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South West Climbing News 2012

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Stu Bradbury Keeps it Real on the North Coast (19 November 2012)

Committed North Coast adventurers Stu Bradbury and Nic Dill have been busy down at Com Head and Pentire.

At Pentire, Stu climbed the hanging arete left of Psycho Bagman (in the Robert of Pentire area of crag) at a highly dangerous E6/7 6a. The route, which has been named Whistlin' Passed the Graveyard, features tricky climbing with ground fall potential above marginal RPs and the style of ascent was particularly praiseworthy as it involved no top rope practice.

At the nearby Com Head the pair added Axl Rose E3 and Appetite For Destruction E5, the latter being climbing onsight. Although Stu resorted to a rest point, this ground up approach to new routing is, in my opinion, more impressive than a clean ascent after inspection.

Full details can be found on the Atlantic Coast new routes page.

Mike Cleverdon Second Ascent of The End is Nigh (23 October 2012)

Mike Cleverdon has made the second ascent of Tom Newberry's The End is Nigh (see North Coast Round-Up below). This is of particular note as Mike suffered from a stroke less than 12 months ago - an impressive comeback from Mike!

Here's a little bit of video (or whatever they're called these days) Tom Bunn made of the ascent:


North Coast Summer Round-Up (23 October 2012)

Tom Newberry has put together a write up of his activity over the summer, including details of his new Font 8a at Hartland, The End is Nigh. See more.

The End is Nigh

The End is Nigh Font 8a, Hartland

Cheesewring & South East Cornwall Guidebook Launch (28 September 2012)
Saturday 29th September 2012, from 7.00pm
At The Cheesewring Hotel, Minions, nr Liskeard, Cornwall, PL14 5LE

To mark the publication of the new climbing guide The St Ives Printing & Publishing Company are holding a modest get-together at The Cheesewring Hotel in Minions – the highest pub in Cornwall!
We hope this will be a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and thank in person all of you who’ve helped with the guide. It’s also a good excuse for some climbing in Cheesewring Quarry beforehand! Copies of the book will be on sale and both the authors, Barnaby Carver and Sean Hawken, and editor, Toni Carver, will be attending.
Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you there.
We won’t be providing food or drink but the pub serves meals from 6.30 – 9.00 pm and the bar is open late. The guidebook is also on sale in the village of Minions during the day at the Hurlers Halt tea shop and the Minions Post Office and Tearooms.

BMC Area Meeting (28 September 2012)

The next South West area gathering will take place on the evening of Saturday 6th October at The Dolphin Hotel in Bovey Tracey on the 6th October. Details of the meeting are on the BMC website. The BMC's Drilled Equipment Policy is up for debate and discussion, along with the usual mix of local developments & access news.

Free and tasty treats will be laid on by the team and everyone is welcome.

Pickford Back at Pentire (28 September 2012)

Dave Pickford has been back to Pentire to add another route to the Great Wall. Switchblade Romance E6 climbs the wall in one huge pitch; after starting up Pulses Unreal the route climbs through the Eroica crux and into the top groove of Darkinbad before an exciting excursion right and up a hanging groove in the scary headwall. Full details are on the Atlantic Coast new routes page.

The Quay Climbing Centre - 8/9th September Birthday Bash Weekend (1 September 2012)

"Join us for a weekend of celebrations - highlights include Birthday Bash Competition, special guest Steve McClure's evening talk and climbing clinics and FREE TASTER SESSION SUNDAY.... "

For further information please check the Quay Climbing Centre website.

South East Cornwall Guidebook Goes to the Press (29 August 2012)

Barnaby Carver has been in touch with an update on progress of the new guide:

"Cheesewring & South East Cornwall: A Climbers’ Guide by Barnaby Carver and Sean Hawken is currently being printed and is expected to hit the shops sometime in September. The book is a fully revised and redesigned second edition of Hawken’s original 1998 guide, which sold out a few years ago.

This new edition is in full colour throughout and around a hundred pages larger than its predecessor. It offers up to date comprehensive coverage of South East Cornwall’s rock climbing and features traditional routes, sport climbing, deep water soloing and bouldering. Over 500 climbs and approximately 200 of the area’s best boulder problems are described at 27 separate climbing venues.

Publishers The St Ives Printing & Publishing Company are maintaining a blog to keep people informed of the progress.

Proof checking - Cheesewring & South East Cornwall climbers' guide from BCarver on Vimeo.

