Katy Whittaker on the grit

05 November, 2013

Katy Whittaker is one of the newest members of the DMM Climbing Team and she recently sent us this update on her grit season:

"I had an early start on the grit this year when it was still pretty warm over in the Peak District with the highlights including Green Death (E5 6b), and head points of The Bad and the Beautiful (E7 6b) and Paralogism (E7 6b/c)."
Katy Whittaker crossing the large roof of Paralogism (E7 6b/c), Roaches Upper Tier. © Simon Wilson
"Last Sunday we randomly ended up driving out to Black Rocks and it rained the whole journey. It was all looking a bit grim but brightened up in the middle of the afternoon. Gaia (E8 6c) is a route that had been on my tick-list for a long time. Every winter it has been at the back of my mind but I'd never plucked up the courage to try it properly. This winter I'd decided enough was enough and I had to give it a good go. I had top roped it a few times recently but it had always been a bit too warm for the lead. First up, Dave Mason totally crushed Meshuga, managing to get it done in just one session."
 
Katy Whittaker in the gathering gloom on Gaia (E8 6c), Black Rocks. © Dave Mason
"It then came to my time to climb but it was getting late. I felt like I could do it but it was slowly getting darker. I placed the gear at the foot of the groove, got pumped and climbed down. I de-pumped as much as possible then just went for it. I knew if I messed up the hard first move it was over for the day, luckily I didn't. It was the best feeling ever actually sitting on top of that block after all the years of looking at it and imagining doing it."
Hard to talk about Gaia without Jean-Minh Trin-Thieu's fall, in the classic 1998 climbing flick, Hard Grit, coming to mind.