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Screenshot taken from BMC TV of Pete Whittaker making the first ascent of Headless Horseman Arête at the Roaches, England,
Photo by BMC TV
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Gritstone gems climbed by Pete Whittaker and Tyler Landman


At the end of 2013 British rock climbers Tyler Landman and Pete Whittaker made the first ascents of two notable, unclimbed lines on Britain's gritstone: the boulder problem Smiling Buttress at Curbar and Headless Horseman Arête at the Roaches.

In November and December 2013 two British rock climbers, Tyler Landman and Pete Whittaker, succeeded in climbing two great, unclimbed gritstone lines at Curbar and the Roaches. World-class boulderer Landman set the ball rolling in November; currently based in the US, he returned to the UK for a lightening visit with his sights set on Smiling Buttress at Curbar. Boasting a bad landing, this highball boulder problem had risen to fame over the years as it had foiled all (highly talented) suitors, yet Landman sent it after only two days of toprope practice and without having linked all the moves previously. Although currently ungraded, Smiling Buttress certainly checks in as one hardest boulder problems on gritstone.

Pete Whittaker for his part climbed what is described as being "the last great unclimbed line on Staffordshire Gritstone", namely the project that had come to be known as Headless Horseman Arête at the beautiful crag The Roaches. Whittaker climbed the almost completely unprotectable arête on 8 December, a cold and wet day that then dried out thanks to a merciless, blustery wind that created ideal conditions. Whittaker has named the route Sleepy Hollow and suggested E10 7a, making it one of the few routes of this difficulty in the country. Both ascents were caught on film and can be watched below.





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