In early November 2021, after a summer of recce trips and one previous attempt that ended halfway, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker climbed a horizontal roof crack over 2500 feet long (roughly the length of Half Dome in Yosemite). The line took the pair four days, with three nights on a portaledge. 'The Great Rift' — their proudest crack line to date — was on the underside of a six-lane concrete motorway bridge.
Mark Bullock, who sent Tom Randall photos of the M5 bridge to sow the seed for their latest roof crack project, speaks to the 'WideBoyz' and finds out that this climb was significantly more than just another big tick...
If either of you are reading this, were there any concerns with cams getting crushed on the flexing sections? I just have images of a lorry going over, the cams getting squeezed and then falling out when it widened again.
> Would a cam not just engage / disengage with the flex? Granted don't have one in my hand to test right now
I guess the worry would be that the crack would flex wide enough that your cams would fall out. A blue camalot has a working range of about 27mm so wouldn't need a lot of movement. Obviously not a problem in practice though!
Mega effort and one for the record books - I do wonder how long until this is made an illegal activity though, if it isn't already!? Pete mentions access and Police at the end but no details. Maybe a bit like Fowler climbing the infamous St Pancras station drainpipe!
I'm sure it's technically illegal but coppers often give you some leeway if you are reasonable. I was caught jumaring up a kind of rope treadmill rigged off a bridge in York and I just explained to the police that I was training for a caving expedition and they left me to it. I think the Wide Boys got an enormous amount of leeway for that though!
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