Adam Ondra Makes First Ascent of 120 Degrees (5.15a), Flatanger

Adam Ondra heads to Flatanger, Norway to work his possible 5.15d projects. Too exhausted from his final exams, he instead dedicates himself to an “easier” project and comes away with the first ascent of 120 Degrees (9a+ 5.15a).

By Rock and Ice | June 23rd, 2016

Adam Ondra catches a marginal rest on <em>Move</em> (5.15b) in the Hanshelleren Cave, Flatanger, Norway, on the cover of <em>Rock and Ice</em> issue 215 (January 2014). Cover photo: <a target=Claudia Ziegler.” title=”Adam Ondra catches a marginal rest on Move (5.15b) in the Hanshelleren Cave, Flatanger, Norway, on the cover of Rock and Ice issue 215 (January 2014). Cover photo: Claudia Ziegler.”> Adam Ondra, fresh out of his final exams, headed to Flatanger, Norway last week to work his super projects—two of which could possibly break the 9c/5.15d barrier. But exhausted from his exams, he instead dedicated himself to an “easier” project and came away with the first ascent of 120 Degrees (9a+ 5.15a) on June 19.

“I have been hungry to try to the hardest projects in Flatanger right after my final exams at university, but somehow I felt they were just too far away,” he told Fanatic Climbing. “The final exams just took me so much energy that I did not feel as strong as I expected I would feel.”

His new route, previously referred to as the “Inverted roof project,” begins on Elden Inuti (8a+ 5.13c) and moves into an “absolutely crazy inverted roof boulder problem,” Ondra described on his 8a Scorecard. He bolted the line last summer.

The entry 5.13c moves lead into the roof, where it is “really hard to swing your feet across the roof and make this awkward downward move while having heel-toe-cam,” Ondra told Fanatic Climbing. “I found some better beta and the expected grade of 9b [5.15b] did not stick, 9a+ is probably better.”

Ondra’s 120 Degrees is the world’s 54th 5.15a, not counting the six climbs that have a 5.15a/b grade. Out of the 54, Ondra has sent 19 and established 11. He has climbed 36 routes 5.15a and harder, including the first ascents of the world’s three hardest sport climbs—La Dura Dura (5.15c), The Change (5.15c) and Vasil Vasil (5.15c).

He has four super-projects remaining in the famous Hanshelleren Cave, and two have the potential to break into the next grade.

“The most feasible project is ‘Kangaroo Dyno,’ which includes [a] dyno that is much harder than Three Degrees of Separation [5.14d] dyno,” he told “I am pretty sure it is an 8A [V11] dyno single move, but you have to get there by climbing 8c+/9a [5.14c/d]. It will be probably 9b, but 9b which [is] all about one dyno is super hard for me.”

His other projects include a “hard 9b+” variation to Change—the world’s first 5.15c and benchmark for the grade, which Ondra established on October 4, 2012—and “Project Big and “Project Hard,” both possible 9c’s according to Ondra.

“Big Project is the LINE of the cave and the dream of my life,” he told, “but I think it will take a few seasons, but let’s see.

“I do not want to make too much pressure on myself, I will try the projects this summer a bit, but if they feel [a] million mules away, I will try my luck in the future. I am super happy as I have just finished [my] first bachelor studies and after three years of hectic life I want to enjoy climbing outdoors to the fullest.”


Watch Ondra project Change, the world’s first 5.15c, in the video below:


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