Alexander Megos flashes Underground 9a at Arco
Yesterday at Massone in Arco German rock climber Alex Megos managed to flash Underground, Italy’s historic 9a established by Manfred Stuffer in 1998.
So there you have it. The route which some time ago was the hardest in Italy, the line that fuelled the dreams of at least two generations of climbers and which all the world’s best have at least given a go, has been pulverised by the man on the moment, Alexander Megos.
Relying on the beta given to him by Cesar Grosso, the German sent the historic Underground in the cool underbelly of Massone at Arco in a brace of shakes, claiming the hardest flash in Italy to date. Initially graded 8c+, over time the route has been upgraded slightly. After his ascent in 2000, Japan’s Yuji Hirayama suggested 8c+/9a, while in 2002 the ace climbers Tomas Mrazek and Christian Bindhammer both suggested 9a
Megos is on fire - last month he established the world’s second 9c sport climb, Bibliographie at Céüse in France, only to make the swift second ascent of the 9a+/b L'étrange Ivresse des Lenteurs a few days later - and obviously the 27-year-old is no newcomer to feats of this sort; in 2013 at Siurana in Spain for instance he became the first person in the world to onsight 9a.
Megos’ flash yesterday proves once again just how far climbing has progressed in the last few decades. Underground was first ascended by Manfred Stuffer in 1998. Megos at the time was a mere five years old.
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I did many trips to Arco but I was always saving this one for a potential flash try. I thought maybe I would feel ready one day. Turns out sometimes you just have to go for it! After doing "Claudio Caffè" second try this morning I thought I might as well just go for Underground today. Big thank you to @cesar_grosso for giving me perfect beta and showing me all the moves and to @dickikorb for standing in that hole to belay us. Here the last crux of the route on camera. Unfortunately we didn't film the whole send... @patagonia_climb @redbullgermany @goretexeu @tenayaclimbing @cafekraft_nuernberg @dmm_wales @sterlingrope @frictionlabs @fazabrushes #stylefirst #carrotsforpower