- By Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker
Take a peek at the latest issue of Climbing magazine and you'll find Patagonia climbing ambassador Pete Whittaker sporting the kind of face that only climbing offwidths can produce. The story that goes with this photo: "The World's First 5.14 Offwidth." Together with his partner Tom Randall and photographer friend Alex Ekins the crew from the UK travelled throughout the American West ticking off our nastiest off-widths. Here's an excerpt from the Wide Boyz blog, discussing how the two came up with the landmark grade. -Ed.
Ok, so I suppose it’s finally time to lay our nuts on the table and come up with a grade for Century Crack. There have been stories of superlative climbing events over the years that have been surrounded by grading controversies, climbing style arguments and conflicting personalities battling it out for the first ascent. I’m not sure that Century is any different from this; Stevie’s had his say, certain keyboard heroes have mass debated and the 9a grade has been thrown around.
[Patagonia Climbing Ambassador Pete Whittaker takes a breather to avoid going batty on his attempt to climb Century Crack. Canyonlands, Utah. Photo: Alex Ekins via WideBoyz blog.]