Alexander Megos

By: Derek Vitiello | Last Updated on December 22, 2023

Alexander Megos, or Alex Megos, is a professional climber from Germany who has made climbing news several times for his accomplishments. He started climbing at age six and began training in 2006 in his local mountains under the supervision of Patrick Matros and Ludwig Korb, both of whom still coach Megos to this day.

In 2007, he completed his first 8a (5.13b) and two years later climbed his first 8c. In 2011, he had his first 9a ascent (details below). He has also previously participated in competition climbing and has a bronze (2018) and silver (2019) medal in the World Championships, as well as multiple other titles in both adult and youth competitions.

After 2012, Megos decided to limit competition appearances so he could focus on outdoor climbing, which was more fitting with his passions and desires. However, he did return to competition for the Olympics in 2020 but didn’t perform well and finished in 9th place. In 2021 and 2022, he competed in the IFSC World Cup and Championships but didn’t place.

If you want to keep up with Alex, you can follow him on Instagram, Facebook, his website, and YouTube, as well as podcasts like The Struggle and Jam Crack.

Notable Climbs

In the early years, climbing star Alex Megos had his first 5.13b in 2007, his first 5.14b in 2009 (Drive-By Shooting), and his first 5.14d in 2011 with San Ku Kai in France. He claimed Australia’s first 5.14d The Red Project in August of 2013, and the first 9b in a German-speaking country with Supernova in 2015. In 2017, he passed Adam Ondra‘s high point on Black Diamond’s The Project, which is a set indoor problem in Stockholm, Sweden. Every climbing magazine seemed to be reporting on his achievements and the community was excited to see where he could take his talent.

In 2022, he seemed to be focusing on first ascents with grades 9a+, and claimed Patatas Pantera, Ratstaman Vibrations, Chan Chan Bastards, Pink Patatas, and The Full Journey. Here below are some other notable climbs, listed in order from most recent to past. His climbing style pushes him to send some of the toughest problems and most challenging routes in the world and he has many notable climbs to show for it.

Bibliographie (9b+) – 2020

Right next to Biographie in Ceuse (which Alex climbed in 2014), is Bibliographie, a 9b+ route that was originally suggested to be a 9c. It took Alex sixty days of effort over multiple years, but he claimed the first ascent of the route, which was bolted by Ethan Pringle in 2009. To this day, it’s considered one of the hardest routes in the world.

First 9b (5.15c) – Perfecto Mundo in 2018

Perfecto Mundo (5.15c) is one of the most popular 9b+ routes in the world (route bolted by Chris Sharma). Alex claimed the first ascent, making it his first 9b+ and he became only the third person in the world to tick the grade. Megos confirmed that it took him 15 days but he said on Facebook that it was “an important process in [his] climbing career.

First Round, First Minute (5.15b) – 2015

On New Year’s Eve in 2015, Alex finally clipped the chains of First Round, First Minute after five days of effort on the Chris Sharma route from 2011. It had only been repeated by Adam Ondra, and Megos got the third ascent while on a trip to the Laboratorio sector of Margalef, Spain. His effort was significant because it marked Alex’s hardest ascent to date and his first 5.15b.

First Ascent of New River (5.14c) – Pebble Project in 2015

Only a few days after Superpod (5.14d), Alex put up the Red River Gorge’s first 5.14c with Pebble Project. It’s located on the Brilliant Pebble in Meadow River Gorge and it took him just two tries.

First Ascent of New River Gorge’s First 5.14d – Superpod in 2015

While on a trip to New River Gorge in Kentucky, Alex extended an existing route called Pod (5.13b) to create Superpod (5.14d). This created the Red’s first 5.14d and it took Alex only four tries before he successfully completed the 20+ year old project, which was equipped back in 1992 by Porter Jarrard.

3rd Ascent of Lucid Dreaming (V15) – 2015

In 2015, Alex took the 3rd ascent of Lucid Dreaming (V15), a “next level” boulder problem in Bishop, California. The first ascent was by Paul Robinson in 2010 and Daniel Woods claimed the second, after which they both agreed to settle on V15 instead of the original V16 estimate. On Facebook, Alex wrote: “Feels like a DREAM but it’s not. Finally took down my hardest boulder ever and as well my longest project ever!”

