Alex Megos Sends World’s Second 5.15d

Alex Megos has done the first ascent of Bibliographie, which he has graded 9c (5.15d), the second climb of that grade in the world after Silence.

By Delaney Miller | August 6th, 2020

 

On August 5th, after years of projecting, Alex Megos put down the first ascent of Bibliographie, which he has graded 9c (5.15d). The route runs beside Biographie—the world’s first consensus 9a+ (5.15a), established by Chris Sharma 2001—in Céüse, France, and is 35 meters (115 feet). It was originally bolted by Ethan Pringle in 2009.

Megos reported on Instagram that he has been working on the climb for three years and put in at least 60 days of effort into it.

“I know there are many speculations about the grade and I think grades are very subjective. My personal suggestion for the grade is 9c (5.15d),” he wrote on Instagram. “Considering the fact, that “Perfecto Mundo” (9b+) has taken me 16 days of effort, “Bibliographie” with around 60 days and more specific training felt a lot harder. Of course, as the first ascensionist you don’t have your perfect beta from the start, you have doubts whether it is possible or not for you, if you are completely missing something, or if you are just not in the best shape. It is always harder to grade something without any other opinion. I am very curious about what the future of the route will look like, and grateful for other people’s opinions.”

He continued, “Independently from the grade, this has been a very valuable experience for me. It marks a personal milestone in my climbing life, one I would have not been able to complete without the support and help of all of my friends and family. Deep gratitude and thanks goes to all of you! (And yes, there is send footage 😉)”

View this post on Instagram

Sometimes the odds are against you, but it doesn't mean you don't have a chance. Yesterday evening, on my last day of the trip, it definitely wasn’t looking good after messing up the first (and only) try I wanted to do that day. I fell relatively low on the route though, so I decided to give it an infamous “one last go”. I passed the crux in the middle of the route, and found myself on the poor rest before the final hard section. Twice prior to this burn I had fallen on the last hard move of the route, so I wasn’t feeling super confident. Nonetheless I started off after the rest with full pace and only briefly slowed down to adjust one hold and to get it perfectly. I passed my ‘trouble move’ seemingly effortlessly and despite being completely pumped out of my mind, I was able to pull off the sequence of the last four moves. After clipping the anchor it seemed like all of the days of work I have put into the route were passing in front of my eyes. With approximately 60 climbing days over the past three years "Bibliographie" has been by far my longest project to date. I know there are many speculations about the grade and I think grades are very subjective. My personal suggestion for the grade is 9c (5.15d). Considering the fact, that "Perfecto Mundo" (9b+) has taken me 16 days of effort, "Bibliographie" with around 60 days and more specific training felt a lot harder. Of course, as the first ascensionist you don't have your perfect beta from the start, you have doubts whether it is possible or not for you, if you are completely missing something, or if you are just not in the best shape. It is always harder to grade something without any other opinion. I am very curious about what the future of the route will look like, and grateful for other people's opinions. Independently from the grade, this has been a very valuable experience for me. It marks a personal milestone in my climbing life, one I would have not been able to complete without the support and help of all of my friends and family. Deep gratitude and thanks goes to all of you! (And yes, there is send footage 😉) Pic @ken_etzel

A post shared by Alexander Megos (@alexandermegos) on

After sending, Megos apparently visited the local pizza joint—Le Crux— near Céüse, and ordered a stack of pies! (See photo below!)

Megos, 26, was in the first crop of athletes to qualify for the Olympics last year. He’s taken the year-long delay as an opportunity to climb outside—recently he did the first ascent of a new 8C (V15) boulder problem, Upgrade U, in the Frankenjura, Germany.

Megos became the first climber to onsight 9a (5.14d) in 2013 with Estado Critico, Siurana, Spain. He repeated the feat in 2017 with an onsight of TCT, Gravere, Italy. He has also climbed several 5.15bs—including Sharma’s First Round First Minute—and, in 2018, did the first ascent of Perfecto Mundo, a 5.15c.

After Perfecto Mundo, Megos told Rock and Ice in an interview,“It’s the hardest route I’ve done.”

How much harder is his new line, Bibliographie? Might it rival Adam Ondra’s Silence (9c) for hardest climb in the world?

More info to come!

[This article has been updated.]

Megos picking up a stack of pies at Le Crux—a pizza place near Ceuse—after his monumental send! Photo: Courtesy of Le Crux.

 


Watch “Rotpunkt,” the feature film about Megos and his quest to climb Perfecto Mundo (5.15c)


 

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