Tag Archives: Pete

This plan sucks!

8th July 2016

Lands End / Dingo Area

Blue – HS 4b – Lead (just…)

The header just about summed up my feelings as I started on the opening moves of Blue for the umpteenth time (8 or 9 attempts at least). A period of inactivity, too much good food and a liberal dose of wet rock was playing devestating games with my confidence.

OK, lets try not to break anything here....

OK, lets try not to break anything here….

A actually really like Lands End. There is something special about climbing on the tip of England and as usual the views are stunning. If there is a down side it would be the varying rock quality, which can feel insecure and crumbly. This is possibly due to lack of traffic, but the integrity of the rock does change.

Heading for a little sit down

Heading for a little sit down

Joe and Nick were definitely suffering from this over on Dr Syntax’s Head, finding some nasty HVS’s to occupy themselves on. Meanwhile Dave, me and Pete were wrestling with Blue. From below it looks reasonably inoccuous. But this hides the steepness and difficulty of the opening moves. It overhangs for a start and the holds are small.

Your a Bas#*rd Riddell

Your a Bas#*rd Riddell

Gear is OK but you make the difficult moves above it until you reach the first break. With wet holds I continually found myself slipping off until after one abortive attempt where I had to lower off, I managed to climb it clean. I was so stuffed by the end though. Absolutely drained in fact.

Dave looking very calm and collected

Dave looking very calm and collected

Its a great climb in fact, but not HS and harder than 4b. VS 4c probably, because of the opening moves and the top jam. The wet didnt help, but it was still hard.

"So anyway. As I was throwing for this dyno mono........"

“So anyway. As I was throwing for this dyno mono……..”

Good on Pete for a stirling effort after a long period of semi retirement. Good to see him back on it and no mishaps on this day. Dave, who is climbing better and better made short work of it. Many thanks for the patience they both showed in waiting for me to sort my head out.

Nick on some kind of Mare at DSH

Nick on some kind of Mare at DSH

I am going to return here and repeat this one in good conditions (and the tough and bold looking VS to its side), hopefully on the same day I bag Cormorants Bill. 🙂

25% Pink??

17th July 2015

Oldwalls Point

Matchless – E1 5b – Lead

According to my DNA listing I am roughly 5% Irish, 2% Iberian, 2% North African, 46% Western European, 20% Anglo Saxon and 25% Viking or Pink as the boys put it. I prefer the analogy with hairy arsed, ax wielding, pillaging fellas from up north personally.

View north from Oldwall

View north from Oldwall

Mind you, being part viking would help on a day like this, where the walk in was equally as terrifying as the climb. Teetering pile of choss is a good description for the area around Oldwalls Point. Looking at the huge fin of rock I wonder how long it can survive. I’m glad I got on it now.

The fin of Oldwalls Point

The fin of Oldwalls Point

After a sketchy traverse onto the ridge above the wall/slab you are faced with an abseil down a grassy gully and down to the beach. Pete, using his particular branch of warped logic felt that extending the gully out onto the wall might create a fun situation. It duly obliged, launching him into an arc across the face resulting in ‘resistable force meets very immoveable object’. Hence Pete spent the rest of the day bleeding over the beach and anything else that came close to him.

Pete, post abseil

Pete, post abseil

Chris and I set up for matchless, which was … well ‘matchless’. Its quite unique in the climbs I’ve done, with a full on wall experience which makes mincemeat of your toes. The crux is fairly low down ( I always hate that) with a series of difficult moves past a rusting old peg. The committing part is starting off past the peg. Tiny holds and smeary foot placements get you into slightly better territory, but not enough to set and place gear, so I had to push on a ways until a nice thank god hold appears allowing for everything to calm down.

A rest of sorts but your feet are screaming by now!

A rest of sorts but your feet are screaming by now!

From there it just keeps coming at you, consistently good climbing with pretty good gear up to the pancake. The next dilema is ‘push on through the veritable forest’ or take the clean unprotected arete. I took the arete which is fairly easy but needs to be treated with real care.

Chris about to find out the Pancake isnt any easier

Chris about to find out the Pancake isnt any easier

All in all, a fantastic route which Chris smiled his way up, with a few cheek puffing moments. I think this one suits both our techniques which is why we were so chuffed with the route.

Joe on More than a Match

Joe on More than a Match

Meanwhile Joe was fighting his way up More than a match, the E3 next to Matchless. It looks to be in a similar vein except for some grunty moves at the bottom. It does have a 5c move so one to consider for the future maybe. Thats if I can be pursuaded to clamber back across the nightmare that is the walk in and out.

The treacherous escape

The treacherous escape

Pete, Chris and I exited off the beach, saving the most dubious climbing until the end with Chris nearly getting stuch in a pile of shale and Pete threading his way up through a boulder field and remarking on how one particular boulder the size of a Mini was loose. It happeded to be right above me and thankfully he treated it with kid gloves.

Now the most scary part. Explaining Pete’s injuries to Melis!!!

