Hubble | 9a Sport route at Raven Tor

Hubble is a route at Raven Tor in the UK's Peak District. Ben Moon made the first ascent in 1990 suggesting a grade of 8c+, making it the hardest route in the world at the time. It is now considered closer to 9a, making it both the first 8c+ and the first 9a!

The route is unusually bouldery and powerful with the meat of the difficulty being a short section on undercuts at the start of the route that is around 8B/+ as a boulder problem. The top of the route is roughly a 7c sport route so shouldn't present any issues for a climber capable of getting through the bottom, though Ben Moon famously fell off the top the first time he managed to climb through the boulder problem.

Around 2020 a sequence was discovered (and used on several successful ascents) that makes the lower boulder problem slightly easier. So far ascentionists using the new sequence have suggested it doesn't significantly alter the difficulty.


Pics + Vids

Ben Moon
Added at 08:02 on 26 February 2021
Ben Moon
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020
© Moon Collection
Ben Moon
Added at 08:02 on 28 February 2021
Ben Moon
Added at 11:03 on 13 March 2021
John Gaskins
Added at 09:12 on 29 December 2020
Steve McClure
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Alex Megos
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Alex Megos
Added at 08:11 on 03 November 2021
Will Bosi
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Pete Dawson
Added at 17:02 on 06 February 2021
Mathew Wright
View this post on Instagram

Added at 14:10 on 27 October 2021
Buster Martin
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Toby Roberts
View this post on Instagram

Added at 19:10 on 26 October 2021
Toby Roberts
View this post on Instagram

Added at 09:10 on 28 October 2021

Ascents

12 recorded ascents.

Climber Style FA Ascent Date
Ben Moon Lead (Worked) 14 Jun 1990

The first 9a in the world.

While working the route Ben managed to drop the french 7c upper section after climbing the start, much to the horror those watching. However he came back a few days later and finished the job.

Ben originally gave it a grade of E9+ 7b/8c+.

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/3419096724823145

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/464271993638981

https://www.facebook.com/rockarchivist/photos/a.140838060706413/140838637373022

Malcolm Smith Lead (Worked) 01 Jan 1992 (approx)
John Gaskins Lead (Worked) 01 Jan 1994 (approx)
Steve Dunning Lead (Worked) 07 Jul 2003 (approx)
Richard Simpson Lead (Worked) 25 Apr 2005

Rich suggested 8c+.

In the context of his other claims there is doubt around this ascent, however his belayer Dan Tounley has been contacted (by Chris Doyle) and has confirmed the ascent:

Yes, I can confirm Rich done these routes [Liquid Ambar, Hubble] as I belayed him. Makes me laugh that people are doubting him. I tried to log on to U.K Climbing website when I read about the story but unfortunatly my schools sever wouldn't let me (I am in Thailand). Maybe people will stop doubting him now! Maybe he upset someone, I know he can be an arrogant little twat sometimes!!! [1]

Simon Lee has separately been in touch with Dan to confirm the ascent.

[1] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,16602.msg292046.html#msg292046

Steve McClure Lead (Worked) 30 Jul 2009

A real milestone, possibly my biggest achievement in climbing, even bigger perhaps than overshadow. Hubble is special, it's a massive trophy and a world icon with a real history.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2009/08/steve_mcclure_-_hubble_f8c+-48867

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0cq2CZe_40

Alex Megos Lead (Worked) 31 May 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEHebU6RtG0

https://www.facebook.com/AlexanderMegosSportler/photos/a.428895480583768/730615073745139/?type=3

Will Bosi Lead (Worked) 25 Oct 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU_mbM1zdI4

Pete Dawson Lead (Worked) 13 Aug 2019

https://vimeo.com/352458505

Mathew Wright Lead (Worked) 30 Sep 2020

Matt was the first person to successfully use a kneebar on the route, though he commented that he felt it didn't change the grade for him.

I used the knee pad because it’s obvious. When you do the move on it’s own your knee naturally pushes into the roof, so avoiding it is a little silly in my opinion. The knee bar is actually really bad for the right knee, it’s a knee scum as British people would call it! It didn’t take any weight off my arms, it just slows me down when I release the good left hand pinch to give me a little bit more time to stab my fingers into the blind two-finger pocket in the roof. This move is also very bunched for tall people. [2]

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CFxCUI8jHrs/

[2] https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/interviews/mathew-wright-repeats-hubble-ben-moon-masterpiece-raven-tor.html

Buster Martin Lead (Worked) 11 Oct 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_r7yp_itLM

Toby Roberts Lead (Worked) 26 Oct 2021

Third session.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVgFH4PoCoT/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CViuQMuoT-3/