Crack Climbing

Mastering the skills & techniques

Author: Pete Whittaker Alex Poyzer

Series title:

Paperback publication date: 15 Jan 2020

Paperback ISBN: 9781911342762

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Crack Climbing by Pete Whittaker provides a single point of reference for all crack climbing techniques. Pete demonstrates the many different techniques and to give you an understanding of when, why and how to use them. Also features interviews with some of the world’s top crack climbers, including Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Peter Croft.

The ability to climb cracks is at the core of a climber’s craft. Crack Climbing by Pete Whittakerprovides a single point of reference for all crack climbing techniques, regardless of the grade you climb. Pete is widely regarded as one of the best crack climbers in the world, having made dozens of cutting-edge first ascents and hard repeats, including the first ascent of Century Crack (5.14b) in Canyonlands, Utah. In this book, Pete has drawn on years of experience to demonstrate the many different techniques and to give you an understanding of when, why and how to use them. Develop these skills with confidence and your climbing standard will improve. The book is split into easily accessible sections on techniques for different widths of cracks, including finger cracks, hand and fist cracks, offwidth cracks and chimneys. Pete looks at the basics, including the hand jam – the essential technique in any crack climber’s repertoire – right through to advanced techniques such as the sidewinder and the trout tickler. Step-by-step practical information and how-tos are supplemented with tips and tricks from Pete alongside illustrations by Alex Poyzer and photographs. Additional chapters cover how to tape up, as well as essential gear and equipment. Pete has also interviewed some of the world’s top crack climbers so that you can learn from the best. Gain insights from Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold, Barbara Zangerl, Peter Croft and more. Master the craft and advance your climbing. It’s time to jam!

Drawn to climbing by the challenge and adventure, Pete Whittaker seeks out pioneering first ascents and revels in pushing his personal limits. Having grown up in the Peak District surrounded by the area’s world-famous gritstone crags, he has been climbing since the age of six and has gone on to rack up an impressive mix of climbing achievements on a variety of rock types and styles across the globe. As one half of the Wide Boyz duo with Tom Randall, Pete has become synonymous with hard crack climbing. He has taken techniques learnt on his local crags and has applied them with great effect all over the world, most notably on the huge roof cracks in the desert areas of Utah, and on the big walls of Yosemite. In 2014 Pete flashed the classic Freerider (5.12d) on El Capitan, Yosemite, and in 2016 he became the first person to make a solo-free ascent of El Capitan in under 24 hours. He followed this up in 2018 with a single-day solo link-up of both El Capitan and Half Dome. On his local gritstone, Pete’s major first ascents include Dynamics of Change (E9 7a), Bigger Baron (E10 7a) and Sleepy Hollow (E10 7a). Further afield, he has made the first ascents of Century Crack (5.14b), the world’s hardest offwidth crack, The Millenium Arch (5.14a), and Lamb of God (5.14b) – his hardest crack to date, all in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Pete’s hard crack credentials also include the first ascents of Crown of Thorns (5.14a) and Cruzifix (5.14a), repeats of the legendary Cobra Crack (5.14b) in Squamish, Canada – considered the hardest finger crack in the world at the time – and Greenspit (F8b, trad) in Valle dell’Orco, Italy, and dozens more crack routes graded in the 5.13 bracket. He was also the first person to flash a 5.13 offwidth with his first-go ascent of Belly Full of Bad Berries (5.13a/b) in Indian Creek, Utah, in 2011. Pete believes he has only scratched the surface of what is possible with hard crack climbing.

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