Since moving up to Manchester for his studies from Devon, Pete's Yorkshire limestone ticklist has been growing, having made light work of Bat Route 8c on his third go and Unjustified 8b+/c at Malham Cove in just two attempts last October (UKC news report). He also had a successful trip to Spain this winter, where he climbed his first two 8c+s.
Widely regarded as one of the best routes of its grade in the country, True North has attracted some big names in sport climbing over the years. Ian Vickers completed a super-quick ascent of True North many years ago in just two hours - hence the significance of Pete's time - and in subsequent years Steve McClure narrowly missed out on the flash, whilst Alex Megos also climbed the route on his second go last year.
Neil Gresham sent Pete some questions for the following mini-interview.
Neil: How do you rate the quality of the climbing on True North? Does it live up to its reputation as one of the best 8cs in Britain?
Pete: I really loved True North. My favourite climbing in England is on Ferocity Wall at Anstey’s Cove, but True North had the same quality of moves as Ferocity and it is three times the height, so for me it’s probably the best hard route I’ve climbed in England. I also feel like it as good as anything I’ve climbed in Europe as well. Yeah, it’s the best 8c I’ve climbed in England, I’ll be very surprised if there is a better one!
Neil: Had it been on your hit-list for a while or was it a spur-of-the-moment decision to try it?
Pete: Yeah it’s been on my hit-list. I’d heard lots about it from my brother and Ted who had both been trying it last year and they spoke of its quality. I saw the route and nothing else at the crag grabbed my attention as much, so I got on it.
Neil: Not many people have climbed 8cs this quickly in the UK. Are you planning to up the bar further and go for speed-redpoints of 8c+s?
Pete: Well, there is Progress right next to True North, which I’d like to get on and like always I’ll give it everything when I try it. I don’t particularly go out looking for speed ascents, as I was fully expecting True North to take a few sessions. The two things I’d really like to finish off are Ropes of Maui in Llanberis and Brian on Ferocity Wall in the next month or so.
Neil: Has your recent training been geared more towards competitions or redpointing or do you adopt an overall approach that favours both?
Pete: I’ve got a few big competitions coming up, the second round of the British Lead Cup, the Junior British Bouldering Championships and a European in Switzerland. I’ve been working hard for those. I’ve also missed a couple weeks' climbing as I’ve been revising for my exams, which allowed me to focus on training. My training is a bit of everything, which just generally keeps me in good shape. I haven’t done anything specific.
Pete is sponsored by: La Sportiva