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Megos wins La Sportiva Legends
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-11-25 00:00:00    
Klättercentret in Stockholm put together another great show with some unique boulders where Alex Megos was the only one to top out all five problems. Chris Sharma did also make a great competition comeback and he was honored but well behind his "new heroes". Youtube video (c) Vladek Zumr

1. Alex Megos 55
2. Chon Jongwon 44
3. Jerney Kruder 35
Click to Enlarge Picture
OffLine Camper
  2018-11-25 18:19:31    
By a large margin the worst competition setting I've ever seen, it had nothing to do with rock climbing. Too bad we have parkour competitions and purposefully slippery holds everywhere instead of climbing competitions.
OffLine Matthias Weber
  2018-11-25 22:16:52    
Yes, I also think it's sad, that competition bouldering is moving away from rock climbing and bouldering on real rock further and further to visitor-friendly, spectacular parkour boulders.

The guy with the 2nd most hard routs under his belt -ever- couldn't top one single boulder. I think that says everything.

I also think that climbing being an Olympic discipline will enhance this trend.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2018-11-25 22:20:57    
I have seen many comps and I think this was actually less running parkour spectacles. As we are getting closer to the Olympics I am sure this is the concept we will see in the future, beside it is not allowed to do move down wards.
OffLine rai
  2018-11-25 22:36:04    
Fortunately Megos won this ninja warrior comp, demonstrating that he can adapt to this format. On the other side why inviting Sharma to this new school celebration??? I felt a bit bitter for him, or maybe he was tired because of his second baby... But what a strong Megos...!!!
OffLine JBee
  2018-11-25 22:50:08    
Climbing 9b+Outoors and winning a comp like this within a year. This was the Megos supremacy... :)
OffLine Benedikt Jenuwein
  2018-11-25 23:26:33    
there´s a difference between hard sportclimbing and such of a bouldercomp! if you dont train specific for the comp you will have a bad time! (you see it in Kruder, he´s adapted to the easier WC and had troubles with the hard crimps while his movement was way better overall). Sharma is adapted to rock, no shame in that. I think everyone needs to choose what he wants to do, train for it and do it. I want to watch comps like that (there is no other comp with hard, but also manufactured problems), but also WC and hard outdoorascents (boulder and lead) as well!!!
Why not make our sport a little broader so everyone can find his own niche?!

WC is something else, since ppl that are not as strong physical but have great movement/headgame cant make for the absolute best outdoors or at a comp like this one here (but for each strength their own!).
OffLine Opi Brey
  2018-11-26 00:21:31    
even worst than the last year, anD that is really hard.Is so hard to understand that the people like to see hard old school boulders???
The last ultrashit black boulder 'onsight style' <--- oh thanks, everybody were waiting to see that format, and everybody flashed and the awkward sharma face....AMAZING.
Next year please!! DO IT ALL on slabs and put the superfinal in a speed route. THANKS
OffLine Jan V'
  2018-11-26 08:30:44    
I'll chip in with critics. Boulder setting was awful. 3 of 5 boulders were parkour boulders. So why did they bother to invite Chris Sharma, what did they think? He isn't used to parkour boulders, others had clear advantage. I feel sorry for him. They should have set normal boulders at least out of the respect for Chris. This way his participation was needles. I am not saying he would have won, that we will never know, but at least he would stand equal conditions as others. Shame on route setters or whoever wished this parkour style boulders.

@Matthias Weber "The guy with the 2nd most hard routs under his belt -ever- couldn't top one single boulder. I think that says everything." - that says nothing after all. Even if boulders were set normal he might have climb none of them. Problem is we will never know because of the way boulders were set.
OffLine Till Teufel
  2018-11-26 12:10:39    
I totally agree with all the criticism. For me it is also very sad that it already is almost two different diciplines - Competition bouldering and outdoor climbing. Seems like this is what we have to accept.

