Gill Peet repeats Traverse of The Gods
- Saturday 15th August 2020 at 4.59am
July 9th; 2017
Gill Peet has added her name to the list of climbers who have successfully completed the 300 foot monster traverse at Longridge, Traverse of the Gods (F8b+).
Gill Peet on TOTG. Photo Tanya Meredith
Tanya Meredith, Gill’s ‘best bud’ climbed TOTG back in September 2015; click here for that report. As we said back then, the 300 foot-long traverse, first done by Dave Kenyon in the mid/late Eighties, is an essential rite of passage for self-respecting stamina monsters. By all accounts Ian Vickers, Gill’s partner, famously did TOTG three times in a session!
CLIMBER have been in touch with Gill for the details of her ascent…
You’ve been climbing at Longridge since the late 2000’s; when did you tune into doing TOTG as a serious prospect?
Mainly this year! I always preferred bouldering at Longridge as I love to spend hours making up eliminates with Ian and every time I would had a bash on the traverse, I'd just forget all the sequences the following year, I was pretty half-hearted about it. The thought of one day doing the full thing was always on the 'very long term goals' list. It wasn't until my best bud Tanya told me she was going to truly commit to it and went on to complete it in 2015 that I was really motivated to do it myself. I'm mostly inspired my friends in climbing and Tan did just that. I tried to get stuck in to it last summer but the wet weather prevented me from exploring high break and so I focused on other projects.
Gill Peet on TOTG. Photo Tanya Meredith
TOTG is a monster; how did you prepare for it?
Unfortunately I started with a shoulder impingement last October and didn't pull hard for at least 3 months, but time was the greatest healer and by the start of this year my main goal was to regain the strength I once had when I was competing. I spent a lot of time at Boulder UK and with the traverse in the back of my mind, I opted for a concurrent style of training where you mix all elements of training together. Basically, I kept my bouldering strength up and did quite a bit of power endurance in the form of various crazy workouts that myself and Ian would come up with and favourite always being the pointing game. I'd make it my mission to traverse the full length of the room twice with plenty of hard moves thrown in to the mix.
I started back at Longridge in April this year when the weather came good and I had a month of learning the sections of the traverse that I was yet to explore such as the daunting high break, the tricky V7 boulder problem of Bend of the Rainbow and the last low section. Everything was coming together but I remember thinking there is no way I'll do Bend of the Rainbow when I'm pumped out of my brains. Tanya gave me a list of links I needed to do in order to feel like it was possible and I found myself successfully ticking off a new one on every visit. I think my training on the wall and setting myself a new link on each visit was the real key to feeling like I could possibly do TOTG.
When Tanya completed it in 2015 she said that the mental aspect of keeping it together was the hardest element; was that same for you?
No, I actually didn't find that a problem, it was more the self belief. My friends had been telling me for years that I could do it and I should get stuck in but I didn't think I was capable of climbing something of this grade, I was more of a boulderer really. I think the shoulder injury had a positive effect on my motivation and training as it frustrated me not being able to climb my best. When I knew I was feeling more like the old me, it was then that I thought I could possibly do TOTG.
You’re the fourth and final Director of the soon-to-be-opened Boulder UK Preston to complete the traverse. Is it a job requirement for the directors there?
Haha, I didn't even realise that, I guess it's a good job I did it, don't want to let the team down!
Any plans to do the ‘there and back’ like Ian?
I actually did think about this, but to be truthful I am pretty over visiting Longridge for a while. I fancy trying somewhere new and putting my new fitness to the test on something else but most of all I am looking forward to getting abroad once the new wall is up and running (could be a while) and just doing some onsighting.
So thanks to Gill for the low-down on her ascent of TOTG. As we said above, an interesting twist is that Gill is now the fourth and final director of Boulder UK_Preston – along with Ian Vickers, Neil Mawson and Tanya Meredith - to climb TOTG. Finally then, CLIMBER asked Gill how the work going at Boulder UK Preston and when the doors will be opening? “It's going really well. The wall builders have done an amazing job and I can't wait to climb on it. We are aiming to be open by late August if everything goes to plan but so far so good. I think the four of us are a really good team and we each bring something unique to the business; we're all passionate about climbing and really excited to evolve the Boulder UK brand and reputation.”
To check out the Boulder UK Preston developments go to their Facebook here and Instagram page @boulderuk_preston.