UKC

Wideboys USA: Whittaker and Randall in Vedauwoo

© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
As reported previously on UKC, wide crack fetish-fiends Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker are over in the USofA and on the hunt for crack testpieces.

Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall, unleashed and unhinged in Vedauwoo  © Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall, unleashed and unhinged in Vedauwoo
© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall

Tom Randall takes up the story:

"The last two weeks for me and Pete have been a total baptism of fire. We've travelled all the way from the UK (where we have about 4 offwidths in whole country) to the USA (where you find about 4 in every square metre). We decided to start our trip in Vedauwoo, where the cracks come fat and the crystals come sharper."

From wikipedia: Vedauwoo is an area of rocky outcrops (Sherman Granite) located in south-eastern Wyoming, United States, north of Interstate 80, between Laramie and Cheyenne. Its name (according to climbing guidebook authors Skip Harper and Rob Kelman) is an Anglicised version of the Arapaho word "bito'o'wu" meaning "earth-born".

Pete Whittaker having a full portion of 'What the Big Boys Eat', 5.12c  © Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
Pete Whittaker having a full portion of 'What the Big Boys Eat', 5.12c
© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall

Tom gave us some more details:

Spatial Relations 5.13a
Lucille 5.13a
Wing and a Prayer 5.12c
Trip Master Monkey 5.12b
Squat 5.12b

Tom and Pete's Big 5 Hitlist

"Vedauwoo is this incredible "city of fat cracks" where many of the US wide crack climbers have cut their teeth over the years. The names read like the who's who of US Wide – Scarpelli, Long, Anderson, Leubben, to name just a few. Putting on our boots for the first time, we trod in their footsteps with much trepidation!

Before climbing the routes at Vedauwoo, Pete and I came up with a concept of "The Big 5" – 5 of the biggest and meanest grades of wide climbing at Vedauwoo. Aside from any grading controversy we would attempt to do these routes as a way of measuring whether we were ready for other projects later in the trip."

With their sights set firmly on some of the steepest and most difficult crack climbs, the boys were literally setting themselves up for a fall... right? Wrong!

photo
Pete arrived in Wyoming
© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall

The Wideboys. Steer well clear. They're always looking for belayers... and skin grafts!  © Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
The Wideboys. Steer well clear. They're always looking for belayers... and skin grafts!
© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
Tom, upside down on the classic boulder crack of 'Life without parole'  © Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
Tom, upside down on the classic boulder crack of 'Life without parole'
© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall

photo
Pete Whittaker onsighting Lucille
© Alex Ekins - No reproduction on other media without permission
Tom told us:

"After only 9 days of route climbing we'd achieved what we only dreamed of really! We never quite thought that we'd actually tick the routes."

Pete Whittaker made an impressive onsight of the famous Lucille (pictured right) and both of the Wideboys put in a great show for the UK.

But just how hard are these routes? The grades are basically impossible to compare, right?

Tom told us:

"If you put Ray's Roof on this list, it would be at the bottom of the grades – so all in all, we were pretty chuffed to do these routes in a short time.

In amongst these routes, we also climbed a number of the old-school Scarpelli Sandbags (onsight or flashed) and most of the area's hardest offwidth boulder problems. Our list of other wide cracks climbed can be seen in a photo of my "Private Pirate" below...."

And what's next for the team?

"We're now finished with Vedauwoo and looking forward to visiting Trench Warfare, Belly Full of Bad Berries, The Crack House, Gabriel and many others!"

GOOD LUCK BOYS!

The Private Pirate list of glory  © Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
The Private Pirate list of glory
© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall


Tom, bouldering the desperate Desiderata  © Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
Tom, bouldering the desperate Desiderata
© Pete Whittaker / Tom Randall
Pete Whittaker bouldering at Vedauwoo  © Alex Ekins - No reproduction on other media without permission
Pete Whittaker bouldering at Vedauwoo
© Alex Ekins - No reproduction on other media without permission


Tom Randall is sponsored by Wild Country, Rab, Sterling Rope, Five Ten, Climb On and supported by The Edge Climbing Centre

Pete Whittaker is sponsored by Wild Country, Patagonia, Sterling Rope, Five Ten, Climb On

Travelling with the duo is photographer Alex Ekins. Thanks go to Alex for two of the above images. You can see loads more on his website: Alex Ekins


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30 Sep, 2011
The onsight of Lucille is really big news - but someone took the thread away about it mid week? Anyway, I said it then - Whittaker and Randall have given the Americans a fantastic response to the grit rampage of 'Team America' a couple of years back. Well done to Pete and Tom - what an amazing tick list! We all want and expect an onsight and a flash of Bellyful... now! ;-)
30 Sep, 2011
I wonder if they're going to try Century Crack...
30 Sep, 2011
Top news. Anyone know what the yank forums are? is anyone over there talking about it?
30 Sep, 2011
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1608296/UK-Offwidth-boys-in-USA Started off with this: Now they're a bit more impressed...
30 Sep, 2011
This is not my idea of a holiday!! Lucille looks f*cking horrible!! Awesome effort, and as said before a brilliant antidote to Team America's Grit Trip... Good luck in the rest of your trip guys.
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