Tag Archives: Carn Kenidjack

Feet of endurance

15th July 2016

Carn Kenidjack

Thane – E1 5b – Lead
Gneiss Gnome – HS 4b – Second
The Stormbringer – E3 5c – TR (dnf)

I love Carn Kenidjack! It’s official. Probably the crag of my best leads and always a ground breaker when it comes to grades.

Cape Cornwall

Cape Cornwall

So Thane isnt any higher in the grade than any other E1… but sometimes it is reputation that counts and Thane, thought to be easier than Rock Dancer by many, is less attempted. Why?? Cos its f#*king scary that’s why.

Working hard in the upper groove

Working hard in the upper groove

There are two sequences on the climb, one fairly low down and then another once established in the upper groove. Both are above your gear and both are a bit iffy for your head. It makes for a really interesting battle between your head and your feet. Head says ‘Go!’, feet say ‘Nope.. I’m going to stay right here where its safe’.

Me on the upper groove

Me on the upper groove

In the end, after my usual deliberations I went for both moves and both were OK, although my advice to others would be to keep going once you commit, because there are a number of moves before you reach more gear.

So sat here in the safety of my home I can say that Thane was an incredible climb, full of character and with some great moves. At the time of climbing I might have given a different opinion, but it is a big tick for me as it has long been on my list of ‘wanna’s’

Looking up Thane

Looking up Thane

Of course it wouldnt be fair for me to hog all the epics so Dave had his own version on Gneiss Gnome, discovering that the lower slab is particularly run out for a Hard Severe. Fortunately Tom did leave something for Dave to climb after his attempt to destroy the cliff when having a go on Seiging the Castle a long lost E4 5c which tackles the crack in the face to the left. Ripping breeze blokes off the cliff is just not cricket.

Line of Gneiss Gnome

Line of Gneiss Gnome

Joe was as usual smashing his way through ridiculously difficult routes. I let him persuade me into attempting an E3 5c on the top rope. Having seem Joe on the crux, I knew it would be difficult, but my general power let me down on what was a really good route. Just need that explosive burst and I might have made it. Note to muscles ‘must get stronger’.

Joe checking out The Stormbringer

Joe checking out The Stormbringer

And so ended another epic day on the crag. I am absolutely bursting to get out again now. Thane has instilled a bit of confidence in the system. It was needed.

The answer is blowing in the wind

3rd October 2014
Carn Kenidjack/Carn Clough

Super Direct – E2 5b – TR
Nutse – HVS 5b – Lead

Carn Kenidjack was the better of the two venues for shelter. Tucked away in a narrow zawn it protects you from the worst of the wind and on this day that was a bonus.

Cape Cornwall. Great name ..Cape

Cape Cornwall. Great name ..Cape

Setting up a top rope at Kenidjack is not easy. All the anchors are set well back and they dont line up on the belay spot. Me and Joe made a pretty good job of it in the end… good enough to feel safe anyway.

I really enjoyed the climb and I know Joe did too by the smile on his face. It is steady for the most part but has its moments. A bold start and finish and a tough crux. If I was to lead this I would want to do it in perfect conditions as overall it is a bold lead. I couldnt help but keep glancing across to Thane. Must do that the next time we are here.

Big swell in the bay

Big swell in the bay

It was then off for a bit of an explore at Carn Clogh. I remebered there were a couple of HVS’s here and though we might try them. With a howling wind we set up below Nutse, a fierce looking HVS that tackles an overhang.

The line of Nutse

The line of Nutse

For a change I took it on (I was wondering why when trying to pull through the crux). It is really all about negotiating the overhang. It looks unlikely but the holds are there. You just have to find them. Fortunately I did and it turned out to be a great, although unsteady, climb.

By time we finished we could barely stand still so it was off homwe with a good buzz and mucho windburn.

It’s behind you!!!!

5th July 2013

Carn Kenidjack

Seadreams Cliff and The Main Face

Seadreams – HS 4b – Lead
Great Central – Severe 4a – Lead
The Shield – E1 5a – Lead

The first time anyone goes to Carn Kenidjack it has the same wow effect on them. A near vertical wall which at first glance looks featureless is an intimidating sight. For four of the team on this day it was their first time and I’m sure it didnt disappoint.

Pete setting off on Seadreams

Pete setting off on Seadreams

We started on the Seadreams Cliff thinking we had plenty of tide and that there was little swell. Wrong on both counts I’m afraid. Plenty of swell which kept washing up the ramp below the routes and threatening to engulf our feet. Chris and I went haring off up a route each thinking that we’d only get one in, only to find we had time for a second and had only succeeded in cocking up the rotating leads. Oh well, it turned out well for me which is the important thing. 🙂

A killer belay..... at least it will be when that rock lands on Chris!

A killer belay….. at least it will be when that rock lands on Chris!

Both routes on the Seadreams cliff were good if a bit short in stature. We all got a crack at both pitches. Seadreams is the better of the two, but with a stunning view across to Cape Cornwall both seemed brilliant on this day. The pushing tide was threatening to swamp someone on the ramp. Chris as the last man standing confidently watched a surge miss him on the cliff side without realising that it nearly got him from behind although he was totally oblivious to this.

Chris enjoying Great Central

Chris enjoying Great Central

The it was time for the main event! We down climbed into Kenidjack. Its steep and is intimidating at first, but secure enough if you are confident. As you walk into the amphitheatre you suddenly realise how magnificent the main face is. A shear wall that seems blank at first but is full of holds and cracks.

First view of the main face for the crew.

First view of the main face for the crew.

