19th Feb 2015
Carn Boel (Upper)
The Drum – HVS 5b – Lead (dnf) then TR
Grindeer – E2 5B – TR
Drifters – E1 5c – Retrieve gear (and some sneaky practicing)
We made this day a real cack handed ordeal. One we should have driven to Lands End and not walked all the way from Porthgwarra and two, we should have recognised a series of sandbags when we arrived!
It was though a terrific day, with lots of hard climbing and some really challenging routes. I started the day trying to lead The Drum. An excellent HVS running up a crack line on the left of the main face. From the ground it looks innocuous and well protected. It’s neither.
I havnt felt so pumped for ages. A proper test of my ability to keep hanging on. Placing gear was strenuous, climbing was strenuous, staying still was strenuous (you get the idea). I felt like Popeye by time I eventually succumbed and slumped into my gear. It was all a matter of mental state.
By time I reached the crux I was pumped and couldnt find any gear. I knew in my mind that once I committed there was no going back and it looked poor for gear. This was actually an accurate forecast as it was. For HVS it is remarkably bold. I think it would be E1 in most peoples books. Definitely 5b though.
So all pumped up I tried again on the top rope and this time went straight through. Of course without having to place gear. One I will try again maybe later in the season.
Meanwhile Joe was having his own epic on Drifters. Another one where gear is hard to come by and the climbing suprisingly dificult. It did for Joe on this occasion (unusually), but I expect he will be back shortly to tame it.
We all (Tom, Dave, Joe and I) had a go on the E2, which actually proved to be OK. Tough again with some amazing moves into the vertical crack, but manageable.
This spot is great for a winters days climbing. Above the sea, sheltered with great views. We were lucky to get this on this day as the weather came in with a vengance on the walk back.
Shame Dave and Tom chose to take the long walk to the car. Pay attention!!!!