Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall, also known as the “Wide Boyz,” have pushed roof crack climbing to the limit, having established some of the hardest in the world, but their most recent project might be their most ambitious.
They spent four days and three nights climbing an 70-pitch (originally reported by Whittaker as 80 pitches, but since updated to 70) roof crack below an elevated highway. They graded it 5.13 and said to bring “12 Blues, 10 Golds, goggles and a lot of tape.” They named it The Great Rift.
Whittaker and Randall became YouTube stars after releasing videos of their many urban roof crack climbs during the pandemic. The two gained popularity after they made the first ascent of the notorious offwidth Century Crack 5.14b at White Rim in Canyonlands, Utah. Century Crack runs dead horizontal for 30 metres, beginning with five metres of hands to a section of big No. 4s then into flared No. 6s, and the final crux.
Whittaker, who broke the news about the new 80-pitch climb on Instagram saying that it was filmed for Reel Rock 16, said, “Natural or not this has to be one of the very best crack lines out there and it’s nice to be able to bring one of world’s hardest cracks back to the UK.”