Adam Ondra Sends the Dawn Wall

Adam Ondra has made a ground-up ascent of the Dawn Wall, the first repeat after Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson. While the previous ascent required seven years of effort, Ondra climbed the route on his first trip to Yosemite, after spending just over a month in the Valley.


Last updated 7pm PST November 21.

Early on Monday Morning, November 14th, Adam Ondra began his ground up attempt at the Dawn Wall. In six hours, he tackled the first 9 pitches (5.12b, 5.13a, 5.13c, 5.12b, 5.12d, 5.13c, 5.14a, 5.13d, 5.13c).

On Tuesday evening, November 15th, he made it to the top of pitch 13 (5.14a, 5.13c, 5.14b, 5.13b). Adam has remarked that pitch 10, a long layback crack, was the hardest for him. According to him, only the two traverses on pitches 14 (5.14d) and 15 (5.14d) are harder. He sent it on his fourth try, despite breaking a foothold off the final crux.

A photo posted by Adam Ondra (@adam.ondra) on

Wednesday marked the first full rest day for Adam.

“Time to relax after pretty tough day. It was more exciting than I expected.”

Adam met difficulties for the first time on Thursday as he attempted the crux of the route, pitches 14 (5.14d) and 15 (5.14d). After seven tries on pitch 14, he finally made it through the first crux only to fall off the last move of the pitch. He ended his climbing day feeling, “so nervous, so much pressure!”

On Friday evening, Adam sent pitch 14 (5.14d) on his first go. He continued his push, making it to the top of pitch 15 (5.14d) after his second try. With the three hardest pitches behind him, only two more pitches of 5.14 stand between him and the summit.

A photo posted by Adam Ondra (@adam.ondra) on

Saturday, Adam set his sights on pitch 16 (5.14a), which he climbed via the loop variation that Tommy Caldwell climbed, rather than the dyno variation that Kevin Jorgeson climbed. Afterwards, Adam and his partner raced through pitches 17-22 (5.14a, 5.14a, 5.13c, 5.13b, 5.13d, 5.13d) to reach their next bivy at Wino Tower.

Sunday, Adam and his partner are rested while rain and snow descended upon The Valley.

Monday, despite thick clouds and wet rock, Adam made his final push, reaching the summit around 5pm. In doing so, he has earned the second ascent of the hardest big wall climb on Earth.

A photo posted by Pavel Blažek (@pavelblazek) on

Useful links

Adam Ondra’s Instagram

Pavel Blazek’s Instagram

National Geographic interview with Adam after Thursday’s difficulties

Rock and Ice‘s Photo Topo of the Dawn Wall


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