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2003 News Archive

Date for BMC South West Area Meeting (16 December 2003)

Epic Pembroke Video Out Now! (14 December 2003)

New South West Bouldering Video... (9 December 2003)

Hardcore Deutsche Aktion in Kernow (3 December 2003)

Smart New Problem at Holwell Tor (3 October 2003)

Hardcore Lundy Action (5 September 2003)

Vixen Tor isn't re-opened after all!! (29 August 2003)
End of the Alps as we know them? (18 August 2003)
Hardcore Torbay Action (30 July 2003)
Vixen Tor re-open (13 July 2003)
Vixen Tor Ban (2 July 2003)
Strong Boyz in Poppy shocker (11 June 2003)
Forthcoming Barn Events
(12 April 2003)
New South West Bouldering video (12 April 2003)
Hazard Quarry Nesting Restriction (2 April 2003)

Don't forget to also check the New Routes pages for latest news.

Fly or Die (25 March 2004) Andy Kirkpatrick, solo aid climber extraordinaire, is visiting the South West to give an insight into "cheating death on Yosemites deathliest walls". By all accounts this will be a thoroughly entertaining evening! The event will be held at:

The Barn Climbing Centre, Bude on 9th April and starts at 8pm. Tickets will be available on the door for £5.50 or pre-booked through www.planetfear.com

For further details on how to find the Barn see their website.

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Ridiculous Work at Height Proposed Regulations (24 March 2004) Some of you may have heard rumours about the proposed new Work at Height regulations. The HSE's new proposals will apply numerous regulations that are totally irrelevant to the outdoor pursuits industry - these include things like using two ropes for all instructing activities, putting up signs warning of any hazards (imagine how many you'd need at your average crag), requesting that any rescues must be immediate (which would potentially mean that instructors will not be able to work alone - this would make many courses financially unviable and could put individual guides out of business) and treating any site as a managed workplace in which managers control access. The BMC have further details and are requesting that all concerned parties write to their MP urgently as the consultation period ends on 2 April and is due to be passed as law on 19 July.

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Barn Bouldering Comp 13 January 2003

Date for Simon Young's next bouldering comp.

SAT 24th JAN
Start 12pm. Finals at 4pm.
2 Levels of competition, Easy & Hard!
Open to all.
Prizes by Wild Country.
Party After.

See the barn website for further details on the wall.

(People are welcome to stay the night at the barn if they need to.)

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Date for BMC South West Area Meeting (16 December 2003)

6pm on Saturday 17th January 2004

Come and have your say about the future direction of the BMC

Slideshow by Mike Raine

The BMC is holding a series of open meetings around the country this autumn as part of the Future Policy Review Process. The meetings are open to all climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers and aim to gather opinions about the BMC's work in England & Wales, it's membership & management structure and the future direction of the organisation itself. Whatever your issues be - access, bolts, birds, politics or subscriptions, why not come along and have your say on:

Bristol Climbing Centre (Undercover Rock)
St Werburgh's Church
Mina Road
Bristol BS2 9YH
Tel: 0117 941 3489

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Epic Pembroke Video Out Now! (14 December 2003)

New British Climbing Film: Sea Fever, Classic Climbs of Pembroke

"It’s out! Eight months in the making, ‘Sea Fever, Classic Climbs of Pembroke’, hits the video and DVD market courtesy of film-makers Hang Loose. Indulging the viewer with a selection of compelling Pembroke classics, the film supplies a visual feast of sun-drenched seascapes, and nail-biting adventure climbing action on Britain’s favourite sea cliffs."

Read the full story and find out how to purchase your copy!

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New South West Bouldering Video... (9 December 2003)

Oh yes, you've heard it all before. Well this time it's true!! I've been viewing the forthcoming South West Bouldering video, Gone West, and it actually looks nearly finished. So expect it soon! Featuring the regions top crags, with the regions most attractive climbers, Gone West should be all done for January 2004. If you would like to pre-order your copy (no committment neccessary until it's actually out!) please let us know! We will then contact you when the video is out and arrange payment/delivery.

