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.

A kneebar on the crux undercut match move was first discovered around 2014 which apparently makes this move slightly easier. It was first successfully used by Mathew Wright on his ascent in 2020. This method has now been used on several successful ascents. So far, ascentionists using the kneebar method have suggested it doesn't significantly alter the overall difficulty with leg length being a crucial factor.

Pics + Vids

Ben Moon
Added at 08:02 on 26 February 2021
Ben Moon
Added at 08:02 on 28 February 2021
Ben Moon
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020
© Moon Collection
John Gaskins
Added at 09:12 on 29 December 2020
Steve McClure
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Alex Megos
Added at 08:11 on 03 November 2021
Alex Megos
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
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 09:10 on 28 October 2021
Toby Roberts
View this post on Instagram

Added at 19:10 on 26 October 2021


13 recorded ascents.

Climber Style FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Ben Moon Lead (Worked) 14th June 1990 8c+

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+.

Malcolm Smith Lead (Worked) 1992
John Gaskins Lead (Worked) 1994
Steve Dunning Lead (Worked) July 2003


[1] On The Edge Issue 131, page 71

Richard Simpson Lead (Worked) 25th April 2005 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.


Steve McClure Lead (Worked) 30th July 2009 8c+ (hard)

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.

Alex Megos Lead (Worked) 31st May 2016 8c+

Will Bosi Lead (Worked) 25th October 2016 9a

Pete Dawson Lead (Worked) 13th August 2019 9a

Mathew Wright Lead (Worked) 30th September 2020 9a

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]



Buster Martin Lead (Worked) 11th October 2020 9a (soft)

Toby Roberts Lead (Worked) 26th October 2021 9a

Third session.

Adam Ondra Lead (Did not finish) 9a