Watch Adam Ondra Climb On Razor Blades, Skip Clips, and Scream His Way Up Another Absurd New Route

No matter how much you watch Adam Ondra climb 9a+/5.15 routes, it never really gets old. Trust me — I started watching him way back when he was only onsighting 8c.

Every time a new video comes out of Ondra making a wildly hard first ascent, the climbing world collectively shrugs. “Sure,” we think, “why not?”

When I noticed he’d done yet another 9b-first ascent in Arco, Italy in early March, I thought, “That checks out.”

But year after year, his style continues to stimulate. His body ripples with bizarre tension — his hulking, striated back and shoulders display a startling elasticity. And his iron fingers clamp unimaginable tidbits of stone.

Most of all, Ondra appears to commit his entire emotional resources to stay on the rock at all costs. He’s technically solid, sure. He also climbs fast, with precise footwork and decisive deadpoints.

But the bottom line is, it feels like he wants each ascent really, really badly — just witness his unmistakable primal screaming. Most “9th-grade” climbers try hard, but to watch Ondra do it is visceral.

Ondra delivers a solid dose of sensory overload, sends ‘Bomba,’ 9b

Such is the case with the no-frills first ascent video of his new route in Arco. Bomba, 9b follows brutal crimps up stippled gray limestone that barely overhangs. The body positions are uncompromising; the barely caressed rock promises to be heinously sharp.


 

Ondra skips bolts, shakes out (perhaps from skin pain, rather than fatigue), and screeches his way up the route. The brief clip is well worth a minute and a half of your day — turn up the volume to startle the neighbors awake.

Finally, share a laugh with the world’s best climber at the end of the clip. At the end of the day, it’s sport climbing. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents' evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.


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