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Ben Moon's Climbing Diary
I was rooting around in my attic the other day and came across all my old climbing diaries that I started keeping towards the end of 1989. This gave me the idea that maybe we could make a regular feature of these dairies in the newsletters and Moon Blog, a kind of “what I was doing this time in…” I think some of you might find some of these entries interesting and if you don’t well, just hit the “unsubscribe” button!
So here is the first and it’s “this time in 1990…”
Coincidently it’s the build up to the first ascent of Hubble at Ravens Tor which became the world’s first 8c+ and has still only had a handful of ascents. Judging from my diary entry on the 27th May it was hot and greasy much like it is today!
27th May 1990
“Warmed up at Stoney, very greasy. Bouldered at Cressbrook. Incredibly greasy, just traversed for 2 hours. Not very satisfying. Med.”
As time wore on my diary entries became longer and more detailed but I always tried to categorize the days intensity, easy, med or hard. It looks like this was a medium day. On the following day, no rest day I was at Ravens Tor trying “The Whore”. This is the aid route The Whore of Babylon which after I had freed it became Hubble.
28th May 1990
“Ravens Tor. Worked Whore. Did all the moves! Felt good. Big link attempt next day. Worked Mark’s route. Did 2 7bs in Chee Dale. Felt strong! Surprising!”
“Mark” is Mark Pretty or Zippy as a lot of people know him and Marks route later became Make It Funky 8c.
Reading these diaries again makes me realize that I was already doing quite a lot of volume, traversing for 2 hours at Cressbrook, followed with no rest day and an attempt on an 8c+ and an 8c, then off to Chee Dale to do more routes.
29th May 1990
Looks like I went to the herbalist. Maybe that’s the secret to climbing 8c+!
30th May 1990
“Ravens Tor. Tried Whore. Good. Linked 3,4,5 moves. Did 3 twice. Too hot later on. Lost power quickly. Tried move 3 with feet below. Hard! Med”
3rd June 1990
“RT. Tried Whore. Very successful. Did Crux move lots and first try. Link with feet under the roof to falling off last move. Could be possible next day! Very strong. Trained on Jerry’s board for half hour. Elbows dicky. Not bad day at all!”
RT. Whore. 3 first try. Fell off twice then did 3 three times, fell on 4th try. Did 3 with feet under twice. Did 3,4,5, fell on 6! Again! Very greasy, worked top, 7c/7c+? Trained on board, did a lot 1st try. Felt strong but little tired from Ravens Tor and the cold. Good day again. Hard.”
Hubble really is just a 6-move boulder problem with move 3 being the crux. As with climbing anything at your limit no matter how long or short it might be, it’s all about breaking it down in to sections, working on these sections and then gradually linking the sections together. That was my approach here, work the crux move and try and get it wired, then try and do a move into it, or try and do the crux all the way to the top. Move 6 (see photo) is also pretty hard especially when coming from the bottom and it was this move that Adam Ondra fell off on redpoint. In old fashioned English technical grades it’s probably 1 7b move followed by 3 7a moves.
It’s interesting to see that even whilst trying to redpoint Hubble I was still training on a woodie which is probably why my elbows were hurting a bit!. I think at this time in Sheffield there were no climbing walls but both Jerry and I had build wooden board in our houses which is where we did all our training.