Wide Boyz USA Begins

September 13th, 2011

Two years ago on the Greek island of Kalymnos a fiendish plan was devised. Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, while happily clipping bolts on a sun kissed sports climbing paradise, decided to climb the worlds hardest wide cracks. These wider fissures are described as offwidth and demand a brutal technique.  If sports climbing is two people in helmets hitting each other with soft foam covered cudgels in the TV show Gladiators, climbing offwidths is a no rules, bare knuckled fight in a Northern English pub car park.

 Back in the UK, construction began under Tom’s Sheffield home. They built wide cracks of wood, splintered offwidths, a sit up bar and, as demonstrated by Tom in the photograph below, the ‘The Hastonator’. A brutal training regime began. The tally of pain and dedication currently stands at 17,510ft of hand-fist stacking, more than 250,000 core conditioning movements, 42,300 pull-ups and bicep curls and 15hrs 45 mins of dish holds.

Hard UK offwidths began to be repeated, Ray’s Roof was soloed and a new route created with the industrial ‘Gobblers Roof’, now the UK’s hardest offwidth. A trip to Europe last summer resulted in repeats of Thai Boxing, Gloves of War and The Impossible Crack. And now the next stage begins. Wyoming’s Vedauwoo, Utah’s deserts, Indian Creek and Zion beckon.

So where do I fit into all this? Well in four hours I get on a plane to Salt Lake City to join Tom and Pete and to continue documenting their travails and tribulations. I’ll be blogging here and on the Rab blog, photographing for Climber and doing loads of  filming. Tom and Pete are blogging at Wide Boyz. Enjoy.

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3 comments on “Wide Boyz USA Begins

  1. SpNat says:

    Awesome!!!

    -Lucille?
    -1029?
    -Owl Roof?
    -The Crucifix
    -Bad Ass Mama (This was Blast!)

    Good luck and have fun!

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