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Adam Ondra Interview

Adam Ondra in South Africa
Adam flashing an 8b on the Rock and Road Pic: Martin Renz
Benj and Adam chilling out at Jurassic Park, Montagu Pic: Justin Lawson
Benj and Adam chilling out at Jurassic Park, Montagu Pic: Justin Lawson

Adam Ondra in South Africa

DOB: 05 February 1993
Living in Brno
Occupation: Student
Started climbing: At 6 years old

Welcome to Montagu, South Africa, have you been having a good time so far and how was the Petzl Rock and Road Trip?

Yeah, we visited a few of very interesting areas, totally different to Europe.

Far away from the city and out in the bush?

Yeah! But also the style of climbing was pretty much different.

Did it suit you? From what I hear you’ve been sending lots of routes, as well as few projects.

Maybe some of routes suited me, because they are crimpy and slightly overhanging, but… I wasn’t used to climbing on Quartizite at all. It was so strange for the first time.

Right: Benj and Adam chilling out at Jurassic Park, Montagu
Pic: Justin Lawson

What is your favourite type of rock to climb on?

Limestone, because we have so much of it in Europe and its what I am used to.

Your top four favourite climbing areas in Europe?

Oliana, Spain
Voralpsee, Switzerland
Schleier Wasserfall, Austria
Frankenjura, Germany

Do you boulder much?

I do a lot of bouldering in winter at home.

On a boulder wall?

No, limestone mostly and also in Czech republic there a couple of granite bouldering areas. I was once in Ticino in Cresciano and every year I go to the Val Daone for the World Cup.

Do you Trad climb, have you ever trad climbed?

I have never Trad climbed!

Adam flashing an 8b on the Rock and Road Pic: Martin Renz
Adam flashing an 8b on the Rock and Road Pic: Martin Renz

How old where you when you started and how did you start climbing?

My parents are both climbers and since I was very little my parents would take me climbing with them. I was naturally curious to try too.
When I was three I started and swinging on the rope. Then when I was six I started climbing more frequently.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Yes, I have an older sister. She started climbing after I started, she tried a couple of times but she didn’t like it and just after I started she became interested in climbing again.

Do you use a bouldering wall for training?

Yes, I train in winter and before the world cups. There are three climbing gyms to choose from each within ten minutes of where I live. My school is also 10 minutes away!

Who in the climbing world inspires you?

Wolfgang Güllich the most, because he was pushing the limit for than 12 years. I think he was the first to climb 8b, 8c, 9a.

What are the best routes that you’ve climbed?

Speed in Voralpsee 8c+ opened by Beat Kammerlander. 30 meters, slightly overhanging by 3 meters and smooth like the wall of a house with very small holds.

Have you opened many routes?

In my home area about 20 or so. Up to 9a

Do you have any projects that you are working on?

Yes, but right now they are too hard. I have two projects that I think will be about 9b or something. The projects are about 8c+ climbing and then a brutal boulder problem

The hardest climb that you have done?

Open Air, 9a+ at Schleier Wasserfall

What is the biggest epic that you have had?

The day I climbed WoGü, its a multi pitch route with some pitchs up to 8c. The first pitch is already 8c and I fell there on my first two attempts. So my skin was totally sore on the first pitch, fortunately I got it on my third go


Adam on the bottom half of Mazawattee (8c+/35) Adam got the route on his first redpoint attempt Photo by Riki Lawson


Other than climbing?

I don’t do many things… I used to go into the mountains for snowboarding a lot, but now we discovered that even in winter its better to go climbing, because in February you have the best conditions and you if you go skiing you loose the shape and the best conditions for climbing.

And School, do you take time off?

I mostly climb on weekends, sometimes extended weekends and I go twice a year for a two week trip

So they give you an allowance to take time off school?

They actually give me a big allowance, I can miss 50% of school

And how much do you actually miss?

I think about 15%

What is your favourite food?
Pasta or pizza

Will you be coming back to South Africa?

Maybe to Rocklands

What has been your favourite route while in SA?

Mazawattee, was the favourite for sure

You sent Mazawattee 8c+ on your first redpoint attempt, did you ever feel like you might fall off?

In the one move, from the two sidepulls to the next sidepull

[youtube width=”600″ height=”424″][/youtube]

Adam is sponsored by:
La Sportiva
Rock Empire
Hudy Sport

Check out routes that Adam has done on

Read more about the Petzl Rock and Road Trip in South Africa

Adam sending Mazawattee (8c+/35) Photo by Riki Lawson
Adam sending Mazawattee (8c+/35) Photo by Riki Lawson
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[…] 1. Adam Ondra2. Arjan de Kock3. Paul Brouard4. Clinton Martinengo5. Mel Janse van Rensburg […]

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