Pete Whittaker’s ascent of Baron Greenback, E9/10 7a, at Wimberry in May of this year was not only one of 2013’s best ascents but resulted in one of the Uk’s hardest routes, period.
Cementing Pete’s status as a ‘gritstone God’ after plenty of hard first ascents and repeats, including the phenomenal ‘Dynamics of Change’ at Burbage South, Pete felt that Baron Greenback even put that into the shade. “Baron Greenback’ is the hardest thing I’ve done on grit and an accumulation of everything I’ve learnt climbing on gritstone, along with a bit of consistant training on some weaknesses. I’m very very pleased to have done this route. First ascents are always more special to me then repeats.”
Not only that it’s a proud line and as Tom says “I think it’s up there with all of the hardest routes on grit. It’s a very special route indeed, if you’re talking about cool, asthetic, big and hard lines.”
In this video we get to witness the first ascent of ‘the Baron’ and check out the difficulty of this incredibly steep gritstone prow that Pete says “in sport climbing grades must be around the solid 8b mark.”
In a magical day Pete, Tom and Nathan Lee managed a new E9/10, repeated a 10 year old E9 for the first time and got the fourth ascent of a very bold E8. As Tom says ‘The atmosphere was amazing that day. Everyone wanted to do their projects and everyone was supportive of the other people. It was actually pretty good fun considering how serious it might have actually been.’
We interview Pete and Tom about that day and Baron Greenback here: bit.ly/1cYQUt6
Pete Whittaker, 1st ascent Baron Greenback