Adam Ondra (born February 5, 1993) is a Czech professional rock climber, specializing in lead climbing and bouldering. Described in 2013 as a prodigy and the leading climber of his generation, Ondra is the only male athlete to have won World Championship titles in both disciplines in the same year (2014). He holds an analogous record in the World Cup, being the only male athlete to have won the World Cup series in both disciplines (lead climbing in 2009 and 2015, and bouldering in 2010).
Ondra started climbing at the age of 6. At age 13, he climbed his first route graded 9a (5.14d). Rock and Ice magazine states that by 2011, Ondra was "onsighting 5.14c’s by the handful", and by 2013 had "more or less repeated every hard route in the world—easily". As of November 2018, Ondra had climbed 1550 routes between grades 8a (5.13b) and 9c (5.15d), one of which was a 9c (5.15d), three were 9b+ (5.15c), and three were onsights of 9a (5.14d).
Ondra is famously the only climber to have redpointed a route with a proposed grade of 9c (5.15d) (Silence, September 3, 2017), the first climber to have redpointed a route with a proposed grade of 9b+ (5.15c) (Change, October 4, 2012), the first to flash a 9a+ (5.15a) route (Supercrackinette, February 10, 2018), and the second to onsight a 9a (5.14d) route (Cabane au Canada, July 9, 2013). According to The Economist, Ondra is "regarded as possibly the best climber ever to fondle rock".
Ondra started climbing at the age of six; his parents are climbers and they shared their passion with him.
In 1999 (at age six) at Rovinj in Croatia Ondra easily climbed a 6a (5.10a) route with bolts every half meter. Soon he became famous in climbing magazines, as his achievements quickly grew more and more notable:
- In 2001 (at age eight) he onsighted 7b+ (5.12c) routes.
- In 2002 (at age nine) he onsighted 7c+ (5.13a) and redpointed 8a (5.13b).
- In 2003 (at age ten) he onsighted 8a (5.13b).
- In 2004 (at age eleven) he onsighted 8a+ (5.13c) and redpointed 8c (5.14b).
- In 2005 (at age twelve) he onsighted 8b (5.13d).
- In 2006 (at age thirteen) he managed to redpoint his first 9a (5.14d), Martin Krpan at Misja Pec.
In 2007 and 2008 he won the IFSC Youth World Championship, category Youth B.
In 2010, he also won the Bouldering World Cup, ahead of Austrian Kilian Fischhuber and Japanese Tsukuru Hori, and becoming the first athlete in history to win both the disciplines (lead and bouldering).
On March 2011, during a trip in Spain, Ondra became the second person ever to have onsighted 8c+ (5.14c) after Patxi Usobiaga. In only a few days he onsighted five 8c+ (5.14c) routes (two of which were on the same day).
On October 4, 2012, Ondra redpointed Change, in the Hanshelleren Cave, Flatanger, Norway. It was the first route to receive a proposed grade of 9b+ (5.15c).
On October 29, 2012, Ondra flashed one of the Red River Gorge's hardest routes, Southern Smoke Direct 9a+ (5.15a), suggesting the grade of 9a (5.14d). On November 1, he onsighted Pure Imagination and The Golden Ticket, both 9a, suggesting the grade of 8c+.
On February 7, 2013, Ondra sent La Dura Dura, in Oliana, Catalonia, Spain, his second 9b+ (5.15c) after Change. He worked on this project with Chris Sharma and the first ascent took Ondra nine weeks of work.
On February 9, 2013, just two days after La Dura Dura, Ondra succeeded in the second ascent of the 9b (5.15b) Fight or flight, first climbed by Sharma in 2011.
On July 9, 2013, Ondra realized the second 9a (5.14d) onsight in history after Alexander Megos, with the ascent of Cabane au Canada in Rawyl, Switzerland.
On November 21, 2016, Ondra completed the second free ascent of The Dawn Wall, a 5.14d (9a) multi-pitch route at El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, California. The route is widely regarded as the hardest big wall in the world. Ondra was also the first person to lead every pitch. The first free ascent was completed by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson in January 2015.
On April 23, 2017, he set a new highpoint of the Black Diamond Project in Stockholm, Sweden believed to be the hardest indoor sport route in the world.
On September 3, 2017, after about 4 years of trials, Ondra climbed Silence, in the Hanshelleren Cave (Flatanger, Norway). At that point, the route was unclimbed and widely considered to be the most difficult project in the world, together with Le blond, a route which is still unclimbed, bolted by Chris Sharma in Oliana (ESP). Silence was the first route to receive a proposed grade of 9c (5.15d). The route was previously known as Project Hard.
