South West Climbing News
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Bold Brummy Bradbury In North Coast Repeat Action 16 April 2014
Bold brummy * Stu Bradbury has recently repeated Slave to the Rythym at Smoothlands, near Hartland on the north coast. The route, first climbed by the legendary Andy Grieve in 1991 has been largely neglected since the first ascent and an abseiling clean was required prior to working out the route on the lead. Stu was joined by fellow north coast devotee Lee Bartrop for his ascent.
"...very dirty and not easy to see where the line went as the cracks were fully grassed up and had lichen, soil and loose flakes everywhere. It still is dirty but at least you get an idea of where it goes and you can pick your way through - I don't reckon it has seen more than 2 or 3 ascents.
The initial diagonal crack is obvious and goes at around E5 until it peters out just before you reach the 1st old rotten peg. It then gets harder and after moving left it becomes more intricate, demanding a sustained effort all the way up the headwall without much rest. Without the 3 original pegs for pro and having to search out small wire placements it certainly feels easily as hard as "Hellbound" and it's a long old pitch -I felt the headwall was more sustained and warrants E6 6b ** (*** for the experience!).
A rack consisting of plenty of small wires, RPs through to walnut/rock 4s and lots of quickdraws is required. Anybody capable of climbing it should get on it soon whilst it is relatively clean as it is superb!"
For those of you who don't know, Stu is a north coast based climber who seems very keen on adventurous routes. He also offers guiding services - see his website Wallcrawler for more info.
* Bold Brummy - Stu will no doubt soon be in touch to tell me Wolverhampton (from whence I believe he hails) is not the same as Birmingham.
Hardcore West Penwith Action From Tom Bunn 15 April 2014
Tom Bunn has been developing the little bouldering spot of Priests Cove in far flung West Penwith for the last year or so. After not inconsiderable time and fuel expenses he last month succeeded on what is probably West Cornwall's hardest problem, Wonderland, at a proposed Font 7c+/8a. An impressive effort on an impressive boulder - well done Tom!
A full guide to the crag is available on from the Rusty Peg website (direct link to Priests Cove guide).
New Saddle Tor Problem 14 April 2014
Mike Cleverdon has added a good looking new problem to Saddle Tor - it seems the crag is en vogue at the moment! In a departure from the general Abba theme at the tor Mike has called it Foul Play (most of the recent problems have some kind of Abba link, with the obvious exception of Foal's Chopper which was named after a well endowed Dartmoor pony present at the time of the first ascent). It goes at about V10 (or Font 7c+ for those Frenchies out there) and here's a little bit of footage:
Frank and Pat Do a Chat 4 April 2014
60's rockstars Pat Littlejohn and Frank Cannings are to present a talk on what was perhaps the golden age of South West rock climbing, the 1960s. This should be well worth seeing for anyone with an interest in the stories behind first ascents of routes like America, Eroica, Darkinbad the Brightdayler, Swing Low and the Gilded Turd. It's at Exeter's Quay Climbing Centre on 8th April, it's free and apparently there's a bar.
DartRock Opens New Bouldering Cave 4 April 2014
Buckfastleigh's popular wall has open recently completed it's long awaited bouldering cave. This vastly improves the centre's bouldering facities and will no doubt be very popular. Dartrock website.
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This file last modified 16 April, 2014.