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Alex Megos Flashes First Flight 5.14c at Acephale

Everywhere Alex Megos goes, he pushes the bar higher for local climbers. On Aug. 4, he flashed Josh Muller’s First Flight 5.14c at Acephale.

Muller made the first ascent in 2014, a few years after Lev Pinter bolted it, and said this after his send,

“I took this project on this summer hoping for a mega project but after a couple of very critical breaks I was forced to climb into it from the existing route to the left, Prime Time 5.14c. First Flight proved to be much more difficult than initially expected. I found myself maxing out on almost all of the moves.”

In 2015, Calgary crusher Zak McGurk made the second ascent. Megos likely made the third and sent it on his first go. He had previously sent Prime Time 5.14c, so his ascent does not count as an onsight.

He wrote the following after, “Did one of the last remaining hard routes here at Acephale First Flight 5.14c (8c+) on my first try. I knew the bottom of it from another climb but the upper two thirds were new. Super cool route. As well did the slabby 5.14a (8b+) called Ojas.

“If anybody ever onsights that thing, that’s at least as impressive as flashing 9a.” Megos has been in Canada for eight days and has climbed for seven and trained for one. Today (Aug. 5) he is working on a project at Raven’s Crag that he said will be 5.15.

While Megos continues his rampage, I'm reminded of how much I just LOVE this sport. On his first day in town I showed Alex what I thought would be a beautiful new route, he managed the FA of this "prow like' feature on only his second attempt, calling it "hard" 5.14b. But that's only HALF the story. As I went up searching for a perfect anchor placement with the drill in hand I realized there were more holds above and with each new bolt I placed overhead, I was hoping for a miracle jug, a logical finish to the impressively difficult line. 9 or 10 bolts later I came to the final hold on the wall, and luckily it was good enough for clipping the anchors. The experience brought me back to when I bolted Dreamcatcher with @chris_sharma in 2005. I recall feeling the holds and thinking "ya, this will go, but it'll be hard" ha ha. 11 years later, I felt the same inspiration up on the Prow as I tightened each hanger to the wall. "Yup, this will go. But it'll be hard" I called down to Alex. Indeed it was. Just how hard remains to be seen, but it was an honour and an exciting time to be up there, visualizing the improbable sequences and opening up new terrain for others to enjoy. I get a LOT of joy out of that myself, and I think I always will. @alexandermegos

A photo posted by @sonnietrotter on