Wild Country - ascents of the year 2011 from the Wild Country and Red Chili Uk climbing teams.
It’s been a fantastic year for Wild Country and Red Chili and it’s also been a great year for our climbers who between them have managed to post a host of incredible ascents on the national and international scenes.
So in case you missed any of the action we’ve compiled a bit of a ‘hitlist’ of some of these fantastic achievements (and for bit of fun put them in order) to make an end of year round up – and to toast everyone who climbs for us.
But after a lot of deliberation it ended up being too difficult to separate three outrageous ascents by some quite different climbers: so instead there’s a joint first place for three different but equally amazing and inspiring ascents. So here are our top 8 ascents from our Uk team in 2011....
# 1a. Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker for Century Crack 5.14b/8c/E10 6c? ‘They said it would never go free’ – well they didn’t say that exactly but it did seem a preposterous proposition, 100+ feet of horizontal offwidth, that can be seen on Google maps, which had repulsed ‘the best’, out in the desert a 4hr drive from anywhere....well the rest is history...
You can see the Century Crack video - here: http://vimeo.com/31873646
And there's a Wideboyz Interview here: http://vimeo.com/34089389
One of the ascents of the year - James Pearson on Muy Caliente E10 7a, Pembroke.
#1b. James Pearson for Muy Caliente, E10 6c, Pembroke, Wales, UK. One of the Uk’s most talented climbers went away, thought about it, trained like a demon and applied his new found skills to upsetting the applecart again with a skin of the teeth failure to flash a UK E10 route. Once again pointing the way forward as he has since the age of 17 James has used the adversity of some grading ‘setbacks’ to make him a stronger climber once again. See the Muy Caliente video – here: http://vimeo.com/25140891
#1c. James McHaffie - Big Bang, 9a, Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales, UK. In some people’s minds the strangest conversion since St Paul on the road to Damsacus was James McHaffie becoming one of a very small number of Brits who’ve climbed 9A as well as getting the second ascent after 15 years of this ‘rat crimp’ nasty. However, to those who have watched his career for many years this is a guy who simply doesn’t know limits and constantly invents new ways to surpass himself on rock.
See the Big Bang video - http://vimeo.com/28107941
#2. Ed Hamer – 2nd place at the World Youth Cup Imst, Austria as well as a second in his last ever European Youth Cup. And I know these aren’t strictly ascents but it seems worth celebrating a first podium finish for a Brit in a leading championship for a very long time as well celebrating the fact that Ed’ll be as the fact that Ed will be around for a very long time to come.
Read more here: http://bit.ly/skHYQR and here http://bit.ly/u0eofk
See Ed Hamer interview video here: http://vimeo.com/26593785
#3. Hazel Findlay – Golden Gate, 5.13a, El Capitan, Yosemite, USA. In becoming the first British woman to free El Cap Hazel simply cements her status as an amazing talent and maybe just theone to watch in 2012 for something truly special.
Read more here - http://bit.ly/rrTHCr Hazel video here - http://vimeo.com/26106509
#4. – Jordan Buys - 2nd ascent Loaded E8 7A, Ilkey, Uk. after a very long time. No video but a great spread in Climb magazine in Jan 2012. Jordan’s had a great year and his ascent of the very hard and not often repeated sports route Controversy 8b+at Malham earlier this year was simply the precursor to some more hardcore grit action from this Lancashire hotshot. I predict more amazing things this winter.
You can see more about Jordan here - Other Jordan videos - http://vimeo.com/16885645
#5. Ned Fehally - Samson E9 7A, Burbage South, Peak District, UK. Now this is probably not Ned’s hardest ascent this year, the man is a veritable machine, but by ground up highballing this classic Jerry Moffatt ‘route’ Ned seems to have caught the zeitgeist by showing how some amazing climbers are changing the game on gritstone by blurring the lines between routes and boulders. We’re expecting great things in 2012.
Samson video here - http://vimeo.com/33103583
#6. Adam Hocking – Return Of The King E9 7a 2nd ascent, East Buttress, Scafell. Following his first ascent of ‘The Keswickian’ E8 7a, in April (http://vimeo.com/25808567) Adam does the unlikely and becomes the first person to repeat one of Dave Birkett’s many E9’s – and it’s a big one, taking an impressive line up the very overhanging east Butress of Scafell. All caught on film it’s a very impressive bit of climbing from a very underrated climber.
Return Of The King is the middle part of the film ‘Islands’ – see it here - http://vimeo.com/33813853
Anyway thanks to everyone who’s pulled on a Wild Country t shirt this year and stuffed our gear in cracks or clipped up a route and to those wearing Red Chili shoes as well – A BIG THANKS. See you all in 2012!!
And here's some footage of Tom and Pete on the amazing Century Crack...