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Alexander Megos Climbs ‘Red Ram’ 5.15a, Which Stood Unrepeated for a Decade

megos red ramAlexander Megos sends Spain's 'Red Ram' (5.15a) on his third try in 2022; (photo/Esteban Lahoz)
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For nearly 10 years, this Montserrat route from Ramon Julian became famous for its difficulty, knocking down every climber who tried it — until now.

Alexander Megos has enjoyed a fruitful month of 5.15 ascents. The German climber made a big splash last week by establishing a new 5.15b in Margalef: “The Full Journey.” Before leaving the famous climbing area, he also sent a 5.15a route named “Gancho Perfecto.”

Then on Tuesday, Megos sent an unrepeated 5.15a — and ended a longstanding debate in the process.

After polishing off Montserrat’s “Red Ram,” Megos confirmed the controversial 5.15a grade assigned to the route almost a decade prior.

He had arrived in Montserrat for a film project for his sponsor, Tenaya. With help from route creator Ramon Julian, Megos sent the line on his third try. That’s despite some initial problems, which included Megos breaking off “a rather important hold,” he wrote on Instagram.

“The beta needed to be adjusted, and I had to dig deep and try hard to be able to get myself up the route on my third try,” Megos wrote. “I did a few things differently than Ramon, but no crazy beta changes.”

Megos: Climbers Should Try Route

“Red Ram” is currently the only 5.15 route in Montserrat, a reliable grade now that Megos has ended its “halo of mystery,” according to Wogu Climbing.

The route had become a legend, according to the climbing magazine’s founder, Ivan Torres. Climbers attempting to repeat it complained about a lack of holds and extremely hard movements. But without a repeat, the route fell into obscurity.

The roughly 60-foot climb begins with a flat section of bad rock. Its primary difficulty involves about 21 feet of tough climbing, including the crux, and then continues with 5.14 moves, Megos said.

Writing for Wogu, Torres described Megos’s send in detail.

“On the third attempt, in which he changed his plaster and checked the condition of his skin, Alex climbed fast, very dynamically, unlike Ramon, who normally climbs more statically,” Torres wrote (auto-translated). “Once the crux was passed, the German caught his breath and climbed safely, although, with just enough strength, he successfully reached the chain.”

Megos hopes climbers will return to the route, which “hasn’t been very popular, probably because with Ramon routes, you never know what you’ll get yourself into,” he said.

The grade of 5.15a (9a/+) “could be right,” he added.

“It was very much my style and also very similar to the Frankenjura, so it’s hard for me to judge,” Megos wrote. “I hope more people will go and try now! The place is stunning, and the routes are great!”

Alex Megos; (photo/filmmaker Ken Etzel)

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