Dawn Wall Update: Adam Ondra Finishes the Climb!

800px ElCapitan

We’ve been following Adam Ondra’s ascent of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite closely over the past few weeks, and especially since he launched the full on assault on what many consider the world’s toughest big wall last week. Now, we are happy to report that the Czech climber has reached his goal, repeating the climb that was first done by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson back in 2015.

When I posted an update yesterday on Adam’s progress, he had finished the cruz of the climb – the very tough 14th, 15th, and 16th pitches, but was forced to wait out bad weather on Sunday before proceeding. With just 11 pitches left, he was expected to take another day or two to wrap things up. But, with improved conditions yesterday, and showing why he is considered one of the best climbers in the world at the moment, he blitzed through the final 11 pitches and finished up the entire project in just eight days. A very impressive feat indeed.

Even more impressive is that this was just Adam’s first visit to Yosemite Valley. He traveled their back in mid-October and started scouting the Dawn Wall on October 18. He spent a good amount of the following days examining each of the pitches before launching his ground-up climb last week. In comparison, it took Caldwell and Joregson 19 days to finish the first ascent, although Ondra is the first to admit he followed in their footsteps.

Major congratulations to Adam for completing this epic climb. Personally, I thought that he would visit Yosemite to get the lay of the land on his first visit, then return to do the Dawn Wall at a later date. But, he proved that theory completely wrong and crushed it on the wall. What he has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable.

Today, Adam will take a much deserved rest day, and where he goes from here has yet to be determined. But for now, it is clear that his talent and skill are on another level. I don’t think I was alone in believing that it would be some time before we saw a repeat of the Dawn Wall, but he made it look relatively easy, and could have finished it in just a week had the weather cooperated on Sunday. Still, this is a climb for the ages and one that will go down in history for sure.

Kraig Becker