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WEST CORNWALL West Penwith | The Lizard

Guidebook: West Cornwall Authors/Year: loads (edited by Nigel Coe) 2001 Publisher: The Climbers' Club

A selection of the best routes in the area can also be found in South West Climbs by Pat Littlejohn (Diadem)

Further details on the area


Nice Little New Crag on the Lizard and some action from Pen Olver (19 March 2003)

Mark Edwards Summer round-up: Sennen (new E8); Hella Point (new E9); Penberth (3 new E7's and more); Bashers (2 new E6's, 1 new E5 and more!) 2002

Strewth mate; hot action from Boswednack (2 November 2002)

South Wales Boyz visit Basher's Harbour (23 September 2002)

WhirlPool Slabs New routes. A full guide to this crag, including topos (18 new routes, 4 existing). Developed by Barnaby Carver and Team.

Barnaby Carver - new easier lines at Porthguarnon East (and Rik Meek Team!!) (new page) (28 May 2002)

Lower Grade Development at Boscawen Point (1 May 2002)

Team Hannon, Meek and O'Sullivan discover pleasant new crag on The Lizard (17 February 2002)

.... yet another Rik Meek team route! (19 December 2001)

Mark Edwards new routes from last season at Carn Kenidjack and Zawn Rinny (27 November 2001)

Rik Meek and Pete O Sullivan + team add about a million new routes (includes topo and photos) (new page) (14 November 2001)

Paul Harrison visits Carn Guthenbras and Carn Les Boel (17 September 2001)

Rik Meek and Pete O Sullivan add lines to Porthguarnon East (16 July 2001)

New E3 on Amnesty Wall, The lizard (21 June 2001)

More St. Levan's Routes (21 June 2001)

Rik Meek and Pete O'Sullivan add new E2 to St. Levans Wall area (10 May 2001)

2 lines have been climbed at The Pen Olver area of The Lizard (6 May 2001)

West Penwith

Carn Kenidjack
Carn Barra
Carn Vellan

St. Levan's Wall
PenberthHella Point
Porthguarnon East (new page)
Carn Guthenbras
Zawn Rinny
Cribba Head
Boscawen Point
Carn Les Boel
Pellitras Point, Black Carn North, Blocks Promontory (new page)
Bashers Harbour

# - unconfirmed!

BOSWEDNACK CLIFF DREDD ZAWN (West Cornwall guide, page 75)

The right wall of the zawn is rarely in condition, but when it is (summer evenings), it provides good climbing on solid rock. Routes by Neil Foster, Claire Reading Routes are described from R to L. The first two are approached by traversing carefully left above the barnacled roof to belay on good ledges at the base of the prominent right-facing corner system which runs up the face.

An Audience With Milton Thomas E2 5b #
Follow the line which rises from halfway along the approach traverse finishing up the thin crack just left of the right arête of the zawn. NF, CR 25/6/01

The Man Engine HVS 5a #
The corner system and continuation to exit at a notch CR, NF 25/6/01 The next 3 routes start from a block ledge with an obvious crack leading up from its left hand side.

The Shambles E2 5c #
Climb the hanging groove in the arête above the right end of the block ledge, exiting left to gain a shelf. Pull onto the slab and tiptoe carefully up the gangway which leads rightwards to finish up the last few moves of The Man Engine. NF, CR 25/6/01

The County Adit E2 5b, 5c #
1) Climb the steep crack and continue via the mineral vein on the left, to a perfect flat stance at the base of a slabby area. 2) Follow the left-leaning groove in the headwall on the left, finishing at the V-slot. An interesting pitch, reminiscent of Tremadoc. NF, CR 25/6/01

The Coffin Level E5 6a #
The line of Zawn Dredd. Follow the slanting recess which runs up left from the block ledge to good runners in the obvious horizontal break at its top. Make a committing pull up left to gain the steep headwall, and sprint up this (Fr 3.5) to the top. NF, CR 30/6/01


...not really a "new route" as it was climbed in 1999, but still interesting:

Rewind E10 7a #
Mark's original description: "This climb is possibly the hardest of it's nature in West Penwith, and maybe beyond. Bolder than Question Mark, with some suspect rock in areas. Also technical in extremely powerful positions requiring a degree of mental control to overcome the seriousness of this climb.

