Tough Enough

Interview with Ondra

22 October 2010         Sept. 30th Adam Ondra carried out all the pitches of Tough Enough, on the east wall of the Karambony in Tsaranoro Valley.  On Oct 4th, Adam frees the “original” Tough Enough ,climbing the  "Chameleon" established by the openers of the route, slightly harder than the one created during the expedition by Arnaud Petit, difficulty that Adam suggests of 8c. He also manages the one day free ascent of the whole route. On Oct 10th, made the first of redpoint "Mora Mora", also in one day, 700 meters, 13 pitches, as follows: 6a, 6b, 7b, 7b, 7b, 7c / 8a, 8b / 8c, 6c, 7a, 7c , 7b, 4. The achievement of the young czech climber are absolutely extraordinary.   Pierre Délas of the French website Kairn  has done with done with Adam  this exclusive interview. When you have started to work “Tough Enough” was it chalk on the holds or the different pitch ?  Some pitches were well chalked (Mora Mora or Hercule), but for example Gecko or Frigo very little, which were the only pitches I did not manage to onsight, but to be honest it isn't the only reason I failed to onsight them.   The precedent strong climbers who have tried the route doesn't succed to lead all the pitchs in "one push" in a day. The level of the route (of course), and the skin of the fingers were involved. For you, what the difficulty to climb all the challenge in a day ?  It is very difficult to say, but it should be comparable with 9a or 9a+ single pitch for sure.  For you, what is the hardest pitch of "Tough Enough". The pitch wich you have had the most important problems. And why ? In the easier variation, the hardest single pitch was Frigo for me, it is very awkward traverse under the roof and your foot can slip at any moment. Mora Mora I managed to onsight but it was enormous fight, if I failed to onsight this pitch, it would be very hard to send the whole route that day. Gecko was slightly easier than Frigo for me, but it is psychologically demanding (not because of protection, but one doesn't want fall after having climbed 50 meters) and while one day ascent it is probably the crux. In the original variation, crux is obviously Chameleon, where it is required to make the hardest moves of the whole route. You have done the route 2 times for climbing the original version of the 8th pitch, "Camaleon".Can you compare the 2 versions, what does it change ? Well, it changes whole route quite significantly. Chameleon is way harder than Mora Mora, but you are also more tired for last two pitches - Gecko and Hercule. To be honest, Mora Mora is probably more logical and straight than Chameleon, but Chameleon is the original way, how the whole challenge was set by Daniel Gebel and that makes it worthwhile to climb.   On the pitch you have onsighted/flashed, you were esay or it was a big fight ? Speak about the type of rock and climbing style. Easy for you ? On Mora Mora and Hercule it was a big fight, luckily it was chalked and I didn't make any mistake. In the lower 6 pitches, I was quite calm, but the grade doesn't exceed 8a+. The rock is just amazing. Face climbing on knobs, crystals, slopery crimps, some corners that are great fun to climb. To be honest, I had expected that it would be much sharper. Well it is sharp, but mostly you don't have to pull that hard, you often grab small knobs and crystals just with your thumb and you crimp hard only the hardest section. I am not sure if this exactly my style, but I can deal with it.   Speak about the other hard multi pitch route you have done, "Mora Mora". Can you describe the hardest pitch in 8b+/c ? It tackles 600 meters high east face of Tsaranoro Atsimo. It was opened by Francisco Bianco and Toti Vales in 1999, but two pitches had never been freed. Lower part involves some unnerving climbing on loose flakes, but as you climb higher, it gets better. Crux pitch is number 7, the start is not that difficult but it gets slowly harder and harder and the hardest section is at 35 meters height, this section involves about 5 meters constantly hard climbing on slopery crimps and crystals. The upper pitches are fantastic following absolutely unique dihedral.   The Pou Brothers have etablished recently a news alpine trilogy with hard multi pitch, "solo per vecchi guerrieri" and "panaroma" in Dolomites and "Zahir" in Switzerland. This kind of challenge could interest you ? If I had more time, I would love to try these beautiful routes, but I would like to focus on sport climbing again now for some time. "Tough enough" has 8 pitch in 8th grade. Is the hardest multi pitch you have sent (compared to "Wogü") ?    The original way is probably a bit harder than WoGu, athough the first pitch of WoGu might be slightly harder than Chameleon, Tough Enough is much longer and continuous. Do you believe you need to focus on one discipline to reach your full potential ? Yes, but not necessarily for too long. Well, but if you combine everything, you can enjoy diversity of climbing and get tons of new motivation. Additionally, my mind have rested in some way in Madagaskar from all the competitions and it might help me on the last competitions.   How do you feel for the last part of international competition season with the last lead world cup ?    I have no clue how strong I am right now. I had thought I would be very weak, but after a few training sessions I feel quite OK. At least bouldering power (I could see this weekend in Echolokace 9a) and finger strenght is OK. Endurance? I am not so sure. I am aware that beating Ramon in the overall ranking is not very probable, but I will just try to do my best in those two last competitions and we will see.    Source Pierre Délas / Kairn  Ph Piero Dal Prà  
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