One of the young superstars of climbing just set a new bar in climbing with his flash ascent of the Southern Smoke Direct route (5.14d/5.15a) at Red River Gorge, KY.
19 year-old Adam Ondra stepped up to the ground start of Southern Smoke Direct, armed with just some beta on the route, and proceeded to go "into beast mode". Ondra flashed the beginning boulder problem (rated V11 – V13), and sent the rest of the route, which includes a long section of 40° overhang (5.14c). This is only the 2nd ascent of the Direct version of the route, which was established by Adam Taylor back in November of 2011 and is considered a possible 5.15a climb.
"All in all, a hard bouldery start into a 5.14c route makes for possibly the most flashable 5.15 in the world and Adam Ondra cashed in. This is the hardest flash ascent yet done in the history of climbing. In fact, it surpasses the previous hardest flash or onsight ascent by a letter grade. Until today, no one had ever flashed a 5.14d route." –
You can read about it in Adam's own words, and apparently, there is some footage of the climb that will be released by the French TV Journal, which we'll be looking forward to for another post.