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Adam Ondra Olympic training interview

Adam Ondra Olympic training interview

The Olympic male Combined qualification is scheduled for August 3rd and the Top-8 final for August 5th. Adam Ondra has had the Olympics as his big goal since 2019, when he for the first time since 2015 completed most of the World Cup. In 2019 and 2020 he won all four Lead WCs he participated in and in Bouldering he was #2 overall in 2019. (c) Lukas Biba

How do you plan to train, travel and compete in the last six months before the Olympics and how does Covid-19 impact your training?
I am mostly just planning to stay at home, training and going for a few World Cups before the Olympics. (if they won't be cancelled). As I am a professional, fortunately, I have access to the gyms, so apart from travel restrictions, I cannot complain.

Have you considered just skipping Speed training due to the multiplication format?
Skipping speed could have been an option for me, but improvement of speed might be beneficial in certain styles of bouldering and that is why I do train speed.

Who do you train together with and what does a training partner mean to you?
Rishat Khaibulin lives in Brno, so we train together quite often and besides, there are a few other climbers from the Czech team that I occasionally train together, mostly bouldering on a spraywall. Still, I do most of my training sessions without a training partner. Proper training partner would be great, not only to boost motivation when you feel tired, but also for learning from each other, most importantly in modern bouldering. Unfortunately, Martin Stranik who would be the perfect training partner lives quite far away and we get to train together rarely.

Who are your three favourites for getting a medal?
Really hard to predict in this format.

The format is based on multiplication of the results in the three disciplines. In other words, even if you get a good result in all disciplines, 4 * 4 * 4 = 64 points, you will probably not get a medal. With the multiplication, it is better to be 1 * 7 * 8 = 56 points. Overall, out of the 8 male finalist, probably at least six of them have good chances of winning one discipline, i.e. getting a medal.

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Les Colos Fachos 8c+/9a by Loic Zehani (19)

Les Colos Fachos 8c+/9a by Loic Zehani (19)

Loic Zehani, who the last year has done five FAs 9a and harder, has done the FA of Les Colos Fachos 8c+/9a in Orgon.
"It is a route of about twenty natural movements bolted by Olivier Bert. There is the first section in approximately 8A boulder followed by another in approximately 7B+ boulder."

What are your next projects?
Currently, I am trying a combination between Sachidananda and Bronx which should be 9a+ or 9b and I fell on the last move last Saturday. In the Calanques at the Grotte de l'Ours, I try Electoman (it's an old big 8c+ by Rémy Bergasse) but a hold has broken in the crux and it should be 9a+ now. And a few other projects all over the place. Otherwise, my big long-term project is located at the Canal in Orgon, it makes 80 movements and will be 9b+.

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MORE NEWS

First Ley 9a+ by Jorge Díaz-Rullo

First Ley 9a+ by Jorge Díaz-Rullo

Jorge Diaz-Rullo reports on Insta that he has done First Ley 9a+ in Margalef after six days of projecting. (c) Eduardo Ruano Li

During the last 12 months, the 21-year-old has done 17 routes 9a to 9b and he is #1 in the 8a ranking game. Overall, he has done 44 routes 8c+/9a and harder, meaning that he is #7 in that all time list. Next up is doing Chris Sharma’s First Round First Minute 9b. Here is a shortinterview from January when he did his fourth 8C boulder.

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L'hygiène de l'assassin 9a FA by Hugo Parmentier

L'hygiène de l'assassin 9a FA by Hugo Parmentier

Hugo Parmentier, who has previously done eight routes 9a to 9b, has done the FA of L'hygiène de l'assassin in Seynes. ©2021 Aurèle Brémond

"After having done "Ça chauffe" 9a I checked out a project wich is the right exit of the classique 8c "La métaphysique des tubes". It's my first experience investing time in a non established route. It took me four days and more tries than "Ça chauffe". But I hesitantly proposed 9a because a friend discovered a providencial thumb on the crux hold. I only used it on the next sending go. Will see what are the next ones thoughts. Even if it's really bouldery the rest of the route is still pretty resistant with perfect classic mouvs."

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Fred Rouhling put up Akira as the world's first 9b in 1995. The first repeats were done by Seb Bouin and Lucien Martinez last November, and they considered it to be 9a.

As other hard routes from that time put up by Fred, such as Hugh 9a, have been confirmed, he had a hard time understanding the downgrading. "I don’t know but limestone cracks. Perhaps the holds became bigger. When Yuji Hirayama and Dai Koyamada came to try. They thought there was a very big difference between Akira and Hugh...😭."

Fred considered the starting boulder to be 8B, while the repeaters considered it 7C. It should also be noted that the repeaters respected Fred's style by not using knee pads, while they claimed it could be even easier using them. Last week, Fred reflected about the downgrading on Insta (in french). In general, he thinks grades are so vague that you should not confirm or downgrade. Akira is not 9b or 9a, instead, anyone can suggest a grade.

Akira 9a (b) by Seb Bouin

Fred Rouhling put up Akira as the world's first 9b in 1995. The first repeats were done by Seb Bouin and Lucien Martinez last November, and they considered it to be 9a.

As other hard routes from that time put up by Fred, such as Hugh 9a, have been confirmed, he had a hard time understanding the downgrading. "I don’t know but limestone cracks. Perhaps the holds became bigger. When Yuji Hirayama and Dai Koyamada came to try. They thought there was a very big difference between Akira and Hugh...😭."

