New Alex Megos 5.15b Gets First Repeat by 5.15c Climber
The 35-metre route starts with power endurance pocket pulling and ends with a mono boulder problem
Spanish climber Jorge Díaz-Rullo has made the first repeat of Alex Megos’ The Full Journey 5.15b (9b) in Margalef, Spain. The route is 35-metres of classic overhanging Margalef stone, containing two halves of near equal difficulty separated by a jug rest.
In 2022, Díaz-Rullo sent the first half of the line, The Journey 5.14d/5.15a. Early this month, he sent the second half of the route by climbing Carlota’s Journey 5.15a. It only took him four days of work to put the two halves together and send The Full Journey 5.15b.
“An attempt in which everything was to the limit in which I would say that luck was with me,” he said via Instagram. “It was a real pleasure to be able to climb another line on this amazing wall. Another small step and another training complete. Just another step to my long awaited project.”
Díaz-Rullo used considerably different beta than Megos, leading him to speculate about the grade:
“About the grade, [Megos] proposed 9b. I personally don’t like monos that much so I opted to make a small dynamic move from a very bad crimp and thus dodging that mono in the last hard boulder problem. This beta made the route easier for me, although I think that this boulder has the same difficulty using one method or the other, around 8A-8A+.
“I also used a couple of kneebars which clearly helped me but I don’t think it would change anything difficulty wise, the really hard part is the last crux. In my opinion, this route is easier than it’s neighbor [Café Solo 5.15b], but probably the same difficulty as it’s other variant. So [The Journey in Colombia 5.15a/b] and [The Full Journey] could be the same difficulty, both between [5.15b] and [5.15a/b]. Anyway, a king line!”
Díaz-Rullo is quickly becoming one of the best sport climbers in the world. On February 5, he made the first ascent of his first-ever 5.15c, Mejorando la Samfaina, a link-up of Mejorando Imagen 5.15a/b and Samfaina 5.15a. He has sent nine 5.15b’s or 5.15a/b’s in the past, all of which were in Spain, including El Bon Combat and First Round First Minute—both Chris Sharma first ascents in Catalunya. On February 15, he onsighted two 5.14a’s in a single day.
British climber Tom Bolger originally bolted The Full Journey. He made the first ascent of the first half of the route in April 2022, naming the 18-metre pitch The Journey and grading it 5.14d/15a. The extension, The Full Journey, adds 17 metres of climbing which according to Megos, could be graded 5.14d alone. Megos also tried the route in April 2022 and knew it was going to be a very difficult task to link the two halves.
On Instagram, Megos had this to say about the two distinct sections of the route: “The first part is pure power-endurance on mostly two finger pockets with a hard mono move in the middle. The second part is a boulder with a rather violent dead point move to a mono and a few more hard moves after.”
Megos returned to Margalef in Fall 2022 for a three-week trip. He sent The Journey in early October and nearly a week later he got the first ascent of the entire route, The Full Journey, grading it 5.15b.