8C+ boulder by Ondra [UPDATED - comments from Adam]

© Vojtech Vrzba
Adam Ondra on Terranova, 8C+  © Vojtech Vrzba
Adam Ondra on Terranova, 8C+
© Vojtech Vrzba

Adam Ondra seems to have made the first ascent of Terranova, an old project of his at Holštejn near his home in the Czech republic. Adam feels this one is harder than anything else he has done and suggests 8C+.

This boulder has been my dream for years, even though it is a low traverse, on zero-friction limestone that gets quickly polished and ends up in a jug.

For sure, for many boulderers it would not be motivating at all. But I had my dream-holds, that kept circling in my mind, I kept wondering if there was a way to traverse this part of the wall. And also I had a project close to my home, with good conditions even if it is 18 degrees outside (fresh breeze from inside the cave, additionally limestone is not agresive for skin).

It consists of 12 hard moves and some 5 moves of easy climbing to get to the obvious jug-spike as the finishing hold.

The problem can be divided into 4 sections:
- 3 moves 7C+ ->
-4 moves 8B (extremely slippery heel hook, smooth and open pinch and I had to remove my feet three times) ->
3 moves of 7B (no rest though, I shook my right hand for a second)->
and final two moves of 8A+ (a crazy crossover move when you put left toe far left and you have make heinous crossover-move with your right hand next left toe which feels like back is about to crank)

In total I spent 11 days on it and 1 day last year and in comparison to Monkey Wedding or other 8C's I have done, this is undoubtedly harder and took me much more time.

The style of climbing fits me perfectly, I know the specific friction-less limestone really well and I am used to it. Therefore, I decided to give it 8C+ calling it Terranova, refering to the new experience of working on the boulder (different to routes, nonetheless by no means less stressful and demanding), new territory of difficulty for me and also a new line in a sector that seems overfilled with routes and boulders, but also the lines that seem impossible might turn out to be climbable.

I felt awkward to give such high grade and I still do, because it seems that nowadays, the trend is saying that everything that is super hard must be 8C, as if 8C+ could not exist.

I know that if I feel that this climb is harder that the rest of the 8C's I have done, it does not necessarily mean that it is 8C+, but I feel it would be stupid to keep calling something soft 8C, mid 8C and hard 8C. In my opinion, Terranova breached the barrier of hard 8C, that is how I feel it compared to other climbs I tried or did.

Thanks a lot Adam!

Adam Ondra is sponsored by: Black Diamond, Montura, La Sportiva, Beal and Hudy Sports

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14 Nov, 2011
It took him 11 days? WTF, does he have a cold?!
14 Nov, 2011
That was a really enjoyable read. He seems a lot more natural speaking in English than a few years ago.
14 Nov, 2011
How many 8C+'s are there? He seems to imply its the first 8C+
14 Nov, 2011
To me it sounds more like he found it a step harder than the boulders he tried that are fairly well established at 8C. Im sure he'd be the first to point out theres a lot of hard boulders he hasn't done.
14 Nov, 2011
I think some 8C+ have been claimed, but they are long stamina tests, rather than short problems like this one. It would be interesting to know how Gaskins' short problems compare... Stunning performance again from Ondra. Incredible that he can be at the very front of the pack at bouldering AND long sport climbs
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