Pete Whittaker, British trad climber and one half of the famed Wide Boyz duo, pulled off a flash of La Fuerza de la Gravedad 5.13d (8b) at the Vadiello crag in Spain in early November. In a newly released video, Whittaker showcases the send, which is one of the hardest trad flashes in history.
A rare limestone splitter, La Fuerza de la Gravedad 5.13d follows an extremely steep traversing crack past some jug rests and an upside-down dihedral crux near the top. The climb was originally graded 5.14a by first ascensionist Carlos Logroño Viscasillas. Whittaker believes that with new beta, including the use of a knee pad, the climb is more likely 5.13d, and a softer one at that.
You can watch his battle with La Fuerza de la Gravedad in the Wide Boyz video below. Running commentary accompanies Whittaker’s send footage, giving us a glimpse into what he was thinking and how he was feeling throughout the climb.
This is not the first time Whittaker has flashed a 5.13d trad route. In 2019, he sent Ronny Medelsvensson 5.13d on his first go at the Profile Wall in Jøssingfjord, Norway. The hardest trad route flash of all time was likely Alex Megos’ send of The Path 5.14a R. Located at Lake Louise, the Sonnie Trotter route is one of Canada’s most famous pitches.
Whittaker’s trad climbing resume is as impressive as it is varied. In 2011, he made the first ascent of the world’s hardest offwidth, Century Crack 5.14b, in Canyonlands National Park alongside Wide Boyz partner Tom Randall. In 2016, he became the first climber to rope-solo Yosemite’s El Cap in a day, when he redpointed Freerider 5.13 on self lead belay. In 2020, he climbed one of the most difficult trad climbs in the world, Recovery Drink 5.14c, located at the Profile Wall in Jøssingfjord, Norway.
Also in 2020, Whittaker free-soloed the Renshaw/Foulkes route on the Kjerag formation in Rogaland, Norway. He finished the 800m route in two hours and 25 minutes and filmed himself from multiple angles while climbing. In Summer 2021, he and Randall made the first ascent of the 800m Great Rift 5.13, perhaps the strangest “trad” climb in the world. The pair spent four days and three nights climbing a 70-pitch horizontal crack on the underside of an elevated highway. Earlier this year, Whittaker sent The Kraken V13, a roof crack boulder problem.