Adam Ondra has spent a number of days on the Dawn Wall in Yosemite over the past few weeks. After making quick progress up the initial pitches, he is finding the crux pitches complex and difficult. There has been hours-long rain showers and humid conditions. Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made the first free ascent in cold January conditions two years ago.
“I might have been too optimistic, but I definitely expected it to be easier,” Ondra told Black Diamond. “Every single pitch is so tricky and hard and yesterday on pitch 16 was the most frustrating day so far on the wall. It revealed the real difficulty of the whole climb and crucial importance of good conditions and skin.” It sounds like Ondra will continue to work on the route and that he is impressed with Caldwell and Jorgeson’s effort.
Update: News from the Dawn Wall⠀ ⠀ A lot of rain and humidity in the Valley, with some sunny and hot conditions mixed in. We jugged up the ropes in the evening right when the rain stopped, hoping that we would get in a good session of night climbing, but instead we just got soaking wet. Even though we could see the stars, it was still raining on the wall and the water turned into a waterfall. We spent a very cold and wet night in the portaledge, and waited 'til the sun came out and dried our clothes and the wall. As the sun came, it got really hot too. I still worked the traverse pitches, which only just destroyed my skin. We rested on the portaledge and in the late afternoon, I went on pitch 16. I wanted to check the loop instead of the dyno. I found out that the loop is equally as heinous as the dyno itself and super tricky. It was still really warm and my soft skin did not help either. I spent around 3 hours on this pitch, refining my beta all over again. I wanted to send pitch 16 that day, but by the time I had the beta, I was so exhausted that it was not possible any more.⠀ ⠀ Complexity and difficulty of the whole climb is just shocking to me. I might have been too optimistic, but I definitely expected it to be easier. Every single pitch is so tricky and hard and yesterday on pitch 16 was the most frustrating day so far on the wall. It revealed the real difficulty of the whole climb and crucial importance of good conditions and skin. Hats off to Tommy and Kevin, who believed that the whole climb was possible before they free climbed. Without having the beta, some of the sections look just impossible. I have the advantage that I know that the climb is possible and that helps me to keep the faith that I might be able to do it as well. I am humbled and impressed by what Tommy and Kevin did!⠀ ⠀ —BD Ambassador @Adam.Ondra, Oct. 30, 2016 #liveclimbrepeat Photo: @pavelblazek