Tag Archives: Diff

Block Party

17th May 2014

Bashers Harbour

Footloose – VS 4c – Lead
The Flake – VS 4c – Lead (Dogged)
Mince Pie Problem – Diff – Solo

Everyones entitled to do something stupid once in a while. It helps if the consequences of that stupidity wont be fatal.

Relieved and scared

Relieved and scared

In hindsight and after reading an article on UKC titled ’10 ways to stay alive while climbing’ I wish I had done things differently. Maybe taken a bit more time thinking things through. The Flake turned out to be a bit of a nightmare really. A very hard (and wet) start with a nice 2ft square moving block finale. All of which added up to Tom not being able to second me because of the danger of the whole lot going. As dodgy as my abseil looked this was not really the danger point. It was backed up by two bomber nuts. The danger was the top blocks breaking loose while I was cleaning my gear and pulverising me.

My ab belay?????

My ab belay?????

Half of my rack was commited into the climb so the consequences of not retrieving it would be expensive. But gear is meant to save your life, not put it in danger. £200-£300 is a small amount in the scheme of things. Maybe next time I’ll just leave it and renew my rack.

View back to Dave and Chris on the initial buttress.

View back to Dave and Chris on the initial buttress.

That adventure aside, the other climb we did was brilliant. Footlosse is balancy, edgy and technical. Pro is adequate but not abundent, but altogether it is a super climb. Setting up the belay can be tricky as Chris found out, having to down climb back to a safe spot. And its not comfortable, but its worth it.

The Main Face area

The Main Face area

As is all of Bashers Harbour. A lovely (if loose place), with a remote feel to it and a real spirit of adventure. We had it all on this day; falling rocks, dodgey abseils and a tide that waits for no man and nearly claimed Dave and Chris’s rucksacks, except for the quick witted Tom who leapt across the bolder field to rescue them.

Tom watching Pete on Footloose

Tom watching Pete on Footloose

 

The day ended with the demise of my long suffering Lumix Camera as it finally gave it up after having been bashed around the cliffs for 3 years and a solo on Mince Pie Route. Quite enough excitement for one day.

 

Going it alone

28th November 2013

Sennen

No Number – VS 5a – Lead
Monday Face – VS 4c – Second
Overmarked – HS 4a – Lead
Sinners Route – Diff – Solo
Juniors Route – Diff – Solo
Seniors Route – Diff – Solo

Damp conditions alwyts temper how you approach a days climbing. Despite a favourable forecaste Sennen was slow to dry on this day and as a result we throttled back on our grades.

Are we high enough

Are we high enough

Having said that, No Number, my opening route prooved more than a challenge for the conditions. Holds full of water, moist cracks (oooh errr)  and unreliable foot placements made it full on. The rising run of flakes is slightly overhanging and therefore fairly strenuous until you reach the base of the upper cracks. Great climbing, but the twin crack finish wasnt on for this day. They were running with water so I detoured onto No Name for a much easier but spectacular finish.

Behind you!

Behind you!

Monday face has all the holds but needs a steady head. Pro is tricky to come by and the strenous positions make it akward to place. Chris enjoyed this one. An ideal route for the conditions. Meanwhile Dave and Tom were on SkrewCrack, which again was probably worth another grade given the conditions. A good lead by Dave who’s consolidating his grades nicely.

Chris on No Number and Dave on Skrewcrack

Chris on No Number and Dave on Skrewcrack

Overmarked is a weird route. Its basically a couple of moves through an overhang, but is really powerful for a short period. Get your body shape wrong and its a lot more difficult as Chris and I both found.

Dave on Skrewcrack

Dave on Skrewcrack

Unusually for the two of us, Chris and I ended the day with a bit of soloing. Only on the diffs in the Church Window area but it certainly adds a buit of spice to your climbing. What would ordinarily seem simple suddenly becomes a major issue. That said, I think it is good for your climbing as you end up concentrating on just the climbing without all the paraphanalia that normally accompanies leading.

Dolphins! Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Dolphins! Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Very refreshing and the sight of Dolphins just makes you feel good to be alive.

A chorus of approval

13th May 2012

Bosigran

Anvil Chorus – VS 4c – Alt Lead
Alison Rib – Diff – Second

It was so bloody cold when we arrived. Dark and windy and not inviting at all. Bosigran had seemed the best shout for this day but it didnt look that way at first.

Belay view from P3 Anvil Chorus

Pete had brought along his new rack and I was giving Anvil Chorus the once over. With the corner of Ac looking like it might be the most sheltered spot we went for this first. I had always wanted to lead the third corner pitch ever since seconding it with Nick so this gave me the opportunity.

Pete on the first pitch of Anvil Chorus

It’s easy to forget how good a climb is until you get back on it. AC is not just about one pitch, although the 3rd is the most spectacular. All four have something to offer. Pitch one, two short slabs, can be tricky but it got me nicely warmed up.

Pitch 2 Anvil Chorus

Pitch two passes an overhang with a very airy move, requiring Chris to step out onto a poorly protected arete and a final push onto a large slab. By this point the sun was out and Bosi had transformed into acres of warm granite taking the chill off the day. So the corner pitch was done in sunshine, making the crack a lot more amenable. It’s strenuous in places but well protected; towards the top you need to push on to a brilliant rest point. A fantastic traverse to an atmospheric mantelshelf follows.

Pete on the third pitch of Anvil Chorus.

For me this was the crux, especially when my foot slipped and I almost whipped off. It made for a rather panic stricken udge onto the ledge. A shame really because 30 minutes later I did the same move again after retrieving a nut, but this time with more style.

Chilled walk back after AC

The final pitch was made harder for Chris because he completely ignored the obvious left hand crack. As a result he used a hard layback move off the arete to get established, making it a much more scary venture altogether.

After our exertions on AC it was Pete’s turn. With a new rope, new lead rack and me and Chris badgering him, he set off for his first lead up Alison Rib. It’s a great climb to make a first ascent on. Pete got good gear in and looked like he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Pete on his first lead on Alison Rib

Ian on Alison Rib

He even managed to find the top after some guidance from Chris.

I wonder if this will hold. Oh well its only Ian....

So no longer a lead virgin, Pete, Chris and I headed home. It’s amazing how 9 hours just flies by when you’re having so much fun.