Jerry Moffatt

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Jerry Moffatt
Personal information
Born1963 18 march
EducationStDavids College
Occupationprofessional climber
Climbing career
Type of climberSport climbing, trad, bouldering,solo, competition
Highest grade
Known for
  • First to climb 8a,8a+,8b,8c+ First to on-sight,7b+,7c,7c+.First to Boulder 8b
Updated on 13 May 2013.

Jerry Moffatt (born 1963) is a professional rock climber from Leicestershire, England. One of the best and most prolific climbers of the 1980s. August 1983 Moffatt did the world's first 8a Oyster on Pen Trwyn Wales. In September 1983 in Germany he did the first 8a+ with a new route called The Face. May 1984 he climbed Revelations on Ravens Tor in the Peak District now graded 8b making it the first of the grade. in 83 and 84 Moffatt soloed many E5 and E4's, no one else in the World was consistently soloing routes of that grade at that time. May 1990 back on Pen Trwyn Wales Moffatt climbed yet another world first when he did Liquid Ambar 8c+. Moffatt's world first on-sights were, 7b+ Super Crack in the U.S.A 1982, 7c Heisse Finger in Germany 1983 and 7c+ Pol Pot Verdon France 1984. In 1993 while in Yosemite, he did the first 8b boulder problem The Dominator. In competition he won the first ever round of the world cup Leeds 1989. When retiring from competition 1990 he was ranked world No1 (ASCI) winning 9 internationals in two years. 2002 Moffatt retired from professional climbing. In 2009 his best selling biography Revelations won grand prize at Banff mountain book festival. His second book on sport psychology Mastermind was published in 2017. 2018 he won the first ever lifetime achievement award for climbing at Krakow. [1]

His autobiography, Jerry Moffatt: Revelations published by Vertebrate Publishing, won the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival in 2009.[2]

Notable Climbs[edit]

The following list is a summary of his notable ascents:[1]

  • Mayfair (7a+) 1979 Pen Trwyn Wales, First ascent age 16 with A Pollitt
  • Little Plumb (E6 6c) Stoney Middleton 1982 first ascent
  • Super Crack (5.12c, 7b+) Swanangunks, USA.1982 first on-sight of this grade
  • Equinox (5.12c) Joshua Tree 1983 USA on-sight
  • Scarab (E6 6b, 7b+) Stoney Middleton - 1983 - solo
  • Right Wall E5 6a, Cemetery Gates E1 5b, Ivy Sepulchre E1 5b, Left Wall E2 5c, Memory lane E3 5c, Cenotaph Corner E1 5c, Foil E3 6a 1983 All solo in a day.
  • Ulysses (E6 6b) - Stanage - 1983 - First ascent, one of the last greats to be climbed.
  • Void (E4 6a), Grim Wall Direct (E1 5b), The Weaver (E2 5c), Vector (E2 5c), Extraction (E2 5c),Geireagle (E3 5c) 1983 All solo in one day.
  • Oyster (8a) August 1983 Pen Trwyn Wales. First ascent worlds first 8a
  • Master's Wall (E7 6b) - Clogwyn Du'r Arddu - 1983
  • Masterclass (8a) 1993 Pen Trwyn Wales first ascent.
  • Great Wall E4 6a- The Boldest (E4 5c), Curving Arete (E4 5c) 1993 Clogwyn Du'r Arddu Wales all solo.
  • Ekel (9+) 1983 First ascent and first 9+ in Germany.
  • The Face (8a+) - Altmühltal - 1983 - First ascent, considered the first 8a+ (5.13c) in history[3][4]
  • Heisse Finger (7c) Germany 1983 worlds first 7c to be on-sighted
  • Super Imjin (7c) 1984 Japan, on-sight of countries hardest route
  • Pol Pot (7c+) 1984 Verdon, worlds first 7c+ to be on-sighted
  • Pappi on sight (8a) 1984 Verdon France first ascent
  • The Messiah (E6 6c) 1984 Peak District first ascent, hardest gritstone route at time.
  • Revelations (8b) Raven Tor - 1984 - First ascent, worlds first 8b
  • Our Father (E4 6a), Kingdom Come (E5 6b), Dies Irae (E2 5c), Special K (E4 6a), Scoop Wall (E3 5c), Kelloggs (E5 6b), Wee Doris (E4 5c), Pickpocket (E4 6a) 1984 Stoney Middleton all solo in a day
  • The Phoenix (5.12d) 1984 Yosemite on-sight
  • Midnight Lightning (V9) 1984 Yosemite fourth ascent and first to do in a day
  • Lost Arrow Spire (5.12d) 1985 Yosemite first ascent with Ron Kauk. Filmed live for Wide World Of Sport. Estimated 30 million viewers.
  • Le Rage de Vivre (8b+) Buoux - 1987 - Second ascent of Antoine Le Menestrel's route (1986)
  • Le Minimum (8b+) Buoux 1987 - Third ascent of Marc Le Menestrel's route (1986)
  • La Spectre des Surmutant (8b+) Buoux second ascent - 1988
  • Scarface (8b+), White Wedding (8b+), To Bolt Or Not To Be (8b+),1988 first to repeat all the 8b+'s Smith Rocks U.S.A
  • Stone Love (8b+) Frankenjura 1988 First ascent
  • Seynes 1988 competition France !st place
  • Leeds 1989 competition England !st place. First ever round of World Cup
  • La Riba 1989 competitions Spain 1st place equal with Simon Nadin
  • Cologne 1989 competition Germany 1st place
  • Madonna di Campiglio 1989 competition Italy 1st place
  • Bercy 1990 competition France Paris 1st place
  • Brianscon1990 competition France 1st place
  • London National 1990 competition 1st place
  • Maurienne Masters 1990 competition 1st place. The first multi discipline event, red point, boulder, speed and on-sight.
  • Liquid Ambar (8c+) Lower Pen Trwyn 1990 First ascent the world's first 8c+[3]
  • Harrods Store 1991 London England Climbed the building to open sale
  • Serpentine 1992 (8a) Grampians Australia on-sight in 35 degree heat
  • Punks in the Gym 1992 (8b+) Arapiles repeat, !st red point
  • Dominator 1993 Yosemite U.S.A (8b) Boulder problem worlds first 8b
  • Big Kahuna 1994 Lions Head Canada (8B) First ascent, Canadas hardest route at the time
  • Evolution (8c+) Raven Tor 1995 First ascent[3][5]
  • Progress (8c+) Kilnsey U.K 1995 First ascent
  • Seans Roof 1995 (8c) Blackwell Dale U.K first ascent
  • Nelsons Column 1996 London England 4th ascent
  • Sampson 1997 (E8 7b) Burbage South U.K. First ascent, hardest gritstone route at time
  • The Ace- (8B) Stanage 2002 First ascen