I really hope, that Chris Sharma did not feel bad during and after the comp. I was so excited to be allowed to watch him compete and I felt very sad for him.
But on the other hand, the moves that separated the guys who could top out and the guys who could not were actually mainly oldschool moves, weren't they?
For example on the first boulder, everybody could do the double-dyno but than many failed at the long lock-off and the crimp. Or at the (was it the second boulder?) where they jumped from the starting hold into the roof, everybody could do the jump but than failed at the moves further up that were also oldschool climbing sequences.
OffLine Jan V'
  2018-11-26 12:44:52    
@Till Teufel "But on the other hand, the moves that separated the guys who could top out and the guys who could not were actually mainly oldschool moves, weren't they?" That is not entirely true, because for Chris Sharma parkour moves actually were the ones deciding whether he will or won't progress in two of the first three boulders, hence they might have decided whether or not he will top out. In other words - if he did parkour moves, maybe he might have topped (who knows) so for Chris parkour moves definitely did the separation. Anyway even you omit Chris it's still arguable whether or not old school moves were decisive. Not only parkour jumping are "new school" moves.

"For example on the first boulder, everybody could do the double-dyno but than many failed at the long lock-off and the crimp." Chris couldn't do that double dyno. Only one who couldn't do that long lock off was Rei Sugimoto, shortest of competitors, which was clear disadvantage with this move.
OffLine Federico Trespiernas
  2018-11-26 13:14:20    
In my opinion, routesetting was much more interesting than in the WC comps. As noted, the parkour style moves were easy, a mere procedure for all but Sharma (who besides being unaccustomed to them, seemed a bit far from their best fittnes) and what decided the classification was, in fact, crimps and lock-off in flats and pinches. The last boulder, on sight, too easy, but otherwise Thumbs up for the setters. And for Megos, great perfomance!
OffLine Jan V'
  2018-11-26 13:56:02    
@Frederico Trespiernas well problem is Chris Sharma actually was part of the comp, so ignoring him isn't really the right way to deal with that.

I am sure Chris would hardly say that (at least publicly), but as a mere spectator I can.
OffLine nschenks87
  2018-11-26 20:10:09    
I actually don't have a problem with WC style climbing diverging from "real" rock climbing. It's just natural progression, and to me it makes sense that indoor climbing competitions are becoming their own discipline. Trying to emulate outdoor climbing indoors is maybe fun to watch sometimes but also seems rather silly if it isn't for training purposes.

That said, I think for this particular competition, if they want to invite traditional "rock" climbers, who specialize in outdoor climbing, they shouldn't set in the newer style. Of course guys like Jongwon Chon and Jernei Kruder will do fine, but it seems like every year they invite a Sharma or Woods or Webb, guys who don't train for indoor comps.

I think it's nice to have a competition that is more old school, and Legends Only could create this kind of atmosphere if they wanted to. I can't remember what year, but the one with Ondra, Megos, and Webb (where Ondra won) was amazing. Pure physical boulders, a good format in which only the top three advance to the final boulder, and setting that balances the competitors. (Also, I think the red-point style does not work as well for WC-style boulders).
OffLine Jan V'
  2018-11-27 12:44:11    
@nschenks87 "to me it makes sense that indoor climbing competitions are becoming their own discipline." May I ask why? Is there any logical reasoning behind that?

"I actually don't have a problem with WC style climbing diverging from "real" rock climbing. IT'S JUST NATURAL PROGRESSION" this is faulty reasoning I see repeated over and over. Powers of mother nature have nothing to do with style of setting boulders (routes); that is completely human thing. Boulder looks exactly the way route setter decides (and profile/hold maker enables) and that's it. So if route setter decides there'll be parkour boulder, there'll be parkour boulder. If route setter decides there won't be parkour boulder, there won't be parkour boulder. Or do you think orogeny makes boulders, wind and sun etc.?

"Trying to emulate outdoor climbing indoors is maybe fun to watch sometimes but also seems rather silly if it isn't for training purposes." Another faulty reasoning. Why is it silly? Any logical reasoning for that? No.

