Katy Whittaker – Master´s Edge E7 6b/c

by Jack Geldard – Editor – UKC Katy Whittaker has made what is thought to be the second female ascent of the coveted gritstone route Master´s Edge (E7 6b/c). In what Katy described as ´a good weekend´ she flashed the super-famous Stanage E5 White Wand, and went on to headpoint Master´s Edge at Millstone. Top photographer Alex Messenger was on hand to capture the moment. Describing Katy´s ascent he said: “Sunday in the Peak was bitterly cold, and Millstone was cold, dark and empty. Most sensible people had stayed in bed, but not Katy – when we wandered into the quarry she was smoothly practising Master´s Edge on top rope. She was looking strong, and with temperatures dropping and mid-afternoon darkness approaching, it was time to go for the lead. She cruised it.” Master´s Edge was first climbed by big Ron Fawcett back in 1983. It has had many ascents, mainly in the headpoint style. Airlie Anderson made the first female ascent back in 1994, James McHaffie made the first ground-up, no falls ascent in 2007. It is somewhere in the region of F7b+ to top-rope, and has gear at half height.A fall from the last move would be ground-brushing, and requires a very fast belayer to avoid serious injury. Airlie Anderson protected the bold start of the route with a double mattress, but still chipped her tooth in a ground fall from the low crux. Katy´s other recent hard ascents have included the gritstone arete Kaluza Klien (E7), Out of my tree (F8a) at Raven Tor and a flash of Nosferatu (E6) at Burbage. Katy was the 2007 British Bouldering Champion. Katy is Sponsored by Marmot, 5:10, Hitch n Hike, The Edge, Tendon Ropes, CAMP, Lafarge Thanks go to Alex Messenger for the photograph.