to a spectrum of splits, fissures, chimneys and cracked roofs. She’s gathered a handful of sponsors and now climbs much of the year, spending a few months of each working as a surveyor in Alaska. “The sponsors help, of course, but the real job of working in Alaska really makes it possible to be a pro climber,” she says. Pack’s career—and offwidth climbing in general—got a huge boost in 2011 when two Brits showed up in America with the goal of climbing this country’s hardest offwidths. That involved repeating a lot of Pack’s routes in addition to climbing what is considered the hardest offwidth in the world, the Century Crack in Utah, rated 5.14, rarified air for a crack climb. The Brits, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, dubbed themselves the Wide Boyz and
produced a cheeky film about their efforts. Pack appears in the eponymous film talking about the difficulty of offwidth climbing. The collaboration helped burnish Pack’s reputation among climbers. “One thing about them is that by repeating a lot of our routes, they validated them as hard, world-class climbing,” Pack says. “For us, it was hard to grade them because there really wasn’t anything like them. Now, since the Brits came along, the magazines have been much more interested in what we’ve been up to.” And what Pack and Kingsbury have been up to is putting up close to 80 first ascents. It’s likely that most of these routes won’t be repeated for a simple reason: Almost no one wants to suffer badly enough to get up them. “These are routes that you train for in a very specific way,” Pack says. “I’ve spent a long time working with trainers and Pilates experts and physical therapists to do this sort of climbing. You don’t just show up and get up a hard offwidth.” In fact, the Brits spent months in a basement where they built wooden facsimiles of desert cracks and fine-tuned their jamming skills. “Offwidthing is just this complete, all-body pump,” Wide Boy Tom Randall says in the film.
Outdoor Adventure Under the Big Sky