November 21, 2012 posted by

Hardest Onsight, Climbing Circus Tricks, & More

Weather’s looking perfect for a long weekend (at least here) so get outside and do something to earn your feast. For inspiration, here’s the hardest route ever onsighted, courtesy of Black Diamond and, of course, Adam Ondra.

We don’t exactly know it’s the hardest but Ondra onsighted two 9as this day, downrating both, and said this one was harder. Since both would be the world’s first 9a onsight we’re assuming the title. Anyway, it’s pretty clear from the vid that he can go deeper. Very, very impressive climbing from the guy with, by far, the most impressive climbing tick list in the world.

However, until he onsights something like this (go to 1:20) he can still raise the bar. The move in this video (maybe onsighted–have no idea) is the most bizarre climbing move I’ve ever seen. It’s like a circus trick and I had to watch it 5 times to figure out what happened. Competition climbing has changed to the point where it’s almost more like watching Cirque Du Soleil than how people ascend a rock face.

Check out this last video of a climbing comp from the 80s. Quite a difference, eh?


  • So amazing watching Ondra. His pacing (read climbing like he's running up the cliff), aggression, those quick little shakes and arm drops, his fearlessness. He's got impecable footwork too. Amazing. Not suprising he's doing his first 9a onsites there though. Sandstone is definitely easier to read than limestone and those chalked up holds on the red stone almost look like a route on plastic Bruce A.

  • He's fascinating. He's got the mental stuff dialed. Incredible. It's easy to tell yourself that you can skip clips in hard sections where energy savings are huge but it's another to be able to do it with zero hesitation. Yeah, he's way stronger than almost everyone but if we climbed like him we'd climb much harder. Not 5.15 necessarily but much harder. And then if we had the gymnastic ability to invert ourselves using a fingertip gaston above our heads…

  • Yea, that move in the comp is insane. I had to watch it quite a few times to figure out what he had done as well. I can't imagine that's how it's supposed to be climbed, but the sequence looked like it worked real well.I might go climbing again if I ever get rid of this damn tennis elbow.~Bubba

  • And my apologies to Nikki. For some reason I assumed she was a woman. Oops. Clearly she's not.

  • I'm not sure why, but that comp move makes me roar with laughter every time that I see it. It just seems so…incongruous with how I understand climbing.Perhaps there can be a new olympic sport called "synchronized climbing", with two or three jakes on a wall repeating that sort of move in tandem.

  • Another video of the comp route aerobatics. Action starting at 3:40

  • That just bursted my bubble! It's horizontal! From the other angle it looked vertical, which was why the move looked so insane. From this angle it's a normal move. Very interesting. Thanks for posting that. I don't feel like such a punter now.

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