Biographie (5.15a) in a Day – 2014

While Megos claimed the 9th ascent of Biographie (5.15a) in Ceuse, he did take the fastest time to date and completed the route in only three tries, all of which were in a single day. It was first climbed by Chris Sharma but it took him years, and the following ascents required a significant amount of time even though they were from the world’s most elite climbers. Needless to say, Alex’s 3rd-go-ascent shocked the climbing community.

Climbing in Ceuse and Rocklands – 2014

In 2014, Alex Megos was still relatively unknown but was spending some time in well known Ceuse and Rocklands. He unlocked some outrageous beta and threw some huge dynos on the famous Sky (V14), and he also got agonizingly close to established a new 5.15a before breaking a crucial hold. It was during this trip that he claimed the first ascent of Et dieu crea la Flemme (5.14d) and ticked Biographie (5.15a) in a single day (see above).

Action Directe (5.14d) in Two Hours – 2014

The first climber of Action Directe was German climber Wolfgang Güllich in 1991 and it was the first climb in the world to have a consensus 9a (5.14d) grade. Although Alex was the 16th climber, its considered an important and historic route and he completed it in only two hours at the age of 20. Because of the route’s age and limited number of repeats, it goes to show just how difficult it is and how impressive it was that Megos completed it in such a short amount of time.

Alex’s US Trip to Heuco Tanks, On Fire in the US – 2013

In the summer and fall of 2013, Alex spent 121 days on US soil and created quite the impressive ticklist – he climbed more 8a’s than the number of days he was here (135 8a or up compared to 121 days). He wrapped up his four month tour in Hueco Tanks, Texas, where in a single day he sent Flower Power (V10/11), Crown of Aragorn (V13), Power of Landjager (v11), The Full Monty (V12), and Crown Royale (V13).

In addition, he also visited Rumney, New Hampshire where he sent Fly (5.14d) and China Beach (5.14b) second try; Red River Gorge in Kentucky where he flashed Pure Imagination (5.14c)and sent countless others like The Tube (5.14b), Golden Ticket (5.14c), and Southern Smoke (5.14c); Colorado where he flashed Gutless Wonder (5.14b) and spent some time crack climbing; Red Rock, Nevada, where he sent Wet Dream (V12); and Bishop California, where he sent Evilution Direct (V11), The Mandala (V11), and flashed Blood Meridian (V13).

This was an extremely expressive stint of time in America and it really solidified Alex’s place amongst the top climbers of this generation.

Wheel of Life (V15) – 2013

The Wheel of Life (v15) is the ultimate roof problem and to this day it’s only been sent by eleven climbers. Megos completed it in only two days while in the Grampians’ Hollow Mountain Cave, which was the fastest ascent of this problem at that time.

Corona (5.15a) – 2013

Back on his home turf in Germany, Alex claimed the 3rd ascent of Corona (5.15a) at Frankenjura. It was established by Markus Bock back in 2006 and was considered the hardest route in the area next to Classified (5.15a), which was added by Megos himself.

World’s First 9a Onsight – Estado Critico in 2013

At only 19 years old, Megos shocked the climbing community with the world’s first onsight of a 9a (5.14d) with Estado Critico in Siurana, Spain. He snagged the title from Adam Ondra, who was poised to tick the grade first after downgrading his own first 9a onsight to an 8c+ (Golden Ticket). Without getting too much into the specifics of grades and downgrades, this onsight was one of the hardest ever done.

Titles

alexander megos accomplishments

First Ascents: Bibliographie, Perfecto Mundo, Fight Club, Ratstaman Vibrations, The Full Journey, Supernova, and many more.

2017- silver medal /runner up for boulder at European Championships and IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup

2018- bronze medal in lead climbing at the IFSC Lead World Cup, gold medal at Briancon World Cup, bronze medal World Championships in the lead competition

2019- silver medal lead World Championships

2020- Olympics

Resources:

  • DMM
  • Alexander-Megos.de
  • Planet Mountain
  • Climbing.com
  • Climbing-History.org
  • Mountain Project

Cover photo from Alexander-Megos.de

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