A climb of immense character through the obvious weakness of this huge impressive roof. Natural in line, extremely bold with serious groundfall impact from a great height guaranteed. The route had been climbed a few years earlier (than the FBFA date below) with pre-placed protection, as a bolt-free headoint. It became the challenge to climb the route ground-up placing the gear. Unfortunately most of the protection on the headpoint ascent was impossible to clip, due to the requirements of the moves, also placing the gear requires both hands, obviously not practical on such a steep roof. Therefore many RP's and small wire placements became redundant. This is worrying knowing that you must climb past them un-protected. Another worry is the weather as the climb rarely comes into condition; northwest facing, catching the sun only at its lowest axis, and prone to sea mist and spray. You just have to be lucky and in top condition at the same time - not easy! (many visits ending up in The Queens Arms due to seepage).

There are two points of danger. First, climbing over some suspect rock to the only rest hold (several holds have snapped here during the bolted sports climbing ascents). Secondly above reaching the upper crack/groove (although this can be slightly tamed if the crux is reversed after placing two poor small Aliens). The crux is then reclimbed and a long run-out made to the groove/crack and the best protection ever (a fall from below this point would result in a 90ft groundfall and a good chance of hitting the Gnome Boulders - not recommended). Note: if your belayer is willing to take the 40ft jump of the boulders then the grade could be reduced, but reserve a hospital bed first!"

FA Mark Edwards as the sport route Blue Sky Lightning First Bolt Free Ascent Mark Edwards



Kin-ard-crack! E4 6a #
120 ft
Takes the harder-than-it-looks overhanging attractive crack overlooking the Gneiss Gnome corner. FA Mark Edwards Rowland Edwards & Kevin Thomas (his1st new route). (on sight)




Another fine addition to an already impressive area of hard quality routes. And a line outstanding for many years!

Heart E8 6c/7a 25m *** Another good hard quality line. Tackling the stepped overhangs up the arete below the huge roof of “Much Ado about Nothing” and right of Slippery Slab. The landing is solid granite, and therefore the grade must be reduced depending on the quantity of crash mats and spotters! Start below the first roof right of the overhanging arete. Make hard pulls off the ground to reach over the roof and trend up leftwards towards the arete. Once established on a good but strenuous hold, make a difficult sequence of moves to reach the edge of the roof; first protection in crack on right. Make an awkward mantle, and continue boldly and without protection up the slab right of Slippery Slab. FA Mark Edwards (head-point solo) September 2002

Also at Sennen… “29 Palms” has been re-climbed without the pegs for protection. And now can be climbed in three different stiles:

With pegs…E6 6c | With sliders in the peg slots…E7 6c | With no use of peg placements…E8 6c/7a (only possible due to the recent invention of micro cams.) The latter style has a harder technical grade because a hold must be unused due to it being occupied by a micro cam, and therefore making the climbing much harder.



Shark Alley E5 6a #
100 ft
Step off the "bridge boulder" that spans the gap to Bulging Wall area. Traverse to a totally blind and sweaty move around the blunt left arete, and swing boldly into the back of the black (normally wet) chimney. And shuffle up this at VS!....not. FA Mark Edwards & Kevin Thomas (his second new route). (on sight)

The Special Society Crack E3 5a 5c #
190 ft Basically takes a traverse of the north walls of Rinny Zawn to a reasonable ledge belay below the obvious crack system on the overhanging buttress left of Human Skewer. FA Mark Edwards & Kevin Thomas (his trilogy!). (on sight)



Hookers Haven. E8/9 6c ** #
A very bold lead with a very serious ground fall should the marginal tied down sky hook rip during a fall. Takes the quartz seam to the right of Sewing Machine Man, and then the central wall above. The crux requires cool conditions for max. friction on the slopers. FA Mark Edwards Summer 2000



The following route is found on the North Face.

