Adam Ondra talks about Gioia: 8C+Interview

© Michele Francia
A couple of days ago, young Czech climber Adam Ondra made the second ascent of Christian Core's ultra hard boulder problem Gioia at Varazze in northern Italy. Gioia is graded a huge Font 8C+.

I asked the Adam Ondra if he had anything to say about his ascent and if he could compare it to his own recent Font 8C+ boulder problem Terranova.

Adam Ondra on Gioia, 8C+, Varazze
© Michele Francia

Adam Ondra on Gioia - Font 8C+

Adam Ondra
© Philippe Maurel /
"Finishing off Gioia the last possible chance of the year is a kind of fairy-tale story which couldn't be more thrilling and emotional.

The victory tastes even better in that sense and the name the Gioia (Joy) couldn't have been chosen better.

I had always thought that the joy after having done a mere boulder problem could be intense but short, but this may be the longest-lasting joy I have ever had after sending a climb.

The difficulty of the climb is about the same compared to Terranova [Adam's own 8C+, which he made the first ascent of in mid November]. This might fit my style a bit better as it is a specific climbing I am accustomed to very well.
Gioia is a lot about crimping, which fits my style too, but involves some big powerful moves, which used to be my nightmare. But this year I have improved a lot in terms of pure power.

The hard section in Terranova is a little bit longer, it has 12 hard moves. Gioia has only 8, so it is more intense and extremely difficult to link.
It has two parts. Somewhere was incorrectly written that the first part is 8Bish, but Christian and I are sure that the first five moves are at the upper end of 8B+ and then you must do three moves of stand start (8B).
There are some five moves topout of about 7B+ too.

I think that the climb is 8C+. It has been tried by numerous climbers and except me and Daniel Woods, who managed to do all the moves during his trip to Varazze this spring too, nobody got even close to doing the third move where you have to crimp one of the worst holds imaginable in such an overhang.

The reason why I mustered the audacity to suggest 8C+ even though I might not have enough experience in grades of bouldering, is that all of them are harder than 8C's (I admit I haven't done too many).

Terranova and Gioia took me way more days and it is just a million miles away from all the 8B+'s I have done.
If these two are to be only 8C's, OK, but in that case, grading doesn't make sense any more and every single top-grade boulder problem would have to be downgraded in my opinion.
Of course I have not repeated some benchmarks yet, for example The Story of Two Worlds, but that is the way I honestly see it."

I knew that Adam was heading to the French bouldering Mecca of Fontainebleau, so I suggested he should hook up with the "Welcome to the hood" team that are there filming at the moment, so he could be part of that movie.

Adam replied:

"Yes, I am in Font for a couple of days more, but I am here with a filming crew [Alvi Pakarinen] for Black Diamond, so I will not probably be included in that other movie."

Big thanks Adam!

VIDEO: Adam Ondra - Gioia 8C+

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

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9 Dec, 2011
The only man man enough to step into the new grade. What a route!
9 Dec, 2011
Unbelievable! Well done Adam, I can't describe how impressive that is!
10 Dec, 2011
8C+ has been proposed numerous times before.
11 Dec, 2011
care to elaborate?
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