Adam Ondra – Open Air – His Hardest Yet

by Kevin Avery – Contributing Editor – UKC Open Air EDIT: PHOTOS AT: Yesterday Adam Ondra, the fifteen year old wonderkid from Brno in the Czech Republic, made the long awaited second ascent of Alexander Huber´s 1996 route Open Air at Austria´s Schleier Wasserfall.The route took Ondra five days and nine attempts in total and he comments on his scorecard on that he feels it is his hardest ascent to date. The route was originally given F9a when first climbed by Huber but Ondra feels that with grade benchmarks having changed over the years,the route is more than worthy of the F9a+ tag. He says: “When Alex Huber did it, Action Directe (was) considered as 8c+ , then 9a for this one was OK. Now when Action Directe is 9a, this should be 9a+.” On the same day Adam also on-sighted Long Island Ice-Tea and Überflieger, F8b and F8a+ respectively. There have been various claims for the world´s first 9a+ sport route, Orujo, Realization and the Rambla Extension, but if the grade sticks this could be the world´s first. Alex Huber recently spoke about about grades in an interview with Planet Mountain (UKC News – Nov 6), “What I find curious is that still today most magazines, without hesitating, place Jumbo Love together with Akira and Chilam Balam. Had 9b been climbed in 1995, more than a decade ago therefore, then Chris Sharma´s performance seems like a kindergarten!