Three dynos and 80 feet of 5.14d climbing later, Adam Ondra clipped the chains on Three Degrees of Separation for its first repeat, eight years after Chris Sharma established the line. As the second person to climb the route, Ondra suggested a harder grade.
“To me [Three Degrees of Separation] felt like the hardest route in Céüse,” Ondra said in an interview with UK Climbing, “but that doesn't mean that it is definitely at least 9a+ [5.15a], because it doesn't fit me that well, but my suggestion is 9a+, and we will see.”
The climb requires three massive dynos into “perfect jugs,” Ondra said in an interview with Planet Mountain. “Something that is very rare on rock, especially in the middle of a route.
“You have to be able to do [each] dyno easily as a single move, because the 20 meters of 8c (5.14b) below really pump you out.”
In 2014, Ondra redpointed Biographie/Realization (5.15a), another Chris Sharma testpiece. Though it’s rated one letter grade harder than Three Degrees of Separation, Realization has seen many more ascents, and not for lack of attempts on Three Degrees of Separation.
German climber Alex Megos redpointed Realization in a day and was the first person to onsight 5.14d, Estado Critico at Siurana in Spain, but he has been unable to repeat Three Degrees of Separation.
“I've tried it,” Megos said in an interview with Planet Mountain, “but with that dyno I don't stand a chance.”
Ondra has been busy sneaking in outdoor climbing time between World Cup competitions. He onsighted his 39th 5.14b, Face Bouc, at Ailefroide in France before competing at Briançon July 17 and 18, where he placed seventh for men’s lead. He also onsighted Spanish Caravan (5.14b) and Une Chatte Brulante Sous un Toît (5.14a) last week in France’s Verdon Gorge. He plans to compete in the next World Cup lead competition July 31 and August 1 in Imst, Austria.
Ondra has sent three 5.15c’s, all first ascents, including Vasil Vasil at Sloup in the Czech Republic, La Dura Dura at Oliana in Spain and Change in Norway’s Flatanger. He has 102 sends 5.14d and harder, including three 5.14d onsights and two flashes of the same grade.
Chris Sharma on Three Degrees of Separation: