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Bouldering Updates: Exmoor Coast, Culm, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor (12 April 2013)
Tom Bunn reports on recent Bodmin Moor action:
"Bodmin Moor has seen much interest over the last few years and beyond from Rich Hudson, Rich Pollard, Andy Steinberg, Sean Hawken and Andy Grieve amongst others. They have been putting up great problems up to about V6.
Recently, with news eyes, I have been adding a few new problems which have enticed others to head up for repeats or make new additions.
Here are some videos of several recent additions:
This Is How We Do (Font F7A+) - Trewortha Tor. Hard for the grade. Repeated by Tom Newberry and Mikey Cleverdon.
Optical Dillusion / Sausage Factory Direct (a bit of a confusion with routes here) (Font 7A). Kilmar Tor.
Karma-Kazi (Font 7A) - Kilmar Tor. Similar looking in style and climbing to that of Karma in Fontainebleau, with an awkward landing, hence the name.
True Blood (Font 7A) - Trewortha Tor. A direct and more obvious start to AndySteinberg's "Blood Brothers".
La Baleine a Cornes (Font 7B) - Trewortha Tor. SUPER Classic. Repeated by Mikey Cleverdon.
Mikey Cleverdon has also added another classic Font 7B at Trewortha (which I'm unsure of the name - Mikey's Roof could be a suitable!) which is a roof problem on thin flakes to a dynamic move and a mantel. One of the best roof problems on both moors and as yet unrepeated.
More projects of 7B-8A (maybe harder) remain in the Trewortha / Kilmar / Hawks Tor area and it's becoming a really great area to climb, all within an easy 1km walk of each other."
Tom Newberry has been in touch with the following update, the highlight being the first ascent of what is amongst the hardest, if not the hardest problem in the South West with Pipeline Font 8A+/V12
Exmoor Coast by Tom Newberry
Over the last four months I have been spending some time putting up problems along the Exmoor coast. The unusual style, slick frictionless holds means that many find a first visit to the Lynmouth area a frustrating and sometimes unrewarding experience. It could be said this is a bit of a Marmite crag. However, I can assure that there are some gems to be had. And like a catchy pop song, the more times you visit the more you begin to like it. A good circuit of problems had already been established here up to the mid 7s. But a lack of footfall at these fairly out of the way, off the radar crags left lots to be had in the higher grades. I have written up the best of the new stuff here along with a few more up to date topos.
The best problem to be added here is the large, looming, keel shaped roof to the left of the awesome Anarchy Arête. Barden, 7C+, tackles the burly 3m long roof. Starting at the back on a jug for your left and sloper for your right make big moves on small incuts to top out direct above a less than ideal landing. An alternative, easier and slightly safer exit tops out early on the left side of the roof at 7C. Two pads and a spotter are helpful. To the right of this boulder is a 20ft roof crack/groove. It’s what I would call adventure bouldering and is the vision of ‘The other Mike Adams’. Grovel your way along the groove, using a range of jams, bridging and laybacks to topout as for F.E.A.R (Grade 6cish). Further developments on the west side include a low lip traverse of the ….. boulder put up by Grant Edwards and Neil Blom. I’m not sure of the grade for this but it can be done in either direction and opens up the potential for lots of link ups.
On the slopey traverse block, I added Womping, 7C+, an extension to the 7B traverse starting at the obvious point on a good hold as described in Grant’s free Lynmouth East topo. This is a slick, slopey pump fest with a hard crux turning the corner (BETA: go feet first). Training on the Beastmaker 45s will help! I also added Cake Vs Pie ~7B+ which starts as for the original Slopey Traverse and reverses the extension bit (traverse away from the sea). On the best boulder at Lynmouth, the ‘Bum Cheeks Boulder’, I added a superb problem (my favourite problem at Lynmouth), Face Plant 7C. This connects the start of Face Off into the top out of Twister via 4 hard moves and uses the best sloper ever!
On the steep side of the boulder at the bottom of the steps there is a quality short problem put up by Mikey Cleverdon years ago but is unrecorded. Mikey’s problem, 7B+ starts on the obvious crimpy rail and blasts powerfully straight to the lip. Another worthwhile problem is the full lip traverse (R to L) at 6C. A fine link up combines both the above problems.
Tom Newberry on his own problemn Pipeline Font 8A+ / V12
Further down the beach, at the far end of the second bay, is an immaculate highball wall that overhangs by around 5degrees. This host several three star problems which are among the best on the North coast of Devon. The main line Pipeline, 8A+, was the well-known Silery Wall Project. This is a perfect 6meter highball wall with few holds and zero friction. It took a winter of work to suss out a sequence for the crux which is near the top but finally came together. The problem goes straight up the middle starting with left hand on the low arête and right in a slot. The beach height frequently varies by about ½ a meter so this can sometimes be a sit and sometimes be a stretch from standing. Success comes from linking huge throws between bad holds to top out on the ledge were the rock changes colour. Both the groove and arête are out of bounds but you would have to be a giant to use these anyway. Dave Westlake’s Arete is also cracking at about 6C (or 7A from sitting) (see following report by Grant Edwards - looks like it may actually be Luke Dawson's arete). The groove is also great and can be linked in from the start of Pipeline at about 7A. A big rising traverse starting on the far right and traversing into the middle of the groove and going on to top out for Pipeline is Retrogaming 7A+ish, again this is brilliant.
Red = Luke's Arete (sit start) 7A ; Green=Pipeline 8A+ ; Purple = Groove (sit start) 7A ; Yellow = Retrogaming 7A+
Finally, in the next bay around from the Pipeline Wall is the Xanthos cave (first deep cave on you right). Mike Adams’ traverse, ~6C+, is a brilliant and obvious line when dry and can be dne in either direction or even there and back for the keen. Towards to opening of the cave starting matched on the ledge plinth and, using two undercut crimps, joins the break. This is Daft Spunk ~7A. Opposite this is a low ball roof, ~7B. Start at the back on a sloper for you left and good side pull right, make a difficult move into a poor undercut then use knees, toes and heel s to exit on good holds and top out on the ledge."
And Grant Edwards reports:
The first thing to say is that I am fairly certain (99.999%) that the very good (7a)arête to the left of Tom’s Pipeline was first done by a very young Luke Dawson on one of our early forays down to Sillery Sands, so perhaps it should be known as Luke’s arête.
Further problems have been added/rediscovered over the winter and some of them are really rather good. Looking at the pdf guide should help with locating stuff for the time being.
Warm up/ Eliminates boulder – ‘Neil’s Dyno’ 7A (ish) a very satisfying all points off leap from the starting hold on problem 2 missing out the crimps to land on the obvious mini jug.
Big Crack – ‘Fuss in Boots’ 6C is no longer possible as it is blocked by a big boulder. However, there is a good direct low start, left hand gaston right in diagonal crimp, at around 7A+/7B. The first move being the hardest and probably originally done by Mike Cleverdon? Beach levels played ball over the winter and I climbed ‘The Shield’, to the right of the main crack with a left (6b) and right (6c) finish, above a less intimidating landing than normal.
Leaning Block – A worthwhile eliminate 6B+, goes up the slab just right of Pinball Gorge, holds near the arête are in but holds on the arête aren’t. Dave Westlake’s problem on the wall just right of this (photo in the guide) is an excellent 6c and worth a mention too.
Joker and the Thief Block – I did The Coriolis Effect 7A+ which links Cyclone into a more sustained finish up the Slightly Harder Crack. At last, the block that was hampering the start of Face Off has now moved meaning it can be started from low again. Some new problems were done just up and left of here but they’re buried for now.
The Satellite Boulders – The boulders beneath the Big Slab were left for folk to discover in the guide but there are a few corkers so here’s some information.
‘Jammed Log Arête Left’ 6B+ and ‘Jammed Log Arête Right’ 6a are on the first triangular boulder you come to as you approach the area (look for the jammed log). Both were done years ago but are excellent from low starts and worth a mention. Continue into the jumble, facing you, you should find a pink boulder with a slopey lip at about shoulder height- Midnight Marauders 7A+ starts low on the right arête and traverses the lip leftwards to a hideous mantle at the end. Further in again and facing out to sea is another lip traverse on a block beyond but not far from the Big Slab. Neil Blom did the honors with ‘Move Along There’s Nothing to See Here’ 7B. Sit start on the far right side of the lip and traverse the lip leftwards/upwards via a series of big burly slaps between the better holds, it finishes round the left arête up a mini groove via a mantle. On both of these blocks there are good straight up problems that’ll test your topping out skills.
Giza Slab – With a sneaky approach, this boulder can be reached at high tide and climbed on at high tide, useful to know when the sea is in. The atmosphere here is incredible especially when the blow hole is active.
In the guide there is a brief mention of the back slab but I think I undersold the problems. They are good and above a sketchy landing zone which adds spice. The left arete is 6A ish requiring faith in friction and balance, the centre of the slab moving leftwards up a ramp is a bold and beautiful 5+, the right side is 4+ and fun.
Round to the right of the back slab is the undercut face. Neil added a sit start to the left arete of this face ‘Blomosexual’ 6B+/C (yellow). He also climbed the right side via undercuts into a fragile looking pinch finishing leftwards at around 6c (green). From the same start on undercuts I added a tricky traverse (which I think Tom refers to). ‘Flesh and Blood Gods’ 7B (red) moves up and around the right arete of the undercut face to tip toe rightwards across the main slab at a low level, finishing undercutting the right arete with your right hand to stretch and barndoor for a hold that unhelpfully points the wrong way. (See the PDF update for photo topo of this block)".
(I've collated the updates above into a Lynmouth PDF update which hopefully can be used with the exising Lynmouth East Guide to work out what's what.)
Tom Thorpe has reported a little bouldering crag near Welcombe. Although the problems have been climbed previously it's a worthwhile venue if you're in the area:
Approach is from Welcombe Mouth, head north along the beach and scramble over small fins and boulders. Bubble Wall is found just south of Foxhold Slabs on the north end of a small beach.
The crag is tidal but is approachable and climbable except for three hours around high tide. The rock has nice friction and is pretty solid.
Bubble wall has two main problems 'Bubble Bee' F6c+? which is a big traverse and 'Bubbles' which is F6B which tops out on the highest point of the wall. Bubble wall is south facing and is slightly overhanging.
Moving over to Dartmoor, development of the Bovey Woods continues with regular new additions, mostly from Tom Rainbow and mostly only appreciated by those who have aquired the taste for Bovey Woods bouldering! In amongst the moss and trees there is in fact a lot of very worthwhile bouldering but as with many venues it does take a while to develop a true love for the area. On the repeat front Ted Kingsnorth has made what is almost certainly the second ascent of William Shaptor V8+ 6c (or Font 7b+ if you're a fan of the EU!) - this has recently had a bit of a clean-up so get in there whilst it's not too green.
Up on the moor itself Mike Cleverdon has climbed a good looking jumpy problem up at Easdon Rocks - Still Fly! V8+ /Font 7b+. Here's a little clip:
As you can see this Dartmoor round-up is fairly small so please let me know if you have any thing good to report.
Thanks to Boreal for supporting the site!
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