September 03, 2017
40-50 days between 2013-2017
Czech climber Adam Ondra has completed his long-term 9c project at the Flatanger cave in Norway, which Adam gave the working title of Project Hard. It is the first route of the grade and the hardest sport climb in the world, which he has since named Silence.
'When I was climbing through the crux of this route, I felt like I was in my own world, with my mind in complete silence, my body relaxed and flowing up the moves in complete harmony despite the extreme difficulty of the moves. When I reached the anchor, I wanted to scream, but I could not. Too overwhelmed to break the silence.'
„In the morning it felt like every other day on the Project. It was hot, but the air was crystal clear and dry. But I felt very little pressure and lot of psyche. Key ingredients for sending the world's first 9c. At the end of the route when I knew I did it, I had one of the strangest emotions ever. I clipped the anchor and I could not even scream. All I could do was just hang in the rope, feeling tears in my eyes. It was too much joy, relief and excitement all mixed together... Months and months of my life summed up in 20 minutes. So much time and effort in something so short but intense as hell. Every minute spent in Norway, every move in the gym was totally worth it. This route never really turned into a nightmare, despite the time I spent on the route. It was a fun process, and it was even more fun to finish it off.”
Interview with Czech climber Adam Ondra who on 3 September 2017 at Flatanger in Norway made the first free ascent of his Project Hard, a sport climb which the 24-year-old has graded 9c. Should this be confirmed, then the 45m line checks in as the first 9c in the world.
“I bolted it in 2013. Back then I only tried it for a few days and thought it was way too hard. Then last season I started again. Over seven trips to Norway, I guess I’d say I spent 40 or 50 days trying it.”
What was it then, were you touched or exhausted at the top? I would say both. (laughing) It was so different from how I had imagined it. I thought that as soon as I get to those last five good holds under the very top, I would start to celebrate, I would be releived, feeling great. It wasn’t like this, I was still totally concentrated, I was so scared that I was gonna loose it in that 6C boulder, which was the last thing between me and the top. In fact I was so concentrated, that even when I finally clipped the top I was still under pressure. Full of happiness and relief, but everything was inside me. (laughing) The only visible thing were tears in my eyes, that’s all. I was just hanging on the rope, unable to do anything else.
I had to look for a name that would be simple and easy to remember. If I came up with something complicated people would still call it Project Hard. I was surprised how quiet I was. I was so much in the rhythm and the harmony that it kind of felt silent. I usually feel at war when I am my limit.
On September 3, 2017, Adam Ondra came down from Flatanger’s Hanshallaren Cave and jumped straight into the Norwegian Sea with his clothes on. The 45-meter route, which for years he had called “Project Hard,” was a project no longer.