Pete Whittaker's hardest trad first ascent: Crown Royale (9a) | Video

In October, Pete Whittaker climbed one of the most difficult trad routes in the world with Crown Royale (9a) in Jøssingfjord, Norway. The British crack specialist explains in the video how he planned the tough 100-meter crack and why he climbed the last 20 meters of his first ascent free solo.

This October could Pete Whittaker his long-term project Crown Royale climb the Profile Wall in Norway. He invested over 30 sessions in the line over six years. He rated his first ascent 9a, making it one of the most difficult trad lines in the world should the grade manifest itself.

Crown Royale: From review suggestion to consensus

Pete Whittaker is aware that it is very difficult to evaluate tough first ascents. It is always difficult to rate climbs at your own limit, because every increase in perceived difficulty feels like a big step, while in reality you are not making that much progress.

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However, I think it's good to propose a degree for a new route as it builds consensus over time.

Pete Whittaker

On the one hand, Whittaker based his assessment on the Darth Vader app, which gave him a 9a soft. On the other hand, he compared Crown Royale with similar routes on the Profile Wall, for example with Recovery Drink (8c +).

Given all the facts, I suggest 9a (very low end) and look forward to seeing what future repeaters think.

Pete Whittaker

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Credits: Cover picture Aaron Wahab

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