Petr Pavlicek on Filming the World's Next Big Climber

For the past two years, we've been hearing rumblings of a new documentary about Adam Ondra, the 18-year-old Czech prodigy widely considered to be the world's strongest sport climber. Besides a handful of clips released online, little information has been released about the as-yet-untitled film.

To find out more, I caught up with Petr Pavlicek, the Czech adventure filmmaker behind the project. Since 2009, Pavlicek has traveled around Europe filming Ondra on the rock, accumulating some 80 hours of footage and capturing milestones like the first repeat of a 5.15b route and the first flash of a V14 boulder problem.

Though Pavlicek had planned on finishing the film by last Christmas, he is still editing it and has yet to determine a release date. He hopes to announce more details on the movie's website in the near future.
--Adam Roy

How did you get the idea to do this movie? Did you know Adam before you started shooting?
Of course I knew that there was a "wonder kid of climbing" in my country, but I didn't know Adam personally. I wasn't very interested in rock climbing before our first meeting. I was focused on adventure movies about mountains and polar expeditions. 

I met Adam one afternoon in May 2009 at his favorite home crag near Brno. Adam made the first ascent of the route Kostitřas Nesmrtelný (8c+/9a) that day, and I filmed it. I immediately recognized that Adam is a really big-hearted, normal boy with amazing positive energy. So we met a few months later in Zillertall in Austria. The result was the well-known climbing video Bad Day of Adam Ondra.

Adam told me his big plans for the next months, but nobody with good skills and perfect filming equipment was able to follow him on his long journeys, there was simply no money in it. I had all the necessary things and money, and I felt that it could be a nice new challenge. So we decided to start real cooperation.

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