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Bibliographie is a real modern climbing phenomenon, encompassing 35 meters of hard climbing that extends beyond physical challenges. This route tells the story of the world’s best climbers, the hardest routes, and a mini-drama of its own. In these 35 meters, you will find not only amazing moves, but also a tale of imagination, vision, downgrading, and more.


Sport Route






35m (115ft)

First Ascent

Alex Megos

Date of FA



Ascent Log

ClimberSuggested GradeDateNotes
Alex Megos9b+/5.15c5th Aug 2020FA. First suggested 9c, but was later downgraded. Video
Stefano Ghisolfi9b+/5.15c25th Aug 2021Downgraded Alex’s 9c to a 9b+. Video
Sean Bailey9b+/5.15c25th Sep 2021UKC Article
Seb Bouin9b+/5.15c4th June 2023Climbing Magazine
Jorge Diaz-Rullo9b+/5.15c16th Oct 2023Gripped Magazine and Instagram Post

Climb Profile

Bibliographie is a true masterpiece located in the epicenter cliff of historical lines in Ceuse, France. This route lies next to Chris Sharma’s legendary 9a+ Biographie, which has significant importance in climbing history by itself.

The story of Bibliographie is an excellent example of modern outdoor climbing. Since it was bolted by the American Ethan Pringle back in 2011, it took Alex Megos 9 years to achieve the first ascent in 2020, leading to some repeated ascent, and, of course, a subsequent downgrading controversy.

For every climbing enthusiast, this is a route to follow, you can be quite certain it will continue influencing the climbing world. In fact, Bibliographie’s history is still being written…

The Route

The cliff of Ceuse in France is a legendary wall. It’s famous for its prime location, amazing aesthetics, 50-minute hike, incredible pockets, superb quality limestone, steep lines, and is home to some of the world’s most historical climbs.

The line was first bolted by the American climber, Ethan Pringle, who gave it a quick look and tried it once on lead, just to check, or in his own words“Honestly, after I bolted it, I thought it would never get climbed, except maybe by someone of Alex or Adam’s calibre. When I heard a few years ago that Alex had already put something like 30 days into it, I was like, “wait, what!?” I was so happy”. Just to get your head straight, Pringle has climbed 9b, so yes – Bibliographie is that hard. Actually, the name of it also reflects a bit on its difficulty – it’s like “Biographie”, the mega-line, historical 9a+ (FA by Chris Sharma), but harder.


The climbing style in Ceuse is unique and remains relevant in this line as well. It’s 35 meters of steep pockets and crimps, but it’s more complicated than that. You will find a boulder-style crux just in the middle of it, after climbing 8c to get into the crux itself. The crux, aka the boulder problem of the route, when isolated, can be graded an V13/8B boulder by itself. Once you’ve managed to climb the boulder problem from the ground, you have to climb 25 moves to get to the anchors, through some hard-sport climbing sections (around 8c/+), fighting the pump along the way, and being as efficient as you can. It’s a power endurance masterpiece.

First Ascent

5th Aug 2020: Alex Megos

The story of the first ascent of this line is one to remember. One that will remain in the history books of the sport for a long time, and one that created a grading controversy – among every climber around the world. From the elite ones to the most beginner climbers.

Megos fighting his way up Bibliographie ©ken_etzel

Alex Megos started trying the route in 2017, working the moves, figuring out the beta and more. In those three years, he has traveled more than a few times to Ceuse while climbing and sending the world’s hardest routes. With Bibliographie, it took Megos around 60 days of work to eventually send it.

And that’s why it’s so famous.

Megos checked a few possible betas for the crux as well as the top of the route. He trained specifically for the moves and the route, experienced both bad and good conditions, failure, struggle, before eventually, sending it. Why is that unique? Because Megos is one of those types of climbers we rarely ever see struggling for too long, or for that long. And no, it’s not because he’s not climbing hard. He has ticked other 9b+’s, 9b’s, and some really hard boulder problems. Megos’ sends are almost always quick and inspiring. 

After those 60 days of trying the project, on August 2020, he finally did it, proposing the world’s second 9c at the time – because it felt harder than anything else he has done before.

Second Ascent

25th Aug: 2021

Not too long afterward, the send train arrived. Stefano Ghisolfi made the first repeat of Bibliographie. Ghisolfi downgraded the route to 9b+, which started the grade proposal controversy around the world. 

Ghisolfi explained after finding a new beta (thanks to Megos), and getting as much info as he could from Alex’s ascent, it felt like a 9b+ more than a 9c:

“This doesn’t mean I want to belittle the performance of anyone, neither Alex’s or mine, it is still an incredible achievement (especially the first ascent that includes many more hard mental and physical aspects) but I just wanted to be honest about what I felt during the whole process on Bibliographie, and this is just my opinion, hopefully we will listen [others] soon. I would have been happy to be the third person to have climbed 9c (5.15d), but in my heart I know I’m not (yet).”

Megos agreed quickly – realizing grading a route from a first-ascensionist point of view is a different game, as posted on his Instagram account and thanking Ghisolfi.

Stefano powering through the crux ©mtnz.adri

Third Ascent

25th Sep 2021: Sean Bailey

After not qualifying for the Olympics, Sean Bailey went on an outdoor climbing frenzy, bagging ascent after ascent of both boulders and sport routes.

Sean made the third ascent of Bibliographie not long after Stefano. He spent two seasons working on the route, first working on it with Stefano just after Megos made the FA. A year later he came again with a few of his friends, including Miho Nonaka, making the third ascent of Bibliographie.

Sean Bailey graded it a 9b+ too, solidifying the downgrade from a 9c.

Sean Bailey on Bibliographie 9b+
Sean making his way up Bibliographie, marking the 3rd ascent! (he clearly didn’t get the yellow t-shirt memo though) ©BenNeilson

Other Ascents

In a remarkable shift from his signature style, renowned climber Seb Bouin recently made the fourth ascent of Bibliographie on the 4th June 2023. Despite his expertise in long, steep endurance climbs, Bouin faced this route, known for its small holds and shorter length, with its well-established 5.15c grade. The journey wasn’t smooth; Bouin initially attempted the climb in 2021 but wasn’t able to clip the chains. Upon returning a year later, he fell 11 times on the upper boulder after the main crux, a section he admitted to underestimating.


However, Bouin’s persistence paid off, and he ultimately succeeded, adding another accomplishment to his impressive track record. This doesn’t necessarily signal a change in Bouin’s preferred climbing style, though. While he acknowledged the challenge of tackling Bibliographie’s tiny crimps, he expressed his readiness to return to routes that align more with his natural, steep-endurance climbing style.

In more recent news, Jorge Diaz-Rullo made the 5th ascent of this iconic route on the 16th October 2023. He’d dreamed about sending this line for a while, and finally, he made it happen!

The story of the first ascent as well as the following ones is the story of those who are going for the next level of climbing. We are lucky enough to witness the evolution of the sport and its complications. Being a top climber requires fight, courage, and vision. 

Bibliographie is definitely a showcase.

Bibliographie FAQs


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Sam Laird

Quite likely the only idiot currently hauling a 70-meter rope and four pairs of climbing shoes around the world. Sam lives for backpacking, adventure, and of course, climbing. If he's not exploring crags and getting shut down on new projects, you can find him sharing his passion for climbing in publications such as Climbing Shoe Review,, Gear Junkie, and UK Climbing.

Return Of The Sleepwalker

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