UKC

Matt and Dylan Heason Break Peak Classic Rock Round by Bike Record

© Matt Heason

Matt and Dylan Heason (13) have completed the Peak Classic Rock Round, travelling between the climbs by bike, in a time of 6 hours, 13 minutes and 13 seconds, beating the recent record by Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall.

In the process of putting this article together, it transpired that Matt and Dylan's record has now been bested by Tom Newberry with a truly astounding time of 3:10:08.

Father and son nearing the start line  © Matt Heason
Father and son nearing the start line
© Matt Heason

Seeing the WideBoyz and prior to that, Wesley Cole and Will Gould, have a crack at the record was a 'red rag' for Matt, who then 'dangled the carrot' to his youngest son, Dylan (13). Matt told UKC:

'He loves climbing and likes a challenge. He also goes to the same secondary school that Pete went to, has met Pete, and knows plenty about the Wide Boyz exploits, so was well up for having a crack at their record!'

The pair decided to start at Stanage and head from North to South, reversing the direction that other teams have travelled:

'A few reasons for this. Firstly we're very familiar with Stanage so it was good to get those routes done quickly whilst it was still chilly and out of the sun. There was a north-easterly wind, unusually, so I figured we'd have at least a side wind for most of it and possibly even a tailwind. And lastly, we were on mountain bikes (it's all Dylan has) and the route between Stanage and Birchen is largely off-road and flows really well downhill from north to south.'

Starting the clock at the bottom of the first climb, they both soloed Flying Buttress (HVD 4a) and April Crack (HS 4b), then Matt soloed the rest while trailing a 40m 6mm rope for Dylan. Their idea was to travel as fast and light as possible, taking minimal gear and body belaying away from the edge to save on time setting up belays. None of this fazed Dylan, who's far stronger than his dad:

'He's a demon of a climber so had zero trouble seconding any of the routes, and wasn't bothered by any of the traversing sections where he was facing a swing.'

Minimal gear and body belaying. Dylan look up at Flying Buttress (HVD)  © Matt Heason
Minimal gear and body belaying. Dylan look up at Flying Buttress (HVD)
© Matt Heason

From Stanage, they cycled mainly off-road towards Birchen and the next three routes. This was the hairiest part of the day for Matt, who had to watch Dylan jump his bike at every available opportunity. Once at Birchen, Matt quickly soloed the three routes, Topsail (VS 4c), Sail Buttress (HS 4b), and Powder Monkey Parade (S 4b), quickly followed by Dylan. They were on their way again after 15 minutes and back at their bikes in another 10, with 1 hour and 48 minutes elapsed in total. 

'Next came the meat of the day. 35km of cycling with a net height gain of over 1000m, the second half of which was into a headwind (never rely on the forecast!). We suffered on our mountain bikes. We tried to draft Dylan behind me, but it's hard when going uphill. Suffice to say it was a welcome sight to see Ramshaw Rocks on the horizon.

'We took a northerly approach to Hen Cloud and the Roaches, opting to walk our bikes along the frustratingly rideable footpath which leads to the col between the two crags. We locked the bikes up for the last time there, grabbed a sandwich, and headed up to Hen Cloud.'

There's a stark difference between Birchen and Hen Cloud with the latter including routes that are nearly 40m. For Matt, it was the 'main unknown' of the day:

'I'd only climbed here once before and couldn't remember which routes I'd done. As it turns out I'd done the first - Central Climb (VS 4c) - before. Because I was soloing I climbed each one as a single pitch for speed. Thankfully the routes are all very close to each other so there was little route finding in locating the other two - Modern (VS 4b) and K2 (S 4b). What amazing lines!'

The road cycling is pretty hard on a mountain bike...  © Matt Heason
The road cycling is pretty hard on a mountain bike...
© Matt Heason

Matt and Dylan were then on the homeward straight. They ran the 500m over to the Roaches and were met by brother and Uncle, Ben Heason, who provided moral support and sugar.

'The Roaches was the only crag we really encountered any other people. It was busy. Thankfully the people waiting to get on Black and Tans (S 4a) were happy to wait the five minutes it took me to solo and Dyl to second the route. Technical Slab (HS 4a) and Via Dolorosa (VS 4c) finished off the day and the challenge, with the clock stopping as Dylan fist bumped me at the top of the last route, at 6 hours 13 minutes and 39 seconds.

Dylan nearing the end at the Roaches  © Matt Heason
Dylan nearing the end at the Roaches
© Matt Heason

'Hopefully, others will see it as an opportunity for a great day out. It was one of the best day's climbing I've had in many a year.'

Matt has now expressed an interest in running the route with his friend Miles. Watch this space.

The list of 12 gritstone routes is from Ken Wilson's book Classic Rock. In total, the challenge is 17 pitches and roughly 55km of cycling. Challenges such as this are becoming increasingly popular, with the Lake District version having had numerous completionists and Anna Taylor ticking off a continuous round of Mountain Rock, amongst many others.

Dylan is supported by Five Ten and climbs at The Climbing Works. Matt has run the annual Sheffield Adventure Film Festival for the past 17 years.


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Great stuff!!! Amazing effort beating the WideBoyz‘ record!
3 Oct

Brilliant effort 🤘🤘

3 Oct

I like your style, Heasons. Wide Boyz, move over!

In the process of putting this article together, it transpired that Matt and Dylan's record has now been bested by Tom Newberry with a truly astounding time of 3:10:08.

3 Oct

3 hours 10 minutes? Holy sh*t!!!

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