Alexander Megos


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Sport climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 4, 2015 - 10:32am PT

Alexander Megos

Alexander Megos - Lucid Dreaming
Alexander Megos - Lucid Dreaming
Credit: Rock & Ice
Alexander Megos
Alexander Megos
Credit: Patagonia

From an article by Planetmountain after his historic first on-sight of a 9a climb, Estado Critico at Siurana in Spain 2013:

Even if it had been on the cards for a while and everyone was expecting it, the news was, quite rightly, astonishing. Also because the world's first 9a on-sight wasn't achieved by strongman Adam Ondra - who on three occasions got extremely close - but by 19-year-old German climber Alexander Megos. Put in other words, by a nigh unknown young and extremely talented sports climber whose ability, until a few days ago, was recognised almost exclusively by the select few of best climbers in the world. In truth, Megos had started to leave his mark recently, above all with his 8c+ flash of Pure Imagination at Red River Gorge in the USA. But let's be honest, with few 9a redpoints to his name a handful of 8b+ on-sights, who would have hedged their bets on this young, tranquil 19-year-old? But instead, along came the astounding news of the world's first 9a onsight and confirmation of his superb class.

To better comprehend it all we asked Megos some questions about his performance. But not only. In fact, we asked for information about this historic onsight of Estado Critico at Siurana from someone who perhaps knows more about 9a's than anyone else: i.e. Adam Ondra in person. This is what magic Adam, as an athlete and true first-class person, told Planetmountain: "Obviously when I first read this news on the website, I stood still for an instant, I couldn't believe it. But thinking about it for a moment, I knew that it must have been true. All I can say is that Alex's performance is truly unique and stands out. He chose the right route (one of few routes that the world has to offer) and he just went for it. With a perfect mindset, he did everything perfectly and clipped the chains of what is probably (in terms of grade certainly) the hardest onsight ever! It is not only question of luck (even though this plays an important role); you definitely have to have the level and you have to MASTER the onsight style. In addition, what discipline: he hadn't seen any videos of this route (Progression for example with Chris Sharma trying Golpe de Estado ), or maybe he is just not interested in watching videos at all. In terms of grade, no matter what it is, it seemed hard to me. When I did it back in 2007 in a couple of tries, it seemed a soft 8c+ to me. But shortly after Chris Sharma made the first ascent of Golpe de Estado, which shares the second half of the route, the hold broke in bouldery sequence just above where the two routes join up. I have never climbed Estado Critico after this hold break, but it seemed to me as it could have made it a notch harder, sufficient to break the 9a barrier. For Golpe de Estado though, this didn't make any difference, or at the most it transformed it from soft 9b to normal 9b."

Alex Megos And The Accidental 9a Onsight

Alex Megos Climbs "Lucid Dreaming" (8C/V15) in Bishop

First ascents

 "Enter The Dragon" 34 (8c+), Taipan Wall, Grampians, Australien, Australien, Mai 2015
 "5 Star Bin Dive" 34 (8c+), Taipan Wall, Grampians, Australien, Australien, Mai 2015
 „Schweinebaumeln“ 35 (9a), Elphinstone, Blue Mountains, Australien, April 2015[9]
 „Classified“ 11/11+ (UIAA-Skala); 9a/+ (franz.), 4.Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, April 2013
 „Dicker Bert“ 11 (9a), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Juni 2013
 „R.E.D.“ 35 (9a), Blue Mountains, Australien, August 2013
 „J.F.O“. 8c+, Kalymnos, Griechenland, Oktober 2013
 „Nice Freshly Baked“ 11 (9a), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2014
 „Modified“ 11/11+ (9a+), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Juni 2014
 „Janus“ 11 (9a), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Juni 2014
 „Et dieu créa la Flemme“ 9a, Ceüse, Frankreich, Juli 2014
 „Geocache“ 11 (9a), Frankenjura, Deutschland, September 2014


