February 24, 2024

Pete Whittaker’s Hardest Commercial Rise: Crown Royale (9a) | video

In October, Pete Whittaker climbed one of the world’s toughest trad routes in a Crown Royale (9a) in Jøssingfjord, Norway. The British crack specialist explains in the video how he planned the difficult 100m and why he climbed the last 20m on his first free solo ascent.

In October of this year, Pete Whittaker managed to climb his long-term project Crown Royale on the sidewall in Norway. He has invested more than 30 sessions in the line over six years. He rates his first ascent at 9a, making it one of the toughest trad lines in the world if the grade comes up.

The Royal Crown: From Proposal for Review to Consensus

Pete Whittaker knows that it is very difficult to evaluate a difficult first ascent. It’s always difficult to evaluate climbs at your max, because every increase in perceived difficulty feels like a big step, when in reality you’re not making that much progress.

However, I think it is good to suggest a degree for a new path because it builds consensus over time.

Pete Whitaker

For one thing, Whittaker based his rating on the Darth Vader app, which he gave it a soft 9a. On the other hand, he compared Crown Royale with similar tracks on the profile wall, for example with Recovery Drink (8c+).

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

Pete Whitaker

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Credits: Cover image Haroun Al Wahab