No doubt. TENDON athlete Adam Ondra is one of the famous climber of history. This young Czech guy is unbelivable universal climber. Like a proof could be the 1st place in world cup bouldering and lead at same time.
Recently Adam Ondra has climbed the Dawn Wall (VI 5.14d)! The 23-year-old Czech climber topped out El Cap on November 21 after an eight-day push for the route's second free ascent.
TENDON as a main partner of upcoming film by Heinz Zak brings you timeline of his effort in the wall. We were in direct connection with Adam and his words are listed below.
First days in the valley
Adam said: “First day on the big wall in Yosemite, and straight onto the Dawn Wall! Foolishness, lack of respect or boldness? Well, not necessarily any of it. The Dawn Wall just dries up quickly after the huge rain on Sunday. And it went all right. Definitely scary and adventurous. Tiny footholds and insecure climbing, smearing my feet onto glassy footholds of Yosemitegranite and all that with poor protection by copperheads, peckers, tiny cams and occasional bolts.“I ripped some copperheads, took some falls but made it to the top of pitch 7 and fixed our ropes. Leading the pitches with all the fear definitely felt super hard, but once I had the rope from above, the moves felt OK. But grades on the Dawn Wall are definitely not overrated. Great success for today and 5 pitches to go tomorrow to have our ropes fixed under the crux pitches.”
The style of climbing is so different and new for him: "Doing milleage in offwidths, splitters and handjams. Getting to know how to do it."
The Nose - free climb attempt
24. 10. 2016
"Yesterday was a probably the longest climbingvday of my life. We went wizmth my dad up on The Nose, wanting to free it in a day. we started with the first light and up to the Great Roof it was going well, onsighting all the pitches in around hours. But Great Roof shut me down. I had a pretty good flash go, got the beta, lowered and gave it a second shot thinking I would fire it off easily, but I have not realized how important the feet are on this climb. After climbing so many pitches and taking no rest after my flash, they went super shaky and weak. I fell, gave it even third go and fell in the end of the traverse. There was no point of giving more tries and we just wanted to top out. Time to switch for the night climbing and onsighting all the pitches except for Changing Corner, topping out at midnight in the starting rain. Full alpine experience as we did not find the descent route in pissing rain and had a wet and cold bivy in the little cave, before we finally got to the car at 9 AM. The Nose is one of the most famous climbs in the world and I am super glad to have climbed it with my dad, even though not free. A big day out."
How to link the crux moves - Dawn Wall
30. 10. 2016
"A little unlucky and frustrating days. A lot of rain and humidity in the Valley, with some some sunny and hot intermezzos. We jugged up the ropes in the evening right when the rain stopped, hoping that we would get a good session of night climbing, but instead we just got soaking wet, because even we could see the stars, it was still raining on the wall, as the water turned into a waterfall. We spent very cold and wet night on the portaledge, waited till the sun came out and dried our clothes and the wall. As the sun came, it also got really hot too. I still worked the traverse pitches, but only just destroyed my skin. We rested on the portaledge and in the late afternoon, i went on the pitch 16. I wanted to check the loop instead of dyno. I found out that loop is equally heinous as the dyno itself and super tricky. It was still really warm and my soft skin did not help either, I spent around 3 hours in this pitch, refining my beta all over again. I wanted to send pitch 16 that day, but by the time I had the beta, I was so exhausted that it was not possible any more."
"Complexity and difficulty of the whole climb is just shocking to me. I might have been too optimistic, but I definitely expected it to be easier. Every single pitch is so tricky and hard and yesterday on pitch 16 was the most frustrating day so far on the wall. It revealed the real difficulty of the whole climb and crucial importance of good conditions and skin. Hats off to Tommy and Kevin, who believed that the whole climb was possible before they freeclimbed. Without having the beta, some of sections look just impossible. I have the advantage that I know that the climb is possible and that helps me to keep the faith that I might be able to do as well. I am humbled and impressed by what Tommy and Kevin did!"
"To make everything more clear what is going now on the wall, I will make a little recap. We spent a few days just going ground up, using free and aid climbing techniques just to fix the lines and be able to work on the pitches and get up and down easier. Which was bold and scary most of the times. So far we made it to the top of pitch 16. Above that, the climbing is by no means easy, but there are no more crux pitches. In the next week, we will continue to fix our ropes even higher and take a look at the whole route. But before that, I wanted to work on the crux pitches and see if they are possible.
