Hubble was first climbed by Ben Moon back in 1990 and was declared the world's first 8c+ at the time. However, it later became apparent that the route was far harder than originally thought and it is now considered to be the world's first 9a.
Pete told UKC:
'I first tried Hubble in November last year. I did all the moves on my first session but only just. I thought I would be able to link them pretty quickly. I was so wrong. The famous 'English 7B' match on the two undercuts was the hardest move and it was immediately followed by three moves culminating in a hideous slap. It was really unforgiving, if I placed a foot wrong or my hips sagged or my pinky didn't quite settle right I'd fall. Linking it was way beyond anything I'd climbed so far.'
Pete kept improving through spring and early summer to the point where he felt it could go any session, until the final move of the crux - a hideous slap - stopped him in his tracks. 'Getting to that move was hard and doing it seemed impossible,' he commented. Despite the warm summer conditions, Pete continued to make progress. His successful attempt, however, was somewhat underwhelming. Pete explained:
'Yesterday I was really nervous because I'd tickled the final crimp the previous Saturday. I knew it was on during my warm up go. I was able to float through the final moves of the boulder. This came as a bit of a surprise as I'd struggled so much previously and thought that maybe it would come easily. I proceeded to fall off the match twice more, like a total beginner who gets overexcited. This calmed me down and I was able to climb smoothly through the crux. Shockingly I didn't struggle, which felt kind of weird. I'd expected it to be an all out battle. This left me wondering if I'd actually done it, but it sunk in that I'd absolutely nailed it when Matt Wright congratulated me from the ground. It was an ace evening!'
Pete has accumulated a number of routes in the high 8s - including 8c+ ticks at Anstey's Cove and in Spain in the last couple of years. Having now made another step in consolidating his level at 9a, Pete plans to get stuck into Mutation 9a, also at Raven Tor, to work towards a third of the grade.