Ben Moon


Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Date of birth: 13th June 1966
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B+
Hardest Boulder (Flash): 8A
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 8a
Hardest Sport (Flash): 8a
Notable Partnerships
Jerry Moffatt
Malcolm Smith
Social Media

Ben pushed the cutting edge of sport climbing in the 1980s and 1990s as well as establishing hard boulder problems in the early 2000s. He made many notable ascents in the UK including Statement of Youth at Lower Pen Trwyn, one of the earliest examples of a pure sport route in the UK (previously many routes were climbed in a sport style but relied on old aid gear. Ben equipped Statement with bolts specifically to free climb it).

1980s

Ben established or repeated many of the hardest sport routes in the world at the time, most notably in the UK and the France. Agincourt at Buoux, first climbed by Ben in 1989, was one of the hardest lines in the world at the time and still has a fierce reputation featuring extremely hard moves on tiny pockets.

1990s

in 1990 Ben established Hubble at Raven Tor, at the time the first 8c+ in the world but now considered to be 9a.

Around 1995 he put considerable effort in to what would become Northern Lights at Kilnsey but despite an extended campaign couldn't get it done. This marked a bit of a turning point where he started to focus more on bouldering.

2000s

In 2005 he established Voyager an 8B boulder in the Peak DIstrict, then almost exactly a year later Ben succeeded in climbing the low start Voyager SDS to give the peak district one of it's hardest problems to date and an enduring testpiece that took 9 years before seeing a second ascent.

Ben continues to climb hard. In 2015 he climbed Rainshadow for his second 9a, 25 years after making the first ascent of Hubble.

References

[1] Interview with Simon Lee, September 2013 https://vimeo.com/75374593

[2] Training in the cellar with Jerry Moffatt, 1989 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LceV005nte0

[3] The Real Thing

[4] Stone Love, 2001 film by Ben Pritchard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FguueX9jM78

[5] 80's Birth of Extreme by Al Hughes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkj3Buhfi2k

[6] Statement of Youth, 2019 Film by UKClimbing and Nick Brown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeqI9axxrco.

[7] https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/942618999137609

[8] https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/876401569092686

[9] One Summer by Ben Pritchard, 1994 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnGf69g6Igc

[10] A Sport Climbing Pioneer: The Story Of Ben Moon, Interview with Matt Groom, 2023 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfyU4KHvioM

Contributors: remus

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Date of birth: 13th June 1966
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B+
Hardest Boulder (Flash): 8A
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 8a
Hardest Sport (Flash): 8a
Notable Partnerships
Jerry Moffatt
Malcolm Smith
Social Media

Ben pushed the cutting edge of sport climbing in the 1980s and 1990s as well as establishing hard boulder problems in the early 2000s. He made many notable ascents in the UK including Statement of Youth at Lower Pen Trwyn, one of the earliest examples of a pure sport route in the UK (previously many routes were climbed in a sport style but relied on old aid gear. Ben equipped Statement with bolts specifically to free climb it).

1980s

Ben established or repeated many of the hardest sport routes in the world at the time, most notably in the UK and the France. Agincourt at Buoux, first climbed by Ben in 1989, was one of the hardest lines in the world at the time and still has a fierce reputation featuring extremely hard moves on tiny pockets.

1990s

in 1990 Ben established Hubble at Raven Tor, at the time the first 8c+ in the world but now considered to be 9a.

Around 1995 he put considerable effort in to what would become Northern Lights at Kilnsey but despite an extended campaign couldn't get it done. This marked a bit of a turning point where he started to focus more on bouldering.

2000s

In 2005 he established Voyager an 8B boulder in the Peak DIstrict, then almost exactly a year later Ben succeeded in climbing the low start Voyager SDS to give the peak district one of it's hardest problems to date and an enduring testpiece that took 9 years before seeing a second ascent.

Ben continues to climb hard. In 2015 he climbed Rainshadow for his second 9a, 25 years after making the first ascent of Hubble.

References

[1] Interview with Simon Lee, September 2013 https://vimeo.com/75374593

[2] Training in the cellar with Jerry Moffatt, 1989 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LceV005nte0

[3] The Real Thing

[4] Stone Love, 2001 film by Ben Pritchard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FguueX9jM78

[5] 80's Birth of Extreme by Al Hughes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkj3Buhfi2k

[6] Statement of Youth, 2019 Film by UKClimbing and Nick Brown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeqI9axxrco.

