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text by Barnaby Carver

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In West Cornwall ‘hard’ bouldering might seem an apparently recent phenomenon; however, climbers such as Bob Lambourne, John Hooper and John Burgess have been pioneering and establishing hard problems in the area for decades. Although most of these older problems are perhaps not quite a high enough grade to make the list, many - including those at Carn Brea, Godrevy and elsewhere – would be first on any list of ‘Area Sandbags’ or ‘Cornish Classics’

Better known for his routes than his bouldering, Mark Edwards, in addition to the one problem listed here, has bouldered extensively in Sennen’s Black Zawn and below the Coastguard Face (Hayloft Area). Unfortunately any names or grades these problems may have are as yet undocumented. He also bouldered at Carn Brea (whilst studying at Cornwall College in the late nineteen eighties) and, as legend has it, produced a guide.

There has also been more activity at Gwynver recently but information about these newer problems is currently not available.

It is important to acknowledge that some of these listed problems may have been climbed before and that other people might be climbing hard problems in the area. But this list represents the best record so far of the current hard bouldering in west Cornwall.

THE PROBLEMS - click for a table of 35 "hardest" problems in Cornwall.


Photos Left to right:
Sven Scholz, with Heike Arnold spotting, on his problem ‘Evil Weasel’ 7c+, at Gwynver, nr Sennen. Photo. © Christine Preis.
:: Heike Arnold, being spotted by Michael Scholz on ‘Last Try’ 7a+, at Gwynver, nr Sennen. Photo © Barnaby Carver.

Photos Left to right:
Chris Hall on ‘Ur Hot’ V8, at Godrevy. Photo. © James Strongman.
:: Barnaby Carver squeezing the crux crimps of ‘The Minitower Traverse (a.k.a. Three Egyptians) V7, Man’s Head, St.Ives. Photo. © Tobi Carver / B. Carver collection.

Photos Left to right:
:: Dave Henderson on ‘Le Temp Passé (a.k.a. L.T.P.)’ V7, Godrvey.
Photo. © Barnaby Carver.
:: Andy Whall climbing the ever-popular ‘Boomerang’ V7 at Clodgy Point, St. Ives. Photo. © Barnaby Carver.

:: Sven Scholz climbs the excellent ‘Paresis’ 7a+, Gwynver, nr Sennen. Photo. © Heike Arnold.


Many thanks to Barnaby Carver for writing the text.


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