Pete Whittaker 2nd ascent of 'A Little Peculiar'

© Andi Turner
Andi Turner reports:

Pete Whittaker (17) made the long awaited second ascent of Paul Higginson's A Little Peculiar (E6 7a/b) today on the Roaches Lower Tier.

The route is described in the Roaches guide as 'a one-armed footless mantelshelf onto the sloping lip, and may be one of the hardest moves of its type in the world'. Pete finished up Elegy (E2) and later, when asked by me

"So, is it 7b?"

Pete stated "Yes, I reckon so!"

Pete headpointed the route with relatively minimal practice and was still falling off a lot more than getting up when he went for the lead. The route was powdered in snow in the morning which Pete gently wafted off about an hour before his ascent. From where I was standing it appeared that the cold had taken its toll by the time he was on Elegy and I was more concerned that he might come off this, rather than the ridiculous rock over crux!

Brilliant effort.

You can view more photos on Andi's Flickr account.

Pete Whittaker is no stranger to hard gritstone climbing, hitting the UKC headlines several times in 2007 and 2008. You can read more about him in this 2008 Trad Article. With ascents under his belt of tricky, rarely repeated routes such as Ray's Roof (UKC News), alongside his extremely hard new routes such as Dynamics of Change, Pete is one of a small band of young climbers who may push gritstone climbing to a new level.

A Little Peculiar was first climbed by Paul Higginson back around 1995. Paul is a North Wales based climber who was one of the team behind the recent film Upsidedown Wales. Paul is the author of several tough problems, including Slags and Slappers also at the Roaches lower tier and Pools of Bethesda (Font 8a+) in the Llanberis Pass.

Recently when discussing hard grit routes, Johnny Dawes noted that no-one had repeated A Little Peculiar and he held the route in very high regard.

The route is graded E6 7a in the current Rockfax guidebook, but votes on the UKC and Rockfax websites suggest it may be E7 7b. Interestingly there are nine votes but only two ascentionists.

Pete Whittaker is sponsored by Patagonia, 5.10, The Edge Climbing Wall, Naked Ape, CAMP and Tendon Ropes.

This post has been read 32,490 times

Return to Latest News

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

2 Jan, 2009
But can it be any wackier than the mantelshelf on Dynamics of Change? Impressive stuff either way (no way I could bend like Pete, let alone climb like that)! :-)
2 Jan, 2009
Spookily, it occurred to me while watching him do that astounding move on Dynamics of Change on Committed 2 over Christmas that he ought to go and have a look at this. Amazing effort.
2 Jan, 2009
Ahh! I was wondering who it was who had left chalk marks on it when I saw it on Wednesday! Very impressive! James
2 Jan, 2009
But realy it does have footholds unlike what the rockfax guide says .......
3 Jan, 2009
Its a really nasty heal hook!! I was there when Andi Turner was top ropeing it and it was amazing!! Amazing line!!
More Comments
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest