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New Send Footage of Action Directe 5.14d

Buster Martin is the second climber in history to send both Hubble (the world’s first 5.14c) and Action Direte (the world’s first 5.14d)

Until last month, only one climber—Alex Megos—had sent both the world’s first 5.14c (Hubble) and the world’s first 5.14d (Action Directe). Sending Hubble in 2020, top U.K. climber Buster Martin recently joined Megos in this feat with his ascent of the iconic Action Directe in early October 2022. A new video has been released detailing Martin’s experience on Action Directe and the significance of completing both of these milestone routes.

Frankenjura’s Action Directe was first climbed by Wolfgang Güllic in September 1991. He gave the climb a UIAA grade of XI, which at the time translated to 5.14c/d (or 8c+/9a). Subsequent ascents confirmed the grade at 5.14d, making the route the first 5.14d (9a) in the world. Hubble, located at the Raven Tor crag in England, was first sent by Ben Moon in June 1990 and originally given a grade of 5.14c.

Action Directe has seen nearly 30 ascents. Megos himself has reportedly climbed the route at least five times. Hubble has seen far fewer, with only 12 ascents in its 30+ year history.

There is growing debate about Hubble’s grade. Several top climbers, including Martin, have suggested a grade of 5.14d. First sent a year before Action Directe, this upgrade would make Hubble the world’s earliest 5.14d. To learn more on the history of the Hubble–Action Directe grade discussion, read our article on the subject. Either way you swing in this grade debate, Megos and Martin’s ascents of these two routes is historic, climbing the world’s first 5.14c and 5.14d, or climbing the world’s first two 5.14d’s. You can watch Martin’s 2020 ascent of Hubble in the video below.

It’s fun to compare Action Directe and Hubble by watching the same climber attempt them. Other than Martin, the only other climber who can provide this exercise is Megos. See two videos below for his sends of these classic lines.