These days, we are using fix ropes to jug up to the pitches I need to work and go down to the Valley in the evening after one day of climbing or we stay in the wall for two days and sleep on the portaledge. At certain point, I will decide to give it a try to climb the whole route in one single push. But before doing that, I need to see the whole route (not only first 16 pitches but all 32) and have every single pitch super wired. This will take still at least two weeks. Little intermediate goals before the final would be redpointing the individual pitches, most importantly the crux pitches (14-16)."
2. 11. 2016
"After the period of rain and two days of rest, we went into the wall with Pavel for three days. The plan was to semd pitch 15 and 16 the first night. Hauling took us a while, so we got tonour basecamp under the crux pitches already in te dark. But it did not matter really, it was finally cold enough for the pitch 15! Unfortunately the very beginining of the pitch was still wet after the big rain, so I had to skip the first 5 meters, which are not very difficult. Finally, on my fourth go I could send this shortened pitch 15. Suoer excited about it! I worked hard on pitch 16 later that night. I got pretty close, I tried it via loop pitch and tried to continue all the way into the pitch 17 (5.14a), which makes sense to me. It is much harder, the whole pitch could be around 5.14c, but I think it is worth it. But let's see what I will think in the push;-) Right now, we are resting on the portaledge this morning, I would like to work on 4 pitches around 5.13c-5.13d to the Wino Tower tonight and tomorrow, we will go to summit and complete our ground free/aid ascent, cool style in my opinion to justify use of fixed ropes. Life portaledge is just great, we have just had an oatmeal for breakfast, it is pleasant temperature to hang around on the sun and we have even solar panels to charge our phones. Life is pretty sweet up here. Even use of Wag bag when neccessary is not as bad as I thought."
4. 11. 2016
"It has been productive 48 hours on El Cap. After the first night and "climbing" pitch 15, i rested the whole day the portaledge, took as much sleep as possible and at 10.30 PM we set off. The first thing I wanted to do was send pitch 16. Which did not work out, soon after getting up I was not feeling very well. But I did not give it more tries and continued. Above us, there was untouched terrain (untouched by us). I led (not redpoint, with a few falls) the remaining 4 pitches up to the Wino Tower in the dark and at 5.30 AM. All these pitches in 5.13c range felt felt quite good. From Wino Tower we faced 11 more pitches and around 400m of climbing. Even though the hardest pitch is only 5.13a, there are some bold pitches too with a fairly loose rock. I felt pretty good, and onsighted all pitches except two where photographer #Heinzzak made me stop. I was extremely happy to onsight 5.12b flare (worse version of offwidth) three pitches below the top. By 2.30 PM we were on the summit. This ground up ascent made fixing the ropes justified (according to our ethics), so now the whole line is fixed with ropes and easy to work. Now we are down in the Valley, recovering and getting ready for more work on the wall, especially pitch 14 (first traverse) and all the pitches below."
7. 11. 2016
"We had two busy day on the wall, but extremely important motivating ones! At first, I tried the pitch 14, where I still had no idea about what to do in the last boulder problem. After a little session, I could finally do the moves and soon after I gave it a go, but I realized that my beta for the intro moves on the last boulderproblem did not work. It took me a lot of time, skin, frustration and swearing to finally find a satisfying sequence, but I was exhausted and my skin thrashed. I still gave it a another that night, slipped on the first boulderproblem but then continued to the anchor. Which gave me a lot of confidence that next time it should work out. Second day, I was incredibly lucky to get overcast day, so I could make a lot of work. At first, we took some pics with Heinz Zak in pitch 14 (5.14d), then went down and sent pitch 8 (5.13d) and toproped pith 7 (5.14a). After lunch, I went for pitch 11 (5.13c) and linked the whole crux sequence, then linked the whole crux in pitch 12 (5.14b). Then we went down for toprope session on pitch 10 (5.14a) which is always desperately wet in the dark, but I still made it with one hang in toprope. To finish the day, I just re-ckecked the moves on pitch 9 (5.13c). It seems like I need yet to work a bit more on pitches 10, 12 and 13 (5.13b) and then pitches 1-6 (only 5.12b to 5.13c range) and I would be ready to go for the push. Can't wait!!!"
