“Sometimes the odds are against you, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance.”
Last month I posted a short article about Alex Megos loving—and trusting—“the process” of working on near-limit boulders and routes. The article featured a short video of Alex investing several days into doing the first ascent of a V15 boulder problem in the Frankenjura.
Today, I’m happy to share with you news of Alex opening up the world’s second 5.15d/9c route, Bibliographie, at Ceuse, France!
Far more daunting than a short V15 boulder problem, Bibliographie is 100+ feet of overhanging power climbing on small holds with poor rests. The line was bolted more than a decade ago (by Ethan Pringle), and it has resisted attempts by many of the world’s best climbers.
I witnessed Alex working on Bibliographie in the summer of 2018. It looked, perhaps, impossible…
On August 5, 2020, Alex Megos proved it possible!
While the send video is not yet available, the 2019 movie ROTPUNKT features almost a minute of video of Alex working on Bibliographie.
Scattered over the past three years, Alex invested about 60 days into working on Bibliographie. Read more about the process and his send in his Instagram post below.
View this post on Instagram
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
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