‘Surprisingly Easier’ Than He Thought?! Ondra Narrates a 5.14c Onsight

Watch the irrepressible Adam Ondra talk through a recent 5.14c onsight in Arco, Italy. You won’t want to miss his description of the ‘possible crux of the whole route.’

Adam Ondra’s new video contains a tasty tidbit for almost every category of sport climber: “ONSIGHT Challenge” arrives chock full of history lessons, technical minutiae, jargon-packed narration, climbing nerdology, and — finally and perhaps most deliciously — absurdity.

Sport climbing is absurd, right? We make up rules to follow in an activity we still revere as free-spirited. We developed an entire lexicon that could be seen as revolving around the exclamation “Allez!” We scream, get terrified on lead, fall, and nothing happens.

Ondra may exist as the most stimulating expression of every aspect of the sport. So it makes sense that his videos, especially recently, take a while to watch. But if you wait for the right moment, sometimes you find a rare gem.

Thirty seconds into “ONSIGHT Challenge,” a vigorous and sincere string score plays as he pantomimes the route on the ground.

See especially the 5:30-6:00 mark, where he says that during what he thought, at the time, was the crux, “I just crushed through the sequence, it wasn’t definitely easy, but uhhhh, I was just flowing up the route…”

On a 5.14c onsight. Is Ondra aware of what he’s doing? Can he tell what it looks like? Or is he actually the most aware of what he’s doing?

Whatever. May “Ondras” never cease.

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Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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