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ARTICLE: What is the Hardest Single Move Ever Done in Climbing?

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 UKC Articles 09 May 2023

Nathaniel Soon asks and attempts to answer the question: what's the hardest move ever done in climbing?

Whether you love them or hate them, climbing would not be what it is without grades. Our alpha-numerical difficulty-rating systems are extremely subjective, at times controversial, and ever-evolving inventions that climbers use for benchmarking and comparison.

 

Silence 9c is mostly defined by its unusual and powerful 8C feet-first crux. Alphane 9A — a long boulder problem — breaks down into a powerful and crimpy 8B+ straight into an 8C endurance-based second-half, according to the first ascensionist, Shawn Raboutou.

But can climbing be dissected even further, with individual moves being assigned clear-cut grades? Online punditry is rife with discussion over this exact question: what currently stands as the hardest single move ever done in climbing (and how hard is it)?

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4
 Lankyman 09 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

Tom Cruise does some pretty good moves in Mission Impossible 2

2
 Moacs 09 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

Where does A Little Peculiar - English 7b - fit in this? Just curious 

1
 PhilMW 09 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

What about some of the mysterious stuff John Gaskins put up? 

16
 remus Global Crag Moderator 09 May 2023
In reply to Moacs:

> Where does A Little Peculiar - English 7b - fit in this? Just curious 

Not really a move as such, more an extraordinary application of will.

1
 Moacs 09 May 2023
In reply to remus:

Well the UK tech grade is supposed to be the grade of the single hardest move...and it's 7b. Just wanted to know how UK tech 7b related to font 8B

2
 Dale Turrell 09 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

"Ghisolfi seems to agree. "I know only a bunch of climbers were able to stick the first move…". Besides Hukkataival and Bosi, those select few include the likes of Raboutou and Nakajima, both of whom have climbed multiple 8C+s.'

Just to note, the Ghisolfi post quoted links to the video where he manages to stick the first move of BoD, undercutting the point that only those who have done multiple 8C+s' can do it, as he's apparently 'only' climbed 8B+!

1
 wbo2 09 May 2023
In reply to Moacs: its primary relationship is to show what a flawed grade UK 7b is , due to compression.  

I'd be curious as well what its boulder grade night be

1
 Moacs 09 May 2023
In reply to wbo2:

Has it been repeated?

1
In reply to Moacs:

> Has it been repeated?

Repeated by Pete Whittaker who confirmed the grade.
A Little Peculiar (E6 7b)

1
 PaulJepson 09 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

Everyone knows that its Lone Tree Groove (VS 5a)

2
In reply to UKC Articles:

Just recently watched “barefoot Charles” on Real Rock season 8, any move he does looks nail’s, watching someone crimp with their toes blew my mind! 

2
 alan moore 10 May 2023
In reply to PaulJepson:

> Everyone knows that its Lone Tree Groove (VS 5a)

Couldnt do it! Maybe someone could post a video...

1
In reply to UKC Articles:

You can dissect it even further: What is the hardest (starting) hold ever held in climbing? On many boulder problems I can’t even get my butt off the ground!

1
 PaulJepson 10 May 2023
In reply to alan moore:

It's weird as. The closest I have come to having a breakdown through utter frustration on a route. Nialls quote in the guide is absolutely spot on in that you have to let go of everything in order to make progress. 

1
In reply to UKC Articles:

Got to be the man trap, " hardest move on the mountain " a famous person once said 

1
 chris_r 10 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

The hardest move in climbing?

Getting off the ground.

3
 jalien 10 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

If indoor moves are in, then how about jan hojer doing 1-9 on the campus board? youtube.com/watch?v=Ho_rzpQGrq8&

2
In reply to chris_r:

> The hardest move in climbing?

> Getting off the ground.

Or in winter. Getting out of the car in the Cairgorm carpark.

1
 ThunderBeest 11 May 2023
In reply to jalien:

Not sure how many repeats this has gotten? Think I heard of 1?

1
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Repeated by Pete Whittaker who confirmed the grade.

At least that's been repeated.  Unlike Ultimate Sculpture (E8 7a)

1
 Arms Cliff 11 May 2023
In reply to Dave Garnett:

From the description sounds like that has broken since the FA? 

1
 slacky 11 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

> During a livestream on his very first session in Finland, Bosi would go on to stick the first crux move 8B/8B+ within just 25 minutes of work. It was clear that for this first move, the replica is much harder than the actual boulder. It's fair to say, then, that the hardest move ever done in climbing might actually be on an indoor problem – a sign of the times, no less.

What was the point of using a replica? It was to train on it looks like that training paid off.

Without the prior experience and training there is no knowing whether Will would have stuck the first crux on the real thing so quickly. I would put money on it taking longer and the reason it was so quick on first acquaintance with the in vivo version was because he'd had practice on the replica.

1
 Martin Bagshaw 11 May 2023
In reply to twentytwoangrymen:

Definitely getting out of bed in winter 

1
In reply to UKC Articles:

Presumably the move that is the most fun to do.

1
 PhilMW 12 May 2023
In reply to PhilMW:

How does that comment get voted down? Guessing people dont know who John Gaskins is.....

11
 wbo2 12 May 2023
In reply to PhilMW: Ummm........don't think so

1
 Hardonicus 12 May 2023
In reply to PhilMW:

Hmmmm or maybe they DO know who he is?

1
 gribble 12 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

For some reason I agreed to go climbing on new years day. After a very late night and my bodyweight in beer, I found myself the next morning at the top of something on Embankment Wall, sat in some snow and ready to do a full Fulmar on my second.  Going climbing was both very hard and very wrong.

3
 Phil Lyon 12 May 2023
In reply to gribble:

Getting onto the block on Tody's wall gracefully

2
 Shani 12 May 2023
In reply to UKC Articles:

If your looking at individual moves, 'the hardest move' has to factor in bodyweight. A 90kg guy doing a 1-5-9 on 20mm edge is way more impressive than a 65kg dandelion doing the same.

12
In reply to Phil Lyon:

> Getting onto the block on Tody's wall gracefully

If you're not too short (I used to be 6' with approx 0 ape index and it was nowhere near a max stretch for me) then there is a totally elegant way to get on the block. Doesn't help with getting off it though.

I have to admit though that I'd done the grovel several times before seeing someone do the elegant method - one of those obvious once you've seen it things.


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