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Weekend Whipper: Leo Houlding Nearly Decks

He places a high foothold that, as he stretches upward, pops. He resets, latches the target hold. But when tries to move his other hand ...

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It’s greasy, he moans in the uncut version. Leo Houlding, climber-writer-adventurer, keeps chugging on Pretty in Pink (E8 7a /5.13a or b) at Deer Bield Buttress, Far Easedale, Lakes (UK). He places a high left foot … that, just as he stretches for a right handhold, pops. He resets, looking like he means it, and latches the handhold, but when he tries to follow with his left hand … everything goes.

Is that “No” or “Doh” he shouts on the way down? Some 20-25 feet to … almost to the deck. The top two pieces of protection stay in; the bottom two pull, upward.

We’d call the belayer, Ann Taylor, a good sport. Cheerful. Dynamic.

Taylor, whom you may notice launched to higher than he was (clackers!), pretend-mimics him in a post on his IG: “I don’t know what all the squawking’s about, I’m at least a foot off the ground and there’s still two pieces left in.”

Houlding gives us a good postscript: “After all my whining about rain, grease, midges, gobies and a featherweight belayer, I walked away happy after the fifth try.”

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.

 

Thanks to Leo Houlding for use of the video. Readers, please send your whipper videos and information—and of course any lessons learned—to Alison Osius, aosius@outsideinc.com. Thanks to all.