Pete Whittaker on Snap Decision E7 6b Ilkley. Photo:Alex Ekins
Wild Country, Nov 2010
© Alex Ekins
Wild Country sponsored climbers - Jordan Buys and Pete Whittaker - have, together and separately, been flogging the grit like it's going out of style in the last few weeks recording some great on-sight and ground-up ascents up to and including a few E7s.
Jordan for his part was decidedly stoked to have a new crag on his doorstep the newly discovered 'Roost' near Hebden Bridge.
Jordan commented, "Been busy in the last two weeks, a new crag has been developed nearby. This means its ripe for on-sighting which is a thing its easy to get out of the swing of when you ve done most stuff and what's left has this sort of aura about it which just scares you into trying it! So at this new crag, I would finally allow myself to go as the thought of skin loss was not an issue now plastic pulling was over. The day went well, E5 warm, E5 onsight and a battle on a Jerry Peel E6. I know this does not sound tough but they were cracks! I suck at cracks. Well this got the ball rolling for things there and further afield too."
And when he says got things moving he proceeded to ground-up all the routes there (some with falls) gathering a ticklist which included: 1over8 E5 6b onsight; Coalition Crack E5 6b onsight; The Senate E6 6b onsight; The Cartel E7 6c ground up, one massive fall, third ascent; Fascination Street E7 6c ground up, second ascent; Con Dem Nation E6 6b flash; and Sleepy Hollow E6 6b onsight, 3rd ascent. Al of these are at The Roost - UKC News report and UKC Destination Guide.
Jordan then added the following routes to his resume for the past few weeks in a whirlwind tour as the grit weather held out: Blade E6 6c ground up Earl Crag; Shock Horror E6 6b Ilkley flash; Slackers E6 6b flash Curbar; White Lines E7 6b onsight Curbar; The Sphinx Burbage E5 6b 1 fall then a very, very sketchy top out above some french climbers out for a gander; Balance It Is E7 6c flash; The Bottom Line E7 6c Brimham; Gigglin' Crack E6 6c Brimham.
In the meantime Pete Whittaker, the grit specialist from the Hope Valley, was also in Yorkshire getting a wide-crack-monkey off his back and then gathering quite a few plums. In his understated way he put it like this: "Managed to have a couple of good days up Yorkshire way with Tom. We did Giggling Crack E6 6c, at Brimham as a warm up, although we had been on it previously in the snow and wet and fallen off a lot, but it was good that we both managed to warm up on it and actually do it twice each with minimum fuss really. We then went to Bridestones (not after getting lost obviously!) and did a greasy Obscene Cleft E6 6c, at the Bridestones ground-up which was a cool little route. Next day was Ilkley, where I managed to do (possibly) the first ground-up ascent of Fast Forward E7 6c - I love those top-outs, proper gritstone! I then managed to Flash Snap Decision E7 6b, in the quarries." ( Snap Decision photo above).
And after these really rather significant ascents Pete and Jordan got together for a some team efforts in the Peak District: "I had a good day at Curbar with Jordan (he's on good form at the moment!) We managed to flash Slackers E7 6b, and then Jordan made a cruisy onsight of White Lines E7 6c, I made pretty much a flash of it after (I bascially traversed out 3 easy moves then traversed back but couldn't get my feet back onto the bank so jumped 3 foot back down to the floor, don't know why i did that!) I then did it."
Pete, who's been on great form also, straightened out an old route in the Burbage quarries to produce what he terms a "bold little number" which is essentially the Paul Mitchell route No Flowers without the peg, which he's re-named as Keep On Giving and re-graded E7 6b.
You can read more about both Pete and Jordan at the Wild Country website.
See also UKC News item - Pete Whittaker Kicks Off The Grit Season