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javu news (2002 Archive)

( News Archive 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 )

If you have any worthwhile South West or general Climbing News, such as major new routes or repeats, please send it in!

We also appreciate any opinions on existing news reports, so feel free to get in touch

In an attempt to keep things tidy we now have Old News From 2001 on another page.

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South West

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

Strong Boyz in Poppy shocker (11 June 2003)

Coro Rock Fall Not So Bad After All (26 October 2002)

Crocker adds posh E6 to Exmoor Coast! (18 October 2002)

Major New Crag Developed in The Mendips (15 October 2002)

Coro Rock Fall (8 October 2002)

The Barn Bouldering Competition and Launch (25 September 2002)

Plymouth Wall Planning Permissions Runs Into Trouble (25 September 2002)

New Wall to open in Plymouth ... hopefully (7 August 2002)

Dog'tagnon - Dog in Haytor Flying Shocker (27 June 2002)

Bude Wall Coming Along Nicely (18 June 2002)

Ansteys Cove Goes Right Off! (17 June 2002)

Clark Alston in Lightning Shocker (20 May 2002)

Missing Shoes at Bonehill Shocker (20 May 2002) If anyone finds a pair of 5.10 boots and chalk bag at Bonehill please get in touch. A reward has been offered!
Hard Limestone Action Shocker (20 May 2002)

Non-Climbing funny story (2 May 2002)

Dartmoor Gets New Wall! (2 May 2002)
Blagdon repeats Hidden Traverse Low (right to left!) (2 May 2002)

Hot XXX Action Down on the Farm! (30 April 2002)
Funky Si in North Coast Bouldering Shocker (30 April 2002)

Tricky traverse at Saddle Tor (26 April 2002)
Simon Blagdon repeats Easdon Arete (26 April 2002)

Dave Fergusson in solo Shocker (19 April 2002)
Toltec Receives Onsight Solo (6 April 2002)

Not so Shocking Old News from 2001

Crocker adds posh E6 to Exmoor Coast! (18 October)

The everkeen Martin Crocker has been busy again on the Exmoor Coast. He Sang in his Chains Like the Sea E6 6b+ takes the awesome right to left traverse line above the 'Hercules Aircarft Hangar' sized cave at Little Hangman's crag. Further details and photos.

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Major New Crag Developed in The Mendips

The "Last Best Crag in England" has been developed by a group of keen locals this summer. First climbed on in 1992 by members of the Cerberus Speleological Society (CSS) Fairy Cave Quarry has been feverishly climbed upon this year. With past access issues seeming to have evaporated the crag has seen stacks of activity this year. There are now 65 routes from Diff to E6. Robís Crack VS (CSS), Volume Eleven E2 (Mike Raine) and Four Steps to Heaven (Ian Butterworth) , Cessini Division (Mike Hammill) and Moving Target (Steve Franklin/Mike Hammill)have all been confirmed as three star routes, whatís more they are all 45 metres long and climb on natural limestone bedding planes exposed by the quarrying this gives them a natural feel despite the quarried surroundings. One of the most popular areas as proved to be the Glacis at the right-hand end which sports perfect rock. The star attraction is Glacial Point at E4 5c, first led by Richard Broomhead, but this area has some excellent lower grade climbs too, Caveman, Jiggery Pokey and Lunar Landscape will suit the VS slab climber. Jive Talkiní and Strictly Ballroom will keep the E2 climber guessing. See photo topo. Full details will be in the forthcoming Avon and Cheddar Guide which will reveal several other new crags in the East Mendips


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Coro Rock Fall (8 October 2002)

Chrissy B's (AKA Chris Boddington's AKA Sir Chris Bonnington) famous Cheddar Gorge route Coronation Street (of '1965 vintage - Extra mature!) has suffered a rock fall! All those of you who have done the route will will be concerned to learn that rock fall occurred from The infamous Shield. The route should be approached with a bit of extra caution (note to Ken Wilson - the insert to the re-print of South West Climbs should be ammended!!). I'll let you know when I know what grade it now turns out to be!!

Coro Rock Fall Not So Bad After All (26 November 2002)

According to Ally Smoith "A couple of friends have already repeated Coronation St since the rock fall. Tales of the shield's demise have been greatly exaggerated, almost all of it is still in place, and only a block the size of a shoe box came off apparantly!! Grade unchanged."

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The Barn Bouldering Competition and Launch (25 September)

Bude's new wall, The Barn, will be holding a bouldering comp and barbecue on 5th October. There will be an "easy" and "hard" category (top tip: take some good heel hooking shoes!) and all are welcome to doss in the wall after the event. Bring a sleeping bag and beverage of your choice. Further details can be obtained from Rebecca or Simon on 01288 359110 or email info@barn-climbing.co.uk

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Plymouth Wall Planning Permissions Runs Into Trouble (25 September 2002)

The Beacon Climbing Centre, the folk behind plans for the new wall in Plymouth, have sent this request for support for the wall:


I am writing for your help with regard The Beacon setting up a large climbing centre in the old Newsquest building on Burrington Way, Plymouth. It appears that Plymouth City Council are not keen on relinquishing industrial capacity in Plymouth and are currently recommending that the application is rejected at the October 3rd planning meeting. This has been a big shock to us as we were led to believe there would be no major objections from the council. The council are also saying that they have had no letters of support for the project and that the only hope of overturning this rejection at the actual planning meeting would be for us to prove a need.

What we need are as many letters of support as possible from you and your friends, these letters need to eventually go to a number of different people in the council before next Thursday, so the best bet is to send them to me at the Beacon. They need to be wriiten 'Dear Connie Pascoe' as she is the head of the planning committee. Please make sure you include your address, and that they are signed, I will then forward them on toConnie and any other relevant people.

I hope that we can turn this around in the next week because the project has had loads of local support and we are literally ready to get going on the building work. It would be such a shame for it to fail now.

Thanks in advance for your help."

Steve Steve Mayers & Gill Lovick, Beacon Climbing Centre Ltd, Ceunant, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, United Kingdom Tel : 0044 1286 650045 Fax : 0044 1286 650105


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New wall to open in Plymouth ... hopefully! (7 August 2002) The very successful North Wales Beacon Climbing Centre hope to open a new wall in Plymouth by December 2002. At present everything rests on the granting of planning permission... keep your fingers crossed! Further info can be found on The Beacons Website

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Dog'tagnon: Dog in Haytor Flying Shocker (27 June 2002) A dog is reported to have been seen jumping off Haytor yesterday. According to eyewitness Dave Henderson "the dog just came from nowhere with the only warning being the sound of claws scratching on the rough granite". Those of you familiar with the crag will be impressed with the brave young labrador's choice of descent - D'Artagnon. Those of you not familiar with the crag will be impressed by the height - approximately 40 feet... and animal lovers amongst you will be pleased to hear of the dog's miraculous survival "it landed quietly, just like a cat, and scampered away with only a bitten tongue to show for his/her (the eyewitness couldn't quite make out the animal's sex) plummet. I've heard of flying fish but this just takes the biscuit ...".

After a quick run around the dog was then seen heading off towards LowMan....

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Bude Wall Coming Along Nicely (18 June 2002) Just to keep you all up to date, Simon and Rebecca's Bude Wall "The Barn" is now coming along very nicely indeed. Simon hopes to have it ready for a bit of a launch party in July - watch this space for details!!

(original story!)

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Anstey's Cove Goes Right Off! (17 June 2002) Last week Anstey's saw the most successful evening's climbing in its history with a total of 3 ascents of Fisherman's Tale (Fr 8b). This doubles the number of ascents of the notoriously tricky route (a Ken Palmer job from about 10 years ago). The culprits were Rob Sutton, Ken Palmer (the first time he's repeated the route since the first ascent) and Stu Littlefair (incidentally, Stu has also repeated several of Dartmoor's harder problems recently confirming rumours that's he's a tad strong!) - nice one lads!

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Clark Alston in Lightning Shocker (20 May 2002) Well known Devon climber Clark Alston had a bit of a shock in recent storms that have hit the Shire. The bright sparks among you will have guessed what the shock was - yep, that's right a bolt of lightning! Although Clark's house is still in one piece I believe some of the electrical equipment is now not functioning as it should, especially the computer!

Those wishing to view Clark's writing should have a look at his Rubble Trouble Article!

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Hard Torbay Limestone Action (20 May 2002) Bolted limestone seems to be having another good year! Ken Palmer has recently succeeded on his project down in the Blow Hole Pinnacle Cave at Long Quarry Point. Ken reckons about French 8a (E7 6c) although it should be noted that conditions can be a little fickle - get there on a good clear day, early in the morning and without too much swell.

Around the corner at Anstey's, rumour has it that Neil Gresham has done Tuppence 8a+/8b. This is probably the fifth ascent of Ken Palmers desperate route...

On the same wall Robin Sutton is rumoured to have made the second ascent of Ken's 2001 link up Cyberdogs 8a+ (start of Tuppence to end of Fishermans).

And moving inland another rumour that has reached me is that of an ascnent of Torbryan's classic E5 Thread Flintstone (one of the best quarried routes, of it's grade, in the country??) by a 12 year old girl!

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Non-Climbing funny story (2 May 2002) This is a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed in the newsletter of the Australian equivalent of the Workers' Compensation board. This is a true story. Had this guy died, he'd have received a Darwin Award for sure.......

"Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put "poor planning" as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building.

When I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks left over which, when weighed later were found to be slightly in excess of 500lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at ground I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks. You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh135lbs.

Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel, which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explained the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed in section 3 of the accident report form.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of beginning to experience pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.

Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you can imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several lacerations of my legs and lower body. Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope and I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs.

I hope this answers your inquiry.

Kind Regards,
Mike Pashby

River Dart Wall

Dartmoor Gets New Wall! (2 May 2002) The River Dart Country Park have recently opened a new bouldering wall. It features several steep bits and a less steep bit! More details to follow!

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Blagdon repeats Hidden Traverse Low (right to left!) (2 May 2002) The dreaded Simon has been at it again. Despite earlier protestations that Dartmoor granite was too sharp (admittedly before it became trendy - Simon now seems to have seen the light!) Simon has become a keen Dartmoor boulderer. His most recent effort has been a repeat of Saddle Tor's Hidden Low Traverse V9

Simon's other recent effort at Saddle Tor is described below:

"super new problem at saddle tor,well hopefully new. When facing the Hidden Traverse directly behind u (about 30ft) there's a low roof at waist level with obvious pinch on lip with 3 large boulders underneath use only the middle 1. Both hands on pinch then slap up 2 sloper with big reach, match then reach up and R to finish on a slopy topout. It took me 2 visits to do; the 1st was for 2 hours and 2nd day it only took 3 goes, I don't think its that hard just awkward so lost on the grade front but the problem should be known as TIMMY"

... so there you go, something else to play on whilst working out on Hidden Traverse!

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Hot XXX Action Down at the Farm (30 April 2002) Those of you familiar with the Devon area will know of Simon Young's climbing wall that used to be housed at Shebbear College in North Devon. Simon has recently left his teaching position at the school and has commenced work on a wall near Bude (north coast, near Sharpnose!). Efforts to date look extremely impressive and if the bouldering is as good as at his last wall (initial impressions suggest it may even be better), will prove to be some of the best indoor stuff in the country.

The new wall, known at "The Barn", is being built in a farm barn just south of Bude. Entry fee will be £4 (+ a bit extra for registration on the first visit) and the keen can purchase an 18 month membership for free entry (currently about £140 ish but check this with Si as I've forgotten!). Si's can be reached at simon.young@mail.com or thebarn@earthling.net

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Funky Si in North Coast Bouldering Shocker Simon Young, having packed in his job as a teacher to build a climbing wall (see above), has been making good use of his time by exploring the beaches of his local North Coast. The epicentres for recent development have been Upton (just south of Bude - now home to a very fine selection of problems up to Font 7c above some dreadful landings - I visited with a Simon and a total of 6 bouldering mats! Make sure you take a few!) and Hartland (many problems including a proposed Font 8a, Ache Ball). Simon has produced an article on the article, due to be published in OTE in the near future... if you can't wait till then for further details try sending Si a nice email simon.young@mail.com

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Hidden Low

Tricky Traverse at Saddle Tor (26 April 2002) Hidden Traverse Low has now has a "there and back" version. This problem goes at about V11. The ascent was made after a number of attempts failed on the return leg - in fact, the Left to Right version and half way back was climbed about 5 times in succession (makes your tips bleed just thinking about it!) before the problem was managed in one go the following day. See the Saddle Tor guide for description.

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Simon Blagdon repeats Easdon Arete (26 April 2002) The dreaded Simon Blagdon, a good climber from Plymouth, has made a rapid repeat of the superb Easdon Arete V8 6c (see Easdon Rocks guide). He actually did this a little while ago but I have been slow in writing it up! Nice one Si!

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Dave Ferguson in solo shocker (19 April 2002) Dave "E.F" Ferguson has had a succesful trip back to his Devon homelands from the big smoke of London Town. During his brief stay he managed an impressive solo ascent of Le Dernier Cri in Holwell Quarry. Although this receives E4 in the current guide, this grade assumed pegs and all sorts of jiggery pokery. After a look on a shunt Dave soloed the route ... proper soloed that is i.e. at the crag on his own. The route should now be considered to be about E6, as there is not a great deal of gear and the crux is a tad sequencey. To my knowledge this is the first ascent of the route in it's current pegfree state.

Mr. Ferguson also made an impessive ground up solo of Simon Young's superb Swell Tor Quarry testpeice The Nick of Time. Originally graded E6, subsequent ascentionists have managed to find a slightly easier way of doing the crux, dropping the grade to a scarey E5/6 6b. Dave's ascent is the first ground up.

These routes add to Dave's impressive tally of bold ascents, including onsights of E6's on grit and headpoints of Obsession Fatale E8 (The Roaches, Staffordshire) and To Be is Not To Bolt E7 (Avon Gorge) (or was is To Bolt is Not To be???).

Dave has contributed to this site with his articles on Hampi and Todra Gorge.

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Toltec Twostep in Onsight Solo Shocker! (6 April 2002) Pete Bull's Dartmoor classic (at Hound Tor) has now seen an onsight solo ascent at the hands of Guy Meadows. Guy made his ascent back in December during a perfect spell of weather. Guy used a mat and had 3 spotters - even so this must rank as one of the Moor's hardest onsight ascents. Toltec was first soloed a few years back by Devon no mates climber Dave Henderson... but only after a quick shunt!

Since Guy's ascent of Toltec he came a cropper falling off Ulysses E6 at Stanage (in The Peak). He was going for the ethically pure "no mat" onsight solo but fell off and pranged his leg. Oops.

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