10 Questions for Adam Ondra

Here's an exclusive interview made by Pierre Délas for

Is Marina superstar the most difficult route you have ever done? Compared to Papichulo, Corona or Open air?

Compared to other 9a+'s I have done, this route is a small step above all of these. Very important for me is that I made a first ascent of such a perfect and beautiful line. However, I would be even happier if I had found it and bolted it myself. But now I have too little time to do these things. Therefore I have to thank Matteo Marini, who bolted the route.

What is the crux like? What?s the main difficulty of the route for you?
The crux is in the middle of this 35m route, after having climbed a quite solid 8c+. The crux itself is not more than 7C+, but it is hard to even chalk up there, before the crux. Additionally, it is the kind of moves which are really hard to do when you are pumped (three long reaches in a big overhang). Above the crux, you still have to climb 12 meters more in a huge overhang with a bit of a tricky ending. But fortunately I did not take a fall there when linking it.

It?s the third time you came to Sardinia. Why do you like this area?
Because it is a nice area with perfect landscape and still tons of rock to be climbed and discovered. Maybe just pack your stuff and go to check it out! You will understand why every Italian climber I have spoken to has fallen for Sardinia. Don't miss the multi-pitches!

You have done 2 new 9a's in the Frankenjura, The essential and Life?s blood for the downtrodden. Is this where you find the ?home? of the 9th grade? Compare the two routes with other 9a?s you have done there (Pantera, Der Heilige Graal, Action directe).
The Essential is really an old school route. It's almost vertical on very small holds and goes just next to the first 10- in the Frankenjura from 1984 (Kaum Zeit zum Atmen). I spent a total of 3 days there, and found it quite hard for the grade, but not 9a+. It's the kind of route which you will not get done cheap.
Life's blood for the Downtrodden is much more modern in its style of climbing, but still enourmously tricky. It has a very bouldery section right from the start on very strange slopery holds and extremely long reaches. After this section you can continue climbing 8 meters more in steep terrain. This route is maybe rather soft for the grade, but still 9a.

How is your usual warm-up when you make hard ascents on rocks? You try easier routes after-work, or you do onsight, or you climb straight in the projects?
I prefer to onsight one route around 6c and one from 7b ? 7c. This is usually enough. To warm up more makes me tired then.

Do you have a usual method for working hard routes? Do you go for the redpoint after a quick check for finding the holds or you are waiting to have all the sections dialed before making a serious try?
I always try to figure out every single move during the first working session before giving it a go. Then I take at least one hour of rest and start climbing.

You have done several hard ascents in September and October. Are you going to school in the Czech Republic? Have you an adapted learning school program or planning?
Of course I attend school. But I do not miss as much of it as one would think. We are usually travelling during the night and I go to school in the morning even if we come home very late. But for example this week was quite hectic because I missed two weeks. But a few hectic days are worth it for of one week of tremendous climbing, don't you think? Anyway I do not have any special programs at school, if I am in Brno, I go to school like everybody else. Only if I should take some test regarding something I missed, teachers give me an option of a later date to take it.

Have you a paper book for logging all your ascents?
Of course. I have been writing it since I was 7, and I am having my third one already.

Your favorite climbing style?
Slightly overhanging wall.

Which Béal-rope do you use for rockclimbing ?
Joker. Great for its light weight.

Photos courtesy of Vojtech Vrzba

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