Crack Addicts at Harborough Rocks

© Ian Smith
Pete Whittaker making the first ascent of Gobbler's Roof  © Ian Smith
Pete Whittaker making the first ascent of Gobbler's Roof
After his ascent of Ray's Roof (UKC News), crack addict Tom Randall had been on the look out for some horizontal pleasure. Melvin Bragg the V8 offwidth-roof boulder problem at Ramshaw provided some quick-fix amusement, but it wasn't enough to quell his desires. He was on the prowl for something really dirty.

His phone beeped. The message read:

"You'll never guess what, I've just found the most hideous dirty roof crack ever!"

Fellow debauchee Pete Whittaker had spotted a line. Tom gave us the low-down:

"As expected, the line is horrible. 20-25ft of horizontal offwidth, to a flared pod finish and a final hand crack. It's stuck away in a damp cave at Harborough Rocks in the Peak and certainly ain't the most aesthetic line ever. However, it did fulfil our desires to find something truly disgusting."

Both athletes failed on the crux around 5 times each, before Pete nabbed the first ascent. Tom followed suit with a swift second ascent despite some very damp crux holds. Tom was impressed by Pete's repertoire of moves, saying:

"As usual the youngster proved his apprenticeship on the rock has been well served and he offered up a variety of foot stacks, arm bars, heel-toe cams and inverted leg bars. He's named it Gobbler's Roof for fairly obvious reasons!"

Gobbler's Roof - E7 6c

  • First ascent Pete Whittaker 23/04/09,
  • Second Ascent Tom Randall - 23/04/09
  • Third ascent? Probably never!


Pete Whittaker is sponsored by Patagonia , Five Ten , The Edge Climbing Wall, Naked Ape , C.A.M.P and Tendon Ropes.

Thanks go to Ian Smith for the superb photograph.

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23 Apr, 2009
Blast! There goes any possibility of ticking the entire crag.
23 Apr, 2009
Please tell me there's a video of this coming?
23 Apr, 2009
I don't think so, but it would be amazing wouldn't it. Maybe we should petition them to go back with a video camera! Jack
23 Apr, 2009
Excellent effort - seek and ye shall find! Chris
23 Apr, 2009
I was just going to do the usual but what has he done on grit, then read the article and realised i was a wee bit out of touch with some of these hard repeats and new routes. Well done to the lads, the challenge now is to find them even more outrageous routes to attempt.
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