Mark of my Beast E9 6c #
Another hard classic, and worthy neighbour to “Son of Satan”. Very bold climbing in a totally committing position, where protection placed on the lead can be best described as “decoration”. Start at ground zero and in the boulder filled channel at low tide. Climb to a small roof on the left of the wall. Arrange protection. Swing boldly right and follow the overhanging thin seam with powerful footless moves to make a big swing right to a flat hold (from here the next moves are serious and a fall is not an option). Now the crux, make a high and strenuous move to stand on the flat hold, and reach back down to place a small cam (not possible from the flat hold). Continue with difficulty up the seam above to exit via a wide crumbly crack in the upper wall. FA Mark Edwards (head-point) August 2002



Tuesday Evening Climb HVS 5a #
Climb the prominent crack between John Peel and Black and Tan, finish direct. FA G everitt,R everitt and chris griffiths spring 2001 (originally claimed by Paul Harrison solo 28.8.01, and called Perfectly Formed)



Its a Blue Planet E2 5b #
47 metres
Superb climbing up the prominent pillar just right of Bosistow Chimney, finish up the final crack of The Ramp (HVS 4c) on poor rock. FA Paul Harrison Graham sutton 29.8.01



"New routes have been climbed in the cove, two on the established crag (as described in the C.C. guide) and several on the other areas around the cove. All routes described here are above VS and therefore are “new” routes; The C.C. guide declares…”a large number of climbs graded from Difficult to Very Severe have been reported here…”and”...left for the curious to rediscover.” This is a shame, because the routes will be lost to history (and claimed as new routes in the future making more work for me!! - dave)." Note: details of routes that didn;t make the CC Guide can be found at http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Climbing/climjer.html.

Penberth Wall This is the landward crag that is non-tidal and can be seen on the East Side of the cove.

Approach up the coastal path to the “crown of the headland” (C.C. guide), and descend right down a grassy gully and back right again to the base of the crag. Many lefts to right slanting cracks and seams, and a prominent roof can identify the crag. The routes are described from left to right.

In Solo Charge E1 5b #
Start at the left-hand side of the crag (looking in). Climbs the obvious left to right slanting crack and short groove, to the obvious off-width-finishing crack. FA Mark Edwards August 2002 (on-sight solo)

Grazing Aliens E7 6c *** #
20m The main challenge; powering over the roof in the centre of the crag. Technical, testing moves with scant protection, micro-cams are useful. Start below the centre of the roof. Climb the lower wall via a horizontal crack to the roof. Arrange small cams for protection; pull out over the roof and make hard strenuous moves to get established on the upper wall. Protection and easier climbing leads to the top via a thin crack. FA Mark Edwards (after abseil inspection) August 2002

Forty Nothing and still Smiling! HVS 4b #
A pleasant climb to an airy position above the central roof. Start up the short right-hand crack to join the roof at its right-hand end. Move up until it is possible to step left onto a narrow ledge. Make a move left again into a crack, and follow this line to the top. FA Mark Edwards & Harry Mason August 2002 (on-sight)

Below these routes and down at sea level is a fine clean wall with a left to right diagonal crack/seam.

WKD! E3 5b * #
15mA virtually protection-less climb with a very hard granite landing. Climb the left to right seam, and stay with the seam till its end on blind under-clings. FA Mark Edwards (on-sight solo)

Down to the left (looking out) on the “continuous 20m tower of delightful-ochre coloured rock” (C.C. guide); are a couple of new additions to the two routes described in the guide.

Headbirth E7 6c *** #
20m Breaths new life into an old 80s’ route. A hard direct start under and over the roof; tackling the main challenge “They Do at That Age” avoids. Start from a narrow ledge above a crystal clear pool. Climb to the roof and arrange small highly questionable protection in the very shallow seam. Pull hard directly over the roof and continue up the wider crack above, finish up the headwall right of the chimney, bold. FA Mark Edwards (after inspection) August 2002

Bloodbath E4 6a * #
A climb of increasing difficulty and character. 20m Start up the right-hand crack (as for They Do at That Age), and continue to a sloping ledge. Arrange protection, and swing left around the arete to make a hard move into the start of a shallow crack. Follow the crack to a large break and spike.( alternative finish: move left and finish up the chimney at E2 5c)…OR…Arrange protection, and pull up with commitment into the wide crack on the right of the arete above, and follow with difficulty to the top. FA Mark Edwards (on-sight) August 2002

