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Adam Ondra climbing The House of Shock 9a, Frankenjura, Germany.
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Adam Ondra single day Frankenjura 9a hattrick


On 28 October 2013 Adam Ondra climbed three 9a's in a day in Germany's Frankenjura: The Elder Statesman, The House of Shock and Sever the Wicked Hand.

Three 9a's in a day! This is the latest "circus trick" performed by Adam Ondra two days ago in the Frankenjura. The achievement has obviously aroused amazement but, at the same time, it left us with a question mark seeing that in this increasingly stunning game of numbers, it's easy to get lost, to be without reference points that help comprehend and judge ascents. What, in practice, does it mean to climb three 9a's on the same day? Is it a lot? Little? Were they short bouldery routes or long stamina outings, and what - if anything - changes? To shed some light on these questions we contacted Ondra himself who, ever since his first 9a in 2006, has "collected" more than 85 routes graded 9a or even harder! For the record, two days ago Ondra was accompanied by Alexander Megos, the 20-year-old German who as everyone knows succeeded in the world's first 9a onsight earlier this year. Beating, only just and much to everyone's surprise, the man that everyone had their bets on, namely Ondra himself. So their climbing together just the other day is, we feel, something truly beautiful.

THREE 9a's ON THE SAME DAY by Adam Ondra

It is hard to compare this with other climbs I've done in the past. Let's just say that it's a bit easier to achieve such a feat in the Frankenjura as the routes tend to be rather bouldery, and once you do it first or second try, it is not so tiring. Additionally, on short routes you obviously need less time to find the beta than on long routes, and this is an advantage.

I have never attempted something like this in the past, mainly because it is not easy to find three 9a's close to each other. It wasn't even my goal for the day, my aim was obvious - try to flash The Elder Statesman 9a. I was fortunate enough to have Alex Megos with me who cleaned the holds and showed me all the moves.

I made my warm up trying the moves on the nearby The House of Shock 9a, which seemed to me like a great idea since doing just one 8a as a warm-up doesn't warm my fingers enough. After that, I went for the flash of Elder Statesman. I got close, but it didn't happen and I sent it soon afterwards, second go.

Since I already knew the neighboring route The House of Shock from the warm-up I fired it off after a short rest. At that point it was still early so we drove across half of the Frankenjura to try Sever the Wicked Hand, a route I'd tried two days before in severe humidity. In dry conditions it felt like a different line and I sent it first go, placing all the quickdraws.

What makes this achievement quite unique to me is that I didn't just send three 9a's in a day, but that two of them were a 1-day ascent, both 2nd go in fact. In truth I would have been happier had I flashed one of them but, having said that, when I experience this short but intense feeling of euphoria it makes me feel good for sure. And makes me psyched for the next challenge!

I have to thank Alexander who came along to help me with the flash. It was really nice to share the passion for climbing event hough he wasn't climbing that day. Thanks Alex!





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