Chris and Dave set up for Saxon Direct. This is probably my favorite climb of all time. It has everything. It seems unlikely at the grade but as it unfolds you realise there are holds a plenty. Gear can be hard to find unless you think carefully. It’s there, but it takes some finding.

Dave at the horizontal crack before the tough top wall of Saxon Direct

Dave at the horizontal crack before the tough top wall of Saxon Direct

The same could be said for the Shield. The bottom pitch has spaced gear but its good. The climbing is pretty good too and no pushover. Tom and Pete seemed to really enjoy this pitch and we all ended up at a very cosy belay. From here the character of the climb changes. No longer good gear and larger holds. Now it becomes small crimpy holds and foot placements and poor gear for about 10 metres.

A very relieved me after getting through the bold section of P2 The Shield

A very relieved me after getting through the bold section of P2 The Shield

Once you get to the groove of Thane there is something and you can breathe a sigh of relief. Up to that point the motto is ‘dont fall off’. We all made it though and a very satisfied team collected at the gearing up ‘hole’ to pat each other on the back a recollect at what was an amazing day.

View to Cape Cornwall

View to Cape Cornwall

Cornwall delivers again with excitement, beauty and in our case, comradery.

Screaming Feet!

Carn Kenidjack

2nd April 2013

Main Cliff
Saxon Direct – HVS 5a – Second
Rock Dancer – E1 5b – Lead

Seadreams Cliff
Seadreams – HS 4b – Second

Climbing in my own shoes is proving to be a novelty these days, but I got it right this time. On a bright sunny day Joe and I headed for Kenidjack to complete something we started a few years back when we visited on a rainy grim day and had to abandon our ambitions.

Cape Cornwall

Kenidjack is still probably my favorite crag in Cornwall. The climbing is fantastic with crimpy holds and small edges for your feet. Not that strenuous, but it does a real job on your feet and you have to work hard.

Almost there

Joe started things off on Saxon Direct. The final stage of this route angles straight up from the horizontal break rather than traversing to the block. In a way its a more natural line and makes for a spicy finish. IMO they’re both great and on this day Joe made a good job of the route. The start is quite a bold series of moves, but once on the main face the gear is OK.

The belay anchors are a way back

Our pre placed belay ropes made things easy when Joe topped out. By this time the heat was coming off the face and the bitterly cold start was a distant memory. The stunning views across to Cape Cornwall are enough to inspire anyone so we dropped back into the zawn for a crack at Rock Dancer.

I climbed this 3 years back with Nick and remembered it was brilliant but couldnt really remember much about the route except for the mono (guaranteed to be memorable). I knew good pro was spaced. Again there is a bold start followed by steep climbing. The crux is just about adequately protected which makes the ramp a spicy prospect. All in all worth three stars in my book and equally as good as Saxon.

The base of the Main Cliff

After some well deserved lunch it was off to Seadreams Cliff, a new venue for me. The descent is down a hole strewn grassy ridge which is obviously a hunting ground for the resident Peregrines. The ripped apart Seagul was testiment to this.

The line of Apocalypse E2 5c

It turned out to have some good routes and well worth a return visit when the tide isnt threatening to wash over the bottom ledge. Joe finished on a really good HS. Once again small edges for our, by then, battered feet but with excellent pro. A hidden jem.

Near the top of Seadreams

Fully knackered we decamped just as the temperature dropped. As a reminder we should park closer next time because the track is open for quite a way towards the old quarries.

 

Feathered Friends

11th July 2010 Carn Kenidjack

Saxon (Original) – HVS 4c, 4c – Alt Lead P1
RockDancer – E1 5b – Second

After our previous attempt (Nick and I ) to climb at Kenidjack which ended in a thorough drenching we were hoping for more favourable weather. We had cancelled our arrangements for both Friday and Saturday because of the weather report so this was our last chance and things turned out well.

Carn-Kenidjack_July10-006

We had targeted three climbs. In the end Thane turned out to be a bit ambitious in the time (especially given my turn of speed) and an attempt at Gneiss Gnome ended in retreat when I found fledglings on a ledge part way up. So it was straight into Saxon and what a climb!

A strenuous start sees you pull up onto a long sloping ramp. The guides are a bit all over the place here in terms of route finding. One says to go to keep going almost to the end of the sloping ramp/crack. The opther suggests tackling the smooth large niche directly. The latter is bold with little gear and does not seem right and the first avoids the main face which is at the heart of Saxon.

So instead I went just to the left of the niche and followed a logical line from there. Great holds and foot placements and adequate gear takes you up the exposed face. Its brilliant fun and once my nerves were settled I loved it. The traverse is straight forward but exhillerating and to cap it I made a hash of the belay in my excitement. Safe, but not making best use of the large block.

Nick finished the top pitch off leaving me to untangle myself. The move off the belay is tricky and you have to move a few metres before gear becomes available, but it caps Saxon off in a suitable way. For me, this is one of the best climbs I’ve done and I want to do it again!

Carn-Kenidjack_July10-001Carn-Kenidjack_July10-002

Climb two was equally as good. Bold in places needing a lot of work to find good gear. Again a strenuous start and for half the climb the holds kepp coming. Then you pass a central horizontl crack and the climb ramps everything up a notch. From here on you have to work hard, culminating in a fantastic move up onto a thin ledge (the crux for me). Find the hidden holds……

Carn-Kenidjack_July10-004

An excellent lead from Nick who as usual climbed with style. For me… I was left feeling really satisfied with the route which challenged me and pushed me into moves I dont often have to make when on my usual VS’s. A great confidence booster making me want more.

The weather held off and Kenidjack provided its usual spectacular scenery from our lunch spot.

Cornwall just keeps providing. Role on next week.