Richard Simpson

8a.nu
Also known as: Rich

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E5

A prolific fantasist. Unusually, he was very strong and a very capable climber (for example, he did many hard problems in the School Room) [2].

However many of his claimed ascents turned out to be fabricated. For example, he claimed to have climbed Action Directe but was unable to produce a belayer or any witnesses for the ascent.

He also made many other outlandish claims such as an unbeaten amatuer boxing record, a sub 2hr30min marathon, a sub 4 minute mile and a very quick solo ascent of the Hasse-Brandler route. None of these claims have been verified.

References

[1] Obsession https://vimeo.com/6848413 by Chris Doyle.

[2] Chris Doyle on UKBouldering.com https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,16602.msg292502.html#msg292502

We were in the school for about 4 hours that day, he did loads of hard problems on repeat, 1-5-9 campussing loads of times etc.. He got on Perky Pinky but didn't manage to do it in a oner so i spliced two sections together. You can't deny he was bastard strong. I mean Neil Mawson has climbed 8c and he's not in the same book never mind the same page in terms of strength. Malc Smith sent me a message recently, he sounded pretty dumbfounded by it all and said that Simpson was the strongest climber he'd ever seen (and he's seen a few). None of this means much as hard proof is needed but you can't deny he was strong enough.

[3] Keith Bradbury discussing climbing with Rich https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,31564.msg647020.html#msg647020

I also climbed with Rich outdoors. In fact, I was with him for most that fateful trip in Frankenjura where we wrote off a car, he littered his jizz tissues all over my bed, and he probably didn't do Action Direct. I belayed him on lots of different routes. I did see him warm up on 8b routes (as in, actually doing them). I belayed him on some 9a's which he later claimed although I didn't see him do them. One of those was action direct. I belayed Rich for several sessions on Action Direct. I remember how bad conditions were some days with holds turning black instantly. I remember some days he was really struggling on the route and couldn't do the moves. Other days he would link sections consistently. I also saw him climb from just after the first jump to the top. That's when I realised Rich could definitely do it and it was a case of conditions and a good go. But then I left to go the UK for a week of exams and when I came back he'd ticked off a bunch of stuff... including Action Direct.

All ascents widely disputed due to a lack of evidence for any of his hard ascents (mysterious belayers, ascents with no-one else at the crag etc.) and a general unwillingness to corroborate ascents. It is likely that some of his claimed ascents did actually happen but with the current evidence available unpicking fact from fiction seems unlikely.

References

[1] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,27176.0.html

[2] https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2010/12/rich_simpson_-_ukcs_position-59419

[3] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,16602.0.html

[4] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,16327

Contributors: remus

Quick Info

Nationality: GB
Hardest Sport (Worked): 9a
Hardest Trad (Onsight): E5

A prolific fantasist. Unusually, he was very strong and a very capable climber (for example, he did many hard problems in the School Room) [2].

However many of his claimed ascents turned out to be fabricated. For example, he claimed to have climbed Action Directe but was unable to produce a belayer or any witnesses for the ascent.

He also made many other outlandish claims such as an unbeaten amatuer boxing record, a sub 2hr30min marathon, a sub 4 minute mile and a very quick solo ascent of the Hasse-Brandler route. None of these claims have been verified.

References

[1] Obsession https://vimeo.com/6848413 by Chris Doyle.

[2] Chris Doyle on UKBouldering.com https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,16602.msg292502.html#msg292502

We were in the school for about 4 hours that day, he did loads of hard problems on repeat, 1-5-9 campussing loads of times etc.. He got on Perky Pinky but didn't manage to do it in a oner so i spliced two sections together. You can't deny he was bastard strong. I mean Neil Mawson has climbed 8c and he's not in the same book never mind the same page in terms of strength. Malc Smith sent me a message recently, he sounded pretty dumbfounded by it all and said that Simpson was the strongest climber he'd ever seen (and he's seen a few). None of this means much as hard proof is needed but you can't deny he was strong enough.

