Mat Wright has climbed Hubble (9a) at Raven Tor (Miller's Dale) in the Peak District. The 22-year-old first tried the route at the beginning of 2019, but couldn't do the moves and decided to leave it until he was stronger. Since then, he has ticked many of the hardest routes at Raven Tor, including Kaabah, Evolution, Devolution and Mecca Extension.
Attracted to the impressive history of the route, Hubble always stood out to Mat as the 'ultimate bouldery route.' After emerging from lockdown and ticking Kaabah, he decided the next route for him would either be Hubble or Mutation. He decided Hubble was the logical next step and told UKC:
'Not only is the route incredibly impressive, but it also has a sequence which I found particularly hard, bunched undercuts don't suit a tall climber! I guess I saw it as the ultimate challenge for this reason and became inspired to see just how far I could push myself in this style of climbing.'
In Mat's own words, the 'process wasn't so smooth' on the route, with ups and downs. It took him around ten sessions to do the moves and ten weeks of specific training with his coach, David Mason. He was spurred on by his partner, Georgie, who told him "you're going to do it eventually, so why not now?"
Then there was an additional ten weeks of working links on the route:
'The redpointing process, however, went fairly smoothly. I kept getting one move higher over each session and after maybe 5 sessions of redpointing, I sent the route!
'If I had to guess, I think it may have been around 25 sessions to complete the route. The longest project I've ever had!'
Mat used slightly different beta to previous ascensionists, using a poor kneebar on his right leg. He explained that for him the grade remains the same and that 'it's silly not to use something so obvious.'
Hubble was first climbed by Ben Moon in 1990 and was thought to be the world's first 8c+. More recently and with more ascents, it has been subsequently upgraded to 9a.