We reached out for Stefano Ghisolfi to have from him some more details regarding the first ascent of Pefercto Mundo 9b+ done by Alexander Megos in Margalef, Spain. Stefano was belaying Alex during the succesful attempt. Chris Sharma also worked on the route during those days. Here what Stefano had to tell to livellozero.net:
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Hi Stefano! We read on your Instagram post that you belayed Alex Megos during his final and decisive attempt on Perfecto Mundo. Can you tell us some more details?
Yes, I was belaying him and, because of this, i think I just earned my 9b+ belayer license! That day I had decided to go to the crag early in the morning, because in the same afternoon I had the return flight to Italy. So I went there a bit earlier than usual in order to have some more time for warming up properly and for making the last few attempts on the route. Alex showed up after a while and warmed up, as he usually does, using a portable hangbard which he hangs on the wall. I am an old-fashioned type of a climber instead and I still need to climb a few easier routes to warm up properly before attempts. 🙂
After the hangboard session Alex completed the warmup by rehearsing a few sequences directly on the route. I lowered him down and went off for my attempt but I fell, as many times before, on the crux move from the right mono to the left-side pinch.
Then it was Alex’s turn and he basically made the route at the first serious attempt of the day. He cruised the lower part effortlessly, was very solid on the crux (not even lost his feet as it usually happens on the deadpoint dyno), then took a good rest and still nearly fell on one of the upper moves. When I lowered him down he told me that he barely hung in there, a millimiter less of skin on that hold and things would have gone differently. It took him a good 10 minutes for climbing the final leaning slab, the easier part of the route, which is usually done in less than one minute. He told me that he was somewhat nervous to blow everything up in those final meters below the anchor so he was extremely careful while climbing that section. He made such a loud scream of relief when he clipped the anchor and I was really happy for him. It was so inspiring and emotional to share that moment with him during the succesful attempt. The same thing already happened, the other way around, when he belayed me during my free ascent of First Round First Minute, always in Margalef.
We learn from Instagram that you guys tried the route along with Chris Sharma …
Yes, that’s true, even if Chris wasn’t there that day. We tried the route with him a few days earlier that week. Also I had naively thought that, being now Chris a family man and being extremely busy with the gym, he could possibly be more interested in just rehearsing some moves or making links on the route. But instead, since day one, he surprised both of us because he was basically the first to stick the dyno and reach the anchor by starting off from the lower rest point. I don’t think he is training much these days but he is still incredibly strong. In particular on the mono-to-the-pinch dyno he has always made the most succesful attempts among us three. Both me and Alex had the impression that with a little more of core strenght and motivation Chris will be able to send the route soon. Seeing him climb on it was really impressive.
Chris Sharma – Perfecto Mundo. Ph. Credits @ken_etzel
How are you progressing on the route?
Until now I have made attempts for a total of nearly 20 days. One week during this last winter, but it was really too cold so I moved to Siurana for trying La Capella, plus two more weeks during this last trip. Perfecto Mundo shares the first part with the nearby Gancho Perfecto (9a+) up to a semi-decent rest. Up to there it is probably 8c/8c+. What it’s still missing for me is “only” the optimization of the moves on the first part of the route. I am still unable to climb up to the rest point without wasting too much energy, so that I can recover completely. Incidentally I can execute the single crux move very well. Starting from the ground I can now now climb up to the crux, where I fall. Instead, if I start from hanging position at the Gancho Perfecto rest point then I can climb though the crux without falling and finish the route up to the anchor. My major task now is to figure out how I can execute the first moves with less effort so that I can recover completely before starting the crux sequence. If I can manage that, then I think I have a chance to send the route, I hope! (laughs).
Stefano Ghisolfi – Perfecto Mundo. Ph. Credits @ken_etzel
Everybody was impressed by the speed with which Alex completed the First Ascent of this route bolted by Chris Sharma already 9 years ago. Something not very common for a route of such difficulty.
Alex tried the route for a total of 15 climbing days and I have the impression that this is the 9b+ route which took less for being free climbed. I don’t know for how long Sharma and Ondra have been trying La Dura Dura but I think it has been more than 15 days. Also it took more for Adam to make the FA of Change in Flathanger Cave. Moreover the 9b+ routes are still not very many, so it is very difficult to actually establish some valid parameters at this level of climbing. After the ascent Chris said that it’s about time for Alex to find a really hard project to work on. I couldn’t agree more … 🙂
Alex Megos Instagram: @alexandermegos
Stefano Ghisolfi Instagram: @steghiso
Chris Sharma Instagram: @chris_sharma