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Adam Ondra Opens Spicy Czech Sandstone Route

A new video details Ondra's experience freeing the route, which features a nails hard crux well above the climb's final bolt

The climbing area Labské Údolí in northwestern Czechia is famous for its bold sandstone routes. Local ethics dictate that routes must be established ground up. Climbs are often characterized by long runouts between bolts or rings, and metallic trad gear such as nuts and cams are banned as they may damage the rock. Instead, knotted cord and slings are used where possible.

Adam Ondra recently paired up with Labské Údolí climbing legend Tomáš “Tomajda” Sobotka to complete a difficult and runout unfinished route. A new video posted by Ondra details their adventure.

In the video, Ondra praises Sobotka and the Czech sandstone style of new routing:

“Tomajda is a local sandstone climber who’s put up so many first ascents in this proper, bold, ethical style, which is really adventurous because it’s the real onsight! Going into unknown terrain, and not even knowing if it will go or not. For me, that’s the ultimate art of climbing and he is the master of it.”

The route, which Ondra and Sobotka named Zpřítomnění (“Falling into Presence” in English), was a previously unfinished line originally attempted by Sobotka and Ondra Beneš, another local crusher. Sobotka and Beneš had nearly completed the climb but they were shut down by a crux near the route’s top.

After 1.5 hours of falling over and over again, Ondra unlocked the tough crux and topped out. According to local ethics, they graded the route AF IXa (8b mandatory), which would translate to approximately 5.14d. Ondra climbed the route ground up on previously drilled bolts, but he did not climb the route clean in a single attempt. Therefore, the route awaits a successful redpoint. In a recently released blogpost, Ondra says that a redpoint of the line could be as hard as XIIa, which would translate to around 8c+ or 5.14c.

While the above video features some spicy climbing, it’s nowhere near as extreme as a similar video Ondra released in 2020. Again on the legendary Czech sandstone, he takes some truly scary whippers while bolting ground up with a power drill. You can watch the video below.

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