INTERVIEW & VIDEO: Adam Ondra talks Céüse

Adam Ondra trying to flash Biograhpie, 9a+, Céüse © Petr Pavlícek
Adam Ondra trying to flash Biograhpie, 9a+, Céüse
© Petr Pavlícek

Adam Ondra recently spent some time at Céüse, France, where he made the first ascent of Jungle Boogie, 9a+, tried to flash Biographie, 9a+, and more.
Pierre Délas from Kairn has made an interview:

How many tries and days of work did you need for Jungel Boogie?
3 days, 7 tries. Actually I fell off twice at the lip of the overhang where I hadn't thought it would be possible to fall off and thus I hadn't worked out the moves enough and once I got there fully pumped...

What do you think about the route (style, effort, crux,...) ?
The route is a typical example of power endurance route. From the second bolt, there is no place to rest and more than 20 moves on tiny crimpy holds. The higher you climb, the easier it gets, but at the same you are getting more pumped.

Adam Ondra attempting to flash Biographie/Realization - 9a+ © Calum Muskett
Adam Ondra attempting to flash Biographie/Realization - 9a+
© Calum Muskett

What about the level/grade in your opinion?
I think that 9a+ is appropriate.

What about the process of making FA here after l'étrange iveresse des lenders?
I hadn't visited Ceuse since then until now. The same trip I did L'Etrange Ivresse des Lenteurs two years ago I tried another project in Demi Lune (to the left of Dures Limites) and came pretty close, unfortunately I had to leave.
This trip I tried Three Degrees of Separation and came desperately close sticking the dyno on the link the very same day I did Jungle Boogie. But unfortunately, I haven't finished it off as I tried Biographie the last two remaining days, the main goal of the trip.

For sure there is a great potential in the Biographie sector, the only routes in the left hand side sector that could be bolted yet will be 9b and more. The project to the right of Biographie from Ethan Pringle looks awesome. It is very unique wall as you are only searching the easiest way up this prominent wall and you end up climbing 9a+ at least. That is impressive, isn't it?

What about the route Biographie?
It had been my long term crazy dream to try out this route flash. I still postponed the idea as it wasn't within my capabilty to do it. The motivating impulse was when I tried Papichulo (9a+, Oliana) this spring three years after the ascent. It was the end of the day and I didn't remember much the beta, nonetheless I did the route with a couple of falls and felt like if I had perfect beta, it would be possible to flash. At that moment the decision of trying Biographie flash finally this year came.
Unfortunately I don't think that I am in a sufficient shape to do it. On my flash try, I managed to fight my way through the first part (former 8c+) and fell off in the famous crux move, when you have to stick a narrow pocket. But it was far from being close, I was way too pumped. The more frustrating was that I didn't send on my second go, neither third go. And then we had to leave.

What's your plans for this summer?
Travelling to the North of Europe to see and possibly develop new promising areas.

While in France, Adam also visited Entraygues, where he onsighted Deltaplane Man Direct, 8c+, and then sent Conde de Choc, 9a, in three tries. The latter is a harder start into the previous route. When Adam says his shape wasn't good enough to flash Biographie, it doesn't mean he's in bad shape, does it?

Adam Ondra attempting to flash Biographie/Realization - 9a+
© Calum Muskett

The trip North, to Scandinavia, that Adam mentions is part of Petr Pavlicek's new film project. Petr tells me the new project has now started and that they need or look for music from the North. Traditional, ethno etc. Like Hedningarna, Loituma, Mari Boine, Adjagas, Gjallahorn and definitely Royksopp etc.
If anyone produces music like this, and would like to talk about the cooperation for the new project, he/she can contact him at

The sector of Ceuse with No.4 being Jungle Boogie (now 9a+) and No. 6 being Realization (9a+)
© Rockfax

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

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13 Jun, 2012
I don't know about anyone else but a bunch of people yelling allez allez every time I made a move would just irritate the S**t out of me.
13 Jun, 2012
I was thinking that myself. It so irritated me that I turned the sound off. Of course, Ondra didn't have that luxury...
14 Jun, 2012
I got this message again. "Error: That story doesn't exist in the database"
16 Jun, 2012
What I want to know is - Just who goes climbing with him?
12 Jul, 2012
I agree. That was SO annoying.