As reported on Vertical Gear last week, Adam Ondra is visiting Yosemite for the first time with an ambitious itinerary that includes free climbing the Dawn Wall. To limber up and get used to the rock conditions on El Capitan, Ondra tackled classic El Cap route The Nose and summited with his dad in what the Czech called the “longest climbing day of my life.”
Unfortunately, Ondra failed in his ambitious bid to onsight the route, though he did make it all the way up to the Great Roof (graded 5.13) before the attempt floundered. Having started the climb at first light and progressed high up the wall, Ondra had “a pretty good flash go” at the Great Roof, “got the beta, lowered and gave it a second shot thinking I would fire it off easily, but I had not realized how important the feet are on this climb. After climbing so many pitches and taking no rest after my flash, they went super shaky and weak.”
Ondra decided to give the Great Roof one last try but took a whipper while on the traverse. With the light declining he and his dad decided to ditch the onsight bid and push for the top. The mountain rewarded them for a post-midnight top out with torrential rain and what Ondra called the “full Alpine experience” when they were unable to find the descent route in the dark and spent the night sheltering in a wet cave.
Ondra may not have managed to onsight The Nose, but acknowledged in a message on the Black Diamond Facebook page that it was one of “the most famous climbs in the world” and that he was “super glad to have climbed it with my dad.” It should also be noted that, with the exception of the Great Wall and 5.14 graded Changing Corner, Ondra onsighted every pitched on The Nose – an impressive achievement.
With The Nose under his belt Ondra will likely turn his attention to Salathé, which he also hopes to onsight. Will his experience on The Nose prime him for a successful ascent? We’ll keep you posted.