The Story of Two Worlds 8C by Alex Megos

Thursday, 24 December

Alex Megos, who has been appointed 8a Climber of the year, has done Dave Graham’s classic The Story of Two Worlds 8C in Cresciano from 2005. The name actually refers to the grading inflation at the time which basically stopped after Graham's statement. "I worked on it for four days I think. Day one and two were to figure out beta and to climb sequences. On day three it rained, so the second half was completely wet. I managed to get through the bottom bit and got close to sending it but fell three moves before the topout. The day after that it was dry again and I did it first try that day after warming up. We left a little after to drive back home again." (c) Alise Zvigule

On Insta he explains that he did not use kneepads and discusses ethics and the importance to also report HOW things are climbed. "There are various videos online from lots of different climbers, all theoretically climbing the same boulder and claiming the same grade- 8C. It seems like the climbing community is not differentiating at all and rarely mentioning HOW things are climbed."

Already in 2002, 8a published Ethics and Practice in Sport Climbing and we have done also presented the "How" in bouldering several times. Chatting with Megos, he also mentions that a proper sit start makes a big difference on The Story. As a matter of a fact, HOW a proper sitstart should be done has been discussed several times on 8a. One dilemma is whether shorter climbers are allowed to use the same starting holds a taller FA reached. As a matter of a fact, Dai Koyamada (165 cm), did the first repeat in 2010 but then did choose to go back in 2012 to do it again as some said he had not started in the same sitting position as Graham (181 cm) had done. Actually, Koyamada did then start laying down and said his variation was 8C+. 8a's take on this is similar to what Megos thinks. You can start anywhere you like, possibly by stacking pads if you are shorter, as long as you express this "HOW" clearly and possibly give your variation a different grade.

We also asked Megos to give further comments in regards the use of kneepads. "I think everyone can climb with kneepads if he wants to. But he should be honest whether or not he thinks it makes it easier. Some people just climb to tick a grade. So even if they find new beta or use a kneepad which makes it easier they still claim to have done a certain grade although it might have been easier. I just hope people can be honest. That's all 😊 Merry Christmas."

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