Wide Boys Hit America: Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall
by Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Sep/2011
This news story has been read 14,703 times
Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall have been training hard in a dank cellar in Sheffield for several months and are now jetting off to America to find and climb some very wide cracks.
If seen do not approach. They are arm-barred and dangerous...
UKC News, Jul 2010
© Whittaker/Randall Collection
The 'Wide Boys' have demolished most of the UK's hardest crack test-pieces in the last few years, including solo ascents of some of grits most feared offwidths.
The pair of perverts have now aimed high, not happy with grovelling around Europe, they have gone further afield and set their sights on the home of horror-shows - the good old USofA.
UKC, always keen to see someone stuck in a chimney, have teamed up with the boys and will be bringing you some video updates from their trip as they travel the States in search of classic and new offwidths.
Despite their training and their obvious 'skill', the boys are worried that they might get a 'proper spanking' over the pond and find out that they are, after all, crack punters. Lets wait and see!
- You can follow the pair on UKC in our updates as well as on their blog: Wide Boyz
In their latest blog post, the pair discuss their excitement and fears:
"For our final blog post before we go away we thought it would be good to see how each person was feeling about the trip. We decided to do this by asking each other some questions – some sensible, others not so!"
QUESTIONS BY PETE
(Q)PETE: Tom, I've heard and witnessed that you travelled back from Ilkley to Sheffield via Birmingham and that when checking weather forecasts on the internet for Yorkshire you used the postcode for Llanberis. How do you actually expect to find any of the crags you want to climb on whilst out in America?
(A)TOM: It is true that I get lost even trying to find the bathroom in my house, but I have a secret weapon up my sleeve; a MAP! Yup, I've heard (from your Dad) that you're a reliable map reader and boy am I going to be using this resource a lot. I'd say that Alex Ekins might help out, but I know he's absolutely diabolical with directions as well, so we might end up waiting in a US airport until Kim arrives!
PETE: If you make it to the crag, you may realize that we've actually climbed very few offwidths on real rock, how do you think the training that we have done will transfer?
TOM: My suspicion is that the training will transfer pretty well on the really steep stuff, but we'll still be pretty rubbish at the vertical stuff. I'd like to say that it's because the American's have so many more vertical offwidths to practice on, but in reality it's the size of their biceps and cowboy boots that really counts....
PETE: What part of the trip are you most looking forward to and what part are you most nervous about?
TOM: I've been told by Kim (my wife) that I have to say it's our daughter coming out to visit, that I'm most looking forward to... I might also add that I'm psyched out of my tree for Belly Full of Bad Berries, The Crack House and more new routing shenanigans with your good self.
The part of the trip I'm most apprehensive about is trying Lucille in Vedauwoo (it's such a hugely significant route) or realising that I've actually booked our flights for the wrong country and we're off to Yemen.
QUESTIONS BY TOM
(Q)TOM: So Pete, we've done loads of training and preparation for this trip now. What shall we do if we start falling off all the 5.9s?!
(A) PETE: I'm actually expecting to fall of all the 5.9s, especially in Vedauwoo where its meant to be sandbag city. However whenever you fall off something easy its best to just get on something much harder and steeper and fail on that instead because it will make you feel better and your mates won't think you're as much of a punter. Failing that i'll send you up everything and say i'm still jet lagged from a month ago.
TOM: What do you reckon of all these American offwidth wads?
PETE: America isn't just known for its offwidths, but like you say, the offwidth wads that it breeds. I have spoken to a few of the wads by email and my assessment is...that they are going to be well hardcore and I might get scared and run away!!! From the stories I've read and pictures I've seen these people feel no pain brother.
I also think they will have really slick technique and I may get to witness something really special, which is the illusion they can create when it looks like they slip up offwidths. I'll be psyched to see this as i've only ever seen you stuck in one...
TOM: What part of the trip are you most looking forward to?
PETE: I think 99.9% of people wouldn't look forward to anything we have planned on this trip, (offwidths, crying babies and no sense of direction...hmmmmmm!) However I couldn't be more excited. There are so many parts I am looking forward to...getting to climb a load of different offwidths; meeting new people; coming away from Vedauwoo with some skin and alive; climbing new routes; getting jet lag (never had it, want to see what all the fuss is about); getting to watch you and others feel pain; Kim, Laura and Hannah coming, man the list is endless.
But really there is one part and route that stands out...I think you know what that is. Should be a good adventure!!
UKC say: Good Luck Boys!
Tom Randall is sponsored by
Wild Country ,
Sterling Rope ,
Five Ten ,
Climb On and supported by The Edge Climbing Centre
Pete Whittaker is sponsored by
Wild Country ,
Sterling Rope ,
Five Ten ,