Yesterday afternoon Adam Ondra, a 23-year-old Czech world champion sport climber, completed the longest, most rigorous free climb in the world in record time.
Ondra reached the summit of the 3,000-foot monolith in Yosemite National Park known as El Capitan in just eight days, scaling its Dawn Wall, a craggy, bouldery rock face considered the most difficult free climb on earth.
American climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made the first free ascent in January 2015 in nineteen days. The duo’s accomplishment was considered an historic event, earning them worldwide media attendtion and a call from President Obama.
Dear @Adam.Ondra,⠀ ⠀ Thank you for showing us what’s possible once again. Through your hard work and determination, we’ve been able to witness another groundbreaking milestone in the world of climbing. We want to congratulate you for challenging yourself with climbing the world’s hardest big-wall, roping up in the face of doubt and succeeding. And we want to thank you, of course, for providing not just us, but climbers worldwide with inspiration.⠀ ⠀ Nice job sending the Dawn Wall!!!!⠀ ⠀ Sincerely,⠀ Your friends at Black Diamond Equipment⠀ ⠀ Photo: Heinz Zak
The Brno native began his climb at 3 a.m. on November 14, with the aim of beating Caldwell and Jorgeson’s time. Just over a week later, with the weather forcing him to take off Sunday, Ondra completed the final pitches around 4 p.m.
According to Outside Online, Ondra is the only climber to win world championships in both lead climbing and bouldering and is, without a doubt, the best climber in the world.
On cloud nine! It has been magical evening. I was focused and calm. The mindset when climbing is actually fun! Sent the pitch 14 (5.14d) on my first go after a little warm up. Then, after it got dark and having heartbraking fall on the top of pitch 15 (5.14c or d), I could still give it one more shot and send it too. Skin feels to painful to continue tonight, but I will continue tomorrow! Pic by @pavelblazek @blackdiamond @mytendon #montura @lasportivagram @gardatrentino #elcapitan #yosemite #dawnwall
It was the first visit to Yosemite for Ondra who said of his decision to make the climb: “For me Yosemite is the only crag of historical importance where I haven’t been.That’s why I want to go there, and besides that, it looks so cool. And if I was a little piece of the history, that would be cool, but let’s see…“
Sponsor Black Diamond posted an emotional note to Ondra on Instagram:
“Thank you for showing us what’s possible once again. Through your hard work and determination, we’ve been able to witness another groundbreaking milestone in the world of climbing.”
See Ondra’s own Instagram feed for more breathtaking photos.