Alex Megos has climbed Estado Critico at Siurana, Spain, on his first try, making what is possibly the world’s first 5.14d onsight. Megos has been on an amazing road trip, having pillaged the U.S. earlier this year with a four month blitz that left him with impressive ascents, such as a flash of Pure Imagination (5.14c) in the Red River Gorge (fifth in the world to flash this grade), and a rare repeat of The Fly (5.14d) in Rumney, New Hampshire. In total Megos, climbed over 100 routes graded 5.13b or harder during his time in the U.S.
Hailing from Erlangen, Germany, the 19-year-old Megos thrives on outdoor climbing and surprisingly does not keep an 8a.nu scorecard. “I don’t think it’s necessary, ” Megos told Rock and Ice. “I don’t have the feeling that I have to tell the world what I did every day. It’s a bit like competition. I don’t feel like taking part.”
Though the grade of Estado Critico has been debated, the consensus of the route has now settled at 9a (5.14d), which makes Megos’ onsight the first of the coveted 9a (5.14d) grade. Estado Critico, which sits beside the famous La Rambla (5.15a) at the El Pati sector of Siurana, was first climbed by the Spanish powerhouse Ramon Puigblanque in 2004. Originally graded 9a(5.14d), the difficulty of the 40-meter (131-foot) endurance testpiece was debated after Adam Ondra’s repeat in 2007. Ondra commented on his 8a.nu scorecard after the ascent, “NEVER 9a [5.14d]”. But Ondra’s opinion of the route has apparently changed since a hold has broken on Estado Critico. In a 2010 interview with Czechclimbing.com, Ondra expressed his opinion about the breakage after his subsequent repeat of the route’s direct start, Golpe de Estado (5.15b).
Ondra stated, “Just to clarify a bit. The hold was not a resting jug, but it helped. Before Estado Critico was more of an endurance problem, now there is a definite crux (but for Golpe it is not the crux). Estado Critico is now significantly harder, from 8c+ [5.14c] to 9a [5.14d].”