Adam Ondra 9a onsight at Rawyl in Switzerland
Adam, tell us about Cabane au Canada
What can I say? Well, it's a huge gratification, it finally happened! I've had this in mind for two, almost three years and now at last I've done it!
What did you know about this route?
Nothing, I saw it for the first time last night, in the last rays of sun it looked absolutely amazing and I knew I just had to climb it. I was so excited I couldn't fall asleep, even though I knew I had to wake up early.
The crag faces south and so it gets the sun. In truth the weather forecast had predicted overcast skies so I was fairly relaxed, but when I woke up it was a splendid day, no clouds at all so I was worried that I'd left it too late. I had to warm up fast and got there just in time to send it in the shade.
So if you needed to be quick, how did you warm for a 9a onsight?
Well, I tried a route which I thought was 8a and fell off at about half-height. But I wasn't that worried because I then found out that it wasn't even in the guidebook. I then ran around and flapped my arms as best I could and then set off.
A massive battle?
It was an amazing experience. A 30° overhanging face, with tiny crimps with some decent rests. My style of climbing, with some bouldery sections below and a difficult crux right at the top. It was hard to go for it in the beginning, but I was lucky and got through the hard sections at the start and then continued. When I got to the final moves I had to give it 100%. From an undercling you go to a shoulder move and place your right foot where your right hand is. It's the type of move I've been training all my life. Yeah, I was really lucky!
And what about the grade? In the past you've downgraded some ex 9a's...
As I said, the climbing fits my style perfectly. That's why I'm quite confident it could be 9a. Perhaps not a really hard 9a, but 9a does seem right!