Dawn Wall Update: Ondra Through the Crux, Weather Slows Ascent

1280px Yosemite El Capitan

It was a busy weekend for Adam Ondra on the Dawn Wall in Yosemite. The young Czech climber on his first visit to the valley is attempting what most believe is the toughest free climb in the world, and making fairly short work of it. Over the past few days, he’s managed to finish the crux of the climb, and was looking at a strong push towards the end, but bad weather has temporarily delayed Ondra’s march towards history, which seems like an inevitable conclusion now.

When last we checked in on Adam’s progress, he had just reached the crux of the Dawn Wall ascent at the very tough 14th, 15th, and 16th pitches. But, he managed to move through all three with relative ease, finishing pitch 14 and 15 on Friday of last week, then putting through both 16 and 17 on Saturday. Those are considered the most challenging of the entire climb, with the remaining 11 pitches being fairly straight forward for a climber of his skill level.

You may recall that the Dawn Wall was first climbed back in 2015, when Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell went up its massive rock face. They scouted the route that Ondra now follows, but he is doing it at a much more rapid pace. He reached the crux in just two days to their six, and he is through it in just five days total.

It is possible that Adam would now have several more pitches behind him, but bad weather moved into Yosemite yesterday, forcing him to take the day off. He will resume climbing as soon as conditions improve, which could be as early as today. Depending on how things go, it is possible that we could see the second ascent of the Dawn Wall completed before the end of the week.

As I’ve mentioned before, it is tough to over state just how impressive of a display of climbing that Ondra is putting on right now. This is suppose to be the toughest big wall around, and yet he is making the Dawn Wall look like just another climb. On top of that, this is his first ever visit to Yosemite at all, which only makes his accomplishments thus far all the more awe inspiring. Hopefully he’ll have no problems finishing off the rest of the ascent, and adding his name to the very short list of climbers who have made the ascent.

Stay tuned for more. We’ll be following along closely.

Kraig Becker