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Adam Ondra Makes First-Ever Flash of a Gritstone V13

On a recent trip to Sheffield, the 5.15d climber repeated several classic problems

Adam Ondra recently spent time in the U.K. with several strong boulderers, including Will Bosi and Magnus Midtbø. Ondra said they packed in a lot of climbing during their trip.

Ondra made the first flash of The Ace V13, established by Jerry Moffatt in 2001, which is also the first-ever flash of a V13 gritstone boulder. The Ace is a low start to another of Moffatt’s problems called The Joker V11. On 8a.nu, Ondra said, “Freak moment! Executed just perfectly!” He thanked Moffatt for being on hand for the session.

About The Ace, Moffatt wrote in Climber magazine, “If the truth be known, it had been my goal for the last three years; either I’d just not been in good enough shape to try it, or the conditions were not right. As soon as I started trying The Ace everybody who had done The Joker was attempting it this way, which added to the pressure. My advantage was that I felt good on The Joker. If I could just get into the top moves feeling strong, I knew I could do it.

“My sequence didn’t feel right though and I was intrigued to find out about an alternative sequence Ben Moon had been trying. First chance I had I went straight back to the crag and tried his method. I hit the top second go but couldn’t hold it. The friction wasn’t good that day, but I returned in better conditions and got it done.”

During a visit to Canada in 1991, Moffatt made the first ascent of Big Kahuna 5.13c/d at Lion’s Head in Ontario. Moon made the second or third ascent of The Ace, which has also been climbed by several other climbers over the past two decades. In November, Ondra made the first ascent of a V15/16, read about it here. In 2018, Ondra became the first climber to ever flash 5.15a, watch the send here.