While I’m writing this I am already sitting in the plane back home to my family.
Thank you Adam and the whole crew up in Flatanger for this extraordinary adventure! And big thanks to my tolerant partner Anneliese – without her this lifestyle would just not be possible!
So he did it! How did that happen?
In the very first try from the ground up Adam was not climbing in his usual pace. To me it seemed like there was this slight search for more security in the climb, when usually he would just walk or rather run up the first 8b part. He rested two times more as I expected. Resting in this route means hanging like a bat, head facing down with your knees jammed into a crag, which if your not specifically trained for that, would be too exhausting for most climber’s legs. This time he fell in the first crux part which is an 8c boulder sequence.
I treated Adam’s legs to get rid of his calf soreness. I suggested that it would be beneficial for his legs to stretch them passively and activate them afterwards, just right before he would start again in order to get the best performance out of his legs.
It is interesting that when I first treated Adam back in January this year I started with his feet and at the end of this project the last thing I worked on were his legs again.
During the whole process of working on Project Hard there were still several moves which turned out to be from close to impossible to just too hard to do. So I gave Adam some really hard exercises which should help him performing these specific moves.
Well and then when Adam went to the far end of the cave where Iva (his girlfriend) was already waiting for him, Pavel (manager, photographer) and Bernardo (filmmaker) were already hanging on their position. Everything happened very silent. Adam started climbing and like always I started filming with my phone for analytical purposes. At his first kneebar-stop he did not rest as much and he climbed faster this time! And the pace stayed the same. He continued without any hesitation and rested again with another kneebar just before crux 1. In the following sequence every move was on time and done very precisely. Also the hardest move of the route was done as solid as it can get, followed by the „pinkie move“, where Adam had to stuck his pinkie finger in a tiny little hole and as well he could do this move more precisely than ever.
Between crux 1 and crux 2 he took his longest and last kneebar rest in order to just crush crux 2. After that I started to be a bit shaky with the filming… he was obviously tired, there was something like a 6c/7a boulder left. That was when he (I think) fought the most. After these few moves he really clipped the anchor of his Project Hard!
The name of the route is “Silence” – because nobody was shouting or cheering right after his send, not Adam, not Iva, Christina, the camera crew, neither was I. Everybody was just silent. Somehow we were not sure whether he really did it or not?! Somehow we could not believe it. Somehow it was just the perfect run after such a long time of intensive preparation. Maybe that’s why at first everybody stayed silent. Somehow we needed time to realize that Adam Ondra just sent SILENCE, the hardest route in the world.
Photos © Pavel Blažek