Megos reminds us that he is human - Up-Climbing

Megos reminds us that he is human

Thoughts of Alex Megos on 9a.

Alexander Megos is considered one of the best climbers in history, in an era where the good ones are certainly not few. And if we look at the good ones regardless of the era then the numbers grow even more, but Megos remains there. The most famous record is probably the first 9a onsight in history… But are we sure it’s really easy for him to climb a 9a?

In the last period Megos has dedicated himself to climbing in Spain, repeating some hard pitches as usual. The first on the list is Samfaina, a 9a freed by Chris Sharma and barely repeated. Ramon Julian Puigblanque was the first repeater, declaring the route soft, while Jorge Diaz Rullo proposed the upgrade to 9a+. Megos himself agrees with Diaz Rullo, declaring that Samfaina is decidedly harder than the other routes of the same grade around. A few days ago he “finally” also repeated Victimas Perez, writing:

If people think pro climbers tick 9a’s without problems, then they are wrong. Some 9a’s maybe, all of them, definitely not. “Victimas Perez” was a struggle for me, even though it’s “only” 9a. After doing “Samfaina” last week I wanted to take advantage of having the bottom half of Victimas Perez dialed. So I checked out the second part of the route (like already multiple times in the past) and thought it should be totally doable. 5 sessions later I finally managed to climb through the crux at the end, after falling there 10 times during the previous days. And once more climbing taught me valuable lessons, patience and to enjoy the process.

Alex’s words remind us how personal and subjective the climb is. Some routes or some blocks definitely below our grade may seem extreme, while others may succeed with ease and lightness, perhaps contrary to other climbers. Once again a top climber like Megos reminds us how futile the controversy about the grade is, when the perception of the difficulty is personal and he reminds us what is the only thing that matters: climbing.

Source IG Alex Megos page

Alessandro Palma