TCT, second 9a onsight by Alex Megos

by Björn Pohl - UKC May/2017
This news story has been read 8,549 times

Alex Megos and the crew at Gravere, 114 kbAlex Megos and the crew at Gravere
© Stefano Ghisolfi
More than four years after he became the first ever to onsight 9a, Alex Megos has done it again! This time it was Stefano Ghisolfi's TCT, a route dedicated to Tito Claudio Traversa, at Gravere in Italy. This route was also onsighted by Adam Ondra three years ago.

This wasn't the reason Alex went there to try it though. In fact, he didn't plan to go there at all.

I literally went there by accident. Totally out of plan, but the breakdown of Stefano [Ghisolfi]'s  car got us there...

Well...that's how it goes I guess, I mean your first 9a onsight wasn't exactly planned either, was it? And now you know the formula: just plan something else and then end up on a 9a you didn't plan on trying.
Hahaha, yeah seems to work! And of course: don't let go.

So, what was it like?
I felt really bad warming up. Got pumped on a 6c. Felt weak. Didn't want to try the 9a because of that. Did an 8a for second warm up and still didn't feel good.

Then Claudia Ghisolfi (Stefano's sister) talked me into trying it.

Since there were not many options either. I just thought "Ah whatever. Nothing to lose."

Marcello Bombardi was belaying me.

I climbed the first 8c part quite well, but got quite pumped as well.

Managed to rest a little bit before the last part. An 8m long 45 degree head wall with big moves on incut crimps.

Got the sequence right, and somehow found myself on top. With a few difficulties at the end to clip the anchor because I couldn't find the top jug.

Alex Megos at CWIF 2017, 97 kbAlex Megos at CWIF 2017
© Björn Pohl
Does this mean you're back to top shape?
I'm not back to full shape I think. Still not feeling as strong as before but I'm getting there. And I learned a lot through the injury which made me stronger in other ways. If the body follows now I'll be back on track .

Alex...you just onsighted 9a, and you say you are NOT in shape?
Haha, well I mean I haven't been training at all in the direction of the style of that route.

The route has got like 40 moves with no good hold and I haven't been training endurance at all the past few months.

I was the most surprised of all I think.

So...how do you think it was possible for you do pull it off then?
Good question. It was weird. It felt like I can focus my energy better on one try now?

It sounds weird but after the route I was really, really exhausted.

I still did an 8c and and an 8c+ but I felt really tired

You've become a better fighter?
Maybe I slowly learn to try hard on the point when it's required.

Maybe it was just luck...

Yes, most likely Alex... maybe this injury will turn out to have been the best thing that could have happened to you?
Maybe ;)

Thanks a lot Alex!

This spring Alex has defeated many of the best competition climbers in the World at their own game, and now onsighted 9a again. I wonder what's going to happen when he's back to some kind of decent shape.

Alex Megos is sponsored by: Café Kraft, DMM, Entre-Prises, Patagonia, Red Bull, Sterling RopeTenaya and Vertical life

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