repeat since Huber forged the line back in 1992. Ondra confirmed what many had suspected, Om is F9a, and seemingly quite tough for the grade.

Ondra has now repeated all three of Huber's super-routes; Om (F9a), Weiße Rose (F9a) and Open Air (F9a+). Alex Huber climbed Open Air at Austria's Schleierwasserfall back in 1996, making it one of the very hardest routes in the world for around a decade.

Ondra teamed up with Huber for his recent ascent of Om. Commenting on the Italian website Planet Mountain, Huber said:

"We climbed together last Saturday and Sunday. What should I say: it's taken a long time! But now one can really say that climbers like Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma embody a generation of climbers who have breached a new degree of difficulty. Although Adam hasn't climbed anything harder than I did at the start and in the middle of the '90's, he is repeating these routes in sovereign style which proves that today he's climbing on a completely different level than the best were during my time."

Adam Ondra on his recent ascent of Corona, 11+ (F9a+) , Frankenjura, 222 kb
Adam Ondra on his recent ascent of Corona, 11+ (F9a+) , Frankenjura
© Vojtech Vrzba
Endstal is a 500 metre high limestone cliff situated in Southern Germany. It isn't a popular cliff due to a delicate access situation. The crag is located somewhere in the Berchtesgaden National Park where climbing is tolerated but isn't officially allowed. The routes are mainly crimpy and vertical/slightly overhanging.

Om is 45m long, 18m of which is hard climbing.

For many, Ondra remains largely an unknown quantity in climbing. Videos and video interviews with him are still fairly scarce, and the British climbing media hasn't really gone nuts over his ascents. This could be because European sport climbing attracts less interest over here than say, a good old British headpoint, but the reality is that, in terms of World climbing standards, Ondra's achievements are a significant step forward and an E9 headpoint isn't. You can read a bit more about Adam in this UKC Interview - Your Questions for Adam Ondra

For those wanting to catch a glimpse of the boy-wonder in action, below is a clip of Adam warming up on a boulder traverse then climbing Kosititras Nesmrtelny (Boneshaker Immortal) F8c+/9a in the Czech Republic.

The clip is taken from a film soon to be released by Bernartwood. You can find out more on his Vimeo Page.

VIDEO: Adam Ondra Kosititras Nesmrtelny F8c+/9a

Adam Ondra is sponsored by La Sportiva , Beal

Additional thanks go to Sarah Burmester of for info on this report.

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