[7] https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/942618999137609

[8] https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/876401569092686

[9] One Summer by Ben Pritchard, 1994 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnGf69g6Igc

[10] A Sport Climbing Pioneer: The Story Of Ben Moon, Interview with Matt Groom, 2023 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfyU4KHvioM

Contributors: remus

Lists


Podcasts


Pics + Vids

Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Added at 09:02 on 07 February 2021
Added at 18:10 on 06 October 2023
Added at 16:01 on 13 January 2021
Added at 17:01 on 13 January 2021
Added at 17:01 on 13 January 2021
Added at 16:01 on 19 January 2021
Added at 09:02 on 07 February 2021
Added at 18:02 on 27 February 2021
Added at 22:02 on 27 February 2021
Added at 07:11 on 09 November 2021
Added at 18:11 on 22 November 2021
Hubble (9a, FA)
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020
Agincourt (8c, FA)
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020
Black Lung (8B, FA)
Added at 20:12 on 26 December 2023
Cypher (8B, FA)
Added at 21:01 on 15 January 2024
Zeke the Freak (8b, FA)
Added at 17:01 on 25 January 2024
© On The Edge Issue 1
https://www.mountain-heritage.org/
Cypher (8B, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 14:02 on 29 February 2024
Cypher (8B, FA)
Added at 20:01 on 15 January 2024
Liquid Ambar (8c+)
Added at 17:10 on 09 October 2023
8 Ball (8A+, FA)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 22:02 on 22 February 2024
Rainshadow (9a)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Agincourt (8c, FA)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Statement of Youth (8a, FA)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Voyager SDS (8B+, FA)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Voyager SDS (8B+, FA)
Added at 15:12 on 29 December 2020
Evolution (8c+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 12:02 on 10 February 2021
Hubble (9a, FA)
Added at 08:02 on 28 February 2021
Northern Lights (9a)
Added at 19:02 on 28 February 2021
Agincourt (8c, FA)
Added at 18:03 on 01 March 2021
Walk on By (7C+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 21:03 on 07 March 2021
Hate (6c+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 08:11 on 28 November 2021
Jerry's Traverse (7C+)
Added at 19:11 on 22 November 2021
Pinch 2 (8A+)
Added at 07:11 on 23 November 2021
Pump up the Stamina (8c+)
Added at 11:11 on 23 November 2021
Hubble (9a, FA)
Added at 08:02 on 26 February 2021
High Fidelity (8B)
Added at 18:11 on 09 November 2021
Evolution (8c+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 18:11 on 09 November 2021
Karma (8A+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 17:01 on 25 January 2022

Ascents

53 recorded ascents.

This timeline is missing some ascents where the date of the ascent is unknown. Use the other tabs to view these ascents.
Year Climb Grade Style Ascent Date
1982 Hate 6c+ Top Rope | worked 1982

Ben's first english 6a, just two years later he'd make the first ascent of Statement of Youth!

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

1983
1984 Statement of Youth 8a Lead | worked 25th Jun 1984
First ascent.

References

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkj3Buhfi2k

1985 Chouca 8a+ Lead | worked 1985

Third ascent.

Revelations (Pre-1999) 8a+ Lead | worked 1985
1986 La Rose et le Vampire 8b Lead | worked 1986

Third ascent.

Hot Fun Closing 8a Lead | worked 1986
First ascent.
1987 Zeke the Freak 8b Lead | worked 4th Aug 1987
First ascent.
1988 Le Minimum 8c Lead | worked Apr 1988

An early repeat. Over the space of 9 days Ben climbed the three hardest routes in France at the time: La Rage de Vivre, Le Minimum and Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant.

La Rage de Vivre 8b+ Lead | worked Apr 1988

An early repeat. Over the space of 9 days Ben climbed the three hardest routes in France at the time: La Rage de Vivre, Le Minimum and Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant.

Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant 8b+ Lead | worked Apr 1988

An early repeat. Over the space of 9 days Ben climbed the three hardest routes in France at the time: La Rage de Vivre, Le Minimum and Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant.

Mecca - The Mid-life Crisis 8b+ Lead | worked Between 1st Sep 1988 and 1st Dec 1989
Second ascent. 2 sessions.
1989 The Thing 8A Boulder | worked 1989
First ascent.