On February 10, 2018, Ondra realized the first flash of a confirmed 9a+ route with his ascent of Super Crackinette in Saint-Léger du Ventoux, France. The route was first climbed by Alexander Megos after 3 days of work in 2016.
On November 12, 2018, Ondra onsighted Just do it (Smith Rock, Oregon, USA), a historic 8c+ route bolted by Alan Watts in 1989 and first ascended in 1992 by Jean-Baptiste Tribout. At that time, Just do it was considered the hardest route in the USA. It is a long slab (140 feet, 18 bolts) with many tricky moves and small holds hardly visible from the ground. This kind of classic route is considered to be particularly difficult to onsight, by both Adam Ondra and Alan Watts.
As of 2019, Ondra is working towards qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics. He failed to qualify at the 2019 IFSC Climbing World Championships as he was disqualified for accidentally toeing a bolt during the lead climbing portion of the combined event. However, at the olympic qualifying event in Toulouse later that year, he managed to secure his selection for the olympic games even though he fell ill after making it through to the finals of the event.
Climbing World Cup
Climbing World Championships
Climbing European Championships
Number of medals in the Climbing European Youth Cup
Number of medals in the Climbing World Cup
The table below shows the large number of routes graded 8a (5.13b) or more ascended by Adam Ondra in about 16 years, from August 2, 2002 (when he redpointed his first 8a) to November 10, 2018. The total number is 1554, of which 1 was at 9c (5.15d) and 725 were onsighted, including 3 onsights at 9a (5.14d) and 1 flash at 9a+ (5.15a).
- Silence (formerly known as Project hard) - Flatanger (NOR) - September 3, 2017 - First ascent and world's first 9c. (The grade has to be confirmed)
- Vasil Vasil - Sloup (CZE) - December 4, 2013 - First ascent
- La Dura Dura - Oliana (ESP) - February 7, 2013 - First ascent
- Change - Flatanger (NOR) - October 4, 2012 - First ascent and world's first 9b+ (The grade has to be confirmed)
- Neanderthal - Santa Linya (ESP) - February 12, 2019
- Disbelief - Acephale (CAN) - July 20, 2018 - First ascent
- Eagle-4 - St. Léger (FRA) - February 13, 2018 - First ascent
- One Slap - Arco (ITA) - November 13, 2017 - First ascent
- Move Hard - Flatanger (NOR) - July 10, 2017 - First ascent (link-up of two neighboring routes; through first crux of Move into second crux of Silence, at the time known as Project Hard)
- Lapsus - Andonno (ITA) - April 20, 2017 - Second ascent
- Queen Line - Laghel (Arco, ITA) - April 19, 2017 - First ascent
- Mamichula - Oliana (ESP) - February 8, 2017 - First ascent
- Robin Ud - Alternativna stena (SVK) - October 5, 2016 - First ascent
- Stoking the Fire - Santa Linya (ESP) - February 19, 2016 - Second ascent of Chris Sharma's route
- C.R.S. - Mollans sur Ouvèze (FRA) - November 2, 2015 - First ascent
- First Round First Minute - Margalef (ESP) - February 3, 2014 - Second ascent of Chris Sharma's route
- Move - Flatanger (NOR) - August 20, 2013 - First ascent. Ondra graded the route "9b/9b+, or just hard 9b". Repeated on June 17, 2019 by Seb Bouin, who confirmed the grade.
