British climber and 'Wide Boy' Pete Whittaker recently travelled to Bohuslan, Sweden with the aim of climbing all the routes in the Crackaholic DVD. Highlights of Pete's trip include making the 2nd ascent of Dreadline, E9 6c, and climbing the now de-bolted Electric Avenue at a tough E8 6c.
Pete ticked his way through many easier testpieces (up to E7), topping off his trip with a bold lead of the terrifying blunt arete of Dreadline, (E9 6c). In Crackaholic the first ascensionist Stefan Wulf takes a huge fall from the final moves, stopping just above the ground. Pete took the same whipper:
"On the first lead attempt I got the rope caught the wrong side of my foot and it pulled me off backwards from the same place Stefan had fallen from, resulting in probably the second biggest fall I've ever taken. Next day, next go up, no mistakes and the second ascent was in the bag."
Pete also made an early trad ascent of the recently de-bolted Electric Avenue now graded E8 6c. This fantastic granite climb is one of the more famous routes in the area, having originally been climbed as a run-out sport route. A few years ago a visiting Norwegian chopped the bolts and made a bold trad ascent. Pete commented on the quality of Electric Avenue:
"The route is absolutely brilliant with a slightly bold easier lower section followed by good (but hard to place) spaced micro wires, The climbing is delicate and intricate and at first sample it feels desperate, but with time the moves become easy until you don't really get tired or pumped anymore you just smear and layback your way up."
It has to be one of the best single pitches of trad climbing I've done anywhere...
Pete was inspired to visit Bohuslan by watching Crackaholic; a DVD that documented the area's history and climbing much like Hard Grit did for Peak Gritstone. Pete first visited the area last year where he was focusing on climbing finger cracks in preparation for Cobra Crack later on in the year (UKC News Report). During his previous trip, Pete climbed a third of the routes in the DVD, leaving him with two thirds to complete this year, which he narrowly missed out on by one route. Pete commented on why he wanted to climb all the routes featured in the film:
"There aren't any locals who have climbed them all, so it seemed like a nice challenge. I wanted to try as many different styles on the granite as possible in preparation for future projects. The styles were everything from safe and hard, bold and hard, crimpy, cracks, steep, burly, technical, basically a real mixture of everything. I completed about one third of the list last year so I had about two thirds left, I came away one route short of completing it."
Here is a list of the harder routes Pete climbed with an estimated British trad grade:
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