19th July 2016
Nipped in the Buddha – VS 4c – Second
Little Black Dress – EC 5B – TR
Brother Chris – E3 5c – TR (dgd)
Dave had been wittering on about NITB for ages so it was only fair to let him have his moment (of fear). NITB is one of those VS’s that doesnt look too bad until your trying to find your equilibrium as you move up into the groove. From the ground it is quite steep. From the groove it is overhanging. Either way it’s not easy.
After I had dropped the ab rope into the sea we dropped down onto the ledge below NITB. For a change most of the climbs were dry. Unusually.
The Black Zawn never really looks inviting but the truth is that there are a large number of high quality climbs here. The harder varieties suffer from a distinct lack of gear, but the moves and holds are brilliant. Most of the E numbers are on the buttress starting right of The English Way and heading all the way around to the seaward face. A awkward traverse gets you to Merchants of Menace a very good looking E2 which I think I’ll have a go at one day.
Dave made NITB look relatively easy, which it isnt. A sloping slab leads to difficult moves up into the groove. Then its a case of using the angles to make it easier for an exciting finale.
The E2 was an excellent climb, but leading it would have been a different proposition. Very little gear, particularly protecting the crux moves which were fiddly before you arrived at the jugs.
The E3 was superb. Beyond me to clean it on this day, but what a climb. It looks so unlikely from below, but as the guidebook says, miraculous holds appear when you need them. Unfortunately for me I didnt see one of the hidden miraculous holds so had to rest about half way. But for the main part it is just excellent move after excellent move. I’d love to say I’d lead this but I’d have to have a closer look at the gear first.
A tired group of three discussed Joes horrendous feet before a steep walk out on a stunning evening with a huge moon rising over the fields and part noises drifting across from Polzeath. The end of a good day.
And as a final point. How can you not know if a chicken is dead or not. Daves hutch cooked chickens some how rose from the dead – maybe they are Frankenchickens.