Last night Alex Megos climbed "Bibliographie" and given the climb a grade of 9c / 5.15d. This long term project is now the second 9c climb in the world!
Initially the news was rumored and the grade unconfirmed apart from other's comments. Alex has now announced the send in an instagram post and suggested the 9c grade, saying: -
"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'... ...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.
He celebrated the achievement with a round of pizzas for the campsite from the local Pizza van - as you do. Adam Ondra commented "congrats man and most of all - I am glad you suggest 9c!". Maybe we'll see the first 9c repeat soon?
"Bibliographie" is a multi year project for Alex at the world famous Céüse area in France. The name is nod to "Biographie" just a few metres to the left, which was the first 9a+ / 5.15a in the world and first climbed by Chris Sharma. Alex famously sent "Biographie" on his third full try back in 2014, and in July this year sent another Céüse line called "Pornographie" 9a / 5.14d in four attempts.
The route is a 35m overhang that looks similar in style to other routes on the same rock. Ethan Pringle bolted the route in 2009 and it looks like sustained hard overhung crimps and big moves are to be expected. Dirk Uhlig posted some footage on his insta stories.
There is also a short amount of older footage of him trying it when it was a project a few years back. It was featured in the documentary Rotpunkt (Red point) about Alex and the evolution of sport climbing - watch below. Footage starts at 0:35 and there's a little more at 48:20.
Has Alex Megos Just Climbed The World's Second 9c / 5.15d?
For Alex Megos to be projecting a route for multiple years definitely suggests a grade of 9c or possibly a split grade of 9b+/9c. The only other 9c / 5.15d is "Silence", which was completed by Adam Ondra in 2017 and has not yet seen any other ascents. He has confirmed there is full footage of the climb!
Alex said of the route and it's grade - "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."
Alex Megos is one of only handful of climbers to have climbed 9b+ when he made the first ascent of "Perfecto Mundo" - originally a Chris Sharma project. Along with Stefano Ghisolfi they spent a few weeks working on it, Alex sending first after 16 days and Stefano a few months later. In recent years Alex has been climbing many 9b's and also qualified for the first Olympics Climbing event in Tokyo 2021.
After the full lockdown ended and the Olympic Games were pushed back to 2021, may other world class climbers have been out getting big ticks. Laura Rogora became the second Woman to climb 9b / 5.15b in July just after becoming the first Italian Woman to climb 9a+. Oriane Bertone climbed a V15 / 8C boulder problem at just 15 years old.
As temps cool and we move in to sending season in September/October it looks like we'll be seeing many more hard sport routes and boulders being put up!