Tag Archives: Hawks Tor

A thriller in the Mist

24th October 2013

Hawk’s Tor

Catch It – V Diff – Lead

It’s not often that you can take a V Diff and turn it into an epic, but if you plan carefully you can do it. What you need initially is a slightly optimistic view of the weather conditions. Then add in low cloud which shrouds the Tor you have specifically picked out and covers everything in a layer of dew. Make sure it isnt often climbed so that the climb you’ve picked is out of condition and covered in mould and moss. Add in some wind, cool temperatures and a venue which requires delicate footwork on sloping rock and you’ve got it.

Hawks Tor_Oct13

V Diff going on E1. Even the simplest move seemed daunting. Every time Dave and I found a good hold it was full of a pool of water. It made what could have been a dull day into a real adventure and we both loved it. Hawk’s Tor is always moody when the whether closes in. Its hidden away and remote and on this day all we could hear was the cows in the fields below moaning about the soggy ground. There’s something about being away from it all that is quite magical. One V Diff later and Dave and I left, two very happy individuals at one with our world.

Moor please

30-31st March 2012

Hawks Tor and Trewortha Tor

West Chimney – V Diff 4a – Lead
Crack,n,up – V Diff 4b – Lead
Cat Nap – Severe 4b – Lead

This trip came about because of a discussion on camping out on the moor. We had been thinking about doing this later in the year, but with the warm spring it was a case of striking while the iron was hot.

Tony getting ready to take care of those pesky Squirrels!

Our backyard for the night

Hawks Tor is a stunning location. Bodmin moor is bigger than you may think and the collection of Kilmar, Trewortha and Hawks Tor’s are isolated and give a remote feeling you would not expect. We found a perfect spot, flat ground and sheltered from the cold northerly. Fire bucket in tow and Jagermeister stowed in the hip flask we were destined to have a great night.

Bed pal. Courtesy of by Jane

Those pesky Squirrels were back, this time hiding in my sleeping bag, but I made short work of this one; taming it by the morning. Whilst Tony fry’d up his three course breakfast, to complement his steak from the night before  and as an appetiser for his sausages at lunch, I eye’d up the climbs. Tom wanted to do some leading so we concentrated on the South end of the Tor.

Tony negotiating the hard start on Cat NapDave on Cat Nap

The two V Diffs I lead were both good climbs. West chimney was slightly better, but both had challenging finishes. I would say that for a V Diff West Chimney is bold. Straight forward climbing but little gear. The final move can be protected by a carefully placed cam, but your last gear is a long way below and it is an awkward move.

Cat Nap….. Welcome to the ultimate sandbag of the Tor. Graded Severe, but knocking on top end Very Severe. It’s more friendly with a bouldering mat under you, but placing gear is challenging (it is there though) and there are a series of slopers and jams to negotiate, and blood to leave.

Mats heading for Trewortha

Tony, Dave and Tom made it up with varying degrees of style and success. Nick showed us how it should be done. Shame I hadnt given the same example of technique as I fell off the opening moves about a half dozen times! I finally worked out that it was better to undercling than go for the slopers.

We wandered over to Trewortha were I was thoroughly defeated by Just Good Friends, a climb I cruised through the last time I was here. Still, it happens. The best thing about Trewortha is the bouldering. There is loads, and lots of it very hard. We found an 8 inch offwidth on a curved boulder. Laybacking all the way, but suprisingly the hard parft is when the lopes eases. You end up in a quandry as to continue laybacking or get your foot on the face. We all bellyflopped the top which as Nick said, could be the best way to finish it. The whole team negotiated this one which was a great end to a fantastic couple of days on the moor.

Ian's Atlas impression

Now what was the name of that climb?

Hawk’s Tor
19 th May 2011

The Cat’s ‘ere – Severe 4b – Lead
Recollection – HS 4b – Lead
Black Beastie – VS 4c – Lead

The stroll up to the tor through the fern and bracken  brought about another deer sighting. Every time I’ve been to the North Hill area I have seen deer. This one broke cover, sprinting back towards the trees having been stood right in our path. Dominic’s keen eyesight picking it up.

Hawks-Tor_May11-001

Once again this was a day when we saw no one. A bit windy and unsettled, we made the most of the changing conditions trying to climb in the lee of the tor. This was the first time Dominic and I had climbed as buddies and it was a good chance to test out his progress. So the aim was to increase a grade on each climb.

The Cat’s ‘ere was first up. I had seen a couple of climbers struggling on the top move of this one last time I was at the tor, so I thought it could be tricky.

It’s really a one move wonder of a climb, well protected, but favouring the taller person. Get your body shape right and its OK, otherwise I thinkit requires a strenuous pull up. A good warm up for what was to come.