  • Wide world of sport (1985) estimated 30 million viewers
  • One Summer (1995)
  • The Real Thing (1996)
  • Hard Grit (1998)
  • Stone Love (2001)
  • Stick it (2001)


In 1981, age 18, he did the first ascent of Little Plumb E6 6c (Peak District England) probably the hardest technical piece of climbing in the UK at that time. In 1982 Jerry spent the summer living in a cave at Stoney Middleton training and bouldering. At Stoney after much top rope practice he soloed Scarab E6 6b it was probably the hardest thing soloed in the world at that time. In September of that year he travelled to the U.S. and made lightning quick second ascents of some of the world's hardest routes such as Genesis and Psycho in Colorado. In the same year he became the first person to on-sight 7b+ when he did Super Crack in Shawangunks and then also on-sighted Equinox 7b+ Joshua Tree. 1983 on returning from the U.S. he led the very dangerous Masters Wall E7 6b on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu. Three days before Masters again on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu he soloed Great Wall E4 6a, The Boldest E4 5c and Curving Arete E4 5c. In the same week he incredibly soloed in an afternoon, Cemetery Gates E1 5b, down Ivy Sepulchre E1 5b then Left Wall E2 5c, Cenotaph Corner E1 5c, Memory Lane E3 5c, Foil E4 6a and Right Wall E5 6a. No one in the world at that time came close to free soloing as many routes of that difficulty. Tragically his good friend Niel Molner died soloing that summer which stopped Jerry soloing for the next year. August 1983 in just a few hours he freed the aid climb Oyster on Pen Trwyn Wales now graded 8a which was the first ever of that grade. In September he travelled to Germany where he did another world first; on-sighting Heisse Finger at 7c. He added two first ascents Ekel, Germanys first grade 9 (8a) and then The Face in Altmühl Valley Nature Park the world's first 8a+. In 1984, on his 21st birthday, in Saussois, France, he flashed Chimpanzodrome 7c+, then a few weeks later in the Verdon he on-sighted the first ever 7c+ Pol Pot. On returning to England he added the desperate Revelations on Ravens Tor Peak District 8b the world's first. Also in the Peak District he made another significant first assent The Messiah E6 6c was the hardest gritstone route at the time on Burbage South. Later that summer at Stoney Middleton he had another big day soloing on Windy Ledge doing two E5's four E4's one E3 and an E2 . In the fall of 1984 in Yosemite National Park he on sighted the first 5.13a, The Phoenix. In 1985 he did the first assent of The Lost Arrow Spire with Ron Kaulk and was filmed live for Wide World Of Sports with an estimated 30 million viewers. Injuries to the elbows stopped his climbing for the best part of two years. After successful surgery in 1986 he came back in 1987 to repeat in Buoux France three 8b+s, thought to be the hardest routes in the world at that time. He then went on to repeat three more 8b+s in Smith Rocks Oregon making him and the only man to climb all the 8b+s both in France and the U.S. 1989 Jerry built a training area in the basement of his house. It contained a 45° board with wooden holds and a small kick board for feet. It was the first of its type anywhere and revolutionised training at the time. It is now a stock item used in climbing gyms all over the world. 1989 and 1990 Jerry focussed on competition climbing, becoming very successful winning nine international events in just two years. He won the first ever UIAA World Cup event in Leeds, England in 1989. Similar to the Olympic format in 1990, he won The Maurienne Masters in France, the first combined climbing competition, red point, on-sight, boulder and speed. When retiring from competing he was ASCI ranked number one in the world. The same year 1990 he made a significant first assent Liquid Ambar North Wales now graded 8c+ which was the first 8c+. Jerry was voted the most prolific climber 1980s in the French magazine Vertical. In 1991 along with Paul Reeve Jerry opened The Foundry Climbing Centre in Sheffield, It was the first of its type in the UK with leading, top roping, bouldering and interchangeable