German rock-climbing superstar Alex Megos continues to dominate, establishing a new route/boulder problem in the Hollow Mountain Cave in Australia’s Grampians National Park. The new route, which Megos has called Wheelchair
, begins the same as world-famous boulder problem Wheel of Life
but climbs parts of two other established climbs, Stimulation (V13) and Silverchair (V5), as well. According to the report on verticallifemag.com, Megos has struggled suggesting a grade for the route, stating “it’s not possible to give it a boulder grade, although it’s more a boulder then the Wheel of Life.” Megos settled on calling the route 9a+ (5.15a) because he feels it is harder than Wheel of Life, which is usually rated 5.14d.
The Hollow Mountain Cave in the Grampians has been a hotbed for bouldering since drawing the attention of bouldering pioneers such as Toni Lamprecht and Klem Loskot in 1990's and exploded in popularity after Dai Koyamada first established The Wheel of Life in 2004. The route, which climbs out of the belly of a deep, sandstone cave, entails around 70-moves, leading to a debate whether it should be considered a boulder problem or a climbing route. Since Koyamada’s first ascent, the route has seen repeats by some of climbing’s strongest athletes, including Dave Graham, Daniel Woods and Ethan Pringle. More recently, James Kassay added a direct variation which, if confirmed, could be one of the first boulder problems in the world to be graded V16. A detailed exploration of the bouldering and history of this legendary spot can be found in Rock and Ice Issue 203 (July 2012).