Ben Moon


Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Date of birth: 13th June 1966
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B+
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 8a
Hardest Sport (Flash): 8a
Hardest Trad (Worked): E10
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

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Date of birth: 13th June 1966
Hardest Boulder (Worked): 8B+
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Sport (Onsight): 8a
Hardest Sport (Flash): 8a
Hardest Trad (Worked): E10
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


Podcasts


Pics + Vids

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
Voyager SDS (8B+, FA)
Added at 15:12 on 29 December 2020
Voyager SDS (8B+, FA)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Jerry's Traverse (7C+)
Added at 19:11 on 22 November 2021
Pinch 2 (8A+)
Added at 07:11 on 23 November 2021
Hate (6c+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 08:11 on 28 November 2021
Statement of Youth (8a, FA)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Agincourt (8c, FA)
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020
Agincourt (8c, FA)
Added at 18:03 on 01 March 2021
Agincourt (8c, FA)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Walk on By (7C+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 21:03 on 07 March 2021
Evolution (8c+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 12:02 on 10 February 2021
Evolution (8c+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 18:11 on 09 November 2021
Northern Lights (9a)
Added at 19:02 on 28 February 2021
High Fidelity (8B)
Added at 18:11 on 09 November 2021
Karma (8A+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 17:01 on 25 January 2022
Rainshadow (9a)
Added at 18:12 on 18 December 2020
Hubble (9a, FA)
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020
© Moon Collection
Hubble (9a, FA)
Added at 08:02 on 26 February 2021
Hubble (9a, FA)
Added at 08:02 on 28 February 2021
Pump up the Stamina (8c+)
Added at 11:11 on 23 November 2021

Ascents

48 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 FA Ascent Date
1982 Hate 6c+ (Top Rope) 1st January 1982 (approx)

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) 25th June 1984

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

1985 Revelations (Pre-1999) 8a+ (Lead) 1st January 1985 (approx)
Chouca 8a+ (Lead) 1st January 1985 (approx)

Third ascent.

1986 La Rose et le Vampire 8b (Lead) 1st January 1986 (approx)

Third ascent.

Hot Fun Closing 8a (Lead) 1st January 1986 (approx)
1987 Zeke the Freak 8b (Lead) 4th August 1987

https://www.facebook.com/rockarchivist/photos/a.150043076452578/150043969785822

1988 Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant 8b+ (Lead) 1st April 1988 (approx)

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 Minimum 8c (Lead) 1st April 1988 (approx)

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) 1st April 1988 (approx)

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.

1989 Agincourt 8c (Lead) 1st January 1989 (approx)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkj3Buhfi2k @ 53mins

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/289577857775063

Maginot Line 8c (Lead) 1st November 1989 (approx)
1990 Hubble 9a (Lead) 14th June 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

1991 Liquid Ambar 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1991 (approx)

Second ascent.

Kleptomania 8a (Lead Onsight) 1st January 1991 (approx)
Cry Freedom 8c (Lead) 1st June 1991 (approx)

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) 1st April 1992 (approx)

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. Ben then got injured and was unable to try the line any more. [1]

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

1993 Make it Funky 8c (Lead) 1st January 1993 (approx)

Third ascent.

Sea of Tranquility 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1993 (approx)
Equilibrium E10 (Top Rope) 1st January 1993 (approx)
1994 Superman SDS 8B+ (Boulder) 1st January 1994 (approx)
Pump up the Stamina 8c+ (Boulder Did not finish) 1st January 1994 (approx)

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

Pinch 2 8A+ (Boulder) 1st January 1994 (approx)

https://youtu.be/RnGf69g6Igc?t=1057

1995 Macumba Club 8c (Lead) 1st January 1995 (approx)
Bronx 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1995 (approx)

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

Northern Lights 9a (Lead Did not finish) 1st January 1995 (approx)

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

Le Super Plafond 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1995 (approx)
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000 Black Lung 8B (Boulder) 1st January 2000 (approx)
8 Ball 8A+ (Boulder) 1st January 2000 (approx)
2001
2002 Cypher 8B (Boulder) 1st March 2002 (approx)

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2002/03/slipstones_project_completed-3016

2003
2004
2005 High Fidelity 8B (Boulder) 1st January 2005 (approx)

Second ascent.

https://vimeo.com/35565873

The Ace 8B (Boulder) 1st January 2005 (approx)

Second or third ascent.