On the West Side of the cove a hard climb has been found above the popular fishermen’s ledge. Follow the coastal footpath west, to a small path running along the edge of the cove. This descends onto the fisherman's ledge. The first obvious feature is…

Fat Crack E1 5a #
This climbs the obvious off-width-slanting crack on the arete. The grade can be reduced if extremely large cams are used! FA Mark Edwards (on-sight solo) August 2002

September Sessions E7 6c *** #
10m This extended boulder problem is up the black streak and thin over-hanging crack on the seaward face just left of East Side Story. Although short in stature, this climb packs in a lot of climbing! From the very first move make hard moves to gain the thin and very shallow crack. Finish up this with great difficulty. FA Mark Edwards (head-point solo) September 2002



Midway between Levans Wall (Upper Tier) and Marconi Slab is a jumble of giant boulders, containing a deep, tidal chasm (dry about 3 hours either side of low tide). This contains:

The Similar Brothers E2 5c ** #
35ft On the landward side of the chasm is a very obvious crack/groove. Climb it steeply, but with excellent protection, to the top. Sustained and excellent. Very damp on the first ascent, thus climbed in less than impeccable style! FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 06/05/01 Note: The Similar Brothers has had a repeat ascent, confirming the grade and suggesting that it might be worth three stars

And just to the right of Marconi Slab are:

Twink Severe 4a #
10 metres Start up the groove 4 metres right of Tina Turner, moving right at half height to climb the continuation groove and rugged arete. FA Martin Dunning, Brian Hannon 3 June 2001

Dick Van Dyke Very Severe 4c #
10 metres Just right of Twink is a slab leading to some airy moves up the steep black chimney. FA Martin Dunning, Brian Hannon 3 June 2001

Tweak E1 5b #
10 metresTakes the arete with a distinctive sloping ledge at half height, 5 metres right of Dick Van Dyke. Difficult moves with dodgy gear, and a tweak on the protuberant tip of the ledge, lead to easier climbing above. FA Brian Hannon, Martin Dunning 3 June 2001

The following route is on the main area of the crag:

Whitebait E2 5c #
The tempting but short flake crack 3 metres right of Redfish is climbed to a horizontal break. Make a couple of difficult moves left before moving up and right to climb the easier slab. It is possible to climb directly above the flake crack at about 6a (not led). FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek, Martin Dunning, Pete O'Sullivan 3 June 2001



Cool Corner 17 metres VS 4c #
Climbs the corners just right of The Harvest. Climb easily to a good spike below the lower corner. Up this to ledges, then take the widening crack in the final corner to the top. FA Andy March, Luke Pavey, 9th March 2002


BOSCAWEN POINT (p195 of South Coast part of the latest CC West Penwith guide)

Lower Tier Below the start of ‘Lucretia’ is a sloping ledge leading to the top of the lower tier buttress where the following routes can be found on a short (8-10m) wall. The base can be reached by an easy absail or a short scramble down the gully on the right (facing out). Here ledges give easy access to a number of short but enjoyable routes in the lower grades. Whilst not tidal the ledges are probably affected by a large swell at high tide.

The routes are described from left to right (facing in) and were all climbed on 28 April 2002

Leuc Left Diff #
9 metres
Obvious crack in the LH side of the wall. FA Andy Pemberton, Katharine Woods 28 April 2002

My Name is Luka Diff #
10 metres
The obvious black corner on the left of the prominent nose of rock. FA Dan Lear, Nicky Beaumont 28 April 2002

Leucky Deucky V.Diff #
10 metres
Corner crack on the right of the prominent nose. FA Dan Lear, Nicky Beaumont 28 April 2002

Leuc Right Hard Severe #
10 metres
Twin cracks on the RH side of the face to a rounded finish. FA Andy Pemberton, Katharine Woods 28 April 2002

Around the arete from ‘Leuc right’ is a steep black wall:

Leucerator Severe 4a #
10 metres
Climb the left-hand side of the black wall on large sharp holds. Step right onto the face to finish. FA Dan Lear, Nicky Beaumont 28 April 2002

Approx 6m further right is:

Leuk Before You Leap V.Diff #
10 metres
Nice little route, first on weird black holds, then taking the left slanting crack. FA Katharine Woods, Andy Pemberton

Right again is an inset slab:

Luke No Hands Diff #
10 metres
Climb the thin corner crack on the left hand side of the slab. Once above the corner follow the crack up the headwall. FA Dan Lear, Nicky Beaumont 28 April 2002


Bashers Harbour - The Edwards' new routes. I will try and sort these out onto one page soon!

