Pete Whitaker Flashes Grit E8

© Tom Randall
Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall lost in Orco Valley  © Tom Randall
Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall lost in Orco Valley
© Tom Randall

Pete Whittaker has flashed the E8 gritstone arete of The Power of the Darkside at Bank Quarry, Upper Matlock Quarries, Derbyshire.

The route, an unprotected arete first climbed by James Pearson in 2005 and repeated back in April 2010 by Tom Randall, features "strangely insecure and powerful moves with no protection above an appalling landing".

Pete described his ascent on the Five Ten Blog:

"Tom [Randall] had already headpointed this arete climb earlier in the year so I got him to ab down and brush the melting snow off the holds, dry them out and chalk them up. I remembered the moves from when spotting Tom on the route when he did it, but got him to show me the crux again so it was refreshed in my memory.

Anyway after warming up I set off. The route is just a solo and only about 11/12 metres overall, however it has a really bad landing onto an uneven ledge with another couple of metres drop off this. I was sort of expecting to climb up and down the start a few times to get warmed into it, however when I pulled onto the crux hold i held the barn door and just kept going. After this you can't reverse so I pushed on and that was it, I'd done it, first go!"

This makes Pete one of only a handful of climbers to have climbed E8 with no prior inspection from a toprope or abseil.

Pete Whittaker is sponsored by Five Ten, Wild Country and Patagonia

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4 Jan, 2011
The boy is unstoppable.
4 Jan, 2011
Exemplary. Not only a great bit of climbing but absolute transparency about ethics employed. Hat's off to you Pete.
4 Jan, 2011
Crankin! Well done! So who features on the elite list of E8 flashers?
4 Jan, 2011
Yeah that's what I thought too. Bet he's on a high after doing that .. awesome.
4 Jan, 2011
Great effort after a great run of form. Top notch.
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