Sport

Adam Ondra: Climbing champion scales new heights

Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT) August 13, 2015
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Change 9b+, Flatanger, Norway, Petr PavlicekChange 9b+, Flatanger, Norway, Petr Pavlicek
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Adam Ondra climbs "Change" in Norway. The route was graded a 9b+using the French numerical system (5.15c in the U.S.) -- the highest rated sport climb in the world. In 2012 and Ondra was the first to complete it without falling off. © Petr Pavlicek
Another shot of Ondra climbing the "Change" route located in a cave near Flatanger, Norway. © Petr Pavlicek
Ondra tackles another route in Flatanger called "Iron Curtain." The Czech climber was also the first to complete this climb rated a 9b. © Henning Wang
Ondra scaling "Purgatory" in Hell, Norway -- a 9a rated climb. Grades relate to the overall technical difficulty of a climb and the effort required to complete it. The U.S. has a similar grading system -- this 9a climb would be rated a 5.14d. © Petr Pavlicek
Ondra surveys the landscape around Flatanger in Norway. © Petr Pavlicek
This route called "Chaxiraxi" (9b) is located in Oriana, Spain close to the site of the "La Dura Dura," widely considered to be the hardest sport climb in the the world. Bolted by American sport climbing star, Chris Sharma in 2009, Ondra became the first to climb the route in February 2013. © Vojtech Vrzba
"Sport climbing is climbing with ropes, with quick draws, with carabiners," Ondra explains. (The route) is always protected by bolts -- the bolts are certificated protection and it's considered to be safe. These routes are maybe up to 30-40 meters." © Vojtech Vrzba
"The other discipline is bouldering," says Ondra. "You don't use any ropes, you only use crash mats as a protection and you only climb up to maybe five or six meters of height." © Vojtech Vrzba
Ondra also competes in competition climbing. He is currently the reigning world champion in both Lead and Bouldering -- a feat no other climber has achieved. © Tomas Binter
Ondra negotiating a rock face in Spain. "I think the most important thing is to have the passion for climbing because you don't make a huge amount of money," he says. Unless you really have fun while doing climbing there's not enough motivation to keep pushing hard and living this lifestyle." © Vojtech Vrzba
'I am pretty much living the dream. I decided when I was 17 years old that I wanted to be a professional climber and now I am pretty much doing exactly what I dreamed about." © Vojtech Vrzba
In addition to his world titles, Ondra has also won the World Cup Overall title in 2009 and 2010. © Tomas Binter
Ondra on top of the podium at the 2014 World Championships in Gijon, Spain. © Tomas Binter