Buster Martin, the only climber apart from Alex Megos who could repeat both routes, dared to come out of cover and rated both routes [9a]. A bit of local patriotism is certainly involved, but that he calls the beer in Manchester better than the Franconian beer is probably going too far ;-).

According to Adam Ondra and the last, mostly British climbers, the route could have been the first 9a in the world. Alexander Megos, who also knows both routes, rated Hubble as easier. In Great Britain itself, it is now usually given as 9a. Whether climbing history ultimately needs to be rewritten is a moot point. Both are the outstanding routes of their time and probably not quite comparable in terms of climbing style.

A question asked a lot which I find a bit sad. 

I climbed AD and Hubble because they’re iconic routes with inspiring stories and heroes behind them—pure reasons, IMO, untainted by unnecessary comparison or numbers. If I hadn’t climbed 9a and wanted that tick or had more of a vested interest, I may feel differently about grades? 

I’m sponsored by Moon, I’m British, which could make some believe I’m biased but I’m indifferent to the grades.

AD was less of a challenge for me, I’m glad that was the case, I’d trained and progressed. 

AD is more accessible in style, decent holds, basic, and a power endurance style but more physically demanding. H is more specific and trickier, body positioning is critical, and the difficulties are more distilled. I climbed H after years of climbing in the peak, and don’t think I could have turned up and done it without experience on guns alone. That’s not to say it’s harder, I’d struggle to make that comparison.

Considering the objective data doesn’t help, H has fewer ascents, and those who have done both did AD in less time. Considering that location, style, conditions, and quality of routes probably influences this, there’s no case for one being harder than the other. Yet If both routes were next to each other, AD still would have seen more ascents, IMO.

I think H is 9a, as do the majority of ascentionists. Tbh with 1/3 of the ascents and a more mixed view there is less of a consensus but If AD is 9a then H has to be imo.

In the eyes and hearts of many AD will always be first, The grade of H shouldn’t take anything away from AD and its history.

There’s no argument that we can’t upgrade things in restrospect as this was the case with AD as consensus grew; Wolfgang gave it a grade equating to 8c+/9a.
I climbed both routes with an easier method or new equipment than the FAs and still think they’re 9a. That’s not me after a more significant grade for my scorecard; just an opinion and respect where it’s due.

Anyway, let’s see it…surely with a cheaty knee bar, H is a walk in the park. A flight from Bavaria to Manchester costs less than a round in the broadie, yes our beer is better as well.

Buster Martin konnte sich im Jahr 2020 die erst neunte Begehung der ersten 8c+ -Route der Welt „Hubble“.   Er nutzte dabei auch ein in die Diskussion geratenes „Kneepad„, was ihm aber nach eigener Aussage nicht viel gebracht hat. Im letzten Jahr holte Buster sich die 28. Begehung des Güllich Klassikers „Action Directe“ am Waldkopf im Frankenjura.