Pete is widely regarded as one of the best crack climbers in the world, having made dozens of cutting-edge first ascents and hard repeats, including the first ascent of Century Crack (5.14b) in Canyonlands, Utah. In this book, Pete has drawn on years of experience to demonstrate the many different techniques and to give you an understanding of when, why and how to use them. Develop these skills with confidence and your climbing standard will improve.
The book is split into easily accessible sections on techniques for different widths of cracks, including finger cracks, hand and fist cracks, offwidth cracks and chimneys. Pete looks at the basics, including the hand jam – the essential technique in any crack climber’s repertoire – right through to advanced techniques such as the sidewinder and the trout tickler. Step-by-step practical information and how-tos are supplemented with tips and tricks from Pete alongside illustrations by Alex Poyzer and photographs. Additional chapters cover how to tape up, as well as essential gear and equipment.
Pete has also interviewed some of the world’s top crack climbers so that you can learn from the best. Gain insights from Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold, Barbara Zangerl, Peter Croft and more.
Master the craft and advance your climbing. It’s time to jam!
Drawn to climbing by the challenge and adventure, Pete Whittaker seeks out pioneering first ascents and revels in pushing his personal limits. Having grown up in the Peak District surrounded by the area’s world-famous gritstone crags, he has been climbing since the age of six and has gone on to rack up an impressive mix of climbing achievements on a variety of rock types and styles across the globe. As one half of the Wide Boyz duo with Tom Randall, Pete has become synonymous with hard crack climbing. He has taken techniques learnt on his local crags and has applied them with great effect all over the world, most notably on the huge roof cracks in the desert areas of Utah, and on the big walls of Yosemite.
In 2014 Pete flashed the classic Freerider (5.12d) on El Capitan, Yosemite, and in 2016 he became the first person to make a solo-free ascent of El Capitan in under 24 hours. He followed this up in 2018 with a single-day solo link-up of both El Capitan and Half Dome.
On his local gritstone, Pete’s major first ascents include Dynamics of Change (E9 7a), Bigger Baron (E10 7a) and Sleepy Hollow (E10 7a). Further afield, he has made the first ascents of Century Crack (5.14b), the world’s hardest offwidth crack, The Millenium Arch (5.14a), and Lamb of God (5.14b) – his hardest crack to date, all in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Pete’s hard crack credentials also include the first ascents of Crown of Thorns (5.14a) and Cruzifix (5.14a), repeats of the legendary Cobra Crack (5.14b) in Squamish, Canada – considered the hardest finger crack in the world at the time – and Greenspit (F8b, trad) in Valle dell’Orco, Italy, and dozens more crack routes graded in the 5.13 bracket. He was also the first person to flash a 5.13 offwidth with his first-go ascent of Belly Full of Bad Berries (5.13a/b) in Indian Creek, Utah, in 2011. Pete believes he has only scratched the surface of what is possible with hard crack climbing.
Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world’s talent hotbeds—from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York—Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.
• Deep Practice Everyone knows that practice is a key to success. What everyone doesn’t know is that specific kinds of practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.
• Ignition We all need a little motivation to get started. But what separates truly high achievers from the rest of the pack? A higher level of commitment—call it passion—born out of our deepest unconscious desires and triggered by certain primal cues. Understanding how these signals work can help you ignite passion and catalyze skill development.
• Master Coaching What are the secrets of the world’s most effective teachers, trainers, and coaches? Discover the four virtues that enable these “talent whisperers” to fuel passion, inspire deep practice, and bring out the best in their students.
These three elements work together within your brain to form myelin, a microscopic neural substance that adds vast amounts of speed and accuracy to your movements and thoughts. Scientists have discovered that myelin might just be the holy grail: the foundation of all forms of greatness, from Michelangelo’s to Michael Jordan’s. The good news about myelin is that it isn’t fixed at birth; to the contrary, it grows, and like anything that grows, it can be cultivated and nourished.
Combining revelatory analysis with illuminating examples of regular people who have achieved greatness, this book will not only change the way you think about talent, but equip you to reach your own highest potential.