"Life is brought down to the basics: if you are warm, regular, healthy, not thirsty or hungry, then you are not on a mountain... Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall - it's great when you stop."

Chris Darwin

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Crack School

Wild Country Crack School Masterclass - with Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall.

British gear manufacturer Wild Country sponsors Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, known as Wide Boys. The lads are no slouches when it comes to crack climbing whether it being full body combat of off-withing or the other end of the width spectrum.

Hot Aches has filmed their exploits on Century Crack (wide boyz ) and Cobra Crack (wide boyz ii – slender gentlemen ). The manufacturer has also produced Crack School Videos a series of videos where the guys reveal tricks of the trade.

Wide Boyz II – slender gentlemen

Slender Gentlemen. Source: . Credit: Hot Aches,  Licensed under: Public Domain.
Slender Gentlemen. Source: Hot Aches. Credit: Hot Aches, Licensed under: Public Domain.

features some cutting edge climbing both in alpine terrain (Shark's FinMeru Central6310mNorth East Pillar6a,A4, WI5,M61400m) as well as high-end rock climbing. I would imagine most of us having seen the film remember section titled "Wide Boys", as it is driven, gripping and funny all at the same time.

I wasn't too sure about whether I should buy the full-length version of Wide Boyz as I already owned the Reel Rock. Boy am I glad I did, as it is not merely a extended cut of the same film, rather than completely different movie. Having really enjoyed the film, when I read that there's a sequel in the making, a decision to buy it was a no-brainer.

The sequel Wide Boyz II – Slender Gentlemen sees the lads change their focus from wide to thin. Having tamed the most difficult offwidth, Pete and Tom set their sight to Cobra Crack, a legendary finger crack located in Squamish, Canada. The coveted first ascent of Cobra Crack fell to Sonnie Trotter in 2006. At the time it was considered one of the hardest traditional crack routes in the world, and still is. The grade was never set in stone and has wavered somewhere in the low to mid 5.14 range. Some seriously interesting additional info can be dug out from the web regarding the preparation for the climb, the climb itself as well as behind the scenes action.