Adam Ondra on "Silence"

Adam Ondra Redpoints 5.15b ‘Taurus’ on Czech Limestone

The week before Christmas was a busy one for Adam Ondra. On Thursday, Dec. 23, he added another 5.15b first ascent to his tick list.

The limestone at Byci Skala, near Brno, Czech Republic, doesn’t necessarily “beg” to be climbed. Short, steep, gray, and relatively devoid of anything that looks like a usable hold, the cliff squats near Adam Ondra’s home.

Thus, it gets climbed a lot — at a high standard. Ondra added “Taurus” to the crag a few days after redpointing “Kout Pikle” (5.14d).

The grainy “Taurus” send vid suggests it’s a typical testpiece from the world’s most productive climber. He thrutches for purchase on the opening boulder problem, throws high feet, and, of course, growls and screams.

At around 40 seconds, watch him cut feet to catch a hold in a hand position that resembles the way you hold an ice cream cone. After that, the difficulties ease — we’d estimate the route at 40 feet, of which the nine-move crux takes up a little less than half.

That’s not to say it’s a walk to the top. Ondra thinks the route checks in at 5.13d above the crux. The crux is a heinous boulder problem — Ondra rated it V16.

It all boils down to what looks like a nasty 5.15b, with exacting movement on strange rock. “Taurus” is the second-hardest route in the Czech Republic after Ondra’s “Vasil Vasil” (5.15c).

If anyone’s hungry to repeat the country’s most challenging routes, it looks like they’re a long way behind. “Vasil Vasil” is still unrepeated after the first ascent in 2013.

Incidentally, Adam Ondra redpointed the route 2 days after he and his wife Iva announced she’s pregnant with their first child. The couple has released only a few details, but we do know Iva is due in May 2022. In that case, the baby will be born under the Zodiac sign of — you guessed it — Taurus the bull.

Adam Ondra
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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.