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Hardcore Deutsche Aktion in Kernow! (3 December 2003)

Achtung local lads! Our man in West Cornwall, Barnaby Carver reports:

September 2003 saw some significant activity in West Penwith. Strong German climbers Sven Scholz and Heike Arnold have developed a large area of bouldering around Aire Point near Sennen, problems run along the coast from just North of Gwynver Beach to below the crag that is home to such routes as Aireline and Spitfire.

When Sven last visited Cornwall seven years ago, among other things, he made the second ascent of The Marksman E7 6c at Bosigran. This time, concentrating on bouldering, he and Heike climbed around 40 problems ranging in grade from Font 5 to Font 7c+ putting some of these amongst the hardest in West Cornwall. Along with Egbert Dozekal and Christine Preis they plan to make information on the bouldering at Gwynver available in both English and German soon.

More photos and a german write up can be found at

Christine's Photographs of the climbing in Cornwall and elsewhere can be found on her website www.christine-preis.de

(Click for larger view)



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Smart New Problem on Dartmoor (3 October 2003) Dartmoor resident Dave Henderson has been over to Holwell Tor to add a fine problem. Schmogon, as it's called goes at about V8 and climbs the obvious prow beneath Dogon. For a guide to get you to the crag click here

(Click for larger view)

photos. carrie hill

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Hardcore Lundy Action (11 September 2003) Nic Sellars has become a regular Lundy visitor over the last few years, making the annual pilgrimage in August, and has repeated plenty of E5's and E6's on the Isle. This year his trip proved especially fruitful as he succeeded on his project in Starship Zawn. The line in question is left of Nick White's superb Araucaria E6 (a route Nic repeated a few years back) and after a "fall" across a gap to get started, climbs pretty much direct with French 8a climbing and a bit of ground fall potential! Nic top roped the route prior to his lead, but managed to take a 50 footer year on account of some wet holds. Amygdala - E8 6c and probably not a soft touch!

Equally impressive Nic managed to grab the second ascent of Nick White's awesome The Flying Dutchman E7 6c. Originally climbed with Dave Thomas 16 years ago, in two pitches on separate days, Nic's ascent was flashed after Ben Heason abbed the line to check the gear and work some moves.

Moving back to the Starship Zawn Andy Cave has climbed "a major line through Solaris at E6"!

Also on Lundy Mariano Kalfors and Dave Ferguson repeated Bob Smith's E6 on the Wolfman Jack Wall Whose Line is it Anyway?. Grade confirmed. Route description here.

Lundy is the new black (again!).

Please send any more Lundy news!

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Vixen Tor isn't re-opened after all!! (29 August 2003) According to the local news Vixen Tor is still banned - the new owner is reported to have graffitied rocks by spray painting "No Access" notices.

According to The Dartmoor Preservation Association

Whilst currently the owner of the land remains unwilling to enter a voluntary access agreement, the Authority will continue the negotiation process and seek to ensure that the area is opened to public access under the terms of the CRoW Act 2000. There is confident expectation that this will be the case early in 2005, but failing this, the Authority will use powers available under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act to restore the customary access that many visitors and walkers to Vixen Tor have enjoyed for over 40 years.

Bill Cann, Chairman, Dartmoor National Park Authority, said:

'The Authority recognises that the delay in restoring access to Vixen Tor will be disappointing to many, but on the advice of the Countryside Agency, the Authority feels that moves to impose an Access Order at this time, which would be costly and lengthy, are not the right way forward. The Authority looks forward to the right of access which we expect to be established under the CRoW Act. The Authority has worked strongly to support the interests of hill farmers in recent years and is disappointed in the landowner's decision to close Vixen Tor to the public at this time as it does little to engender the wider sympathy and support for hill farmers which remains so very much needed'.