10. 11. 2016
"Two more days of work on the wall. The first day my goal was to send pitch 10 (5.14a) which is possibly the most difficult pitch besides the two crux traverses because it is long, bold, always wet and with the crux on the very top. I did it and then worked and got very confident on pitch 11, 12 and 13 (5.13c, 5.14b and 5.13b). Yesterday I woke up on the portaledge with a pretty bad cold and fatigue. I was even considering going down straight away, but in the end I decided to up to pictch 20 and 21 (5.13c amd 5.13d) to get it worked. In the afternoon, I wanted to work the pitches 1-6 so I would be done with all the preparation for the push. But pitch 3 (5.13c!) turned out to be more cryptic than expected and I have not found any satisfying beta. So I need yet a couple of hours to work on this pitch before I feel ready for the push. Anyway, the life on the wall, "2 days climbing 1 day rest" regime has beaten both of us with Pavel and we need a good rest. So we are checking out the weather forecast and planning the push accordingly, but we will definitely not start in two days as we were planning. First I need to get 100% healthy (get rid of the cold) and spend a few more hours on the pitch 3. But the psyche for the push is high! I guess I just need a little more patience. Even though ut is hard to be in such a beatiful place and rest!"
Final push, DAY 1
Pitch 1 (5.12b) Pitch 2 (5.13a) Pitch 3 (5.13c) Pitch 4 (5.12b) Pitch 5 (5.12d) Pitch 6 (5.13c) Pitch 7 (5.14a) Pitch 8 (5.13d) Pitch 9 (5.13c)
Final push, DAY 2
"It should have been rather easy day with only 4 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 the pitch 10 (5.14a, but I would almost say 5.14b is not wrong). It is all laybacking, all the time smearing your feet against nothing (sometimes wet nothing) and harder you are, the harder it gets. I knew it would be good to do the pitch 1st 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 nohandrest. 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. Middle section turned much harder due to wet footholds (holds are perma wet on this pitch), I was nervous as hell, climbed quite poorly, but 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."
"Next pitch is hard stemming corner at 5.13c, fortunately no mistake on this pitch. Number 12 is Molar traverse at 5.14b. It is one of the highest numbers on the whole route (french 8c), but I never found this pitch very hard. Mainly because the crux is just powerful boulderproblem which fit my style and the rest of the pitch is technical, but not too bad. But it turned really epic. On my first go, I fell off two meters off the anchor, because a little crytal broke. The next go, I slipped in the same move. Even though I was relaxed yet very careful and focused. On my third go, I fell in the lower boulderproblem. It was obvious that I had to the pitch next otherwise I would be stuck! I entered the zone, focused and despite the fatigue I fired it off."
"Pitch 13 (5.13b) was quite OK, one of the few pitches that does not feel sandbagged :-D
All in all, it was a pretty good training! Climbing basically 5 times 5.14b = 8c (if you count pitch ten as 5.14b) is not a bad day at the crag. Hopefully I will make use of this training on Thursday on the crux pitches, after taking a restday on Wednesday."
Final push, DAY 1
"Damn! Climbed super poorly, so much pressure, so nervous! Needed 7 tries to make it through the first boulderproblem on pitch 14, a boulderproblem that i never really found very hard before, but somehow felt really hard today. I slipped on my first try, then on my second try, then just freaked out and felt so insecure with my feet trying to climb as carefully as possible but kept slipping nevertheless. Then, on my 7th try, I did the boulderproblem, and fell from the last move. Hard to find some optimism, but I will try it again. Tomorrow and hopefully with better mindset. Thanks everyone for encouragement! I am sorry for today, hopefully there is still the chance!"
Final push, DAY 5
"Day 5. As day 4 was a complete disaster, I still felt a lot of pressureas I knew that sending the pitch 14 is almost a must. But today, my mindset was different. I tried to make jokes, being relaxed and focused only just before the climbing. I was lucky enough to be precise and send the pitch 14 (5.14d) on my first go after a little warm up."
"Pitch 15 (5.14c or d) was next. This pitch is much longer and has very nice and enjoyable 5.13c intro (with a few normal holds and even footholds) for heinously sharp boulderproblem in the end of the pitch. After chalking up the holds, I had heartbraking fall, a few moves below the jug of glory... And I had to face hard decision. Should I gove it more try and try risk cutting my skin open or wait for tomorrow, but it was rather unsure whether my skin would be better the next day. I took the first option. I started climbing again and despite feeling strong, my skin was really soft and sweaty. In the jug below the boulderproblem, I almost thought my decision was wrong. I kept going nevertheless and somehow made it through the crux, where I had to improvise with my beta as I was unable to reach with my foot all the way due sliding fingers from the razorblades. Getting to the anchor was emotional of course."