Cave Buttress

Dai Trewallard E3 6a #
50 ft The blunt arete between the Mince Pie Problem and Cave Buttress. (1 Peg Runner). FA Goi Ashmore, Roy Thomas August 2002

Sharpy The Cereal Poisoner E2 6a #
50ft The route over the overlaps right of the HS. FA Goi Ashmore, Roy Thomas August 2002

Footloose Area
Three new routes have been climbed to the left of “Footloose” slab and take the obvious lines centred on the arete. The routes are described from right to the left.

Spanish Knights E3 5c ** #
Start up the obvious vertical crack left of the “Footloose” start. Pull over onto the slab, and climb the thinner crack up the slab towards the arete. Climb the arete until it is possible to follow a crack line finish up the left side to the top. FA Mark Edwards August 2002 (on-sight)

Marble Harbour E5 6a *** #
Takes the arete direct and boldly. Start up the next thin line/seam to the left of “Spanish Knights”; micro protection and bold climbing. Climb the seam until its end, and swing powerfully right to better holds. Follow the thin crack line onto the slab, and climb diagonally right to the arete. Follow the arete direct to a junction with “Spanish Knights”, and finish up the left side crack line as for “Spanish Knights”. FA Mark Edwards August 2002

Magnetic Variation E2 5b ** #
A more direct line up the area of rock which “South without Scott” is thought to have taken. Climb boldly the sloping stepped ledges to a thin crack in a groove. Pull up and right into a steep layback crack that leads to the arete. Follow the arete on the right side, before stepping onto the left at the top to finish. FA Mark Edwards & Harry Mason August 2002 (on-sight)

The next routes are within the cave right of The Sea for Breakfast, and described from left to right:

Cave Groove Direct VS 4c * #
A fine open groove climb capped by an overhang. Start within the cave entrance, and climb up into the groove via a ledge. Follow the groove to the roof and pull strenuously around this to finish up a short crack to the top. FA Mark Edwards & Harry Mason August 2002 (on-sight)

London Bride E6 6b *** #
20m A brilliant and rewarding climb, tackling two contrasting halves in climbing styles. Start within the cave as for Cave Groove direct. Break out right to make a difficult move into the right-hand square-cut hanging groove. Climb the groove to the roof, and move right into another similar groove. From here pull out left onto the open face, and climb delicately and boldly to the capping roof. Pull through the roof via a hanging short groove to finish. FA Mark Edwards August 2002 (on-sight)

Marbles Arch E6 6b *** #
20mAstonishing climbing, tackling steep overhanging rock with a unique finish full of character. This climb, powers up the right wall (looking-in) of the cave and the chimney above. Start below an obvious overhanging crack-line on the right wall. Climb onto a ledge, and pull powerfully around a small roof to enter the crack. Follow the crack to a pod recess. Move up and out right to make a committing reach across the void to the opposite wall of the cave. Wild bridging turns to narrower and narrower chimney technique, to make a final move out of the lip of the cave and finish. FA Mark Edwards August 2002 (on-sight)


Pen Olver | Amnesty Wall | Carn Barrow | The Grove

This area is covered by the South Coast volume of West Cornwall guide.

PEN OLVER (page 260)

Anne's Famous Pasty Shop E4 5c ish #
A steep little chap which is also a tad scary - the crux section is protected by RP's which are not completely above suspicion. A Friend #0 will also come in handy. 35ft Just to the left of The Womb Tomb is a blatantly obvious and steep arete. Start to the right of the arete and climb direct to gain thin crack on the right. Arrange gear then move left to the arete, which is climbed to gain good flat jugs a little higher (RP's). Move up the arete above and around to the left side, which is climbed to the top. FA Dave Henderson, Carrie Hill 5.5.2001 (abseiled first)

Prorper Jawb VS 4c #
Takes crack line up steep wall right of Vumba. 50ft Boldly climb up jugs to small ledge through bulge. Step left and go up the wall to a large break finishing slightly rightwards. FA Chris Hall and S Edwards 17.12.02

Next two routes take the wall and slab between Letting Go and Great Slanting.

