adam ondra zverinec
Ondra on "Zvěřinec," 9b+/5.15c, at Moravian Karst, Czech Republic; (photo/© Adam Ondra, Author: Petr Chodura)

Adam Ondra Puts Down ‘Second Hardest Route of My Life’

The hardest route remains the groundbreaking ‘Silence’ (9c/5.15d), a Norway route from 2017. This time, the tough send is in his native Czech Republic.

Adam Ondra, widely regarded as the world’s greatest technical rock climber, announced the “second hardest route of my life” on Sunday.

Rated 9b+ (5.15c), Ondra established the line at the Moravian Karst crag in the southern Czech Republic. He named the route “Zvěřinec” (that’s menagerie in English), he wrote on Instagram.

It’s an extension of a route Ondra sent back in 2011 called “Perlodka,” or Pearl Oyster, a 5.15a he sent after “a few days of effort.” That route had a “very improbable crux,” reachy moves, and a slopey overhang. He now thinks the line is more challenging than he initially thought — more likely a 5.15b.


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Una publicación compartida por Adam Ondra (@adam.ondra)

With “Zveřinec,” Ondra added another climbing section to that route. It shares the same crux but with a different start.

He struggled for 2 weeks waiting for perfect weather conditions, which he finally got over the weekend.

“With perfect warmup at my home wall, I could fight the cold temperature of the air and the advantage of the best friction,” he wrote.

If you want a video of Ondra’s latest elite-level climb, keep an eye on his YouTube channel. The Czech climber said he’ll have a video of the send coming out next year. To get a feel for Czech limestone in the meantime, watch him here on “Kout Pikle” (9a+) earlier this year.

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Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Cuenca, Ecuador, which he uses as a home base for adventures throughout the Americas. When he's not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he's hanging out with his dog Campana.