Alex Megos; (photo/filmmaker Ken Etzel)
Alex Megos; (photo/filmmaker Ken Etzel)

Alex Megos Claims First Ascent of Chris Sharma’s ‘Rastaman Vibrations’: 5.15b?

It took the German rock jock 9 days’ work to become the first climber to finish a route the legendary Sharma bolted 10 years ago.

Pro climber Alex Megos is proving himself productive this summer, especially in France. Soon after claiming a World Cup medal in Briançon last week, Megos beelined it for Ceuse to work on his most recent project, “Rastaman Vibrations.”

On Sunday, July 31 — just 2 days after his return to Ceuse — Megos cashed in. He celebrated his first ascent of the long-silent route with an Instagram post, in which he hinted at a grade “in the 9b [5.15b] range.”

 

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A post shared by Alexander Megos (@alexandermegos)

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In his post on Instagram, Megos describes the 35m sport climb as “one of those mythical routes.” Though he kept the line on his radar for several years, it always took a back seat to other projects (“Bibliographie,” for instance).

It’s understandable why Megos would hold the route in such high regard. When sport climbing legend Chris Sharma bolted it a decade ago, Megos was but an impressionable teen. And if it was prohibitive enough to spit off Sharma, it must be pretty damn stout.

Megos tied in at the base of “Rastaman” for the first time in 2021. He worked the route for 2 days and reported then that he was able to climb it in three parts on his second day. He next returned to it in early July of this year after competing in the Chamonix World Cup.

After 5 days of refining beta on “Rastaman,” it was time to head to Briançon. There, he would compete, win silver, and then squeeze in some training before hopping back to Ceuse.

“First day back on the route felt really good, and already on the second day of this trip, I had the perfect send-go!” he reported happily.

Why could he bag “Rastaman” in so little time when some of the world’s most proficient sport climbers, including Sharma and Seb Bouin, couldn’t get up it at all? Is it magic? Mutant genetics? A bit of both?

Whatever his secret is, Megos looks bent on keeping it one. True to form, he offered a laidback description of what we can only assume is a beyond-heinous series of boulder problems. “The route is … only about 25 moves until it’s basically over,” he wrote.

We’ll just have to take him at his word.

Megos has yet to release any footage of his send-go on “Rastaman Vibrations,” but this clip of Seb Bouin and Charles Albert working it should give you a good idea of why it went unsent for so long.

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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.