Adam Ondra Spiders Up Diagonal Cracks in Arco’s Aesthetic ‘Pungitopo’ (5.14c)

Some climbers live for finding and envisioning new routes — while many others focus on accomplishing every line they encounter.

Thanks to the fundamental friendliness of climbers, partnerships between these two approaches often bear fruit, much like the namesake of the new route established by Adam Ondra and Francesco “Franz” Morandi in Arco, Italy.

In the latest video on Ondra’s YouTube channel, Morandi speaks with reverence of the beautiful wall in Arco where he first discovered the lattice of diagonal cracks that would become “Pungitopo,” 8c+/9a (5.14c/5.14d).

Morandi named the route after a local plant that bears red fruit during the winter. He landed in one while rappelling from the route, and it reminded him of gathering the plant’s fruits every season with his grandmother. She passed away a few weeks before the video, so naming the route for their family tradition felt right to him.

“I always like to discover and search for new lines and new walls,” Morandi said.

Morandi tried to finish Pungitopo after bolting it himself, but after realizing that “for the moment it is too hard for me,” he called in Ondra.

Ondra has been spending a good share of his time in Arco lately. He joined Stefano Ghisolfi there in February, where the climbing duo sent some of the most challenging routes in the world. Ondra made headlines there for his first ascents of “Bomba” and “Bombardino,” rated 9b and 9a+/9b (5.15a and 5.15b), respectively.

Adam Ondra, who retains his childlike joy in climbing and the associated giggling and screaming, showed his infectious spirit upon first trying “Pungitopo.”

“The route is amazing,” Ondra said. “There are some incredible moves, incredible holds … like these slopey, horizontal cracks that require crimping the hell out of it. It’s just amazing.”

Ondra — not surprisingly — sent the route in 2 days.

Runtime: 10 minutes

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Andrew McLemore

Andrew McLemore is the Associate News Editor of Lola Digital Media.
Andrew has more than 10 years of experience covering a range of beats including government, education and business, with specializations in criminal justice and investigative journalism. He has worked for newspapers across Texas, including The Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News and The Fort Worth Weekly. He also spent several years in PR, working for nonprofit organizations including the Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.
Now based in Ecuador, Andrew brings his writing experience to outdoor gear and adventures throughout the Americas. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.

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