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South West Climbing News 2010

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River Dart Country Park Wall Reborn (15 November 2010)
Local climbers Finn Clipson and Mat Greep have cleaned up and improved the existing boudlering wall at the River Dart Country Park (just outside of Ashburton). The wall has been renamed 'South West Bouldering', a website is on it's way and opening hours / contact details are on the image below.

South West Bouldering Wall


Barn Climbing Wall Competition (5 September 2010)
The Barn climbing wall will be hosting the another of their popular bouldering competitions on Saturday 16th October. There will be a range of categories and a price fund of £600+. Entry is £6. Further details are available on The Barn website

Barn Bouldering Competition

DMM International Recall on the Dragon Camming Device in size 6 (25 July 2010)
DMM International has identified a raw material problem that may affect the strength on certain models of the Dragon Cam in size 6 (Product Code A7056A). This recall only involves the Dragon Cam in size 6 and no other sizes of Dragon Cam are involved. The problem originates from a structural defect in a raw material that is uniquely used to make a single component on the size 6 Dragon.

If you do have a Dragon Cam 6 with a serial number listed below then DMM International strongly recommends immediately discontinuing all use of this product.

The product can be returned via your retailer or directly to DMM so that it can be replaced.

Serial number to number



Please check the DMM website for further information.

javu Shop Now Active (21 July 2010)
The new javu mini-shop is now active and ready for orders.

New West Country Rockfax Back From the Printers (21 July 2010)
The eagerly awaited new Rockfax is now back from the printers and javu will soon be receiving stock. Please visit our shop if you would like to order a copy.

West Country Climbs Rockfax

London Bridge Deep Water Solo Action (20 July 2010)
The Devon deep water soloing season is now in full swing and Tom Rainbow has reported a couple of new routes down at London Bridge, Torquay. These have now been added to the South Devon New Routes page and the Devon Deep Water Soloing guides.

Below: John McShea on the excellent new addition to London Bridge, Frolics Fr7a+.

John McShea

London Bridge is now home to a good selection of routes at a range of grades, including some lovely safe traverses (Long Dong Village Fr.7b, Frolics Fr.7a+), scary high things (Jehovakill Fr7a+ish , Don't Fear the Reef Fr7a+ish) and other excellent routes that are fun to fall off (Pumping-Dancefloor-Energy Fr.7a+, Freddie Fishcake Hits Torquay Fr.6b ).

Below: Tom Rainbow on Fun Fr. 6b, London Bridge

Tom Rainbow on Fun Fr.6b, London Bridge

Below: John McShea shortly before falling off Jehovakill XS 6b (Fr. 7a+ish), London Bridge

Second Deep Water Solo Ascent of Christine (15 July 2010, Update 18 July)
Gavin Symonds has made what is almost certainly the second deep water solo ascent of Christine, Ken Palmer's French 8a at Long Quarry Point. The route was first soloed by Ken in 2003 who also made the first ascent of the line, with bolts, the previous year.

Gavin tried the route ground-up (well, water-up) but after a few unsuccessful attempts decided to abseil down to chalk the holds. After a few more attempts Gavin got the route (9th go) and commented that he found falling from the crux to be safe! The start and higher section require care but Gavin suggested the route to be S1. (Deep water solo grades explained here).

Below: Gavin Symonds on the lower section of Christine Fr.8a - the crux is getting through the roof above!

Gavin Symonds on Christine

Ken's ascent of Christine featured in Caedmon Mullin's short film Set in Stone:


North Coast E7 Ground Up (14 Juy 2010)
Dave Westlake reports:

"Nick Cox, Tom Newbury and myself visited Crooklets beach on Monday 12th July to attempt Simon Young’s route Giddy (E7 6b). We thought that it might be possible to climb the route without pre-practice so, armed with 5 mats, we set about working a sequence from the ground up.

Our exploits elicited some rather worried looks from passing tourists, as well as the interest of a bunch of kids. Seemingly intrigued, one of them declared Tom “the best” after he made it to the top of the neighbouring severe to get a better look at the top section!

Below: Tom Newberry on Giddy E7 , Crooklets beach, Bude.

Giddy E7

Meanwhile we made steady progress, bolstering our confidence by jumping onto the mats from up to around the half way point. The beach was as low as it gets, being rocky rather than sandy, and on one occasion I bottomed out through the pads bruising my heel. The route is well beyond even ‘highball’ bouldering height, and I didn’t feel like falling/jumping from much higher was really an option.

After a few cautious forays into the route’s upper reaches, followed by nervous down-climbing, I found myself committed and sketching to the top with a big grin on my face. Tom followed half an hour or so later, commenting that seeing how I fared on the top (crux) moves made a difference. We all thought that the route was worth 3 stars, and a total classic.

Grade wise, I’m not sure either of us is really qualified to comment. The only other E7 I’ve done is Cemetery Waits at Stanage. This was in similar style but there was a covering of snow making the landing better than usual. Giddy certainly felt much scarier."

