BLACK HEAD GR944644
This is a very worthwhile addition to the Deep Water Solo crags of Torbay, and although there are only a couple of routes there is a bit of playing around potential with some good jumps and traverses. There are a handful of quality traditional routes here as well.
Approach and access: If approaching from Babbacombe drive past the DIY centre car park then take the next turning on the L (passing big hotel on corner). Follow this road a short distance to a Pay and Display Car Park on the right. Park here then follow the Hope's Nose (the headland to the S of Anstey's Cove) path. 260 yards past a prominent concrete shelter a track branches off leftwards (not to be mistaken with another track with wooden steps just before). Follow the path down to the cliff top and continue South (i.e away from Anstey's!) until an obvious steep descent path is reached, complete with in-situ string. Alternatively follow the first 2300ft of Morning Town Ride!
Tides: If you want the solos to be pretty safe aim your trip to be up to 2 hours either side of low tide. The routes are still do-able after this, and the cruxes are still above reasonable water...but the starts aren't!
The Deep Water Soloes are located in the a cave at the Anstey's end of the crag.
Bazuka XS 5b S0 **
50ft An excellent Deep Water Solo traverse of the cave. Safe water for about 3 hours around high tide. Follow the obvious line of large holds into the cave, up to the roof and across a short hanging wall to gain a large platfrom. The route also goes in reverse. FFA Dave Henderson 5.7.98 (onsight solo) FA Ian Parnell, Clark Alston Autumn 1997 (originally called Warts N All)
Blind Lead the Blind E4 6b (Fr 7a+) S0 *
40ft An engaging deep water solo with an easy-to-fall-off move to start. Follow the Bazuka break rightwards for two metres. Using a finger-flake up to the right, grope for a sloper in the hanging groove above and barn-door to a jug. Follow good holds strenuously left into a short corner, and then exit right in an exposed position. FA MArtin Crocker 6.6.2001
Variation: I Sight E3 6a (Fr 6c) S0 (6.6.2001)
30ft From the foot of Spacehopper, traverse right along the lip of the roof and move up to a line of finger-crimps beneath a small triangular overhang. Take these rightwards with difficulty to the corner of the parent route. FA MArtin Crocker 6.6.2001
Veruca XS 6a/b S1
50ft Traverse to the back of the cave then gain an obvious traverse line (shallow water, often damp but on large holds) leading out to gain a “sit down stuff your legs in” rest. From here stretch out right to gain edges on a hanging wall then make some exciting moves to gain large flaky jugs. A few more moves gain a corner and thus a large ledge. FA Dave Henderson 5.7.98 (onsight solo) (the start described was climbed about a week later).
When you've got to know the above two routes, a good circuit is to approach by reversing Bazuka and then go back along the lower level Veruca!
On the eastern (i.e. Anstey's) side of the cave is a 20ft vertical wall of black rock. This is traversed by The Morning Town Ride (which starts from the beach at Anstey's) at about 5b and one can also climb up the middle at about XS 5c S0 (Solid Emulsion). The right arete goes at a pleasant 5a above nice deep water and there are some other little bits to play around on.
Traversing to the back of the cave and back out again (is the crux on Morning Town Ride) proves to be a very entertaining little trip, aspecially if there is a bit of swell running!!
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