UKC

Business time for Ondra on Dawn wall

Adam Ondra relieved to have reached pitch 14 on the Dawn wall, 63 kb
Adam Ondra relieved to have reached pitch 14 on the Dawn wall
© Pavel Blazek
There seems to be action left, right and centre on El Capitan these days. Adam Ondra has now made it up to the crux pitches on his push to repeat the free Dawn wall.

The three crux pitches weigh in at 9a, 9a and 8c+, but to even get there is no easy feat in itself with several pitches between 8a and 8c. This is what Adam posted on Instagram after reaching the start of pitch 14:

Made it up to the start of pitch 14! As Alex Honnold brought some dark chocolate for Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson on their push and it seemed it helped them, Heinz did the same today. But he told me that I must deserve it first:-) and send pitch 10 [8b+].

I did in rather dramatic way on my 2nd go. Then, I almost finished the chocolate while having a few heartbreaking goes on the pitch 12 [8c] to calm my nerves.

Luckily it all worked out and we are getting deserved sleep.

On Black Diamond's Instagram he went more into detail:

It should've been a rather easy day with only four pitches to do, but it turned out to be the opposite. We started in late afternoon, when the wall was getting into the shade. I must admit that I felt the pressure. I hate pitch 10 (5.14a, but I would almost say 5.14b). It is all laybacking—smearing your feet against nothing (sometimes wet nothing)—and the harder you try, the harder it gets. I knew it would be good to send the pitch first go, which almost worked out. I had my face at the belay, but I wanted to move my foot more right and stand up onto the no-hands rest. And somehow—I still do not know how it happened—I was in the air. Devastating. The pitch always gets progressively more wet. And it did. The middle section turned much harder due to wet footholds (some holds are perma-wet on this pitch). I was nervous as hell, climbed quite poorly, but my determination was stronger and I somehow made it up to the belay! I was very relieved!⠀ ⠀
I was pretty sure I could finish the schedule of the day. The next pitch is a hard stemming corner at 5.13c, but fortunately, no mistakes on this. Pitch 12 is the Molar Traverse at 5.14b. It's one of the hardest pitches on the whole route (French 8c), but I never found this pitch very hard. Mainly because the crux is just a powerful boulder problem, which fit my style, & the rest of the pitch is technical, though not too bad. But it turned really epic. On my first go I fell off two meters from the anchor because a little crystal broke. The next go, I slipped on the same move even though I was relaxed, very careful & focused. On my third go, I fell on the lower boulder problem. It was obvious that I had to send the pitch next go, otherwise I would be stuck! I entered the zone, focused, & despite the fatigue fired it off. Pitch 13 (5.13b) was quite OK—one of the few pitches that doesn’t feel sandbagged:-D⠀ ⠀
All in all, it was pretty good training! Climbing basically 5 times 5.14b=8c (if you count pitch 10 as 5.14b). Not a bad day at the crag. 

Now, the plan is to take a rest day and then go to battle with the hardest part of the route.

If Adam manages to do these three pitches, the rest of the route shouldn't be a big problem provided the weather doesn't have other plans...

Adam Ondra is sponsored by: Black Diamond, Entre-Prises, KIKU, Hudy Sports, La Sportiva, Montura and Tendon



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