- Iron Curtain - Flatanger (NOR) - August 3, 2013 - First ascent
- Fight or flight - Oliana (ESP) - February 9, 2013 - Second ascent of Chris Sharma's route (2011)
- La planta de Shiva - Villanueva del Rosario (ESP) - April 22, 2011 - First ascent
- Chilam Balam - Villanueva del Rosario (ESP) - April 13, 2011 - Second ascent (however Bernabe Fernandez's first ascent is not confirmed)
- Chaxi Raxi - Oliana (ESP) - March 27, 2011 - First ascent of Chaxi direct start
- La Capella - Siurana (ESP) - February 16, 2011 - First ascent
- Golpe de Estado - Siurana (ESP) - March 13, 2010 - Second ascent of Chris Sharma's route (2008)
- Catxasa - Santa Linya (ESP) - February 10, 2019
- Czech trip - Mavrovi Anovi (MAK) - October 19, 2018 - First Ascent
- Sacrifice - Echo Canyon (CAN) - July 23, 2018 - First ascent
- Stone Butterfly - Herculane (ROM) - May 15, 2018 - First ascent
- Underground Dreaming - Arco (ITA) - February 24, 2018 - First ascent
- Super Crackinette - Saint-Léger du Ventoux (FRA) - February 10, 2018
- Naturalmente - Camaiore (ITA) - April 21, 2017 - First ascent
- Ultimatum - Massone (Arco, (ITA) - April 19, 2017 - 3rd ascent
- Predator - Bohemian Karst (CZE) - November 19, 2015 - First ascent, the hardest route in Bohemia
- Three Degrees of Separation - Céüse (FRA) - July 27, 2015 - Second ascent of Chris Sharma's route (2007)
- Realization - Céüse (FRA) - July 22, 2014 - Tenth ascent
- Ini Ameriketan - Baltzola (ESP) - May 9, 2014
- Hell Racer - Hell (NOR) - September 22, 2013 - First ascent
- Kangaroo's Limb - Flatanger (NOR) - September 21, 2013 - First ascent
- Torture Physique Integrale - Gastlosen (CHE) - July 7, 2013 - First ascent
- Power Inverter - Oliana (ESP) - January 25, 2013 - Second ascent of Chris Sharma's route (2010)
- Thor's Hammer - Flatanger (NOR) - July 8, 2012 - First ascent (now downgraded to 9a)
- Jungle Boogie - Céüse (FRA) - June 7, 2012 - First ascent
- Perlorodka - Holstejn (Moravsky Kras, CZE) - September 6, 2011 - First ascent
- Overshadow - Malham Cove (GBR) - May 16, 2011 - Second ascent of Steve McClure's route
- Chaxi - Oliana (ESP) - March 21, 2011 - First ascent of Chris Sharma's project
- Obrint el sistema - Santa Ana (ESP) - March 14, 2011 - First ascent of Daniel Andrada's project
- L'étrange ivresse des lenteurs - Céüse (FRA) - September 4, 2010 - First ascent
- Goldrake - Cornalba (ITA) - April 6, 2010 - First ascent
- Marina Superstar - Domusnovas (ITA) - October 20, 2009 - First ascent
- Corona - Frankenjura (DEU) - June 7, 2009 - Second ascent of Markus Bock's route (2006)
- Papichulo - Oliana (ESP) - February 24, 2009 - Second ascent of Chris Sharma's route (2008)
- Open Air - Schleierwasserfall (AUT) - November 17, 2008 - Second ascent of Alexander Huber's route (1996)
- La Rambla - Siurana (ESP) - February 10, 2008 - Sixth ascent
- TCT - Gravere (ITA) - July 11, 2014
- Il Domani - Baltzola (ESP) - May 3, 2014
- Cabane au Canada - Rawyl (CHE) - July 9, 2013 - Second 9a onsight in history
- Blut und Honig - Höllental (AUT) - September 30, 2019
- Just Do It - Smith Rock (Oregon, USA) - November 12, 2018 - Bolted by Alan Watts in 1989 and first ascended in 1992 by Jean-Baptiste Tribout.
- C'est la vie - Alternativna stena (SVK) - October 5, 2016
- Super Plafond - Volx (FRA) - July 6, 2014
- Chambao - Baltzola (ESP) - May 7, 2013
- Pure Imagination - Red River Gorge (USA) - November 1, 2012
- Golden Ticket - Red River Gorge (USA) - November 1, 2012
- Muy Verdes - Flatanger (NOR) - July 11, 2012
- Eye of Odin - Flatanger (NOR) - July 8, 2012
- Deltaplane Man Direct - Entraygues (FRA) - May 31, 2012
- Bella Regis - Bus De Vela (ITA) - April 7, 2012
- L'Avaro - Tetto di Sarre (ITA) - July 13, 2011
- La Rubia - Villanueva del Rosario (ESP) - April 13, 2011
- Blanquita - Oliana (ESP) - March 27, 2011
