Tag Archives: Central Groove

Tolkeins World

25th April 2014

The Dewerstone

Central Groove – HS 4b – Alt lead
Silken Thread/Imperialist – HSV 5a – Lead

The Dewerstone is a long haul from Newquay but its worth it and on a day of repeats like these your time and money are well spent.

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Central Groove is undeniably one of the best HS’s around and Dave got his chance to lead P1 which is just awesome. There were a few other climbers around on this day, but dont get me wrong, it wasnt busy. I still get a real feeling of being in place that was created from a novel like LOTR. Twisted trees, thick lichen, bird song and the sound of the river all add to the impression.

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Climbing up through the canopy is always fun and sat on the belay ledge while Dave brought up Tom, I got the chance to just savour the whole experience. I dont think there is anywhere better to be in the world when you get days like this.

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I knew Silken Thread/Imperialist would get my blood flowing. It feels bold to start and the entire first pitch seems off balance. Its a good route though and the second pitch exposed my lack of strength training this year. Time to beef up a bit me thinks.

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A nice snooze on the way back made the trip quick. Tom’s new car is too comfortable, thats the problem.

Squirrel!

16th March 2012
Dewerstone Woods – Main Face

Climbers Club Ordinary – VS 4b – Lead
Central Groove – HS 4b – Lead

The wind pushed us into choosing The Dewerstone over The Cheesewring. It turned out to be a top decision. With both Chris and myself there, we split into two pairs, Tom teaming up with Chris.

The Dewerstone wove its magic on the walk in, putting us all in a good mood. So when we reached the main face we were ready to go. My original intention was to climb on Raven buttress, but I had a look at CCO and thought it looked OK. So Dave and I geared up and I set off upand across the traverse. CCO is bold in it’s early stages. There is some gear, but you have to look for it and be inventive.

Dave on CCO

Dave on the second overhang on Climbers Club Ordinary

The flakes which at first seem to be a godsend, turned out to be more scary than safe. I got the feeling that if you managed to dislodge one of them, you’d bring down half the cliff face. So I used my feet and tried not to think about the flakes too much.

Chris going directly through the overhang on Climbers Club Ordinary

The overhang below the first belay ledge also adds some excitment. I went straight up it, strictly part of Climbers Club Direct, but wild and fun. Gets the adrenaline flowing.  When Chris led CCO later on he too went direct so we all made the most of it.

The spooky traverse at the top of Pitch 2 CCO

Pitch two we all agreed had another unnerving traverse, different from the first, in that there was pro, but  probably a bit more exposed. By this time you are high up on the face with the woods stretching out below. It’s quite surreal and very beautiful.

Tom concentrating on the second pitch of CCO

The only spoiler for me was the pesky woodland critter (Squirrel) that ate through my pack, then my fleece and managed to steal my crisps and sandwich. Even my strategically lobbed Krab missed it, hit a rock and bounced into the river. There’s no justice. (Tom did retrieve it for me though)

Squirrel!!!!

Our second climb on Central Groove was equally as good and finished up the same top groove meaning that all of us ended up meeting at the end of a brilliant day.

Dave on the upper slab of Central Groove Pitch 1

Two top climbs.

 

Old woods and suntan lotion…. but no Devil!

8th April 2011

The Dewerstone

Central Groove – HS 4B – Alt Lead
Leviathon – VS 4C – Lead
Climbers Club Direct – HVS 5Aa – Second

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According to something I read on the net (not always the most reliable source of ‘true’ information), “The Dewerstone, on the southern edge of Dartmoor is supposedly a favourite haunt of the Devil. With his pack of wisht hounds he would drive sinners to the edge of the cliff, never once touching them, where they would then fall onto the jagged rocks below.”

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Well, from my perspective the woods would be better described as stunning and mythical. A beautiful stream flowing through and sunlight beaming through the gaps in the trees does not make them threatening at all. And the climbing is amazing. This must go down as one of my favorite days. Three contrasting climbs, gradually building in intensity.

Bart, Chris and I turned up early and set about Central Groove straight away. This is an amazing line following the main groove and then breaking right for a final finish up an amazing corner. Unfortunately I forgot that the 1st belay point would be in the full sun and so I paid the price with a thorough ‘cooking’ on an exposed ledge. The views though made up for it, with a vista across the tops of the trees across and up the valley.

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The climb itself is slightly polished, but not so that you notice. It is so compelling with good gear throughout. Just complete fun climbing and one of the best routes I’ve done. Bart enjoyed himself as well – his first multi pitch route for a while, but he breezed up it as did Chris, who led the second pitch and the final corner/crack, which is the icing on the cake.

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Leviathon is a bit more committing. A tough Groove which I found best to bridge. More powerful and needs more thought, but fine at the grade with adequate pro. I loved it and I can understand why it makes it onto the list of top VS’s in the country. A little slip got my heart going and the final pull over on slopers made me nervous.

OK. Now Climbers Club Direct is a different kettle of fish. Many of the climbs at Dewerstone need jamming, but CCD needs lots of it. Nick did a brilliant job of leading it and made the initial crack look straight forward. Which it is, until you actually try to climb it. Chris joined my ‘keep trying’ club from the previous week. I struggled to work out the way to move up, but it boiled down to a small foothold and plenty of faith.

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For me though the suprise was the second pitch which turned ut to be exceptional. Given 4c in the book this is better thought of as 5b territory and very bold in places for the leader. A series of amazing jams and bridges got me up and a pitch I will not forget any time soon.

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So ended an exceptional day and all I want to do now is get back on the rock. Role on next FRiday.

This links to all the photos