Alan Watts and Adam Ondra—Alan's 80's Project on The Awl: A Model for Smith Rock’s Future

January 14, 2019

Sometimes it takes the present to bump into the past to provoke a discussion about the future. The recent visit of world renown Czech climber Adam Ondra to Smith Rock brought Alan Watts, pioneer of Smith Rock and well-known author of the guidebook series on the area together.

We listened as Adam praised Alan for his vision that started in the 1980s when sport climbing in the U.S. was born here at Smith. While Alan is known for establishing the first 5.14 in the country, To Bolt or Not to Be, he is less known for bolting routes from that time that remain projects to this day.

Here's what they had to say.

Note for non-climbers:
To onsite a rock climbing route is a big deal. It means to walk up to it and successfully climb the route without falling or resting on gear on the first try, having never seen anyone on it or being told any specific information. To onsite multiple routes of some of the highest grades is phenomenal.