||Moon, Ben (1966-)|
||Ben Moon was responsible for possibly the most unlikely climber’s hairstyle ever: dreadlocks. Seeing the pound and a half of rats’ tails flopping about at the back of Ben’s head, an entire generation of thin boys with strong fingers rebelled against their mums and didn’t wash their hair for years, creating the most dated fashion statement this side of Lycra. The strikingly hirsuted Moon was arguably the first of a new breed of British climber: the internationally successful sport climber. In 1984 Moon climbed a bolted route called Statement of Youth which was one of the first Britain’s climbs at the French 8a grade of difficulty. Ignoring ‘traditional’ (i.e. non-bolted) climbing almost completely, Moon specialised in short, exceptionally strenuous bolted routes. In the mid 1980s he spent much time repeating France’s most difficult sport routes, and putting up some of his own. His climbs Agincourt, and Maginot Line were both provocatively named and harder than anything the local French elite had produced at F8c. Back in Britain, Moon climbed a route at the Derbyshire limestone cliff of Raven Tor called Hubble, which was one of the most difficult climbed in the world to that date. After spending a great deal of time practising what he hoped would become an even harder route at Kilnsey Crag in Yorkshire, he abandoned both the search for the ultimate ‘power route’ and his trademark dreadlocks to spend more time on the sub-sport of bouldering and developing his clothing business. To this end he emigrated to the USA.
Standout climbs: Statement of Youth, F8a, Lower Pen Trwyn; Agincourt, and Maginot Line F8c, Buoux, France; Hubble, F8c+, Raven Tor, Derbyshire;
||Biographical information is kindly supplied by Colin Wells.|
||Moon, Ben (1966-)