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August 2013 - Simon Carter's Onsight Photography

Oz gets grade 35 (9a)

By | Climbing News, Photographs | 5 Comments

In the last few months I’ve done photography trips to South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. Mostly working on a new coffee-table photo book of Australian climbing. I’ll have some pics from those trips soon (yes, I’ve been busy!) but first here is some breaking news…

Yesterday (18th August) 20-year-old German climber Alexander Megos capped off a productive visit to Australia by climbing the long-term open project known as The Red Project at Diamond Fall in the Blue Mountains. It took him three days of effort with at least 20 redpoint attempts. Alex has named the route Retired Extremely Dangerous. After giving it much thought, and comparing the difficulty of the route with other hard routes that he has climbed here in Australia (and of course also around the world), Alex has decided to propose the Australian grade of 35 (9a or 5.14d) for the route. Given Alex’s experience at that level (which includes being the first climber in the world to onsight a 9a graded route) I doubt there’ll be too much dispute of the grade. So this is the first grade 35 route in Australia!

From the guidebook. "The Red Project - open THE line still to go free here. It is route #26, the fully independent line.

From the guidebook. “The Red Project – open. THE line still to go free here”. It is route #26, the fully independent line.

The Red Project was originally bolted by Garth Miller in 1999, and since then has sat there as an open project free for anyone to try. Lee Cossey has spent some time attempting the route over the years and has made good progress on the route. Lee actually encouraged Alex to attempt the route and kindly offered some beta which may have proved useful.

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Alex Megos attempting The Red Project, now known as Retired Extremely Dangerous. Low on the route – one of the first hard moves.

On his first day of attempts Alex worked out all the moves and Read More