The following is a list of climbing venues covered in the new edition of Cheesewring & South East Cornwall: Kit Hill Quarry; Gold Diggings Quarry; Cheesewring Quarry; Sharp Tor; Bearah Tor; Kilmar Tor; Trewortha Tor; Hawk’s Tor; St Clether Crags; Rough Tor; Devil’s Jump; Carbilly Tor; Helman Tor; Roche Rock; Luxulyan Valley – including The Lost World Quarry, Carmears Rocks, Luxulyan Valley Quarry, Will Luke’s Hat and North Hill Wood Area; Carn Grey Quarry; Nare Head; Dodman Point; Gamas Point; Black Head; Blackbottle Rocks; Lantic Bay; Pencarrow Head; Chapel Cliff, Polperro; Talland Bay; Downderry Beach and Rame Head."

Schmoking Hot 'Didier' Perry Does Another Good Route at Some Crag in Cornwall (13 August 2012)

Alexis has been in touch to report headpointing another tough line down in West Cornwall with a bolt free ascent of a line based on 1025 at Carn Vellan*.

"Last Sunday (29th July), I managed to link Ziggurat into the top arete of 1025 in one big pitch. It pulls over the roof to the right of 1025 (where the debolted 8c project went through - the 8c bits must be elsewhere as these moves aren't so bad), then powerfully traverses left to the arete up which it finishes. An exercise in ridiculously strenuous trad climbing! Happily it's safe - the RPs which protect the crux proved their worth on several occasions! Toproped the crux. Toproping under the roof gets silly, it's too steep and the E5 terrain on Ziggurat is more practicably worked on lead. Under the roof is often really wet with condensation and seepage and getting the route ticked became an exercise in patience."

In his email Alexis then rambles on a bit about the grade so to summarise he says it can't be E8, but he found it harder than Son of Satan E8 and all of the E7s he's climbed so he's given it E7/8. IMHO it sounds like he may as well just give it E8 although it could be a viable proposition for an onsight attempt by someone with suitable talent...

Here's Alexis's really boring footage of his ascent.


*As some of you may be aware, Carn Vellan has been the subject of much controversy regarding whether or not the main roof section should be a bolted sport crag. The following is Alexis's insightful summary and opinion:

"Carn Vellan, the pulsating heart of Cornish climbing controversy. A daunting, incredible overhang obscured by bile and bitterness. This route ties together a trad route, Ziggurat, and a debolted sport route, 1025, into one big trad pitch. This is NOT an ethical statement, more an attempt to maximise climbing on an amazing cliff that has become redundant.

One need only go to Dorset to observe pluralism working effectively on natural sea cliffs. Carn Vellan possesses several lines that are so blatantly perfect sport terrain - long, hugely overhanging, gearless routes - that I cannot criticize their bolting. Strangely though, I no longer wish to see Carn Vellan as a sport crag. I have spent hours in this beautiful, wild and lonely location. Sport crags are busy. Sport crags are loud. More people never make for a better cliff. Carn Vellan is sensitive: bolts it can live with; crowds it cannot."

Alexis 'Didier' Perry and Cherry Bedford Fire It Up In Kernow (23 April 2012)

Alexis has been in touch to report impressive action down in Kernow. Lock up your projects West Kernownians (and Devonians for that matter)!

"Where in England can you climb 30 metre new routes that are actually really good? At least, I think they're new. Two routes, both at Robin's Rocks. First one starts as for Black Sapper then traverses left a bit and blasts up the centre of the wall above the cave. Strenuous, a bit spicy, probably E5 6a. Worth two stars I reckon. Toproped it first, to my eternal shame! In my defence, it looks a lot scarier than it is. It's called Limpet Desires.

The other one climbs the wall between Off the Mark and Tuco. It starts as for Off the Mark then goes straight up the steep crack to meet the right end of the roof. Powerful moves left onto the lip gain the brilliant, strenuous upper wall which is climbed about 2 metres left of Tuco. There's a big ol' runout in there!

It's less technical than Off the Mark (which Alexis repeated last year), but more thuggy and more runout. Equally tiring. I think I'll give it E7 6c for now, but, as I didn't onsight it (toproped first), the usual caveats apply. And to be honest, what do I know about grading?! It's just as good too - it's a properly exciting, excellent pitch with brilliant, brilliant moves. I'll give it three stars, and the name International Kidney Dealer. 

Just as newsworthy- Cherry Bedford did the 3rd ascent of Off the Mark (after toproping it first). How many female E7 ascents are there in the SW per year? Or ever? 

Anyhow, it's a bloody good cliff once the sun gets on it. It's really steep. Just another ignored slice of impecable SW rock..."

Tom Newberry 2011 South West Bouldering Round-up (23 April 2012)

As South West bouldering continues to become more popular and gain devotees,Tom Newberry (with a bit of assistance from Dave Westlake) has put together a general round-up of the 2011 bouldering scene on the North Coasts of Devon and Cornwall with a list of some of the harder first ascents and repeats:

Tom Newberry at Pentire

Tom Newberry Bouldering at Pentire, North Cornwall

Mikey Cleverdon’s Twister has been repeated and a RH variation climbed (Cyclone 7Aish FA – Dave Westlake).  The original depends on beach height but is somewhere around the mid 7’s.

