Tag Archives: Dewerstone

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.

My legs have gone to a Disco!

The Dewerstone

19th February 2013
Spiders Web – HVS 5a – Alt Lead

It was good to have a few dry days in a row. The issue now was a freezing South Easterley wind to deal with so the shelter of the Dewerstone seemed an obvious choice.

Our own private stream for the day.

Having had an outing on a VS recently I felt ready to give an HVS a go and I’d often wanted to try Spiders Web. Three stars and two pitches it seemed ideal for Chris and I to have a crack at it. Strangely this was the first multi pitch HVS we have done so it was a step in the right direction..

Starting out on Spiders Web

I set out on Pitch one very tentatively and after faffing around for ages finally got going. I think I had forgotten that HVS’s are difficult and expected to just breeze through it. We P1 woke me up and negotiating the crux corner made me work very hard.

Crux 2. The move onto the first slab.

A step up onto a small right hand foot placement saw my leg begin to break dance. There is not a lot for your hands except a thin jam, which is jut enough to pull through. Look out for a perfect cam slot to settle the nerves.

About to head out onto the delicate top slab.

Chris’s pitch was very different. This time it was balancy traverses with lots of smearing and small hand holds. The top slab is special, especially the first move out from above the tree. Gets the heart pumping, but pro is very good so you can proceed with confidence.

Topping out.

After much patting each other on the back, we decided to quit while we were ahead. An easy thing to do in a beautiful place like The Dewerstone. The walk back through the woods by the stream allows for some smug reflection on what was a blinding day.

Climbers on Devils Buttress

And there are a few more HVS’s for us to do yet….

One does not simply……

7th December 2012

Dewerstone Woods

Armada – HS 4b – Lead
Raven Face – V Diff – Second

Another damp outing to Dewerstone brought rewards which seemed unlikely on the drive in. The 25-30 mph winds were the main reason for picking the shelter of the woods and this proved a good call as we spent the day watching the clouds scud over the top of the valley.

The damp woods

It was a bit wetter than last time and the fact Id once again forgotten my climbing shoes meant choosing a climb took a bit of thought. In the end Tom and I opted for Armada, a HS which boasted a tough top chimney. I needed to practice chimneys and big boots meant it was a good opportunity.

Dave checking out P2 of Fly on the Wall

Dave and Chris set up for Fly on the Wall. By all accounts Dave found this one a proper challenge due to the quality of pro. As I remembered it the pro was OK, but the loose rock gives the impression of instability which messes with your mind.

or does one?

Not that my mental state was much better. I hate chimneys! and they hate me. So it was time to sort things out and Armada was my candidate to do battle with. The crux of Armada actually turned out to be on the first pitch with a committing move past a bulge. The sopping wet rock didnt help, especially as the key hold was dripping. Still, it made it exciting.

Ian just before the crux of Armada

The chimney proved to be less difficult, but required a complete absence of elegance in its negotiation. I used all parts of my body to thrutch up the narrow gap and bizarly actually enjoyed myself in doing so. I think with rock shoes and a bit of dry it would be a lot easier proposition, but beggars cant be choosers.

The narrow top crack of Armada

We all met up above FOTW and Dave led the V Diff Raven Face. A tricky rock over onto a slab is the main feature of this climb. Quite difficult for a V Diff imo, but after our expoits on the previous climbs it seemed OK.

Dave leading Raven Face

We managed to catch Tom before he could throw himself off the top of the crag, so it ended well. A casual stroll out through the now quiet and stunning woods capped a great day out and there was just enough time for everyone to take the piss out of me a little more for leaving my climbing shoes behind… again!

Just the one Magpie

16th November 2012

The Dewerstone

Fly on the Wall – HS 4b – Lead
Needle Arete – V Diff – Second

Toms firm belief that he would could to a bad end on his lead was founded in the good old Magpie superstition. Not that I’m immune from it;  I too wave/salute Magpie’s when I see them, but Tom extended this a bit further than I normally do.

For all the fact a single Magpie signifies bad luck, it confined itself to our drive home where we ended up stuck in two road blockages due to accidents which made for a late day. The day itself was great, with The Dewerstone glowing gold in its autumn colours and the upper buttresses drying quickly making for good climbing.

View across to Fly on the Wall P2

I hadnt even heard of Fly on the Wall, but as we arrived at Raven Buttress it seemed the obvious route to pick. The first pitch is fine with a straight forward crack to negotiate, but for me its the second pitch which makes the route. Exposed with positive holds and reasonable pro it traverses under an overhang to a pumpy pull up into a finishing groove. Great fun!

Pitch 1 Needle Arete

Then it was Tom’s turn with all his superstitious baggage in tow. Needle Arete is a superb V Diff. We started on pitch two because of the damp, but this culminates in a strenuous pull up through a niche  to a tree belay.

Damn Magpies!!

The next pitch initially looks unlikely at the grade. A right to left rising crack cuts across a steep and quite blank looking wall. For Tom this was the crux. However with good pro in, he cruised to the arete and the exposed finishing moves. Tom 1 – Magpie 0.

Tom completes the exposed top move on Needle Arete

As Fridays seem to be the best day for weather  in 2012 we shouldnt have been suprised it held off right up to the point we left. Strange that. For such a wet year, Friday has proved as reliable as a clock for turning out dry. Lets hope it continues.

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

Dewerstone_Apr11-017

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.”

Dewerstone_Apr11-026Dewerstone_Apr11-Central-Gr

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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Dewerstone_DSCF0011Dewerstone_DSC0022

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.

Dewerstone_DSCF0041Dewerstone_DSCF0051
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Dewerstone_Apr11-045Dewerstone_Apr11-021

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.

Dewerstone_Apr11-060Dewerstone_Apr11-059

Dewerstone_Apr11-069Dewerstone_Apr11-076
Dewerstone_Apr11-084Dewerstone_Apr11-095
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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.

Dewerstone_DSC0008

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

 

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

Dewerstone_Apr11-017

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.”

Dewerstone_Apr11-026Dewerstone_Apr11-Central-Gr

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.

Dewerstone_DSC0007Dewerstone_DSC0017
Dewerstone_DSCF0011Dewerstone_DSC0022

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.

Dewerstone_DSCF0041Dewerstone_DSCF0051
Dewerstone_Apr11-031Dewerstone_Apr11-037
Dewerstone_Apr11-045Dewerstone_Apr11-021

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.

Dewerstone_Apr11-060Dewerstone_Apr11-059

Dewerstone_Apr11-069Dewerstone_Apr11-076
Dewerstone_Apr11-084Dewerstone_Apr11-095
Dewerstone_Apr11-090

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.

Dewerstone_DSC0008

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