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End of the Alps as we know them? With practically no snow since February and soaring temperatures melting the ice that holds the Alps together many mountains have now been officially "closed" due to constant rockfall. This includes Mont Blanc, where the closure is enforced by the Police. This article in the Guardian makes for depressing reading for all those with Alpine aspirations.

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Fr8a Deep Water solo and Fr 8c redpoint Ken Palmer has soloed Christine, his 8a at Long Quarry Point and redpointed his mega traverse of the Ferocity Wall at Ansteys - Fr8c and the new "hardest route in the South".

Christine 8aChristine 8aChristine 8a

Christine is found in the Blowhole pinnacle of Long Quarry Point, where Ken added the superb Blue Planet a couple of years ago - a 7b+ which he has also Deep Water Soloed. On the same pinnacle it is said that Waiting For Charlie, a 7c which has received a coupled of solos, has lost a chunk of rock and is probably now a bit harder? A guide to Deep Water soloing in Devon can be found here

More photos of Christine

Ken's new 8c takes a line from the far right to the top left of the Ferocity Wall - starting up Poppy, into Fisherman's briefly then reversing Postman Pat into Tuppence. It then follows Tuppence to a jug at the top before moving left to climb to tufa/flowstone stuff to finish. Needless to say it's a bugger to get yer quickdraws out!

..making more hard moves up TuppenceMoving through Poppy ...

Thanks to Caedmon from BigPebbles.co.uk for the photos.

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Vixen Tor re-open (13 July 2003) According to my sources Vixen Tor has now been re-opened for access.... bugger, I'll have to go climbing there now!

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Vixen Tor Ban (2 July 2003) Yesterdays news today! As many of you will already know Vixen Tor is now under new ownership and the new owner ain't to keen on people on her land. Initially this was said to be due to concerns about liability but apparently she has been informed by various associations that due to the nature of the land there would be no real case for liability in the event of an accident. Worst case scenario this should all be sorted out by 2005 when the "Right To Roam" comes in.... There is, however, pressure on the new landowner to re-open the Tor prior to that.

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Strong Boyz in Poppy Shocker (11 June 2003)

The strong, Exeter resident duo that is Stuart Littlefair and Rob Sutton have managed the 3rd and 4th ascents of Poppy, Ken Palmers hardest addition to Anstey's Cove. Ken originally gave the route 8b but he's well known for his rather tough grading - 8b+ may well be more appropriate.

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Forthcoming Barn Events (12 April 2003)

The Bude Climbing Wall are continuing their popular and entertaining competitions with the following events... and even if your not too keen on the competition they should be good social events!!

Summer Bouldering Series

The Barn Climbing Centre in Bude, Cornwall is to run a summer series of bouldering comps on the last Friday of each month starting on the 30th May.

Comps start at 8pm and have 10 problems.

Competitors can enter at one of two levels and accumulate points over the five comps and use their best three results. At the end of the series the winner of the open category will receive 150.

There will be other gear and cash prizes also. 5 to enter and bring some food (and beer) for the barbeque.

Climbers wishing to climb in the South West can stay over and use the barn as a base for the weekend.

Contact Simon Young on 07944 002563.

Comp Dates:

30th May | 27th June | 25th July | 29th August | 26th Sept (prize giving)"

Further info on the wall available from www.barn-climbing.co.uk

New South West Bouldering video (12 April 2003)

Team "Big Pebbles" are currently producing a video dedicated to South West bouldering. This will feature top climbers from the region at venues all over the South West - West Penwith, Culm Coast, South Coast and Dartmoor. It is due out in June ... hopefully!!

Hazard Quarry Nesting Restriction (2 April 2003)

From the RSPB "Climbers using Hazard Quarry are running a risk of breaking the law (disturbing a protected bird species) if they climb during the breeding season (March to end July). The RSPB urgently requests that no climbers use this site over the next few months. The RSPB will supply further details on request."



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