 „Pure Imagination“ 8c+ (franz.), Flash, November 2012
 „Golden Ticket“ 5.14c (8c+), 2.Versuch, Red River Gorge, Kentucky, USA, November 2012
 „The Fly“ 5.14d (9a), Rumney, New Hampshire, USA, Oktober 2012
 „A muerte“ 8c+/9a, 2.Versuch, Siurana, Spanien, März 2013
 „Estado critico“ 9a, onsight, Siurana, Spanien, März 2013
 „La Rambla“ 9a+, 2.Versuch, Siurana, Spanien, März 2013
 „Jungle Speed“ 9a, 4.Versuch, Siurana, Spanien, März 2013
 „Corona“ 11/11+ (9a+), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2013
 „Pantera“ 11 (9a), 3.Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2013
 „The Elder Statesman“ 11 (9a), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Juni 2013
 „Sever the Wicked Hand“ 11 (9a), 4.Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, Juni 2013
 „The Groove Train“ 33 (8c), 4.Versuch, Taipan Wall, Grampians, Australien, Juli 2013
 „La Bongada 9a“, Margalef, Spanien, Dezember 2013
 „La Ley Innata“ 8c+/9a, 2.Versuch, Margalef, Spanien, Januar 2014
 La Rubia 8c+, 2.Versuch, El Chorro (Chilam Balam Cave), Spanien, Januar 2014
 „House of Shock“ 11 (9a), 4.Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, April 2014
 „Action Directe“ 11 (9a), 3.Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2014
 „Matador“ 11 (9a), 5.Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2014
 „Black Label“ 11 (9a), 3.Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2014
 „The Essential“ 11 (9a), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2014
 „The Man that Follows Hell“ 11/11+ (9a+), Frankenjura, Deutschland, Mai 2014
 „To tu ješte nebylo“ 9a, 1.Wiederholung, Elbsandstein, Tschechien, Juni 2014
 „Biographie/Realization“ 9a+, 3.Versuch, Ceüse, Frankreich, Juli 2014
 „Unplugged“ 11 (9a), 3. Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, September 2014
 „Life’s Blood For The Downthrodden“ 11 (9a), 4. Versuch, Frankenjura, Deutschland, September 2014
 „Flat mountain“ (9a/9a+), 2. Wiederholung seit 2003, Japan, März 2015


 Blood Meridian (V12/13) Fb 8A+/B, Flash, Buttermilks, Kalifornien, USA, Januar 2013
 Evilution (V11) Fb 8A, Buttermilks, Kalifornien, USA, Januar 2013
 Terre de Sienne (V13/14) Fb 8B/+, Hueco Tanks, Texas, USA, Februar 2013
 Das Pumpenhausen Testpiece Fb 8B, Erstbegehung, Porth Ysgo, Wales, Großbritannien, Mai 2013
 The Wheel of Life 9a/+ (Routenbewertung), Grampians, Australien, Juli 2013
 Wheelchair 9a+ (Routenbewertung), Erstbegehung, Grampians, Australien, Juli 2013
 Pigeon Superstition (V14) Fb 8B+, Grampians, Australien, Juli 2013
 Bad Boyz for Life Fb 8B+, Erstbegehung, Frankenjura, Deutschland, April 2014
 Unendliche Geschichte 8B+, Magic Wood, Schweiz, April 2014
 Amandla Fb 8B+, Rocklands, Südafrika, Juli 2014
 Olifants Dawn Fb 8B+, Rocklands, Südafrika, August 2014
 Sky Fb 8B+, Rocklands, Südafrika, August 2014
 Wrath of Lich King Fb 8B+/C, 1.Wiederholung, Frankenjura, Deutschland, September 2014
 Meadowlark Lemon (V14) Fb 8B+, Red Rocks, Kalifornien, USA, November 2014
 Montecore Fb 8B+, Frankenjura, Deutschland, November 2014
 Direct North (V14) Fb 8B+, Buttermilks, Kalifornien, USA, Januar 2015
 Lucid Dreaming (V15) Fb 8C, 3.Begehung, Buttermilks, Kalifornien, USA, Januar 2015
 Orochi Fb 8C, 3.Begehung (innerhalb von 2 Stunden), Japan, März 2015
 Double Demerit 8B+, 1.Wiederholung, Australien, März 2015


One Week with Alex Megos. In March 2014, Alex Megos was over in the UK to take part in the Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF) comp at Sheffield and stayed on afterwards for a few days to climb mainly at Raven Tor and Malham, ticking crag classics that included Unjustified (8c), Bat Route (8c), Mecca (8b+) as well as having a quick go at Hubble (8c+).