[3] Keith Bradbury discussing climbing with Rich https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,31564.msg647020.html#msg647020

I also climbed with Rich outdoors. In fact, I was with him for most that fateful trip in Frankenjura where we wrote off a car, he littered his jizz tissues all over my bed, and he probably didn't do Action Direct. I belayed him on lots of different routes. I did see him warm up on 8b routes (as in, actually doing them). I belayed him on some 9a's which he later claimed although I didn't see him do them. One of those was action direct. I belayed Rich for several sessions on Action Direct. I remember how bad conditions were some days with holds turning black instantly. I remember some days he was really struggling on the route and couldn't do the moves. Other days he would link sections consistently. I also saw him climb from just after the first jump to the top. That's when I realised Rich could definitely do it and it was a case of conditions and a good go. But then I left to go the UK for a week of exams and when I came back he'd ticked off a bunch of stuff... including Action Direct.

All ascents widely disputed due to a lack of evidence for any of his hard ascents (mysterious belayers, ascents with no-one else at the crag etc.) and a general unwillingness to corroborate ascents. It is likely that some of his claimed ascents did actually happen but with the current evidence available unpicking fact from fiction seems unlikely.

References

[1] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,27176.0.html

[2] https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2010/12/rich_simpson_-_ukcs_position-59419

[3] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,16602.0.html

[4] https://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php/topic,16327

Contributors: remus

Pics + Vids

Added at 16:01 on 13 January 2021
Added at 10:07 on 03 July 2021
Action Directe (9a)
View this post on Instagram

Added at 05:07 on 14 July 2022

Ascents

9 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
2004 Maginot Line 8c Lead | worked 2004

It is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Agincourt 8c Lead | worked 2004

It is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Liquid Ambar 8c+ Lead | worked 15th Jun 2004
4 sessions.

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.

References

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

[2] Interview in On The Edge Issue 140, August/September 2004, Page 12

2005 Evolution 8c+ Lead | worked 1st Apr 2005

In the context of his other claims it is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Hubble 9a Lead | worked 25th Apr 2005

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.

References

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

Pump up the Stamina 8c+ Boulder | worked 1st Aug 2005
Action Directe 9a Lead | worked 13th Oct 2005

References

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/B_5YoPZj3Jm/

[2] https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/climbing/rich-simpson-makes-6th-ascent-of-action-directe.html

[3] https://www.thebmc.co.uk/action-man

Questions arose around whether Rich actually climbed the line and when asked he was unable to produce a belayer or any witnesses.

2006 A Muerte 8c+ Lead | worked 1st Mar 2006
First ascent.

In the context of his other claims it is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Hubble 9a Lead | worked 25th Apr 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.

References

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

Action Directe 9a Lead | worked 13th Oct 2005

References

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/B_5YoPZj3Jm/

[2] https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/climbing/rich-simpson-makes-6th-ascent-of-action-directe.html

[3] https://www.thebmc.co.uk/action-man

Questions arose around whether Rich actually climbed the line and when asked he was unable to produce a belayer or any witnesses.

A Muerte 8c+ Lead | worked 1st Mar 2006 9a
First ascent.

In the context of his other claims it is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Liquid Ambar 8c+ Lead | worked 15th Jun 2004 8c
4 sessions.

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.

References

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

[2] Interview in On The Edge Issue 140, August/September 2004, Page 12

Evolution 8c+ Lead | worked 1st Apr 2005 8c

In the context of his other claims it is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Maginot Line 8c Lead | worked 2004

It is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Agincourt 8c Lead | worked 2004

It is unclear whether this ascent happened.

Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Hasse-Brandler E5 Rope Solo | onsight

Simpson claimed to have soloed the route in record time. When questioned no proof was forthcoming.

Climb Grade Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Pump up the Stamina 8c+ Boulder | worked 1st Aug 2005