Problem is some people (mostly people prefering parkour style) make it look the way there is some logic behind the style boulders are set, but there isn't. It's all about personal tastes.
OffLine Thomas Maatz
  2018-11-27 13:18:06    
In my opinion there are more then enough parkour style boulders during the WC-season. I totaly agree with nschenks87 about this one year where adam won. It's by far one of the best things to watch this amazing dudes crushin some hard(physical) boulders. Instead of watching they do some tripple jump stuff.
OffLine Jan V'
  2018-11-27 13:59:14    
Regarding las Sportiva Legends and WC boulders comparison - nobody remembers WC boulders by now, whereas La sportiva boulders are in fresh memory. So there is no point comparing. People only (mostly) remember what happened recently.
OffLine Steve
  2018-11-27 15:52:08    
"nobody remembers WC boulders by now, whereas La sportiva boulders are in fresh memory"

That's not true. Of course, there are way more WC boulders than La Sportiva Legends boulders, but still there are a bunch of nice gems some people remember. Moskwa 2018 for example. Munich 2014 was interesting, too. Vail pretty much always, etc. ...

"IT'S JUST NATURAL PROGRESSION"

I think it actually is. New possibilities, new degrees of freedom ... that gives people the possibility to try out new stuff and they do. I think that's universal. The same way like in music or art in general. Whether it leads to competitions branching into new disciplines or changing the existing ones completely will be seen. Maybe someone was trying out parcour style boulders already 20 years ago and was not being accepted. That's the classic notion of "being ahead of the time". Now the time seems to be here, of course to the liking or disliking of some people. Also, I don't think that route setters have the total authority of setting styles. If someone only sets boulders that people don't like, he/she won't be invited to competitions anymore. In fact, working the way up to becoming a WC setter is pretty hard and can only be successful, if you're able to a) constantly inspire people and b) create good separations between athletes. If you cannot do that, you'll be useless as a setter or just plain boring and will never get to WC level. Having said that, I think that on the other hand route setters are not totally powerless either. Being good at (b) alone is already hard enough and I think not many can do that. And those people who do have in turn the ability to influence (a) to a certain extent.

"The guy with the 2nd most hard routs under his belt -ever- couldn't top one single boulder. I think that says everything." ... "I really hope, that Chris Sharma did not feel bad during and after the comp. I was so excited to be allowed to watch him compete and I felt very sad for him."

Come on, he's not a child. He knew exactly what he was getting himself into and he said himself that he saw it as an experiment. Also, it's not clear if he would have been so much better than the others on a pure old-school boulder. He's for sure not in the same training regimen like the other athletes and age might play a role as well. Also, don't forget that most of his achievements in rock climbing were the result of many years of projecting. I think this is what made him stand out so much in the climbing world: to believe and to try and try and not stopping. But I don't know what his onsight level was compared to other climbers. Besides, I remember seeing other "rock boulderers", like Daniel Woods, participating e.g. in Vail WC a couple of years ago (before parcour started) and not making semis (of course, it's possible that he might have had just a bad day). Plastic and rock or projecting and (essentially) onsighting are just two different things and being good at one does not automatically mean you're good at the other, too.
OffLine hanez
  2018-11-27 16:48:07    
@Steve:
"Maybe someone was trying out parcour style boulders already 20 years ago and was not being accepted".

Stone Monkey. Johnny Dawes. 1986.
OffLine Sebastian K. Müller
  2018-11-27 18:01:43    
So next La Sportiva legends line-up:
Johnny Dawes vs.
Alex Honnold
Alex Huber
Ben Moon
Reinhold Messner
...
true legends competing on parkour style boulders!:-D

Still, Megos kind of earned the victory with problem #2, which seemed the most rock-climbing-like boulder problem. And on problem #4 he was superior as well, but bouldering on straight rectangular features is kind of strange also. And I definitely would like to speak up against dual-textured holds in general: this just introduces an arbitrary complication that does not really exist as such in rock - you can have higher or weaker friction, but not friction and no friction just next to each other.
OffLine Jason Crank
  2018-11-27 18:48:26    
Sebastian - This sounds like a fun game (like 'Presidential Knife Fight'). We should start a thread....

Pick 6-8 climbers to compete against eachother, assuming time travel and they could all be in their respective prime.

