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Adam Ondra and Patxi Usobiaga Attempt The Project

Monday, April 24, 2017
A very fun, inspiring and hectic weekend with two of climbing's true legends, Adam Ondra and Patxi Usobiaga, is over. That's four workshops, two slideshows, one morning show and five live streamed attempts on The Project squeezed into 35 hours.
Words and Images: Bjorn Pohl

Patxi Usobiaga arrived Friday afternoon and headed straight for the gym, eager to get some training in. He is headed to Céüse soon and lately has found it difficult to get as much training in as he would like. The rock pulls him out of the gym, like gravity... but as he says himself, “Without gravity, life as a climber would be shit ... meaningless!” Patxi got his hours in and could relax and prepare for the next two days.

Saturday started early and would prove to be eventful.

In the morning, Patxi held his first workshop at the Telefonplan gym. Ten climbers of different shapes and sizes got three hours of theory, practice and inspiration from the Spanish training guru, before he got to work on The Project for the first time. The initial result was humbling.

The Project is a permanent gym route, considered the hardest project in the world inside or out, but set in a way that is possible for anyone to try. It is broken into sections of roughly five moves which get increasingly more difficult, building from 6A up to 8C. It's not easy and as soon as the first easier sections are over, you have to have the right beta to not be instantly spat off...

After a while, things began looking better and he seemed way more positive. “Hard route! And fun!”, he said while collecting his things to head for the Akalla gym and the next workshop.

Then things got interesting. Adam called and said he had missed his connecting flight in Riga, and that he would be four hours late, so no working The Project that day. Instead he would make it just in time for his slideshow. He did! Both Patxi's and Adam's slideshows where amazingly good! Truly inspirational!

Sunday meant two more workshops for Patxi, and Sweden's biggest morning TV-show for Adam. Five hundred thousand people watched him make an attempt on The Project after about 20 minutes of checking out the moves. A valiant attempt ended at the dyno which guards the entrance to the really hard climbing, and after the show, he went back up to go through the moves more thoroughly. Even if you can climb 9b fairly quickly, like Adam, you still need to know how.

A few hours later, the guys made their serious attempts in front of a huge enthusiastic crowd in the gym and an even bigger crowd in front of their screens. It was epic and both climbers really gave everything!

How did it go?

Watch the video here!