Below: Dave Westlakeon Giddy E7 , Crooklets beach, Bude.

Giddy E7

New West Country Climbs Rockfax Guide Out Soon (10 July 2010)
Mark Glaister's new guide is currently at the printers and due out for the last week of this month. The guide will be available to buy from javu (£24.95) so please get in touch if you would like to reserve a copy. I will also be stocking a selection of guides and DVD's so check back on the shop page regularly as it will be updated soon. If there are any guides in particular you want please let me know.

The 'West Country Climbs' guide is a selected climbs guide to the region and features the best routes from around the South West.

West Country Climbs Rockfax

More North Coast Action (9 July 2010)
Tom Newberry reports:

"I made what is possibly the 2nd ascent (first ground up) of Gloss over the Mat (Font 7c/E5 6c) at Hartland Quay. Also the classic hard boulder problem Ache Ball has been knocked about abit in the winter storms and has now lost/found new holds. This could now be easier than the previous grade of Font 7c+/8a.

At Pentire's north boulder field* I put up a new route/highball Dolly's Death (E6 6b/c Font 7a+/b). (See photo below). I worked it on a shunt first and then soloed it above two pads. Still awaits a ground up ascent which would be impressive. This is a quality line with some great climbing, however it may suit the tall."

* this is found just north of The Great Wall.

Tom Newberry on the first ascent of the highball boulder problem/route Dolly's Death E6

Tom Newberry on Dolly Death E6, Pentire


Bantham Hand Esoterica (9 July 2010)
Those of you looking for a bit of hot weather adventure may want to consider a recently claimed VS on Bantham Hand. See the South Devon and Dartmoor new routes page for further info.

North Coast Bouldering Action; New Hartland Guide on javu (24 June 2010)
Part time north coast local Tom Newberry has been in touch to report a new problem at Pentire:

"Just a bit of news from the north coast.... I've had a few days looking around the boulders between Pentire Great Wall and Rumps Point, and have climbed several lovely problems, the most notable being Psycho Cowboy (see photo below) which is located below the Great Wall. This goes at around about the 7C+/V10 mark and climbs very well. Mikey Cleverdon has snatched the second ascent of this and most of the other recently developed problems. Some of which may have been climbed before? There is plenty more to go at include several stern looking projects. Hopefully there is more news to come…..

Also, I repeated Olly Wheeldon's problems at Cowie Cove (see news below) earlier this week. These are good additions to the north coast and well worth a visit if in the area. I felt the sit start (Blood, Sweat and Tears) to be somewhere in the 7B/V8 region."

Tom Newberry on Physcho Cowboy

Also on the north coast but over the border in Devon, Dave Westlake has produced an excellent guide to the bouldering in the Hartland Quay area. This is available as a free pdf download from javu.

Dewerstone Clean-Up (20 May 2010)
The Dewerstone is having a spring clean this weekend (22+23 May) so climbers are advised to go elsewhere, or be extremely careful and patient when visiting the crag. It is likely that bushes, rocks and gardening implements will be falling from the crag throughout the weekend. Apparently there is already a sufficient number of gardeners so further volunteers are not required.

BMC International Sea Cliff Climbing Meet (19 May 2010)

Barnaby Carver reports on the recent BMC international meet in Cornwall:

International Meet ‘a kick in the arse’ for the Cornish Climbing Scene

Rock climbers from around the world were in West Cornwall last week (9th to 16th May) for the BMC’s International Sea Cliff Climbing Meet. The BMC holds international meets annually, alternating between winter in Scotland and summer in North Wales, but this was the first time such an event has been staged in the South West.

Around 70 people, including international guests and hosts from Cornwall and throughout the UK, attended the week-long event which was based around The Climbers’ Club’s Bosigran Count House. There were representatives from over 20 different countries including Japan, France, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan, Israel and the USA.

Carmen E6 at Carn Barra

Luka Krajnc (Slovenia) on ‘Carmen’ E6 6b at Carn Barra during the BMC’s International Sea Cliff Climbing Meet 2010.
Photograph © Barnaby Carver.

The sheer quantity of hard ascents during the week prompted one of the local hosts, Cornish climber James Strongman, to describe the event as ‘a kick in the arse for the Cornish climbing scene’ which he found inspiring to be a part of. “I did more extremes in one week than the whole of last season,” he added.

There were numerous ascents of many of the area’s harder classics with multiple on-sights in the E5 to E6 range. Among the visitors was Toru Nakajima from Japan, who made a swift head-point of ‘29 Palms’ (E8 6c/7a) and an on-sight ascent of ‘Tears of a Clown’ (E7 6b), both at Sennen. On the new route front Madaleine Sorkin (USA) teamed up with Pat Littlejohn to add ‘Helluva Roof’ (E7 7a) to Hella Point while Luka Krajnc, from Slovenia, and Andi Turner climbed an eight metre long roof-crack, under the arch at Carn Vellan. Their route, a demanding E6 6b, finishes up ‘Fun Curve Factory’ (E5).

