INTERVIEW: ADAM ONDRA

We consider that the interview with Adam is the best Christmas present for our readers. So here it is! Enjoy!


Photo by Petr Chodura


What can you say about Perfecto Mundo? Was it hard for you to decide to try it?


When I first heard about it when Crist started trying I was definitely intimidated but then it was still a project. Until Alex Megos made the first ascent in 2018 I was still pretty intimidated because in general Margalef is very challenging climbing for me. It’s mostly about pockets, and pockets is something that is definitely not my strength. I’ve made numerous trips to Margalef and numerous trips I wouldn’t be afraid to say I got my ass kicked.


But long term training for the Olympic Games is a lot about getting rid of my weaknesses. And I saw it as a perfect opportunity to work on climbing on pockets, and Perfecto Mundo is a perfect challenge for that. I thought that sending Perfecto Mundo would be a great testament that climbing on the pockets is not such a big deal as it always seemed to be.

So I think this year I was prepared mentally to go for it, to try hard, even though I knew that it’s not going to be easy and I need to overcome my weakness.



Photo by Petr Chodura


You motivate climbers all over the world. Please tell us about people who motivate you when you need it.


For me, it’s not very difficult to motivate myself for climbing because climbing is what I do, what I love the most. It’s the coolest thing I can ever imagine.

And it’s been like that for the last 20 years. Since I was six when I really decided that climbing is the thing that I wanna do. I was totally obsessed, and I keep being totally obsessed.


The people that motivate me are all the ones that keep doing the stuff that they love the most. It can be climbing or it can be anything else. The people that really really do their thing with their heart. That’s not only motivating but it’s also proving that if you really have this attitude you can reach anything. The sky is the limit.


Your videos on YouTube are really interesting and useful. Do you watch someone’s climbing videos on YouTube?


Yeah, definitely. Watching somebody’s climbing is also a way to learn, so I do enjoy it a lot. There are always something I can learn if I watch somebody else climbing. It’s important for the evolution of your climbing technique.


Do you like to bolt the new routes? How many routes have you bolted? If there is a special one among them, what is it?


I bolted some new roots, in the recent year not so many. I bolted the most in 2012-13 season in Flatanger. I think overall in Flatanger I bolted around 20 roots. Some of the roots I’m really proud about. Some of them are not really dead extreme, I think, some of them are even in the 7th and 8th grade, and some of them are really high quality.


For sure the most special root that I bolted is Silence, 9c. Another special root, which I didn’t make the first ascent, but I really happy that my friend Seb Bouin did the first ascent, is a root The Dream. It’s a 9b and it’s located in Brar in Albania.



Photo by Eddie Fowke / IFSC


Please tell us the story of your necklace? When did you start to wear it? Is it some kind of amulet for you?


I think I’ve been wearing necklace since I was six. It’s not always the same, it keeps changing.

And now my girlfriend is always preparing, let’s say, the fresh source of energy and power every now and then. So I can change it, but if I don’t wear my necklace I feel myself almost like naked and vulnerable at the same time.


What can you say about your VW van? Is it the best car for a climber? What was your longest trip as a van driver?


Yeah, I definitely love my VW van. It’s the best combination for me as a car that drives really comfortable and even fast, and at the same time it has everything I need, especially the possibility to cook and sleep whenever and wherever I want. That makes climbing and traveling so much easier. Sometimes it would be better to have a bigger van, but with my lifestyle it is not so convenient to drive a car that is so much bigger and consume a lot more gasoline. And my longest trip as a drive was to Andalusia or to Lofoten at the north of Norway.


Do you like winter sports? What kind of it?


Well, I do like winter sports, but in the last years, I haven’t been really practicing very much. I like snowboarding, cross-country skiing but there are not so many good mountains around my home. At the same time after traveling all year long, I’m really not excited to travel during my three weeks of rest during December. It’s a time when I don’t climb at all, so would actually have the time to practice winter sports, but you know, travel again into the Alps, it’s not so motivating. From time to time when there are good snow conditions it’s nice to take my cross-country skis and have a lap, but it happens very very rare.


If you would write a letter to Santa Claus, what would you write?


I think the most important thing for everyone is to be happy. Once you are happy, you are happy with everything else.

And most probably you are quite healthy and you are also surrounded by great people. I think these two things are the most important in everybody’s life.


Text by Yury Birilov

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