References

[1] On The Edge issue 114, page 44

Agincourt 8c Lead | worked 1989
Maginot Line 8c Lead | worked Nov 1989
First ascent.
1990 Chimes of Freedom 8a+ Lead | worked 1990

First re-ascent after the block had come off.

Hubble 9a Lead | worked 14th Jun 1990
First ascent.

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+.

References

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

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

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

1991 Liquid Ambar 8c+ Lead | worked 1991
Second ascent. 5 sessions.
Kleptomania 8a Lead | onsight 1991
Cry Freedom 8c Lead | worked Jun 1991

An early ascent. Used in the media at the time to extol the benefits of bouldering for climbing stamina routes!

1992 Action Directe 9a Lead | did not finish Apr 1992

Ben spent 3 days working the line and 2 days on redpoints. He reached a high point moving left towards the top of the route. He then got injured and was unable to try the line any more. [1]

References

[1] https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/interviews/ben-moon-british-rock-climbing-legend-interview.html

1993 Equilibrium E10 Top Rope | worked 1993
First ascent.
Northern Lights 9a Lead | did not finish Between 1st Jan 1993 and 1st Jan 1996

Ben has been trying the route again in recent years and has now had over 100 sessions on it.

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/458296474236533

Sea of Tranquility 8c+ Lead | worked 1993
First ascent.
Make it Funky 8c Lead | worked 1993
Third ascent.
1994 Pump up the Stamina 8c+ Boulder | did not finish 1994

Ben got close but never quite managed to finish it off. [1]

References

[1] Confirmed via email with Ben

[2] https://youtu.be/RnGf69g6Igc?t=1728

Superman SDS 8B+ Boulder | worked 1994
First ascent.
Pinch 2 8A+ Boulder | worked 1994
1995 Bronx 8c+ Lead | worked 1995

Done in 1995, within 2 days of climbing Le Super Plafond.

Le Super Plafond 8c+ Lead | worked 1995
Macumba Club 8c Lead | worked 1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000 Black Lung 8B Boulder | worked 2000
8 Ball 8A+ Boulder | worked 2000
Diaphanous Sea 8A Boulder | flash 2000
2001
2002 Cypher 8B Boulder | worked Mar 2002
2003
2004 Ranieri's Reach 8A Boulder | worked 2004
First ascent.
2005 The Ace 8B Boulder | worked 2005
Second ascent.

References

[1] Confirmed Ben made the second ascent via email correspondence, 30th November 2023.

High Fidelity 8B Boulder | worked 2005
Second ascent.

References

[1] https://vimeo.com/35565873

Voyager 8B Boulder | worked 16th Nov 2005
First ascent.
2006 Voyager SDS 8B+ Boulder | worked Nov 2006
First ascent.

References

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp5iLBp601g

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013 Mecca Extension 8c Lead | worked 15th Oct 2013

Red pointed Mecca Extension today, finally. 8c? maybe a soft one. Back to the main event on Thursday, Evolution.

2014
2015 Rainshadow 9a Lead | worked 8th Jun 2015
2016
2017
2018 Evolution 8c+ Lead | worked 24th Nov 2018
2019
2020 Lockdown 8b Lead | worked 3rd Jun 2020
First ascent.
Fifth Dimension 8b+ Lead | worked 20th Jun 2020
First ascent.
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Hubble 9a Lead | worked 14th Jun 1990 8c+
First ascent.

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+.

References

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

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

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

Action Directe 9a Lead | did not finish Apr 1992

Ben spent 3 days working the line and 2 days on redpoints. He reached a high point moving left towards the top of the route. He then got injured and was unable to try the line any more. [1]

References

[1] https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/interviews/ben-moon-british-rock-climbing-legend-interview.html

Northern Lights 9a Lead | did not finish Between 1st Jan 1993 and 1st Jan 1996

Ben has been trying the route again in recent years and has now had over 100 sessions on it.

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/458296474236533

Rainshadow 9a Lead | worked 8th Jun 2015
Big Bang 9a Lead | did not finish
Sea of Tranquility 8c+ Lead | worked 1993
First ascent.
Liquid Ambar 8c+ Lead | worked 1991
Second ascent. 5 sessions.
Bronx 8c+ Lead | worked 1995

Done in 1995, within 2 days of climbing Le Super Plafond.

