VIDEO: Crack School Episode 8 - Advanced Hands

by Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Feb/2014
This news story has been read 6,709 times

Wild Country ‘Crack School’ is a series of eight short videos designed to utilise the skills and knowledge of Wild Country climbers Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker to give an introduction to crack climbing. Over 8 episodes the guys cover all widths of crack: Fingers, Hands, Fists and Offwidths as well as looking at the skills of gear placement and taping up. In the first episodes of Crack School Tom and Pete looked at the basic techniques of crack climbing, the all important building blocks for any would be crack climber - how to jam, what to do with the feet and how and when to place gear. 

Advanced Crack School
In these more advanced sessions Tom and Pete look at techniques for when the crack doesn't do what you want it to - when it's too wide, too thin or non-existent. They look at what tricks and techniques you need in your armoury to take your jamming one stage further. 

In Episode 8 ‘Advanced Hands’ Pete and Tom look at the following:

Too thin: Once a crack gets too thin for you hand things get tricky. The solution is to go thumbs down and insert your hand to try and create a ‘camming action’ using the widest bit of the base of your thumb. The fingers are then curled over this base to give a solid(ish) jam.
Cupped hands: The problem when a crack is too wide is that the thumb doesn’t create an adequate spacer and doesn’t do enough to jam the hand in the crack. The solution is the ‘cupped hand’ jam – essentially relying more on the knuckles to give you the required friction – obviously this is pretty painful so tape is essential!!
Hand crack tricks: Some top tips from the boys include the ‘squashed fist’ which helps when ‘cupped hands’ gets too painful or too wide and the ‘wrist cam’ a way of relieving some of the strain on the hands over a long pitch.

As usual, Tom’s supplied us with a shortlist of ‘nasties’ to get into:

  • Nectar Roof E4 Peak
  • Burning Desire E5 Scotland
  • Milky Way E5/6 Yorkshire
  • Our Forte E6 Peak
  • Street Fighting Years E7 Dorset
  • Forever Laughing 8a Dorset
  • All Elements V11 Bathford


  • Desert Gold 7c+ Red rocks
  • Greenspit 8b/+ Italy
  • Necronomicon 8b/+ Utah

2014 Crack School Masterclasses
If you want to know more about crack climbing and even to learn direct from Tom and Pete Wild Country are running a series of Crack School Masterclasses across the UK for spring 2014 - see more here: Or contact the walls direct:

8th March - Boulders, Cardiff. 

Call 029 20484880. Mail: or go to 

15th March - The Foundry, Sheffield.
Call 0114 279 6331. Mail: or go to 

29th March – Manchester Climbing Centre.
Call 01612307006. Mail: or go to 

26th April – The Leeds Wall, Leeds.  SOLD OUT
27th April - The Climbing Station, Loughborough.
Call 01509 217 636. Mail: or go to 
15th June – Castle Climbing Centre, London.
Call 020 8211 7000. Mail: or go to

Enter our Crack School Competition
As usual we are running a competition alongside our latest video you can enter our competition here and the prizes include entry to our Crack School Masterclasses across the country. Enter our Crack School Masterclass competition….

Wideboys 2
And following on from their round the world crack successes Tom and Pete will be appearing in a new film of their outrageous exploits. Premiering at SHAFF 2014 Wideboyz 2 show what the ‘boyz have been up to since their return from Century Crack…
See more here:

Crack School is brought to you by Wild Country

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