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Will This Be the World’s Hardest Rock Climb?

It's been 10 years since Adam Ondra bolted what might become the most difficult sport route established, and it looks like it will be a focus in 2023

Adam Ondra bolted a route in Flatanger, Norway, back in 2013 and dubbed it Project Big. After years of pushing the limits of hard rock climbing, it seems like he’s turning his attention back to it.

“It has always seemed like the most improbable part of the Flatanger cave, looking just too intimidating to be climbed,” he said. “Bolting it and finding out that there were actually holds was just mind-blowing, yet I was still too intimidated actually to start trying it for many years.”

Ondra has climbed more than 200th routes at 5.14d or harder. He climbed Silence 5.15d in 2017, the first of the grade and has climbed four 5.15c routes. Earlier this year he got the first ascent of Wonderland 5.15b, although he says the route is probably 5.15b/c. In addition to his 5.15c and 5.15d sends, Ondra has climbed 22 5.15bs, 47 5.15as, and over 120 5.14ds.

“I knew that line was too perfect just to let it go,” Ondra said about Project Big. “I was sure that one day I just had to climb it. I had Jakob Schubert trying it with me, which was an extreme help not only because of motivation and stoke but also to find the most perfect beta.” Watch them project Project Big and uncover key beta while making links.

Project Big