Le Super Plafond 8c+ Lead | worked 1995
Evolution 8c+ Lead | worked 24th Nov 2018
Agincourt 8c Lead | worked 1989
Maginot Line 8c Lead | worked Nov 1989
First ascent.
Le Minimum 8c Lead | worked Apr 1988

An early repeat. Over the space of 9 days Ben climbed the three hardest routes in France at the time: La Rage de Vivre, Le Minimum and Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant.

Cry Freedom 8c Lead | worked Jun 1991

An early ascent. Used in the media at the time to extol the benefits of bouldering for climbing stamina routes!

Make it Funky 8c Lead | worked 1993
Third ascent.
Macumba Club 8c Lead | worked 1995
Mecca Extension 8c Lead | worked 15th Oct 2013

Red pointed Mecca Extension today, finally. 8c? maybe a soft one. Back to the main event on Thursday, Evolution.

Fifth Dimension 8b+ Lead | worked 20th Jun 2020
First ascent.
La Rage de Vivre 8b+ Lead | worked Apr 1988

An early repeat. Over the space of 9 days Ben climbed the three hardest routes in France at the time: La Rage de Vivre, Le Minimum and Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant.

Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant 8b+ Lead | worked Apr 1988

An early repeat. Over the space of 9 days Ben climbed the three hardest routes in France at the time: La Rage de Vivre, Le Minimum and Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant.

Mecca - The Mid-life Crisis 8b+ Lead | worked Between 1st Sep 1988 and 1st Dec 1989
Second ascent. 2 sessions.
Zeke the Freak 8b Lead | worked 4th Aug 1987
First ascent.
Lockdown 8b Lead | worked 3rd Jun 2020
First ascent.
La Rose et le Vampire 8b Lead | worked 1986

Third ascent.

Chouca 8a+ Lead | worked 1985

Third ascent.

Revelations (Pre-1999) 8a+ Lead | worked 1985
Chimes of Freedom 8a+ Lead | worked 1990

First re-ascent after the block had come off.

Statement of Youth 8a Lead | worked 25th Jun 1984
First ascent.

References

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkj3Buhfi2k

Hot Fun Closing 8a Lead | worked 1986
First ascent.
Kleptomania 8a Lead | onsight 1991
The Dillusioned Glue Machine 8a Lead | flash

At the time one of the hardest flashes on peak district limestone.

Hate 6c+ Top Rope | worked 1982

Ben's first english 6a, just two years later he'd make the first ascent of Statement of Youth!

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

Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Superman SDS 8B+ Boulder | worked 1994
First ascent.
Voyager SDS 8B+ Boulder | worked Nov 2006
First ascent.

References

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp5iLBp601g

Pilgrimage 8B+ Boulder | did not finish

Before Malcolm Smith made the first ascent Ben came close to doing it, falling off near the end.

Black Lung 8B Boulder | worked 2000
Cypher 8B Boulder | worked Mar 2002
Voyager 8B Boulder | worked 16th Nov 2005
First ascent.
The Ace 8B Boulder | worked 2005
Second ascent.

References

[1] Confirmed Ben made the second ascent via email correspondence, 30th November 2023.

High Fidelity 8B Boulder | worked 2005
Second ascent.

References

[1] https://vimeo.com/35565873

8 Ball 8A+ Boulder | worked 2000
Pinch 2 8A+ Boulder | worked 1994
Karma 8A+ Boulder | worked
Dominator 8A+ Boulder | worked
Second ascent.
The Thing 8A Boulder | worked 1989
First ascent.

References

[1] On The Edge issue 114, page 44

Ranieri's Reach 8A Boulder | worked 2004
First ascent.
Diaphanous Sea 8A Boulder | flash 2000
Jerry's Traverse 7C+ Boulder | worked
Walk on By 7C+ Boulder | worked
Ben's Roof 7C Boulder | worked
First ascent.
Brad Pit 7C Boulder | worked

With the toe on the rail method. [1]

References

[1] Hard Grit

Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Equilibrium E10 Top Rope | worked 1993
First ascent.
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Pump up the Stamina 8c+ Boulder | did not finish 1994

Ben got close but never quite managed to finish it off. [1]

References

[1] Confirmed via email with Ben

[2] https://youtu.be/RnGf69g6Igc?t=1728