Loner Happy E1 5C #
Boulder out centre of bulging wall on small holds and a long reach, continue up easier slab to finish. FA Chris Hall (solo) 5.12.02

Socially Sad HS 4a
Gain ledge at head height and tackle bulge above slightly rightwards to finish direct up slab. FA Chris Hall (solo) 5.12.02

Tidal Look HVS 4c 50ft The wall between Salt Heart and Mule. Climb steep wall onto slab to gain ledge. Move leftwards and climb crozzly crack in steep headwall above.

Over by the pinnacle on the east side is:

Darn Tarn HVS 4c #
The thin crack line up friable rock to the right of Down the Welly. FA Chris Hall and Barnaby Carver 11.02

AMNESTY WALL (page264)

Alabama Thunderpussy E3 5b (*/**!) #
Climbs the hanging arete right of Amnesty. 1) 70ft Start R of Amnesty at the foot of the arete. Climb up to join that route at a spike, then traverse rightwards with hands on good ledges and feet on the lip, to the arete. Make an exposed move up the arete and follow this to the top. FA Chris Snell, Tom "the tongue" Rainbow 21.7.2001

Cian E4 5c (***) #
Another superb route on this exceptional wall combines the winning formula of steepish climbing and good holds... and it's safe! 1) 70ft Start just left of International, from the raised corner of the ledge. Climb the wall for 20 feet until a move up right gains the base of a leftward slanting crack. Follow this (plenty of gear) to where it ends, beneath a tiny left-facing groove. Move up to the groove and climb it to a good jug. Steeper climbing on positive holds leads through a bulge more or less direct to the top. FA Dave Henderson, Carrie Hill (onsight) 6.5.2001


A reasonable new crag on The Lizard, with more middle grade potential

Approach: 10 -15 minutes - Park in Cadgwith and follow the coast path West. Pass the Devil's Frying Pan, and then a white house inland. The remains of a wall soon appear on the hillside below. Go down to the right hand end of this (facing out) and then contour back left until a cliff-top platform, with obvious blocks, is visible below. This is the abseil point. An easy abseil reaches a large rock platform below the crag.

The first route takes the obvious groove/corner line near the right hand end.

Shrink Wrapped VS 4c #
75 ft
Climb just right of the obvious corner, using it for protection. At its end, move into the steeper continuation groove, pass a roof and reach the top. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 17/02/02

The next route follows the large slab to the left.

Freeze Dried VS 4b #
75 ft
Climb straight up the slab slightly left of centre. Pass the obvious roof on the left. Not particularly well protected - it is probably possible to climb the slab anywhere at about the same grade. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 17/02/02

The final route is the best of the three and gives relatively straightforward climbing in poorly protected and exposed positions. It is reached by traversing left from the platform, at high tide level, for about 20 ft, to reach a small ledge at the base of an obvious short arête.

Vacuum Packed E1 5a #
80 ft Climb the initial arête steeply to reach a large black slab between the layers of roofs. Follow this easily to its apex and make exposed moves up and then left to an awkward, rounded finish. Bold. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 17/02/02


This is a newly developed crag. 1 km NW of Coverack sits a small buttress of excellent quality Gabbro. Set back from the sea the easiest approach is by a mild bush whack from round the back! All three routes are short but are well worthwhile if in the area.

South Face S 4a
Gain hanging ramp then climb slightly rightwards on hidden finger jugs up wall. Reach break and finish up crack. Variations exist, just follow the holds. FA Chris Hall (solo) 11.02

Big Chief HS 4b
Step onto nose and climb via bouldery moves. Surmount top of the semi detached pinnacle and pull over forehead to the top. FA Chris Hall (solo) 11.02

East Face VS 5a 25ft The best of the bunch. Climb blankish wall on perfect rock and perfect holds. After a technical undercut move and stretch for the break finish slightly leftwards. FA Chris Hall (solo) 11.02



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