Hawks-Tor_May11-002

I spent all day forgetting the name of the second climb we did, which is ironic cos its called ‘Recollection’ Duhhh!! This was completely different, requiring bridging and a finishing with a nervy top out. Again well protected if you have Cam’s for the horizontal breaks. The 4b move was not as difficult on this as TCE imo, but I suppose different moves suit different climbers. Dominic also found this one easier, but it does feel a little more exposed.

Hawks-Tor_May11-004Hawks-Tor_May11-003

We saved the best until last though. I’d eye’d up Black Beastie last time I was here but ran out of time. No excuse this time, so we geared up. The start is really interesting. It can be done two ways. As a step over from the opposing boulder or straight up. Have faffed around on the step over for a few minutes I climbed it direct which improved my balance no end.. The Rowan tree is a pain, but offers good pro. I tried not to use it as a hold, which made the move into the crack awkward. Still it adds character to the climb.

Hawks-Tor_May11-006

At this point my common sense deserted me; why bother using two ropes on a meandering climb when you can thread them as a single and generate huge amounts of rope drag. Which is precisely what I did meaning I made the precarious and balancy top move with about 4 ft of slack in the system for fear of being pulled off. It would have made for a fine ‘whipper’. The route though is great, with lots of slopers, jams and pinches. Gear is there when you need it, although the top move is protected by a lonely cam in a fairly shallow placement. Its enough and I’m posative it would hold.

Well worth climbing is my feeling. Maybe the sunshine and drop in wind helped make it seem better but I would give it stars.
We finished off with a bouldering session, working our way around the tor. Having met Sean Hawkin last week at Gold Digging quarry I’m looking forward to his revised data on bouldering routes here and on Kilmar Tor across the valley. There seems to be loads of it around.

Now what was the name of that climb?

Hawk’s Tor
19 th May 2011

The Cat’s ‘ere – Severe 4b – Lead
Recollection – HS 4b – Lead
Black Beastie – VS 4c – Lead

The stroll up to the tor through the fern and bracken  brought about another deer sighting. Every time I’ve been to the North Hill area I have seen deer. This one broke cover, sprinting back towards the trees having been stood right in our path. Dominic’s keen eyesight picking it up.

Hawks-Tor_May11-001

Once again this was a day when we saw no one. A bit windy and unsettled, we made the most of the changing conditions trying to climb in the lee of the tor. This was the first time Dominic and I had climbed as buddies and it was a good chance to test out his progress. So the aim was to increase a grade on each climb.

The Cat’s ‘ere was first up. I had seen a couple of climbers struggling on the top move of this one last time I was at the tor, so I thought it could be tricky.

It’s really a one move wonder of a climb, well protected, but favouring the taller person. Get your body shape right and its OK, otherwise I thinkit requires a strenuous pull up. A good warm up for what was to come.

Hawks-Tor_May11-002

I spent all day forgetting the name of the second climb we did, which is ironic cos its called ‘Recollection’ Duhhh!! This was completely different, requiring bridging and a finishing with a nervy top out. Again well protected if you have Cam’s for the horizontal breaks. The 4b move was not as difficult on this as TCE imo, but I suppose different moves suit different climbers. Dominic also found this one easier, but it does feel a little more exposed.

Hawks-Tor_May11-004Hawks-Tor_May11-003

We saved the best until last though. I’d eye’d up Black Beastie last time I was here but ran out of time. No excuse this time, so we geared up. The start is really interesting. It can be done two ways. As a step over from the opposing boulder or straight up. Have faffed around on the step over for a few minutes I climbed it direct which improved my balance no end.. The Rowan tree is a pain, but offers good pro. I tried not to use it as a hold, which made the move into the crack awkward. Still it adds character to the climb.

Hawks-Tor_May11-006

At this point my common sense deserted me; why bother using two ropes on a meandering climb when you can thread them as a single and generate huge amounts of rope drag. Which is precisely what I did meaning I made the precarious and balancy top move with about 4 ft of slack in the system for fear of being pulled off. It would have made for a fine ‘whipper’. The route though is great, with lots of slopers, jams and pinches. Gear is there when you need it, although the top move is protected by a lonely cam in a fairly shallow placement. Its enough and I’m posative it would hold.

Well worth climbing is my feeling. Maybe the sunshine and drop in wind helped make it seem better but I would give it stars.
We finished off with a bouldering session, working our way around the tor. Having met Sean Hawkin last week at Gold Digging quarry I’m looking forward to his revised data on bouldering routes here and on Kilmar Tor across the valley. There seems to be loads of it around.