Sock it to Me E1 at Carn Barra

French climber Max Bonniot (leading) and Mark Richardson on ‘Sock it to Me’ E1 5b, Carn Barra during the BMC International Sea Cliff Climbing Meet 2010. Photograph © Barnaby Carver.

BMC Chief Executive Dave Turnbull said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome our international guests to Cornwall and introduce them to the superb climbing the sea cliffs of Cornwall have to offer.” He also commented on how the choice of cliffs and variety of climbing makes West Cornwall a perfect venue for such an event.

The idea of holding an international meet in Cornwall was first raised by Pat Littlejohn during his time on the BMC’s Executive Committee. Pat said: “There can never have been a week before when so many ascents of such high grade climbs have been done – it’s been fantastic!” He added that he though the success of the meet would insure that more would be held in West Penwith.

Glass Arete E3 at Carn Barra

Simon Rémy (France), belayed by local host Shane Ohly, on ‘Glass Arête’ E3 5c at Carn Barra during the BMC International Sea Cliff Climbing Meet 2010. Photograph © Barnaby Carver.

Organiser Becky McGovern’s report of the week, with the full low-down on new routes and notable ascents, can be found on the BMC’s website.

North Coast Bouldering Action (13 April 2010)
The North Coast continues to yield bouldering opportunities. Oliver Wheeldon (pictured below, with the ripped back!) reports on his new problems at Polzeath, North Cornwall:

"Oliver Wheeldon has recently made the first ascent of "Pask Lowan" V8/7b and "Blood, Sweat and Tears V10/7c+ (the sit start to Pask Lowan). Both problems are high quality and potentially some of the best on this part of the coast. They are situated midway between Polzeath beach and Pentire Point in 'Cowries Cove'. Fellow local climber Will Murray has repeated Pask Lowan has confirmed both the quality and grade."

Oliver Wheeldon bouldering at Polzeath

.... please let me know of any feedback on these problems.

Update: Mad Max Dutson has been in touch: "I did the easier problem a couple years ago (I reckon about V5) but there are lots of little holds and Oliver may have eliminated some of them. There are lots of other lovely "undiscovered" (ie. unrecorded!) problems in this cove and other side of beach at Polzeath as well as couple routes on slab right in front of New Polzeath itself (at E1-2)".

New Hartland V11/Font 8a (5 April 2010)
Further to his repeat of Supercede (see news below - 4 February 2010) Mike Cleverdon has added a high quality power endurance link-up to the same wall at Hartland Quay. People of the Shire, as the problem is called, joins the start of the classic Carnage to Supercede via a reversal of the traverse section of Corridors of Power. If this makes no sense to you then fret not as David Westlake is putting together a guide to the area which will be available to download from javu.

People of the Shire V11/Font 8a

BMC Meeting at Chudleigh (26 March 2010)
Just a last minute reminder to those that aren't aware there will be a BMC South West Area meeting this Saturday (27th March) at 'The Bishop Lacy Inn', Chudleigh. The meeting starts at 19.30 and the agenda will include:

SW Bolt Fund application, Fixed gear renewal at Torbay, Kit Hill restoration, Dewerstone restoration, Coastal Access volunteers needed to ensure access to the coastline (bet you didn't guess that) due to the new Marine & Coastal Access Bill and more!!

The Bishop Lacy is found shown here on Googlemaps

See http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=239 for further details.

More Chudleigh Parking Problems (26 March 2010)
Following recent disputes at the 'The Rock Centre' (the activity centre that used the North Face of Chudleigh) the staff and groups have started parking in Rock Road. This now means that the usual roadside parking is busy even during the quiet mid-week period. There have already been problems at weekends when a local landowner was unable to exit from his field (the gate on the right when driving down to the crag - he can't get in/out of the field if people park too close to the entrance) and there will no doubt be problems with the large lorries that need to get down the road.

Potentially this could cause restrictions to parking so please use Rock Road as considerately as possible, bearing in mind the information above. If the crag is already busy please consider parking elsewhere. If you are going with friends please try to car share. And if you are in charge of taking groups (eg. SPA training etc) then please ensure that the minimum number of vehicles are parked in Rock Road.

There are parking possibilities in Chudleigh town (car park behind Co-op) and also in the nearby housing estate. There would be no easy solution to any parking restrictions here so please do your best to avoid it becoming any more of a problem.

Supercede Repeated (4 February 2010)
Mike Cleverdon has succeeded in making the third ascent of Tom Newbury's excellent Font 8a at Hartland Quay (Mike Adams made the second). See here for the original news report on Tom's ascent. Mike works at The Barn Climbing Wall and is a good advert for the strength producing qualities of climbing at The Barn!

Please send in any climbing news - South West or further afield.

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