The World’s Hardest Rock Climb – in Norway

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The World's Hardest Rock Climb - in Norway

The 45-meter ascent at Hanshelleren cave in Flatanger, a three-hour drive north of the city of Trondheim, is considered to be the world’s hardest single rope-length climb.

A small community of elite rock climbing has in the last few years fixated on this giant windswept granite cave in Flatanger, Norway. One climber, Czech Adam Ondra (24), had prepared himself for four years and seven visits to Norway to set a new world record.

The World's Hardest Rock Climb - in Norway
Czech climber Adam Ondra (24), had prepared himself for four years and seven visits to Norway to set a new world record

It’s called the world’s first 5.15c route and Ondra has proposed the highest grade ever to be given to a route. The young man who has dominated rock climbing in recent years achieved the ascent in just 20 minutes earlier this month.

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The World's Hardest Rock Climb - in Norway
Adam Ondra climbing

In a blog post Ethan Pringle, one of the developers of the climb describes the cave as “like if Jailhouse and Mickeys Beach had a baby, and that offspring was artificially inseminated with rock sperm from Rumney and Column of the Giants at the same time … then THAT baby grew up subsisting on nothing but muscle milk, steroids and acid.”

The World's Hardest Rock Climb - in Norway
Adam Ondra climbs the world’s first 9c3

“At the end of the route when I knew I did it, I had one of the strangest emotions ever,” said Ondra.

For a so-called sport climb – in which expansion bolts are drilled permanently into the rock to clip the rope into – climbers can spend years trying to complete their first ascents.

The World's Hardest Rock Climb - in Norway
Adam Ondra’s project Misja

To claim a grade climbers must provide photographic proofs of the ascent, and Ondra had it all filmed.

The World's Hardest Rock Climb - in Norway
Ondra climbing in Hanshelleren, Flatanger

Hanshelleren cave is a favorite with seasoned climbers, partly due to its giant overhang, which means it rarely rains inside. The water can however sometimes seep through.

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The World's Hardest Rock Climb - in Norway
Ondra Open

Climbing was approved as a sport for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo by the International Olympic Committee. Ondra’s next victory may therefore well be an Olympic medal.

The World’s Hardest Rock Climb – in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg

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