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Top Crack Climber Sends His Nemesis Boulder Problem

Pete Whittaker is famous for his difficult crack repeats and first ascents, but he recently just sent a bouldering problem that he's tried for years

Pete Whittaker visits his local Gritstone crag in Stanage and tries to tick off some of the boulder problems he’s either never done or hasn’t even tried before.

“I’ve tried Victorian Overmantle on and off over the years, never putting more than one session in a row on it, but certainly having numerous sessions if they are all added up together,” Whittaker said, ”

“It turned into a small nemesis boulder as I really considered it to be my style of move. It was a pleasure to finally get it done, a real old school classic.” Other problems include Help the Young V7 and Help the Young Sit V11.

Whittaker grew up in the Peak District near Sheffield, where he had the Gritstone edges on his doorstep for all his life. He’s taken techniques learned from his local climbing and has applied them to great effect around the world, most notably in the desert areas of Utah on huge roof cracks and the big walls of Yosemite in California.

In 2011, he made the famous first ascent of Century Crack 5.14b, the world’s hardest off-width, in Canyonlands National Park with Tom Randal. In 2016, he became the first climber to solo-free (free climbing alone) El Capitan in under 24 hours, when he redpointed Freerider 5.13.

Pete Whittaker’s Nemesis Boulder