Pete Whittaker at Millstone
UKC News, Mar 2013
© Five Ten Grit guru Pete Whittaker recently soloed 150 routes graded E1 or harder in a single, hot day in the Peak District. Inspired by Ron Fawcett's original 100 Peak extremes in a day, Pete decided to see if he could take it a step further.
Having had the idea to emulate Fawcett's impressive 100 ever since Pete climbed 550 routes in a day (UKC News Report), he began thinking that a big day of mileage would be great training for some upcoming trips and projects.
With the weather looking dry, Pete booked a couple of days off hoping it wouldn't rain at the last minute. The day dawned bright and clear, perhaps too bright with temperatures reaching 25ºC, making Pete's 150 extremes, including routes such as Nosferatu, E6 6b, and Heartless Hare, E5 5c, very impressive.
Pete commented on his motivation to solo 150 Peak extremes in a day:
"Ron was the original inspiration behind doing this as he did 100 extremes back in the day. Ron’s day on the Grit is mind blowing, the routes, difficultly and diversity on his final tick list is absolutely outrageous and I still think its one of the most impressive days out there even for 2014. His standard goes up to E5 and not just one or two E5’s, multiple, really impressive."
Pete decided to visit what he felt were the six main grit crags, in order to savour the differing styles of each as he explained:
"I wanted to try and take into account as many of the ‘big’ crags as possible as they all offer different types of climbing, which was the whole point, some are more pumpy, like the cracks of millstone, some are slopey like the flared breaks of Stanage and some are bold like the slabs of froggatt (not that the bold made much of a difference)."
Starting at Curbar at 4am, Pete was soon rattling through routes that are on few peoples' solo circuit. With routes such as Right Eliminate, E3 5c, and Elder Crack, E2 5b, done, he moved on to the slabs of Froggatt to give his arms a rest.
Although his arms were rested here, Pete still pushed the boat out, climbing up to E5 with Heartless Hare, E5 5c and Downhill Racer, E4 6a. Soon he was off to Millstone, a crag he had mixed feelings about visiting during his big day as he explained:
"Walking into Millstone I wasn’t really sure whether I was going to enjoy this stint very much. However it turned out to be the most enjoyable part of the day. With it still in the shade, it felt brilliant to be locking fingers and hands in cracks and swim up jams rather then holding onto ever greasing smedges. I think the most enjoyable route of the whole day was Regent Street, I felt nicely warmed up from the previous crags and the climbing is excellent."
Pete Whittaker grappling with Baron Greenback, Wimberry
UKC News, May 2013
© Wild Country / Hotaches (Screenshot from film)
The next crag of the day was Burbage South, a wise choice given the heat of the day, allowing Pete to get some hard routes in such as Pebble Mill, E5 6b and Nosferatu, E6 6b, despite this the heat of the day was becoming more apparent as he decided to miss off a few of his normal solos here that usually felt easy.
Unfortunately, Pete could no longer hide in the shade and upon reaching Burbage North, he hit a low-point with the heat really slowing him down. Fortunately, despite nearly throwing up from heat stroke at one point, he left the crag with a tally of 105 extremes before moving on to Stanage, his final crag of the day.
With a breeze blowing at Stanage, he got a second 'wind' and soon ticked through the last of his routes with his Mum, Dad and Sister heading to the crag to see him top out on his last route, Millsom's Minion, E1 5b. The finish of an impressive day given the heat and the number of routes climbed.
Pete Whittaker's 150 Grit Extremes in a day list: