North Coast Bouldering and Stuff
A bit of information on the recent developments of the North Coasts of Devon and Cornwall between Pentire and Hartland Point.
Tom Newberry reports:
The new problems established at Hartland Quay are located at Screda Point about 300m south of Hartland Quay. The obvious line to the right of the classic problem Carnage 7b was a longstanding project that had been tried by several notable climbers over the years. Last December, Dave Westlake climbed a problem that took the sit start of the project then moved left to join Carnage. This was named Corridors of Power 7c. I repeated it the same day and Mike Cleverdon a few months later, confirming the grade and quality of the climb.
Dave Westlake making big moves on the FA of Corridors of Power 7C. Photo Mike Adams
Over Easter our attention turned to the full line which I climbed from standing on the 13th April (7c+ish). After three more frustrating sessions including dropping the last move twice, I finally completed the line from sitting on the 28th May (my birthday). I have named it Supercede and feel it is worthy of the grade 8a. However more importantly it is a quality line (easily best on the coast and others have suggested amongst the best in Devon and Cornwall) and consists of both technical and powerful climbing on a steep wall of smooth wave washed rock. The climb is tidal (accessible about 3-4 hours each side of low) and highball requiring a minimum of three pads. Dave Westlake has since managed to repeat the stand up.
Tom Newberry on the first ascent of Supercede, 8A. Photo Dave Westlake
Just around the corner from the carnage wall, opposite the route Canard is an overhanging wall. The Aerodynamic uses a crescent shaped crimp to jump to the sloping rail out left followed by a big move to the juggy horn at the top of the wall. This is extremely morpho and goes at about 7a+.
I also climbed a supposed Stu Littlefair/Dave Westlake project on a roof between Ache Ball and Clinical Edge. I did this and suggested about 6b/c, Dave Westlake then repeated it with my beta and agreed with the grade, wondering what an earth he had been trying to do before. I named it ‘Spanner’ however this isn’t a great addition to the beach.
Higher Longbreak (Upton)
Simon Young also bolted a lesser known sport route Two Ton Trolley Jack just south of Bude, in the summer of 2006. I repeated it a few weeks later followed by Dave Westlake and Jake Surman the year after. Two Ton Trolley Jack is a short, bouldery route consisting of just three bolts and a lower off. The grade has settled at 7b+ and would get two stars at most British sport venues. Despite the suspect state of the rock the route is surprisingly solid. Although it is tidal the route is only cut off for about an hour each side of high tide. (To my knowledge the bolts are still present and were still in good nick this April)
Dave Westlake fighting for the 3rd Ascent of Two Ton Trolley Jack. Photo: Mike Adams
Has had some attention over the last few years even being home to an unnamed sport route at 7b, however this only last about 4/5 weeks. All the climbing is tidal to about 4 hours either side of low tide and the beach height varies massively (About 15ft). I have climbed several boulder problems most of which are located in a cave to the left of the descent path. Most notably are two 7b’s. One of which links the obvious holds in the steepest section of the cave to the rail and up. The other is towards the cave entrance, starting on a flatty and with a combination powerful moves and a bit of tricky lead up through the razor crimps to a technical finish (stand up 6c+). Unfortunately most the problems here don’t top out. Nick Dill has also added a few scary high-balls and traverses although I’m unsure of grades or names.
There is one boulder here on the wave cut platform towards Kellan Head. There are two main lines; first an unnamed Simon Young 7a which follows a similar line to the North Wales classic Jerry’s Roof. The second my problem ‘Bring Out the Gimp’ 6b follows the steep arête from sitting. There are also a handful of eliminates to go at. This is tidal and can seep.
A number of new problems have been established in the 5a to 7a range by me and several others. However, none seem to stand out as future classics; nevertheless it does give the area a broader range of problems to go at. Incidentally, an important foothold has broke of the area classic Ulterior Motive now making the problem about 7c.
Secret Area (Superbloc)A secret area only discovered this year, it already has a wide spread of grades and problems on good solid rock. Unlike most coastal venues it is non-tidal and with more development the crag has the potential to be a major bouldering venue!!!
Below: A collection of photo’s from a new venue on the north coast of Cornwall. Photos by Mike Adams, Dave Westlake and Tom Newberry.
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