Sunday, 11 September 2011

'Wide Boyz' - A Crazy New Climbing Film (Due 2012)

We've been working on a new film which will be out next year featuring Peter Whittaker and Thomas Randall.

The last time Pete featured in a Hot Aches film (Committed Vol II) he produced some of the craziest climbing I've ever seen.

Pete Whittaker on the first ascent of 'Dynamics of Change' E9.
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Over the last couple of years Pete and Tom have been on a mission to climb the worlds hardest offwidth cracks. This mission is culminating in a two month climbing trip to the USA starting this week. Hot Aches have teamed up with American filmmaker Chris Alstrin of Alstrin Films and Chris will be recording all the action across the pond.

Offwidth crack climbing is a bit of a specialty. In fact, I'm not sure I understood exactly what the definition of an offwidth was until working with 'The Wide Boys', or 'Wide Boyz' according to their blog. Tom described it to me as a crack which is too wide to hand or fist jam, yet not wide enough to fit your whole body into, as then it gets classed as a squeeze chimney.

Personally,  I'm not sure about the 'z', What do you think? Should I call the film 'Wild Boyz' or 'Wild Boys'? Please let me know in the comments below.

I spent two weeks filming with the 'Boys/Boyz' in the Peak District and North Wales, climbing many of the UKs hardest crack climbs.

Tom Hanging out of Cobalt Dream E5

Ray's Roof, first climbed by the inventor of Friends, Ray Jardine, was considered the UK's classic hard offwdith. I've not only filmed Pete and Tom solo this but I've also got some funny footage of them attempting it wearing a 20kg training vest… Not the easiest thing to carry in to the crag.

20KG training vest

The Wide Boys haven't just been ticking off all the hardest climbs and problems, they have been training too… training like I've never seen before!
 crack training

Underneath a suburban semi on the outskirts of Sheffield is an offwidth crack training dungeon! A training cellar in Sheffield is nothing new, in fact there was a time when you could hardly visit a climber in Sheffield without him wanting to show you his woody! However, this one doesn't contain tiny crimps and a replica of Hubble.  No, instead it is made up of horizontal offwidth cracks of various sizes.

Pete wedged between two pieces of wood underneath a house in Sheffield

Here Pete and Tom spend their evenings hanging upside down and completing monster crack climbing circuits. The width of the cracks varies in places and to aid identification they have named the sections of crack… most seem to have girls names for some reason! 
 Tom in his cellar
The Wide Boys have now clocked up over 18,000 feet of offwidth climbing in Tom's cellar. The question now is how will that translate to hard offwidth climbing in the States? You can find out by following Pete and Tom on their blog here Wide Boyz Blog

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Pete and Tom's trip is supported by Wild Country, Rab and Patagonia

Thanks to Adrian Samarra for his help filming in the Peak and North Wales.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

look at the OW's of the Sweetwater Rocks in central Wyoming~ Roof of All Evil-When We Were Soldiers