On August 5th, after years of projecting, Alex Megos put down the first ascent of Bibliographie, which he has graded 9c (5.15d). The route runs beside Biographie—the world’s first consensus 9a+ (5.15a), established by Chris Sharma 2001—in Céüse, France, and is 35 meters (115 feet). It was originally bolted by Ethan Pringle in 2009.
Megos reported on Instagram that he has been working on the climb for three years and put in at least 60 days of effort into it.
“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),” he wrote on Instagram. “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.”
He continued, “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 ?)”
After sending, Megos apparently visited the local pizza joint—Le Crux— near Céüse, and ordered a stack of pies! (See photo below!)
Megos, 26, was in the first crop of athletes to qualify for the Olympics last year. He’s taken the year-long delay as an opportunity to climb outside—recently he did the first ascent of a new 8C (V15) boulder problem, Upgrade U, in the Frankenjura, Germany.
Megos became the first climber to onsight 9a (5.14d) in 2013 with Estado Critico, Siurana, Spain. He repeated the feat in 2017 with an onsight of TCT, Gravere, Italy. He has also climbed several 5.15bs—including Sharma’s First Round First Minute—and, in 2018, did the first ascent of Perfecto Mundo, a 5.15c.
After Perfecto Mundo, Megos told Rock and Ice in an interview,“It’s the hardest route I’ve done.”
How much harder is his new line, Bibliographie? Might it rival Adam Ondra’s Silence (9c) for hardest climb in the world?
More info to come!
[This article has been updated.]
Watch “Rotpunkt,” the feature film about Megos and his quest to climb Perfecto Mundo (5.15c)