Adam Ondra has established yet another 9b (5.15b) in Flatanger,
Norway—his third first ascent of the grade in the Hanshallaren Cave.
The new route links Move (9b/5.15b), Ondra's 2013 route pictured on the cover of Rock and Ice in January 2014, into the second crux
of his "Project Hard". He climbed the route as a "good training link up" for Project Hard—his unclimbed mega-project that could be the world's
first 9c (5.15d).
In October 2012, Ondra established Change, the world's first 9b+/5.15c, in
the Hanshallaren Cave. The following summer he returned and sent Iron Curtain (9b/5.15b) and Move within a few
days of each other. Now with Move Hard in his series of first ascents, Ondra has established the four hardest routes (along with plenty of
5.15a's and 5.14d's) in the cave, and out of those four, not one has been repeated.
According to Ondra, he'll be in Flatanger for five weeks this summer to work on his Project Hard. Yesterday, he moved another step closer to the send by
linking all but the first 20 meters of the climb.
"Finally some progress on Project Hard. I did the '9b+ [5.15c] link', which is linking the whole route without the first 20m of 8b [5.13d].," he reported
on Instagram. "Possibly my hardest route ever, except for the fact that [it] is not a route at all... yet."
But Ondra's Project Hard is not the only potential 5.15d under consideration. Chris Sharma has identified a line in Cova de l'Ocell, near his home
in Barcelona, which could make the grade. Sharma established El Bon Combat (9b/+ 5.15b/c) in
2015, and is now working the "truly futuristic" line to left, project Evil Twin Sister of Bon Combat. He suspects that this route could
Two other potential 5.15d lines exist: Sharma's Le Blond project,
to the right of La Dura Dura (5.15c) in Oliana, Spain, and
Sachi Amma's project Jerung,
which is located 4,000 meters up Mt. Kinabalu in Malaysia. Those projects have yet to see ascents. As such, it appears that Ondra is at the head of
the pack in the effort send the world's first 9c/5.15d.
Adam Ondra: Project Hard
Also watch Ondra working the moves on Project Hard:
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