Voyager 8B (Boulder) 16th November 2005
2006 Voyager SDS 8B+ (Boulder) 15th November 2006 (approx)

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

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013 Mecca Extension 8c (Lead) 15th October 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) 8th June 2015

25 years after his first 9a, Hubble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdKeEk6sSD0

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2015/06/ben_moon_on_rainshadow_9a_-_im_over_the_moon-69776

2016
2017
2018 Evolution 8c+ (Lead) 24th November 2018

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

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2018/11/evolution_8c+_by_ben_moon-71782

2019
2020 Lockdown 8b (Lead) 3rd June 2020
Fifth Dimension 8b+ (Lead) 20th June 2020
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Hubble 9a (Lead) 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+.

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

Action Directe 9a (Lead Did not finish) 1st April 1992 (approx)

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. Ben then got injured and was unable to try the line any more. [1]

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

Northern Lights 9a (Lead Did not finish) 1st January 1995 (approx)

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) 8th June 2015

25 years after his first 9a, Hubble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdKeEk6sSD0

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2015/06/ben_moon_on_rainshadow_9a_-_im_over_the_moon-69776

Sea of Tranquility 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1993 (approx)
Liquid Ambar 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1991 (approx)

Second ascent.

Bronx 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1995 (approx)

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

Le Super Plafond 8c+ (Lead) 1st January 1995 (approx)
Evolution 8c+ (Lead) 24th November 2018

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

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2018/11/evolution_8c+_by_ben_moon-71782

Agincourt 8c (Lead) 1st January 1989 (approx)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkj3Buhfi2k @ 53mins

https://www.facebook.com/climbing.in.the.80s/photos/a.270388289694020/289577857775063

Maginot Line 8c (Lead) 1st November 1989 (approx)
Le Minimum 8c (Lead) 1st April 1988 (approx)

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) 1st June 1991 (approx)

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) 1st January 1993 (approx)

Third ascent.

Macumba Club 8c (Lead) 1st January 1995 (approx)
Mecca Extension 8c (Lead) 15th October 2013

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

Fifth Dimension 8b+ (Lead) 20th June 2020
Le Spectre du Sur-Mutant 8b+ (Lead) 1st April 1988 (approx)

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) 1st April 1988 (approx)

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)

In 2 days. Second ascent?

Zeke the Freak 8b (Lead) 4th August 1987

https://www.facebook.com/rockarchivist/photos/a.150043076452578/150043969785822

Lockdown 8b (Lead) 3rd June 2020
La Rose et le Vampire 8b (Lead) 1st January 1986 (approx)

Third ascent.

Revelations (Pre-1999) 8a+ (Lead) 1st January 1985 (approx)
Chouca 8a+ (Lead) 1st January 1985 (approx)

Third ascent.

Statement of Youth 8a (Lead) 25th June 1984

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

Hot Fun Closing 8a (Lead) 1st January 1986 (approx)
Kleptomania 8a (Lead Onsight) 1st January 1991 (approx)
The Dillusioned Glue Machine 8a (Lead Flash)

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

Hate 6c+ (Top Rope) 1st January 1982 (approx)

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 FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Superman SDS 8B+ (Boulder) 1st January 1994 (approx)
Voyager SDS 8B+ (Boulder) 15th November 2006 (approx)

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) 1st January 2000 (approx)
Cypher 8B (Boulder) 1st March 2002 (approx)

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2002/03/slipstones_project_completed-3016

Voyager 8B (Boulder) 16th November 2005
The Ace 8B (Boulder) 1st January 2005 (approx)

Second or third ascent.

High Fidelity 8B (Boulder) 1st January 2005 (approx)

Second ascent.

https://vimeo.com/35565873

8 Ball 8A+ (Boulder) 1st January 2000 (approx)
Pinch 2 8A+ (Boulder) 1st January 1994 (approx)

https://youtu.be/RnGf69g6Igc?t=1057

Dominator 8A+ (Boulder)

Second ascent.

Karma 8A+ (Boulder)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CZH5SvrIe6H/

Walk on By 7C+ (Boulder)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRVFCw0gV67/

Jerry's Traverse 7C+ (Boulder)

https://youtu.be/RnGf69g6Igc?t=173

Ben's Roof 7C (Boulder)
Brad Pit 7C (Boulder)

With the toe on the rail method.

Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Equilibrium E10 (Top Rope) 1st January 1993 (approx)
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Pump up the Stamina 8c+ (Boulder Did not finish) 1st January 1994 (approx)

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