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 4, 2015 - 03:40pm PT
Ojai Alex

Trad climber
Ojai, CA
Jul 4, 2015 - 05:33pm PT
Met him recently at our local crag. Really nice dude.
He had just got off a certain climb, one I know sucks. I asked him how it was, and he said "well...not very good." ;)
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Jul 4, 2015 - 11:20pm PT

Boulder climber
San Diego
Jul 5, 2015 - 04:45am PT
Just goes to show that even popular climbers that are in lots of videos and are effectively drowned in sponsorships are not the greatest climbers the world will see, some skinny freak can come out of the woodwork and blow everyone away. This is why I love this sport, and by sport I mean the part on rock.

Jul 5, 2015 - 07:51am PT
Mind boggling how hard that boulder problem looks.

Social climber
Jul 11, 2015 - 11:59pm PT
hey there say... yep, this is a 'marlow post bump' ...

thank you very much, marlow...

been busy, sorry i missed these... glad to have found them...

(thanks to the spammer, well, i went hunting for some better stuff for our front page) :)
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
Dec 2, 2015 - 09:57pm PT

Dec 2, 2015 - 10:51pm PT
Killer K

Boulder climber
Sacramento, CA
Dec 3, 2015 - 07:46am PT
Megos reminds me of Drago from Rocky. He's been trained by the best and hooked up to machines to evaluate and increase performance. Check out the Epic TV series where Tommy, Hazel, Emily Harrington and Megos all compete in multiple disciplines. I'll post up the link when I have time.

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2016 - 12:54am PT

From Rock & Ice, January 2016, the article: Super Natural

Megos creates, he says, an agreeable atmosphere, one that is always funny and supportive. However, once he ties in, his focus immediately changes. It's a radical change of aura that allows him to fight unrelentingly and without mercy.

There is a flip side to this a muerte style however. If a route defies his power and magic, Megos can spiral down in attitude. After a failed attempt to climb a wet 5.14d in the blue mountains of Australia, for example, I noticed that Megos was beset with self-pity and shame even though he was trying to climb through the lower section with a glove on to keep his tips dry for the thin crimpy crux.

Depressed, he said, "All of the traveling, just climbing and not training for several months have made me tired and weak. I need to train to climb near my limit".

The evening after falling on the Blue mountains 5.14d, Megos stopped by at a gym and beat his core into oblivion with gymnastic routines on the rings and kettle balls.

Wiz Fineron, a pro climber and traveling mate of Megos, observes, "I have slowly noticed small cracks in an otherwise near-perfect climbing machine. Usually his pure power and brute strength are enough for him to get up routes, but when this doesn't work, it'll leave him puzzled and asking for help.

My comments:

The reaction when he did not succeed on the wet 5.14d could been seen in a different light. Megos seems to have set a standard of his own (not corresponding to the standard of those around him) and when he does not live up to this standard, his reaction comes. And the day after he is in the gym beating his core into oblivion. For sure he is setting a standard for himself and for sure he's motivated. It would be stupid to focus on the reaction as some kind of crack. Have no fear of disappointment. As long as his body can absorb the training and climbing, he becomes a better climber and sets a standard of his own.

And being puzzled when you are puzzled and asking for help when you need help, is intelligent behavior. If you ask for help, you can get other people's ideas and their help to find a solution. There is possibly an expectation that great climbers should not be puzzled and should not be asking for help. That is of course unintelligent if you want to grow into a better climber. Face saving in the form of being afraid of feeling disappointed, puzzled or in need of help, is the way to mediocrity.

In my view the real crack is in the reasoning of Wiz and those writing the article...

Good article though, have no fear of cracks...

Jan 17, 2016 - 07:40am PT
I like how he didn't tell anyone he just did it and kept climbing.

Makes me wonder how many other climbers do Amazing things like this and nothing is said or heard. I suspect a lot more than we think.

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