1. Alex Honnold’s (full) Half Dome solo
We’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Matador Sports posted the teaser video of Alex Honnold’s no-ropes climb of the 2,000-foot-high Regular Northwest Face of Yosemite’s Half Dome (5.12, 23 pitches) shortly after it was released. Then the teaser disappeared from the internet, and we haven’t seen it since.
A version of the film appeared at the 2009 Reel Rock Tour, and the full cut was broadcast in Europe as part of the National Geographic series First Ascent. The series’ North American DVD launch is set for late summer.
2. Adam Ondra flashing Confessions
Adam Ondra, a 17-year-old from the Czech Republic, is one of the strongest climbers alive. Both the International Federation of Sport Climbing and 8a.nu rank him as the world’s top sport climber, and he’s famous for his repeats of hard routes like Action Directe (5.14d) and Golpe de Estado (5.15b).
During a trip to Switzerland last December, Ondra became the first person ever to flash a V14 boulder problem when he climbed Confessions on his first try.
Petr Pavlíček, a filmmaker who is making a movie about Ondra, caught the send on tape.
3. Tanec kuøátek
Adam Ondra had another “first” this March, when he bolted his first route using a power drill that he had gotten as a Christmas present. After climbing the absurdly complicated result, Ondra named it Tanec kuøátek (don’t ask how it’s pronounced) and graded it 5.14d.
On his 8a.nu profile page, Ondra described Tanec kuøátek as a
“narrow but long cave with tricky moves. After bouldery start, pumpy climbing follows difficult chimney where only your calfs are getting pumped”
Pavlíček filmed the first ascent; no word on when the movie might come out in the US.
4. The Game and Lucid Dreaming
The US now has two boulder problems rated V16, the highest level of difficulty that currently exists. Daniel Woods put up the first, The Game, in February. Paul Robinson climbed the second, Lucid Dreaming, in March.
5. Ashima Shiraishi in The Insiders
Ashima Shiraishi is probably one of the only people on the planet whose age is a smaller number than the ratings of the boulder problems she climbs.
At eight years old, Ashima has already climbed two V10s, Power of Silence in Hueco Tanks, TX, and The Wave, located on Central Park’s Rat Rock.
In early March, Big UP filmed Ashima and several other climbers for The Insiders, an upcoming short about gym climbing. There’s still no set release date for the film, which will be available for free online, but Josh Lowell of Big UP said it would likely come out this month.
Can’t wait to get your video fix? Head to Matador TV.