6th February 2015
Black Carn North
Gelert – HS 4b – Lead
Pudsey – VS 4c – Second
Wasp Pant Terror – HVS 4c – Lead
Cro Magnon Man – E2 5b/5c – TR Dogged
With the cold snap continuing we knew we needed somewhere out of the wind and preferably in the sun. Favorable tides also meant we could explore some of the less well known venues around Porthgwarra which would be on the lee side.
I keep walking past these locations thinking that ‘one day I’ll check them out’. On this occasion, armed with some exploration knowledge we picked up last time we went to Carn Barra, we dropped down to Black Carn North.
Its a tricky descent at first crossing some pretty loose ground and a gulley which is steep. Once onto the seaward rocks its OK though. If you go, drop down before the obvious wall and keep to the right of the gulley. Then follow rocks down and around to the right facing out to sea. You’ll eventually get there.
The obvious attractive line on this small but friendly crag is Pudsey. An angled line across the face below Cro Magnon the elephant in the room. As it happens its not the best despite appearances. My favorite on the day was Gelert. Great moves for HS and a good thoughtful move into the upper crack.
Pudsey is all about a couple of moves fairly low down, although it looks harder. Chris made short work of it. Good, but no cigar. The weird looking and sounding Wasp Pant Terror proved quite good with a couple of great mantleshelves and a final bold series of moves to the top. I really enjoyed it. Not strenuous, but quite technical.
Of course Joe had his eye on the main obstacle on the crag Cro Magnon Man. I can see why they call it this. The top has an uncanny prehistoric look to it. The moves though are great. Crimpy and thin on the lower face, it finishes with slopers which are just waiting for the unwary. I of course was one of the unwary’s. I thought I had it but as I barn doored off I realised it needed a bit more thought. Second attempt I unlocked it using a finger jam to keep my balance. Not one for the tall as you get compressed into a ball! Fun though.
This is a crag to come back to next winter when we’re looking for a sheltered spot. I’m sure there are more routes to find here so I might do a bit more exploring next time I’m over there and cant climb because of conditions.