Alex Megos comments his flash of Underground 9a (8c+)

Tuesday, 15 September

Alex Megos, who has qualified to Tokyo 2021, reports on Insta (with 300K followers) that he has flashed Underground 9a (8c+) in Arco. The super steep roof was put up by Manfred Stuffer in 1998 as an 8c+. After the first repeats, it was upgraded to 9a but lately, some have said 8c+ again. It has now been repeated around 30 times. In total, the 27-year-old has done 87 routes 8c+/9a and harder including the world's first 9a onsight, Estado Critico in Siurana.

He got the beta from Cesar Grosso who has done the neighbouring 9a but still not Underground. "Really impressive!!! He did a perfect climb on flash! Before I climbed it bolt-by-bolt showing and brushing the holds and moves... unbelievable. On the first (and hardest) crux, he almost fell... its hard and more than anything, super complex with hooks, jam, gastons, twist to the right, after to the left... hard to understand even on flash. After that, he was in cruise mode. He climbed it perfect. Now I want to go for it again! 💪😃. I felt many times with the anchor in my face so I was feeling psychologically blocked to do it.

The belayer was his trainer Dicki Korb. "Every move locked totally controlled, it felt like I had the harder job, belaying from the humid/ dark cave 😊" "We also asked Alex about his emotions before, during and after the send?
Before I was not sure if I should go for it. I already climbed an 8c that day and I didn't prepare super well for the flash. Cesar said the biggest problem will be to get through the first crux out of three so I put my focus on that one. Once I passed that crux there were two more to go and with every move, I gained confidence. The second and third crux was a bit weird and with bad feet so I just tried to control the moves as much as possible. After topping I was very relieved that it worked out and that it was good saving the route for some time and not trying it on a previous trip. I'm very grateful for the perfect beta Cesar gave me. It wouldn't have been possible without him.

Also I think that 9a seems a bit over the top. 8c+/9a is more appropriate but it could as well only be 8c+. It's always hard to say if you only tried once.

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