Further along at Sillery Sands development has continued, with new problems going up courtesy of Grant Edwards, Mikey Cleverdon, Luke Dawson, Mike Adams, Dave Westlake and probably others.  Here are a few (that I know about). Grades can vary hugely depending on conditions.

Spinning Plates (7B+)  Subtle, slopey and very wave washed arête from sitting. A good 5C from standing. FA Dave Westlake.
Suspended Animation (7B+) strange mantle. FA Dave Westlake.
Carrots and Broccoli (7B) Steep problem on left side of the boulder near the steps. FA Dave Westlake repeats: Mikey Cleverdon

Northcott Mouth
Captains Crush (7C+) – this breaks off from the start of Red Quinne with a big move to the huge sloper on the lip and a hard cut loose. FA. Mike Adams. Repeats Rich Hession and Tom Newberry.

A Boy Wonder (7C+) –Climbs the long standing project out the left hand side of the Red Quinne Cave. FA Tom Newberry. Repeats Mikey Cleverdon and Mike Adams.
Magic Mushroom (7C) – showed itself again after being buried for years. Mike Adams repeated it, (maybe the 3rd ascent?).

Longbeak (Upton)
For those that are interested the b***s are still in good nick on the mini s***t route Two Ton Trolley Jack (7b+/c) which received its 6th? ascent courtesy of Jon Daynes.

The boulders at Pentire seem to keep coming up with new problems, with plenty more still to come!

Cowboy junkies (7C) start as for psycho cowboy but after the first couple moves mantel the lip and climb the high slab direct. FA. Tom Newberry. Repeats Mikey Cleverdon, Dan Turner and Ben Freeman.
Rational Bandit (7C+) starts as for Psycho Cowboy but  traverses the lip leftwards to finish up the highball arête. FA Tom Newberry. Repeats: Dan Turner.
Rational Junkies (7C) starts sitting on the seaward arête of the cowboy block and reverse Rational Bandit to finish up Cowboy Junkies. FA Tom Newberry.
Heroically Gaunt (7C+/8A?) Start up Rational Junkies and finish as for Psycho Cowboy, the full lip traverse of the block. FA Tom Newberry.
Life’s Too Short (7B) The sitter to Black Magic! Start sitting at the back of the cave below the start to black magic on an undercut. Big moves through the roof to finish on the big orange blob over the lip. FA Tom Newberry.
Between the Dreams (7B) on the big boulder below the start of darkinbad, exit (feet first) out the steep roof through the small entrance on the right from a very low start. FA Mikey Cleverdon. Repeats: Tom Newberry.
Brazilian Traverse (7B) Traverses the bottom lip of the triangular slab from L to R to finish with a tricky mantel. Found on the large boulder below Dolly’s Death. FA Rich ??. Repeats Tom Newberry.

The original hard problem Psycho Cowboy has also seen at least 5 ascents now as well.

Cowies Cove
Olly Wheeldon’s Blood Sweat and Tears has seen a good few repeats now and seems to have settled at Font 7B+.  There is a probably around 12 other problems here between font 5 and 6c.

Kids Bas (7C/+) A low sitting start to kids (the original is more of a crouch start) with one hand on the flake in the roof and one on the undercut at the back. FA Tom Newberry.

Tom Newberry on Kids Bas 7c/+ at Tintagel, North Cornwall. Photo Barnaby Carver

Tom Newberry on Kids Bas 7c/+ at Tintagel, North Cornwall. Photo Barnaby Carver

Also worth a mention is that the original problem, Kids 7B+ has had a couple of repeats now as have a few of the other 7B’s at Tintagel. Holds have broken on Purple Haze which makes it less sharp but easier, 6B/C ish. Dan Turner also made the much contested second ascent of Colorado Dreaming (7C+).  Not fazed by the long drive down from the lakes Dan has made several trips down to the coast, which he believes and I state “offers some of the best bouldering in the UK!”, to repeat Corridors of Power 7C,  Supercede SDS 8A and People of the Shire 8A at Hartland; Psycho Cowboy 7C+, Cowboy Junkies 7C and Rational Bandit 7C+ at Pentire and Blood, Sweat and Tears 7B+ at Cowie’s Cove.

Dan Turner on Supercede Font 8a,Hartland

Dan Turner on Supercede, Font 8a, Hartland, North Devon

Other repeats worthy of a mention are Matt Birch’s flash of Simon Young's hard classic Ache Ball 7C (which has broken again) at Hartland (possibly the first flash?) and 2nd ascent of Jungle VIP 8A at Burrator, which I also managed to drag myself up a week or so back. The easier version of this King of Swingers Swingers 7C has seen a few (at least 6) ascents now as has Simon Downing’s excellent Jay-Z  7B+.

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

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