Hubble 9a (8c+) by Mathew Wright

Sunday, 4 October

Mathew Wright has done Hubble at Raven Tor which was put up by Ben Moon in 1990 as the first 8c+ in the world. Although none of the first five repeaters did upgrade it, the UK scene including Moon did start some eight years ago saying it should be upgraded. Then the three latest ascensionists, all from UK and including Wright, have confirmed it to be 9a. (c) Georgie Lane

"Hubble has taken me around 25 sessions this year. 10 sessions to do the moves, 10 sessions doing links and 5 sessions redpointing. I also spent a massive amount of time training specifically for the route! I also spent an additional 4 sessions on it last year but didn’t get anywhere.

Previously, the hardest routes I’ve done are Evolution (8c+) and Kaabah (8c+). The hardest boulders I’ve done are Serendipity (8B+) and Belly of the Beast (8B/+). Hubble for me was much harder than any of these climbs. Serendipity taken me less time to do but was my previous hardest tick. Hubble for me is without a doubt the hardest piece of climbing I’ve ever done and if Kaabah and Evolution are 8c+, Hubble is certainly 9a. It taken me longer to do the moves on Hubble than it did to redpoint any of my previous hardest routes.

I’m around 180 cm. I do believe that it’s easier if you’re short as the crux moves are very bunched for me and I found it incredibly hard for this reason. Short people can also get a left leg knee bar like what Sean McColl used. I’ve not used this knee but I’ve seen people do it and I can see that it makes the crux much easier. Basically, if you’re short and can get the left knee bar in, it is probably 8c+ but I can’t say for certain.

In an Insta video, we can see that Mathew is the first climber to have used a knee pad on his right leg possibly making the start of the crux a bit easier. McColl (169 cm), who has not done it, was the first climber who used a knee pad on his left leg

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