The Megg 8C+ FA by Gabe Lawson

25 January 2023

Gabe Lawson, who previously had 8B+ as a PB, has done the FA of The Megg 8C+ in Squamish. "I called it The Megg, because it's very similar to a classic Chris Sharma 8a here called . It climbs with a very similar opening sequence but is much taller and harder. At the time, The Egg represented the next step in difficulty for Squamish." (c) Jacob Hoffman

Could you tell us about your climbing background and the hardest climbs you have done prior to this?
I started climbing in 2008 when I was 14, and since then I've mostly climbed outside. I took several years off due to some knee injuries, and for the past 2 years, I've been back in Squamish focusing on completing as many inspiring or undone climbs as I can. In April 2021, I did the third ascent of , by Tim Clifford, via his original start. Until now, that is by far the hardest boulder I've done. I climbed a handful of 5.14 First Ascents in 2022, most notably Tim's Sloper Problem 5.14b (8c), which was originally bolted by Tim Emmett, and Young King Dave 5.14c (8c+) bolted by Scott Milton in Paradise Valley.

Could you describe The Megg and how you projected it?
The Megg was a project for more than 20 years. It was tried briefly by visiting professionals like Nalle, Drew and Keenan, along with many locals. It took me 16 sessions spread across 10 months. At first, I wasn't sure if it was possible, and I spent months trying to find a sequence that could work. I generally don't climb indoors, so I didn't make a simulator. I mostly stretched and focused on weights and mobility training, and a very specific ketogenic diet. The Megg is around 16 moves, the first 4 being the hardest. My best guess would be that it's a V14 into a V12 vert section with no separation.

Could you say something more about the grade?
It's a very difficult boulder to grade because of the subtlety of the slopers, and the dependence on body position. No one has proposed a grade for it, until now, because nobody has been able to do all the moves. Drew Ruana suggested V16 could be fair, and given the number of V15+ climbers who could not link any moves, I think that it represents a significant step up in difficulty compared to any existing boulders in Squamish.

What 's next for you?
I'll spend one more year in Squamish in order to try and finish the remaining undone boulders, The Prow Wall - a 5.14a (8b+) multipitch by Sonnie Trotter, and a couple 15a (9a+) projects that are already bolted. There is a sit start to Room Service, which could be 9A, I believe this is the only project here harder than The Megg, so far.

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