I'm thinking, for me: Steven Jeffery, Sean McColl, Jason Kehl, Vasya Vorotnikov, Killian Fishuber, Malcolm Smith, Jan Hojer, and Dmitiri Sharifutinov.
OffLine Zach Galla
  2018-11-30 14:03:23    
The coordination style of boulders is almost necessary in today's competition climbing because everyone is so physically strong. New and unique movements are what form the separation in the results. A straight forward crimp ladder would most likely cause all the climbers to have a similar score. Also, as climbing creeps into the public eye, the difficulty and complexity of this style is far easier to understand to someone who dose not climb, which will help take the sport to the next level.
OffLine Hans Markus Rød
  2018-11-30 23:20:12    
Are you being serious? By that logic you are implying that the best climbers of today have reached the limit of physiological capacity. Strength is not a decisive variable because everyone at the top of the game are equally strong?? I don't believe that for a second. For starters, how about making the holds nastier and the moves longer?
OffLine Camper
  2018-12-01 13:22:28    
I disagree completely with Zach Galla. Morpho / overly long moves aside, we typically see the best, strongest climbers give the most impressive performances on the most powerful boulders, and you can readily separate the field with crimping, slopers, compression, flexibility, dynos, technical trickery, etc. When everything is multiple dyno coordination moves and dual texture volumes, is when it gets boring for me.
OffLine Jon Megent
  2018-12-01 14:51:44    
Zach speaks from experience. At age 18 he's already one of the top several competition boulderers in the US, with his best days still well ahead of him.
OffLine Hans Markus Rød
  2018-12-01 18:13:09    
How very good for him. However, it doesn't detract from the fact that there are still significant differences in levels of strength among the competing athletes.
OffLine Jon Megent
  2018-12-02 03:00:09    
Hans, and in fact the strongest climber (maybe in the world) won this comp. He's not very good at Parkour, which is a style he doesn't like. He's not even a bouldering specialist: he's never won a WC boulder event, and in WC boulder events this year never made semis, much less finals. Yet he came out on top in Legends. On top of that, the second strongest climber came in second.

So it looks like the setting actually favored the strong guys.
OffLine Jan V'
  2018-12-03 11:38:18    
@Zach Galla Again and again I see people defending "new style" boulder setting repeat this "straight forward crimp ladder" mantra, which is faulty reasoning, because nobody defending "old school" outside-like boulder setting is talking about straight forward crimp ladders actually; because old school boulders never were only about straight forward crimp ladders, right? Even bouldering outside on the rocks is far from being straight forward crimp ladder, not everybody is able to climb 9A or 8C+ outside...if it was only up to physical strength and everyone was so strong physically as you say we would most likely have more climbers climbing 8C+ or 9A, right?

Repeatedly this and past season bouldering World cup I've observed physically weaker climbers not being able to do physically harder boulders yet being able to do coordination boulders. Mostly same athletes so I guess it wasn't just by an accident. In some competition's this year difference was actually made by physically hard boulders to the same or greater extent as parkour/coordionation boulders. This and that above proves you wrong Zach, with all respect to your bouldering which is great undoubtedly. Peace.
OffLine Jan V'
  2018-12-03 17:20:03    
@Jon Megent seems you don't know what you want to reason for. Firstly you say Zach is right about coordination moves being necessary. Later you reason strongest guy won some competition, but that would actually mean difference can still be made by strength so that doesn't prove Zach's point; actually on the contrary.

Anyway...

"...strongest climber (maybe in the world) won this comp" - this is kinda problematic statement. Fact he won La Sportiva legends only doesn't make him strongest climber in the world and (possibly) being strongest climber doesn't make him win La Sportiva Legends winner. It can be that those four decisive boulders just suited him better then others or he was luckier than others, right? Often we see competitions being won by different athletes because set of boulders suits them better than other competitors. And there are other factors, for example I guess Jernej Kruder wasn't preparing for this competition very much, he was climbing outside before which isn't good for strength.

"He's not very good at Parkour" - this time Alex had no problem with parkour or coordination moves so to say he isn't very good at them is kinda pointless.

"He's not even a bouldering specialist" - Most of the competing guys there aren't boulder specialists these days. Anyway most importantly not being bouldering specialist doesn't prove one strongest when he/she wins bouldering competition, that's faulty reasoning.

"On top of that, the second strongest climber came in second." It's same as with Alex Megos. Boulders just suited Chon better than others, or he was luckier that day, in bouldering sometimes you just need luck. This year usually Rubtsov, Sugimoto and Kruder were stronger than Chon. Regarding Sugimoto I'd say he was disadvataged by being shortest as some boulders seemed heavily heigth dependent.

There isn't only one kind of stregnth.