holds. Later that same year he travelled to Yosemite and added two significant boulder problems in camp 4 Sick It  (8a+) and The Force (8a) they were amongst the hardest in America at that time. In 1992 Jerry made the first Redpoint of Punks  In The Gym (8b+) Arapiles Australia which was the hardest route there at the time. He also added a first ascent Zorlack The Destroyer (8b) also in Arapiles. Jerry also on-sighted Serpentine (8a) in the Grampians  which was at the time a world-class achievement in 35° heat. Later that same year Jerry travelled to Hampi in India pioneering many new problems and adding the first ascent route Hanuman (8a). Hampi was an undiscovered climbing area at that time, since becoming very popular with climbers from all over the world. Jerry returned to Yosemite Valley in 1993 and adding another major boulder problem with the Dominator (8b). This is most probably the first 8b to be climbed anywhere. Along with Kurt Albert he also made a one-day ascent of the Nose on El Cap. Later that year he travelled to Chad in the Sahara desert Africa. Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz the mainly German expedition were the first Westerners to visit the area for over 10 years. An armed member of the Chadian military escorted them at all times, navigating them through the various minefields. At one point an altercation took place with some Tubu tribesman. A shot was fired by them, fortunately the bullet just traveled through the front of a vehicle. After a long wait more Army personnel arrived and escorted them out of the area. The sandstone rock was not good for climbing however Jerry added some very picturesque boulder problems. In 1994 Jerry traveled to Canada and added the first (8b) there a route called The Big Kahuna in Lions Head Ontario. In  1995 Jerry concentrated again on routes rather than bouldering adding some significant first ascents the first was Evolution (8c+) on Ravens Tor in the Peak District. The next first ascent was Sean”s Roof (8c) in Blackwell Dale then following week up in the Yorkshire Dales on Kilnsey Crag he climbed Progress (8c+) . At the end of the year and he was heralded in the British climbing magazines as king of the Peak yet again. In 1996 with Johnny Dawes and Simon Nadine Jerry climbed Nelsons column in London. It was in protest of the Canadian air force flying over the Innu peoples hunting ground. The Canadian Embassy is opposite the column so a banner was hung most of the day before they descended. In 1996 and 97 Jerry concentrated on his bouldering adding just one first ascent on Burbage South, Sampson (E8 7b) it was technically the hardest Grit route at that time. Now with modern bouldering matts it's possible to climb as a high ball. On Stanage Edge in the Peak District in 2000 Jerry added a long-term boulder problem The Ace (8b) the hardest problem in Britain at the time. In 2002 he went to South Africa bouldering in Rock Lands repeating many of there hardest problems like Nutsa (8a+) and adding many of his own problems, the most difficult being Ard Eh (8a+) on Top Side in Cape town. Later that year his first child was born and he retired from professional climbing . This gave him time to focus on one of hobbies surfing which took him all over the world again. In 2017 he completed his second book Mastermind on sports psychology. With help from a world renowned professor in sport psychology and top current rock climbers Mastermind is a life changing comprehensive book that will help people perform in pressure situations and  enjoy what ever sport they choose to pursue.

Jerry moffatt climb.jpg


  • Jerry Moffatt: Revelations, (with Niall Grimes), 2009, Vertebrate Publishing. ISBN 978-1-906148-11-9.


  1. ^ a b "Jerry Moffatt interview". 16 February 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  2. ^ Banff Mountain Book Festival
  3. ^ a b c "Une biographie pour Jerry Moffatt !" (in French). 18 February 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  4. ^ Maurizio Oviglia (23 December 2012). "The evolution of free climbing". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Evolution". Retrieved 14 May 2013.

External links[edit]