The German climbing pro Alexander Megos causes a stir with another extreme first ascent in the climbing Mecca Ceüse: Ratstaman Vibrations. Drilled in 2012 by Chris Sharma in the Face de Rat sector, the line has been attempted by numerous top climbers and traded as a potential 9c. Megos keeps a low profile in terms of difficulty and speaks of one of the best routes in the 9b range.

The bronze medal at the IFSC Worldcup in Briançon seems Alex Megos' having boosted confidence. Shortly after the Lead World Cup, he managed the first ascent of what is probably the most famous rock in France Chris Sharma established route Rattaman Vibrations. The extremely powerful line in the Face du Rat sector - hence the name of the route - had mercilessly crushed all aspirants for over a decade.

Joining forces: 2020 Seb Bouin and Charles Albert Ratstaman project Vibrations

Ratstaman Vibrations - success in stages

Already in 2014 on his first visit to Ceuse Alex Megos took a look at Chris Sharma's ominous project. But he never decided to really try. «From 2017 I was with them for a few seasons Bibliography employed." So it happened that he didn’t get back into the project until 2021. With success: "On my second day I managed to climb the route in three stages," says the 28-year-old. Until three weeks ago, however, he had not returned to the Face du Rat sector.

podium men's lead world cup briancon
Shortly after his successful performance in Briançon, Alex Megos returns to Ceüse and is the first to climb through Ratstaman Vibrations. Image: Lena Drapella/IFSC

Right after the World Cup in Chamonix traveled with Alex Megos Christoph and Chiara Hanke as well as Jan Virt straight to Ceüse to climb Ratstaman Vibrations. After five days of hard work, he came very close to success, but couldn't put the final sequences together.

«The first day on the route felt really good and on the second day of the trip I had the perfect send-go.»

Alex Megos

The World Cup in Briançon proved to be a welcome change. After that, it all happened in quick succession: "The first day on the route felt really good," enthuses Alex Megos, "and on the second day of the trip I had the perfect send-go."

Difficulty? Best line in the 9b range so far

As far as the evaluation of his recent first ascent is concerned, Alex Megos is keeping a low profile. In view of the developments in bibliography, it is understandable that he does not want to lean out of the window again. According to Megos, Ratstaman Vibrations is one of these mystical routes for him. Drilled by Chris Sharma on one of the best crags in the world, attempted by some strong climbers but unclimbed for many years. «Certainly one of the best routes I have ever done or tried in the 9b area.»

«Ratstaman Vibrations is definitely one of the best routes I have ever done or tried in the 9b area.»

Alex Megos

The fact that Ratstaman Vibrations has been helping top climbers like Seb Bouin, Charles Albert, Lucy Martinez or Chris Sharma fended off, suggests that it is at least a hard 9b. It remains exciting to learn the assessment of the first repeaters. Stefano Ghisolfi has already expressed great interest in the comment columns: "Fantastic route, fantastic performance. I look forward to being back and redoing the line soon. Congratulation!"

Chris Sharma projects Ratstaman Vibrations

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Credits: Cover picture Jan Virt