Alex Megos gets a Fat Lip after trying Mutation
- Thursday 9th June 2016
June 9th; 2016
Alex Megos was back at Raven Tor yesterday to check-out Mutation and get some stills on Hubble - however, things didn't quite go according to plan.
Alex Megos gets a Fat Lip (Font 8b). Photo Keith Sharples
Climbed in 1998, Mutation was Steve McClure’s first F9a. At the time of his ascent he wasn’t certain what the grade was but opted tentatively for F9a. Eighteen years on Mutation remains unrepeated but thats not really for the want of trying. Ryan Pasquill, to name but one Mutation hopeful, has invested considerable time and effort into the second ascent – thus far unsuccessfully. Chris Sharma also had a look a few years back although he concluded; “I could never do this route”. The mystique has – inevitably – grown with each passing year and with it the speculation that Steve’s F9a grade might need to be re-appraised.
Alex collecting his Fat Lip. Photo Keith Sharples
As we commented in our earlier post, an attempt/ascent by Alex Megos during his whistle-stop UK tour was eagerly anticipated. Cometh the day however, connies were - in typical Rave Tor fashion - rather grave; high ambient temps, high humidity and no wind; definitely sub-optimal irrespective of how much power you have under the hood – as it were! Alex did have a ‘look’ but he wasn’t able to make any progress in the conditions.
Steve McClure on Fat Lip yonks ago. Photo Keith Sharples
Plan A dead in the water, it was time for Plan B for Alex; Fat Lip sir? Fat Lip (Font 8b), another Steve McClure contribution, starts up Cave Problem (Font 7b+) before traversing leftwards across the lip of the cave to the finish of Keen Roof (Font 8b). Cave Problem itself pre-dates many of the problems in the cave being climbed by Tim Freeman way-back in the mists of time. The bulk of Fat Lip involves using a series of pockets/undercuts for the left hand and a series of really poor crimps/slopers for the right hand; neither are exactly the stuff of dreams when the mercury is the wrong side of 20 degs and humidity pushing sauna levels.
Fat Lip has had several ascents in the last few years although there was a time when only 5.10 wearers could make the crucial heel-hook work. In between pulling moves on Hubble for pixs, Alex slowly ground Fat Lip down and then, just as the sun was finally about to hit the lip of the cave, he put the link to bed. Not a bad consolation prize really – especially in those connies!?