- Mind Control - Oliana (ESP) - March 20, 2011
- Powerade - Vadiello (ESP) - March 9, 2011
- Bizi Euskaraz - Etxauri (ESP) - March 7, 2011
- Kidetasunaren balio erantsia - Etxauri (ESP) - March 6, 2011 - Second 8c+ onsight in history after route by Patxi Usobiaga in 2007
- Aktion Talon - Höllental (AUT) - June 29, 2013
- Into the Wild - Jaén (ESP) - March 16, 2013
- Terapia de Grito - Cuenca (ESP) - February 13, 2013
- El Calvario del Sicario - Cuenca (ESP) - February 10, 2013
- Nordic Flower - Flatanger (NOR) - July 9, 2012
- Scoglio de Capri - Bus De Vela (ITA) - April 7, 2012
- Iluzija - Kotecnik (SLO) - April 5, 2012
- 5 Uve - Arco (ITA) - June 27, 2011
- Bat Route - Malham Cove (GBR) - May 16, 2011
- Carbunco - Archidona (ESP) - April 23, 2011
- Kalliste - Archidona (ESP) - April 23, 2011
- Fuck the police - Etxauri (ESP) - March 6, 2011
- Dures Limites - Céüse (FRA) - August 10, 2010
- Smoke - Pierrot beach (FRA) - August 5, 2010
- Home Sweet Home - Pierrot beach (FRA) - August 5, 2010
- Guère d'usure - Claret (FRA) - January 29, 2010
- Super Samson - Claret (FRA) - January 29, 2010
- Gora Guta Gutarak - Kalymnos (GRC) - May 22, 2009
- Una Vida Nomada - Covolo (ITA) - April 21, 2009
- Nagay - Covolo (ITA) - April 21, 2009
- L'espiadimondis - Margalef (ESP) - March 2, 2009
- Los Humildes Pa Casa - Oliana (ESP) - February 24, 2009
- Métaphysique Des Tubes - Seynes (FRA) - February 21, 2009
- Absinth - Sparchen (AUT) - August 16, 2008
- Rollito Sharma Extension - Santa Linya (ESP) - February 7, 2008
- Digital System - Santa Linya (ESP) - February 5, 2008
Ondra won the bouldering gathering Melloblocco in 2008, 2009 2010 and 2011.
He climbed 291 boulder problems between 8A (V11) and 8C+ (V16). Namely:
- 2 8C+/V16
- 10 8C/V15
- 31 8B+/V14
- 57 8B/V13
- 76 8A+/V12
- 115 8A/V11
- Gioia - Varazze (ITA) - December 6, 2011 - Second ascent of Christian Core's boulder (2008)
- Terranova - Holstejn (Moravsky Kras, CZE) - November 10, 2011 - First ascent, traverse
- Vrtule - Holstejn (Moravsky Kras, CZE) - October 13, 2017 - First ascent,
- Nunavut - Sloup (Moravian Karst), (CZE) - November 15, 2019 - First ascent
- Pučmeloun - Sloup (Moravian Karst), (CZE) - November 15, 2019 - First ascent
- Ghost Rider - (Moravian Karst), (CZE) - September 24, 2019 - Second ascent
- Cháron - Petrohrad (Mlýnský vrch, (CZE) - October 15, 2011 - First ascent
- Practice of the Wild - Magic Wood (CHE) - October 1, 2011 - Chris Sharma's boulder (2004)
- Pata ledovce - Holstejn (Moravsky Kras, CZE) - September 6, 2011 - First ascent
- Monkey Wedding - Rocklands (Cederberg mountains, ZAF) - August 14, 2011 - Third ascent of Fred Nicole's boulder (2002)
- From The Dirt Grows the Flowers - Chironico (CHE) - November 30, 2010 - Dave Graham's boulder (2005)
- Big Paw - Chironico (CHE) - November 29, 2010 - Third ascent of Dave Graham's boulder (2008)
- The Dawn Wall - El Capitan (USA) - 3,000 feet (915 meters) tall - 32 pitches, at least two of which graded 9a (5.14d). Described as the hardest big wall in the world.
- Mora Mora - Tsaranoro Atsimo (MDG) - October 10, 2010 - First free ascent
- Bravo Les Filles - Tsaranoro Kelly (MDG) - October 7, 2010
- Tough Enough Original - Karambony (MDG) - October 4, 2010 - First free ascent
- Tough Enough - Karambony (MDG) - September 30, 2010 - First free ascent
- Hotel Supramonte - Gole di Gorroppu (ITA) - October 18, 2008 - First onsight ascent
- Ali Baba - Paroi Derobée (Aiglun, FRA) - 2008 - Second ascent
- WoGü - Rätikon (CHE) - July 26, 2008 - First free ascent of Beat Kammerlander's route (1997)
- Zub za zub - Rätikon (CHE) - July 29, 2007 - First free ascent
- Silbergeier - Rätikon (CHE) - July 27, 2007
- 2008 Salewa Rock Award
- 2010 Salewa Rock Award
- 2011 Salewa Rock Award
- 2013 Salewa Rock Award