Fred considered the starting boulder to be 8B, while the repeaters considered it 7C. It should also be noted that the repeaters respected Fred's style by not using knee pads, while they claimed it could be even easier using them. Last week, Fred reflected about the downgrading on Insta (in french). In general, he thinks grades are so vague that you should not confirm or downgrade. Akira is not 9b or 9a, instead, anyone can suggest a grade.

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Crystal Ship 8C by Cameroni FA and Lechaptois

Crystal Ship 8C by Cameroni FA and Lechaptois

Clément Lechaptois has done his third 8C, Crystal Ship in Cresciano, after five sessions. Giuliano Cameroni did the first ascent in January and actually, Lechaptois fell on the last move three times on the same day. Video is coming up on Mellow.

What is next?
Lechaptois (pictured): To pursue the development of my company SmartBoard. We plan to go back to Swiss for 10 days, and some nice projects in Rioupéroux and Chamonix in France.

Cameroni has previously done 17 boulders 8C and harder out of which seven FA, including two 8C+'. In other words, he is one of the most profiled FA boulder in the world, although just being 23-years-old. He is also one of the founders and editors of the Mellow Youtube channel.

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Adam Ondra comments his FA of El Potro 9a in the Laboratori sector in Margalef. It shares the start of Chris Sharma’s First Round First Minute 9b and Ondra describes a potential 9c link-up.

El Potro 9a by Adam Ondra

Adam Ondra comments his FA of El Potro 9a in the Laboratori sector in Margalef. It shares the start of Chris Sharma’s First Round First Minute 9b and Ondra describes a potential 9c link-up.

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Le Cadafist 9a/+ by Cedric Lachat

Le Cadafist 9a/+ by Cedric Lachat

Fanatic Climbing reports that Cedric Lachat has done Le Cadafist in Saint-Léger. It was FAed by Gérome Pouvreau in 2017 as a 9a but later a tufa broke. (c) Julia Cassou
- JuliaCassou.com

Noteworthy is that Cedric was one of the best lead competition climbers in the world in between 2001 to 2013. He has won one European Championship as well as two World Cups. The best result in a World Championship is #3. In other words, the 36-year-old should be considered as one of the best climbers in the world during the last 20 years, as he also has done 40+ routes 9a and harder.

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Super Samson 8c by Théo Blass (11)

Super Samson 8c by Théo Blass (11)

Théo Blass, who last year became the youngest ever to send an 8c at age 10, has done his third, Super Samson in Claret after some eight sessions. His father Vladimir Arnaoudov, also an 8c climber, gives us the story.

"Theo decided to try the route after sending his second 8c in January - Guere d'usure at the same crag (Claret). Super Samson is quite different from the two previous 8c routes he did: it has a short and very bouldery crux (about 5 moves V10 boulder about 20 meters from the ground). As there were no intermediate holds Theo had to use largely the same holds as grown-ups and had to do some big moves but his relatively small fingers and height were an advantage for some of the moves.

Theo could do the bouldery crux after 2-3 sessions and after checking out all the sections and trying all the falls (which he generally does on hard routes to avoid bad or uncontrolled falls) he got very close to sending the route, however, the send turned out to be a bit more elusive due to bad conditions. The route became a bit of a mental challenge and Theo had to take a couple of weeks break before returning to the route and sending it quite easily.

This route demonstrates one more time that grades are relative, especially for kids. Adults can come up with some sort of consensus most of the time, but the further you get from the average adult climber's morphology, the more relative grades become. Guere d'usure, which is supposed to be an easier 8c took Theo much longer to send (the crux of Guere d'usure largely consists of compression moves on good sloppy holds with bad feet).

We regularly try to tell our kids that grades are not that important and that it is all just a game, and what really matters is to try hard, enjoy climbing, and be the best of oneself, but the message is somehow inconsistent and I don't think they always believe us because most adults that kids look up to seem to take grades very seriously. Never mind, we will keep trying:)"


Article after sending Guere d'usure, where Vladimir explains the background starting climbing regularly at age 8 and 18 months later doing his first 8b. Here he explains how he belays him after he did his first 8b+ at age 9.

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Baumwesen 9a by Roland Wagner (41)

Baumwesen 9a by Roland Wagner (41)

Roland Wagner has done Baumwesen 9a in Salzburger Land. "Brilliant route. Took a bit longer than anticipated. 12 days this year plus 14 days in 2018/19. Using the momentum of “Sehnsucht”, I felt it could go down rather quickly. Baumwesen (“the tree being”) is a bit of a peculiar route since it’s right behind a massive tree. It’s nonetheless awesome and for sure one of my harder ones.

The route was FA’ed by Jakob Kronberger in 2017 and hasn’t seen an ascent since. I feel very privileged that with climbing we get to choose our "battles". Life’s been really good up there with no end in sight! Onward!”
(c) Chris Krah

Interestingly, the 41-year-old had only done one 9a prior to 2021, and in January he did his Sehnsucht 9a/+. Then he also provided five reasons why he thinks he could send his hardest route by the age of 40+:

1. Motivation/Obsession 2. Hard structured multi-task training 3. Injury-free 4. Lucky with conditions 5. Inspiration.

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