Mountain Trainin Picture

Mountain Trainin Picture

Monday, 5 August 2013

Cornish Granite...

Friday just passed (July 26th) I managed to get out with good friend Will and get a few of Devon's classic multi pitch routes in the bag. As Will is due do leave at the end of August and head to the middle East to work we set about ticking off a few of the routes on both of our wish lists.

First up was a route named Sacrosanct down at the fiercely over-hanging Sanctuary Wall. Sanctuary wall is a huge wall of compact limestone perched above the sea down at Anstey's cove, Torquay. The route weaves its way under the wall before taking a handrail traverse on the first pitch and then a very steep crack line on the second pitch to reach the top of the wall. We set off and soloed to the starting belay of the 1st pitch where we splayed the ropes out and built the first belay. The first pitch was mine to lead. High above the water with questionable gear placed and the thought of swinging wildly out and unable to reverse the moves ultimately got the best of me (the duration of time I faffed around will hopefully never be known). I passed the rack to Will and within minutes he had set off and made the hand traverse look simple. Once safe at the next belay I followed Will up and cursed myself for failing mentally to lead the first pitch. The second pitch was now Wills and he set off across the hanging slab and reached the monster crackline. Once the crack had been laced he raced up and built the next belay. I followed and with much shredding of skin I finally arrived at the top. Another classic HVS in the bag.

Will hand traversing the first pitch of 'Sacrosanct'...

Next up was another classic Devon route. Black Ice. This classic 2 pitch E3 5c climbs up the middle of the huge 'boiler plate slab' down at Long Quarry Point. Since I have already climbed this route in the past with Jack I was more than happy for Will to lead both pitches and take all the glory. Black Ice is a very thin slab route and is very balancy requiring very precise foot work. A great route and just the same as last time I was very happy to nail both pitches clean (predominately a slab climber).

With the 2 routes in the bag we headed over to Daddyhole to attempt Readymix. I led off up the first pitch and built the belay and brought Will up to the stance. We had a few attempts at the second pitch but due to looking like a complete horrorshow and no evidence of the route being climbed in years we decided to leave the chossy stuff alone and instead made a quick exit and climbed Gates of Eden instead.

With 3 multi pitches at 3 different crags in the bag we decided to call it a day as we were leaving the shire early in the morning to head down to Cornwall the following day.

Climbing trips with Will are always eventful and the weekend we spent in Cornwall was no different. In fact, the less that is said about Guiness and Cornish social clubs the better.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days that we spent in Kernow as we managed to get a good amount of routes done and just generally enjoyed everyone's company. Myself, Will, Lee and Si spent the whole day on Saturday  climbing down at a deserted Sennen Cove with great sunshine and generally good conditions. Cornish granite is always a joy to climb on and the protection on the routes is generally excellent. The routes that I got ticked off where as follows:

Double Overhang VS 4c - Lead on-site.
Dexter VS 4c - Lead on-site.
Vertical Crack HS 4c Lead on-site.

Along with these routes I managed to solo a good handful of routes in the sunshine.

The next day we had some breakfast served by a very angry South African man who just seemed to generally hate life and take an almost instant dislike to myself, very random. After this we headed down to Cape Cornwall to have a quick dip to waken up before heading down to Bosigran. Myself and Will had Commando Ridge on our wishlist and it seemed fitting to get this in the bag as the last route of the weekend. We headed down to the base of the route which was completely free of waves and crashing water, almost like a mill pond. We set off and soloed the 8 pitches alternating each one as we went. A perfect route with perfect conditions on a perfect morning. Only graded as a V-diff but the exposure throughout will keep you gripped.

Will on the 1st pitch of 'Commando Ridge'...
Another eventful climbing trip to Cornwall. Thanks to Si and Lee and good luck to Will in his future move to the middle East.