UKC

/ FRI NIGHT VID: Pete Whittaker - Rope Soloing El Capitan

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UKC News - on 13 Apr 2018
Pete Whittaker El Ca, 3 kbIn late 2016 Pete Whittaker made an 'all-free' rope solo ascent of Freerider on El Capitan. The route took him 20 hours and 6 minutes, smashing the previous fastest time of 4 days. Pete flashed the route in 2014, perhaps making it the ideal route for him to try alone. Pete documented his big day and the resulting film is a fascinating insight into what it takes to complete a climb of that magnitude.

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Greasy Prusiks on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Has anyone here got any experience of the silent partner set up? Is it reliable enough that it feels comparable to a human belayer or is it more that you don't plan on falling on it? 

tom84 - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

that was ridiculously good, more of pete please!

 

Carless - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

excellent little film

chrisi - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Superb!

Mick Ward - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Almost two years later, I still find it almost unbelievable that he did this (obviously he did!)  Back in the 1990s, two of the strongest guys I ever met got shut down on this route. (I think they made a film about it.) To rope-solo it in under 24 hours seems... beyond the beyond.

His final comments: perhaps it wasn't hard enough...  Well, maybe. But to keep it together through so much hard climbing in such different styles, with so much brutal effort, fighting the 'I'm so f*cked, I don't know what I'm doing any longer' feeling...

Something else. This really is something else.

Mick

philhilo - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

The Silent Partner is the standard device for rope soloing, and the most current (but not made anymore) one designed for it. Lots and lots of falls taken on them without any failures as far as I know (apart from a few cases involving very low temperatures, which the instructions tell you to avoid). Its an inertial reel set up like a seat belt. You usually back up any rope soloing with knots tied back in to you so that at worst you fall to the knot. Pete didn't use knots to speed things up, so that gives you an idea how much faith he had in the device.

Chris Craggs - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Magnificent achievement,

 

Chris

andyman666999 - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Bravo. Best film I have seen in a long time and also an inspiring achievement. 

John Stainforth - on 13 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Totally awesome! The mental strength to do this is mind-boggling.

shaun walby - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Incredible...what and amazing feat of climbing skill courage and determination that rightly deserves its place in the history books, many congratulations Pete Whitttaker.

shaun walby - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to philhilo:

Given that this device isnt made anymore, what are people using now...the webiste had an add for this https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/p/petzl-pro-traxion-pulley-F1742022.html?channable=e15806.NDA5OTRfMTUx&colour=151&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkaStqOe52gIVzrXtCh2mFw-cEAYYASABEgINBPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Could be great for getting out and leading routes when you've no partner

8
Rick Graham on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to shaun walby:

My dislike.

This copy and paste from the link might be a clue why not .

  • Working load as progress capture pulley: 2.5kN
  • Breaking strength as progress capture pulley: 4kN
Wiley Coyote2 - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Superb.  Amazing achievement and a terrific film. Until I watched that I had not appreciated just what a tremendous effort it was.

shaun walby - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to Rick Graham:

yer fine...the question was what do you use?

4
shaun walby - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to shaun walby:

when ive said could be great for getting out climbing without partner....i mean using a system similar (as they dont make it anymore) to the Silent partner....what are people using?

2
Rick Graham on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to shaun walby:

> yer fine...the question was what do you use?

I was just pointing out that  toothed or spiky cam devices are usually only used for top rope ("shunting " ) , often outside the manufacturers recommendations.

In a lead fall situation, they will probably break the rope.

Answering your question. 

Personally for lone top roping, I have used Shunt, Basic/ handled  Ascendeurs and Mini Traxion.  Usually has worked out OK but have had the odd drama.

For roped lead soloing have used back looping, 7mm prussick, tied loops, modified Gri gri, Soloist, original Reverso, Silent Partner. Usually without any drama but usually a lot of frustration as getting the the rope balanced and running smoothly is an art I have not perfected. Hats off to Pete for getting this sorted and doing El Cap.

In reply to UKC News:

Amazing achievement and a superb film.

Alan

Andy Hardy on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Mind. Blown.

I think I want his babies.

Greasy Prusiks on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to philhilo:

Cheers mate. I bet it takes a bit of getting used to though! 

Post edited at 20:51
David Staples - on 14 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Great film, amazing job Pete.

maxsmith - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to philhilo:

looks like he's using backup knots in some of the frames...

67hours - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Great video, and one of the first videos of climbing I've seen where the use of a POV headcam really added to the feeling of the shot.

simes303 - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Fantastic.

Luke90 on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to 67hours:

Yeah, headcam footage of climbing is usually pants. They're much less useful for climbing than a lot of other sports. I suspect the difference here is better editors showing more judgement and the fact that they might have had almost an entire day of footage to choose from.

Doghouse - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

WOW!

ericinbristol - on 15 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Yay! Absolutely blimmin excellent! Very very well done PW, and a lovely film

Michael Gordon - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News:

Good to bring this to attention, as probably like a fair few folk, I didn't realise this was so unusual. I think this was because there had been free ascents in a day of routes before, and there had been solo aid ascents before, and it slipped my mind there could be another alternative. It does make naming the style of ascent difficult though! It's soloing (not in a British sense), and it's free of aid. Free soloing with a rope?! 

Steven AT - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Michael Gordon:

>It does make naming the style of ascent difficult though! It's soloing (not in a British sense), and it's free of aid. Free soloing with a rope?! 

'Rope Soloing'. 

paul mitchell - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to UKC News: Pete shows that it  is about the mind more than the medium.

Fine concept.Cameraman worked hard too.

 

Michael Gordon - on 16 Apr 2018
In reply to Alpinetrek.co.uk:

I agree that that makes sense. Presumably other ascents prior to this one would be termed 'Aid soloes'?


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