"Let's continue tomorrow, still quite a few exciting pitches, but none of them are as sharp and hard as these two."
Final push, DAY 6
"Hard to find the words to describe how I feel. We made it up to the Wino Tower and no more hard pitches guard my way to the top. I could not have asked for a better day. We woke up quite late, as I felt quite wrecked after yesterday's success on pitches 14 and 15. At 11 AM we were up at the belay where the pitch 16 starts. It was overcast and nicely windy and even my wrecked skin felt sticky."
"Pitch 16 can be climbed via dyno or the loop. If I am not wrong, the dyno was given 5.14c (8c+), loop is probably easier, I heart something about 5.14a, but due to the crazy character of the climbing, the grade is not relevant. Dyno might be more logical as a line, but loop pitch climbs the easiest way up the ¨wall, so I consider bot equally logical. I tried the dyno a few time in the last weeks, but I thoght I would have to invest considerable effort into the dyno with insecure result and that is why I decided to climb the loop pitch. The loop pitch or dyno pitch is followed by 5.14a layback. In between, there is no belay, there is only a nohand stance. My original goal was to connect Loop pitch into the layback, making 60m mega-pitch at 5.14c at least."
"Loop pitch is extremely hard pitch mentally. The downclimb is akward, powerful and insecure and is the crux of the pitch for sure. At botttom of the loop, there is a good ledge but I could not sit down, all the standing on my feet. As you start climbing, you get into the tiny layback with pinscars which is super easy to slip. This section is probably at 5.13c but it is is really devastating if you slip and have to climb the downclimb again. I was lucky to fight through the downclimb, took a rest at the ledge and climb suoer carefully through the layback into the nohand stance, the end of the Loop pitch/Dyno pitch. I continued into the pitch 17 (5.14a layback), but after climbing 45 minutes, my feet were just gone. I took a little rest and did the pitch 17 from the nohand stance. Doing the whole 16+17 link seemed impossible at that moment."
"The day was still young and in the next 4 hours, I could climb pitch 18 (5.13c) in possibly biggest fight of the day. My feet were so painful and weak that I was shaking so badly in the second half of the pitch. But I made it. Pitch 19 is very short and bouldery (5.13c, I think 5.13b is better) and pitch 20 (5.13c - one of the best pitches on the wall) went very smooth. Pitch 21 (5 13d) is the last hard pitch. I had never worked on this pitch very carefully and it got dark in the meantime. I switched on my headlamp and headed towards the Wino Tower. I climbed slowly, took my time and hoped I would not pump out. It turned out to be good tactic abd at 6 PM I was at the Wino Tower!"
"Weather forecast said rain later during the night, so we did not risk, rapped down back to the portalege and took deserved rest. It seems we will have forced restday tomorrow in the rain, and hopefully finish the push on Monday."
Final push, DAY 8
He did it! Congratulations!
Pitches - timeline
Day 1 (Nov. 14): Pitch 1 (5.12b) Pitch 2 (5.13a) Pitch 3 (5.13c) Pitch 4 (5.12b) Pitch 5 (5.12d) Pitch 6 (5.13c) Pitch 7 (5.14a) Pitch 8 (5.13d) Pitch 9 (5.13c)
Day 2 (Nov. 15): Pitch 10 (5.14a) Pitch 11 (5.13c) Pitch 12 (5.14b) Pitch 13 (5.13b)
Day 3 (Nov. 16): Rest day
Day 4 (Nov. 17): Pitch 14 (5.14d), eight attempts, unsuccessful
Day 5 (Nov. 18): Pitch 14 (5.14d), first go Pitch 15 (5.14d), second go
Day 6 (Nov. 19): Pitch 16 (5.14a) - Loop Pitch Pitch 17 (5.14a), from no-hands rest* Pitch 18 (5.13c) Pitch 19 (5.13b) Pitch 20 (5.13c/d), "One of the best pitches on the wall" Pitch 21 (5.13d) - Wino Tower
Day 7 (Nov. 20): Rest day
Day 8 (Nov. 21): Pitch 22 (5.10) Pitch 23 (5.11) Pitch 24 (5.11) Pitch 25 (5.11d) Pitch 26 (5.11c) Pitch 27 (5.12c) - Ship's Bow Pitch 28 (5.12b) Pitch 29 (5.12b) Pitch 30 (5.13a) Pitch 31 (5.12b)