26.09.16 | By Wild Country

The Crucifix project is the latest in a line of crack projects for you, the most notable being Century Crack (5.14b) in 2011. 

What comes first: The project or the destination?

That really depends on the type of trip I am heading out on. For example, Tom and I headed out to the Canyonlands with the specific objective of climbing Century Crack. The same was true for Cobra Crack in Squamish.

 

With regards to the Crucifix project, we headed out to the White Rim as a destination knowing that there was a potential project out there and luckily we came across the Crucifix (described as "a God line" by partner Randall).

 

What helps you to pick out a specific project?

Well for Century Crack, all we had was two photos which set us on that particular path! However, usually it is tip offs from locals who want to see a specific project done or photos and videos of areas which get us psyched to check out a place for new routes.

 

So how does the Crucifix project compare to Century Crack?

Essentially, Century Crack was the same move which was repeated lots of times whereas the Crucifix project has very varied climbing and is overall a longer route!

So break down the Crucifix for us.

The first part of Crucifix is forty foot of French 8a climbing. It is roof climb which has a mixture of hand jams, thin hand jams, an offwidth pod and cruxy finger crack section which leads to a poor rest.

 

Then you hit the crux section which is 30 foot of 9a climbing. It is all fingers, monos, the odd ring jams, some finger locks and one crucial edge! Whilst the hands are bad but manageable, the main issue is the lack of good footholds. Tom and I were actually thinking of adapting some rockshoes to create some winkelpicker climbing shoes which would enable us to get some purchase from the splitter crack! I reckon on its own, the crux section would rank as a V14 boulder problem.

 

Once you have completed the crux section, you are halfway through the route! The remainder of the route is a lot more adventurous in style with varied climbing at around 8b sport but it has a very droppable move right at the end!

 

You were able to be quite specific on your training for Century Crack - how have you prepared for the Crucifx?

The Crucifix is very different and much harder than Century so Tom and I have had to change our training slightly. Tom and I are both really good at training for endurance projects but Crucifix has such hard climbing, we have had to change up with more power sessions and developing finger strength.

Pete getting stuck in on the best the White Rim has to offer on the  reconnaissance trip earlier this year

Nailing the Crucifix

Pete pulling a signature gurn on the upper section of Century Crack. / Photo: Alex Ekins.

Pete on Dynamics of Change (e9 7a). / Photo: Hotaches productions

Crucifix looks set to be another part of the "Wideboyz" chapter in your climbing career. How did you make the evolution from a Gritkid to a Wideboy?

My climbing career really took off through climbing with Ben Cossey who made me realise that I could climb harder routes on grit. Before I climbed with him, I had only climbed E2 and suddenly he gave me the confidence to realise that I was able to climb harder routes on the grit. Ultimately, this led to me climbing routes such as Dynamics of Change (e9 7a) and Baron Greenback (e9/10 7a)

 

 Around the same time as finishing Dynamics of Change, I was invited by Tom Randall to go on a trip to Italy to try Greenspit (8b+ offwidth in Valle Orco made famous by Didier Berthod in the film, First Ascent ) and on the same trip we managed a first ascent of the off-width, Gloves of War (e6 6c). This trip really forged the partnership between Tom and myself and started the off-width climbing odyssey that has led us to the Crucifix.

Pete on Bachelors Left Hand (HVS 5b) as a part of the Staffs Nose Challenge which he recently broke with Tom Randall.

And can you see what the next chapter is for your climbing?

All of the things I am good at in climbing; cracks, endurance and enjoying complete suffer-fests all lend themselves to big-wall climbing. I have had a couple of trips to Yosemite and Squamish which have opened up some possible projects for me so that may well be where the future lies for me but we shall see!

 

And what about any projects here in the UK?

I have done an unbelievable amount of climbing in and around the Peak District but I have hardly scratched the surface of climbing in other parts of the UK such as the Lake District so there is definitely lots of quality routes I want to get on.

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