Dawn Wall Update: Adam Ondra Ready To Repeat Historic Ascent

After spending the past couple of weeks scouting out what many consider to be the toughest climb in the world, Czech climbing phenom Adam Ondra, along with climbing partner Pavel Blazek have launched their final push on the Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park. If they are successful, they’ll be just the second team to complete this epic route up El Capitan, mirroring the path that Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson took back in 2015.

We’ve been watching Ondra’s progress closely here at The Adventure Blog, and when we last checked in he was working out the details of the 14th, 15th, and 16th pitches of the route, which are considered the toughest of the 32 pitches that make up entire climb. Above that point things begin to get bit easier as Caldwell and Jorgeson discovered on their climb last year. After spending most of last week working out the exact approach on those pitches, Ondra now feels like he can complete the ascent.

He and Blazek launched their bid to repeat the Dawn Wall yesterday morning, and according to Rock and Ice they knocked off the first nine pitches in no time at all. They hope to continue making progress today, possibly reaching the cruz of the climb at pitches 14, 15, and 16. Once through that challenging section, they’ll be well on their way to making history of their own.

Caldwell and Jorgeson spent seven years plotting their route, but this is actually Ondra’s first visit ever to Yosemite Valley. He began examining the Dawn Wall on October 17, and he and Blazek finished up their aid-assisted ascent last week. Ondra then returned to the wall to work out the challenge of those three very difficult pitches before taking some time off. Now, they’r ready to put everything they learned on their scouting missions to make their own ascent.

As impressive as Caldwell and Jorgeson’s climb was, if Ondra and Blazek can pull this off it could be even more spectacular. For someone to just show up in Yosemite and knock of this route on his first go give an indication of the level of talent we’re seeing at work here. That said, Adam himself will tell you that he has benefited greatly from watching what Tommy and Kevin did in 2015, which paved the way for him to follow.

Stay tuned. We’ll keep our eyes peeled to see how this plays out. We may be seeing history made on the Dawn Wall once again.

Kraig Becker