a #tbt to our 2019 Crack School with Tom Randall & Harriet Ridley!
CRACK IS BACK!
Almost to the day 12 months ago, we hosted our first ever WIDE BOYZ CRACK SCHOOL! Now to say it went down a storm would be an understatement, so when Tom Randall dropped us an email at the end of last year, asking whether we’d like to be involved in the 2019 tour, we jumped at the opportunity and said YES!
The CRACK SCHOOL Coaches..
Tom Randall is one of the founding members of the infamous Wide Boyz, as well as Co-Founder of Lattice Training and Sublime Climbing. He is known for establishing the diabolical Century Crack (5.14b) in Canyonlands, perhaps the world’s hardest offwidth roof.
North Wales based Harriet Ridley is a passionate rock climber whose already impressive skills have only increased after a year spent living in the US. Ticking everything from classic sport routes and desert cracks to big, adventurous trad lines in Zion and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison she’s expanding her horizons to bigger and more remote trips.
Saturday 16th February, 8:30am at Reading Climbing Centre. Myself and Head Setter Rob were joined by the CRACK SCHOOL Coaches Tom Randall and Harriet Ridley, crack volumes and drills in hand, with a fully booked Crack School kicking off in 2hrs! After the volumes were installed, a few test runs were had…
… well quite a few…
…ok, so a lot of test runs, including Tom Randall, creating, and nailing an extension to our WBL R4 crack bloc, featuring the mega 360 volcano grips! Check out our Instagram Page for the full video. Now, a lot of the time when centres share videos of climbers demoing blocs, you look and think ‘well that doesn’t look that hard, they’re not even breaking a sweat! No shaking, no straining, it must be easy!’ PLEASE, before you think this, be warned, this bloc was nails! Like proper nails ! Mr Tom Randall is one of the worlds best crack climbers and therefore makes super duper hard blocs like this look way too easy!
The Crack School sessions consisted of a variety of essential skills; how to tape up and create your ‘Tape Glove’, how to perform basic to advanced jamming techniques and finally some CHALLENGES to combined all the techniques learnt!
After watching the first two sessions, cameras in hand and feeling very envious of the Crack School students, plus after taking part last year, and not being THAT GREAT, myself and Rob couldn’t help but get involved in session three, and see if we could improve on last years efforts! To make things a little more interesting, a coffee was on the line for the climber who completed the most amount of CRACK SCHOOL climbs!
So, how did we get on?
Stage one, create our ‘Tape Gloves’. Now last year we claimed we nailed it! This year however, after a few temporary fixes were required mid-session, we both decided in true school fashion ‘more practice required’
Stage two, fist jamming. Now this we nailed!
Stage three, basic jamming, aka ‘perfect hands’. ‘Marching’ technique ✅ again nailed it, ‘Swimming’ technique, not so much! Again ‘more practice required’, well for me anyway, Rob narrowly took the lead with the this one!
Stage four, thin / tight cracks. Now at point I wanted to make my excuses about having big hands, thin cracks etc.. but the truth is, the art of crack climbing is the technique, and like all techniques, you must practice. Yep, you guessed it ‘more practice required’. Rob again, found his rhythm with ‘Swimming’ technique and breezed the thin crack exercise.
Stage five, THE CHALLENGES! Well there is a reason it’s called the CRACK SCHOOL, and boy did we get schooled!
A huge thanks once more to WIDE BOYZ Tom Randall & Guest Coach Harriet Ridley, plus Crack School sponsors arranging and allowing us to host this great event. To all of you who took part, we truly hope you enjoyed yourselves, and finally to my amazing team for all their on going hard work to make these events what they. Oh, and for those who didn’t guess, Rob won our little in-house CRACK SCHOOL comp! ☕️
courtesy of Andrew Fleming Photographies
And lastly, if you missed out or just couldn’t get enough, we decided to purchase a couple more ‘crack’ volumes for RCC on top of the ones we already have! Maybe you’ll see them in a route soon!