Ben Moon


Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Date of birth: 13 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: 13 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
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
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
Evolution (8c+)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 12:02 on 10 February 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
Hubble (9a, FA)
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020
© Moon Collection
Agincourt (8c, FA)
Added at 12:12 on 19 December 2020

Ascents

41 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) 01 Jan 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) 25 Jun 1984

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

1985 Chouca 8a+ (Lead) 01 Jan 1985 (approx)

Third ascent.

1986 La Rose et le Vampire 8b (Lead) 01 Jan 1986 (approx)

Third ascent.

Hot Fun Closing 8a (Lead) 01 Jan 1986 (approx)
1987 Zeke the Freak 8b (Lead) 04 Aug 1987

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

1988
1989 Maginot Line 8c (Lead) 01 Jan 1989 (approx)
Agincourt 8c (Lead) 01 Jan 1989 (approx)

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

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

1990 Hubble 9a (Lead) 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

1991 Kleptomania 8a (Lead Onsight) 01 Jan 1991 (approx)
Cry Freedom 8c (Lead) 01 Jun 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) 01 Apr 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) 01 Jan 1993 (approx)

Third ascent.

Sea of Tranquility 8c+ (Lead) 01 Jan 1993 (approx)
Equilibrium E10 (Top Rope) 01 Jan 1993 (approx)
1994 Superman SDS 8B+ (Boulder) 01 Jan 1994 (approx)
Pump up the Stamina 8c+ (Boulder Did not finish) 01 Jan 1994 (approx)

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

https://youtu.be/RnGf69g6Igc?t=1728

Pinch 2 8A+ (Boulder) 01 Jan 1994 (approx)

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

1995 Bronx 8c+ (Lead) 01 Jan 1995 (approx)

Done in 1995, within 2 days of climbing Super Plafond

Northern Lights 9a (Lead Did not finish) 01 Jan 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) 01 Jan 1995 (approx)
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002 Cypher 8B (Boulder) 01 Mar 2002 (approx)

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

2003
2004
2005 Voyager 8B (Boulder) 16 Nov 2005
2006 Voyager SDS 8B+ (Boulder) 15 Nov 2006 (approx)

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

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013 Mecca Extension 8c (Lead) 15 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) 08 Jun 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) 24 Nov 2018

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

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

Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Hubble 9a (Lead) 14 Jun 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) 01 Apr 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) 01 Jan 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) 08 Jun 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) 01 Jan 1993 (approx)
Bronx 8c+ (Lead) 01 Jan 1995 (approx)

Done in 1995, within 2 days of climbing Super Plafond

Le Super Plafond 8c+ (Lead) 01 Jan 1995 (approx)
Evolution 8c+ (Lead) 24 Nov 2018

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

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

Liquid Ambar 8c+ (Lead)

Second ascent. Pre-1991.

Maginot Line 8c (Lead) 01 Jan 1989 (approx)
Agincourt 8c (Lead) 01 Jan 1989 (approx)

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

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

Cry Freedom 8c (Lead) 01 Jun 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) 01 Jan 1993 (approx)

Third ascent.

Mecca Extension 8c (Lead) 15 Oct 2013

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

Le Minimum 8c (Lead)

An early ascent.

Mecca - The Mid-life Crisis 8b+ (Lead)

In 2 days. Second ascent?

La Rage de Vivre 8b+ (Lead)

An early repeat.

Zeke the Freak 8b (Lead) 04 Aug 1987

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

La Rose et le Vampire 8b (Lead) 01 Jan 1986 (approx)

Third ascent.

Chouca 8a+ (Lead) 01 Jan 1985 (approx)

Third ascent.

Statement of Youth 8a (Lead) 25 Jun 1984

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

Hot Fun Closing 8a (Lead) 01 Jan 1986 (approx)
Kleptomania 8a (Lead Onsight) 01 Jan 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) 01 Jan 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) 01 Jan 1994 (approx)
Voyager SDS 8B+ (Boulder) 15 Nov 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.

Cypher 8B (Boulder) 01 Mar 2002 (approx)

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

Voyager 8B (Boulder) 16 Nov 2005
The Ace 8B (Boulder)

Second or third ascent.

High Fidelity 8B (Boulder)

Second ascent.

https://vimeo.com/35565873

Pinch 2 8A+ (Boulder) 01 Jan 1994 (approx)

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

Karma 8A+ (Boulder)

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

Dominator 8A+ (Boulder)

Second ascent.

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) 01 Jan 1993 (approx)
Climb Grade FA Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Pump up the Stamina 8c+ (Boulder Did not finish) 01 Jan 1994 (approx)

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

https://youtu.be/RnGf69g6Igc?t=1728