Crock Fest

31st October 2014
Carn Barra
Edge Street – VS 4c – Lead

This was a long awaited return for both Dave and Pete to the group, having spent the last weeks recouperating from ripped tendons/ligaments and a broken ankle respectively.

Rough Seas at Black Carn North

Rough Seas at Black Carn North

We spent a couple of hours checking out Black Carn North which shows loads of promise but was a bit exposed and damp on this day. We spotted three good routes and an E2 which looks tough but do-able.

Looking across at Carn Barra

Looking across at Carn Barra

Retreating to the upper cliffs of Carn Barra turned out to be a good call. A little less exposed and Edge Street was very worthwhile. A technical first pitch leads to a run out second. The arete is very bold if followed religously, but I veered off left to place some pro before returning for the final exposed moves.

Dave enjoying Edge Street

Dave enjoying Edge Street

Dave finished it off with a strenuous final pitch involving a a bouldery move to get established on the face. Tom and Pete meanwhile were engaged in a sort of jigsaw climb where they pieced together pitches from at least three routes into what looked like a reall good climb.

A fun and welcome return to climbing for all of us.

 

 

Blood Brothers

9th May 2014

Logan Rock

Lightning Crack – HVS 5a – Lead
The Wormhole – V Diff – Solo

God I hate the guide book comments on Logan Rock. For the most part the Climbers Club Guide is brilliant, but they had an aberation when it came to Logan Rock. Normally I pick up one route and from there everything falls into place. Not here. Everything is so vague you cant even pick one out.

The line of Lightning Crack

The line of Lightning Crack

Still after a little tantrum early on Pete and I set off on one of our ‘Adventures’! It was so much fun. Abbing in with the tide pushing  and swell charging into Castle Boot Zawn. Hanging just above the surge made for an exctiting belay and the initial moves meant dropping down to sea level and quickly moving back up before a wave got you. Speed climbing.

Me posing at the belay in Castle Boot Zawn

Me posing at the belay in Castle Boot Zawn

We negotiated the initial moves setting up an improvised belay part way up the groove to avoid rope drag. It’s all a little off balance but great climbing. Then the main event. The pull up into Lightning crack through an overhang. Well protected but scary. And after a few good holds its all jamming. My footwork was appalling resulting in me getting stuck lying along with my right foot jammed. After some serious grunting and heavy breathing I managed to untie myself and get some poise back. Then its a balancy mantle onto the face and its all done. Simples… Except I left blood all over the place in my desperate attempt to untangle myself. Its amazing how adrenaline masks the pain of jamming in sharp crystaline cracks. I’m feeling it today though.

Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers

Meanwhile Dave was finding out about Logan Rocks serious issue with undergrading. The two HS cracks are probably VS and E1. The whole place is full of great potential but a lot of it is hard.

Dave wondering how an HS can be so hard!

Dave wondering how an HS can be so hard!

The end of the day saw Tom and Dave working some of the hard routes on the short face in the main bay (Crack 1 and 2 area).  Pete and I undertook some caving finding a bizarre route which worked its way from the bottom to the top via hollows between jammed boulders and narrow gulleys and chimneys. Probably not a new route but I call it ‘The Wormhole’ and grade it V Diff just because its so f@#!k#$g awkward and tight. Pete is coming along great guns and his confidence is soring. We both solo’d the whole route. Never high, but committing all the same. More fun than chasing cats!

Climbing or Caving?

Climbing or Caving?

The Logan Rock Inn provided a fitting end to an amazing day in a stunning breath taking location. How can you not feel happy when you have this on your doorstep.

Vegetables are good for you. Sometimes…

2nd May 2014

Pen Olver – The Lizeard

Lying Eyes – Severe 4a – Lead
The Womb Tomb – Severe 4a – Second
The Giant Carrot – E1 5b – Lead
Sesame Street – V Diff (Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha………!! ) – Second

Before we even got to Pen Olver I knew I would end up preoccupied with The Giant Carrot. I’d checked it out on our previous visit but didnt have the nerve to do it. This time I thought I’d better give it closer attention.

Pen Olver_May14 002

Pen Olver was looking its best. Calm seas. light winds and a cool temperature. Typical spring day really. Chris and I paired up, with Tom, Dave and Pete in the triumvate. I suspect Pete felt that Dave and Tom might give him an easier time of it so he could rest his damaged leg. I think maybe he was wrong here as Dave set off on the brilliant but tricky ‘The Peoples Queen’.  Pete who has been climbing superbly recently had time to squeeze in an ascent of Lying Eyes, my first lead of the day as well. No rest for the …..

Pen Olver_May14 005

Lying Eyes is short but OK. A good warm up route and it gets you to the top of the pinnacle which is always a treat. Looking across at Dave fighting his way up TPQ ,I think Chris and I had the easier option but Dave despatched yet another VS to add to his growing list.

Pen Olver_May14 007

Chris then subjected himself to a bit of ‘trollism’ as he negotiated the fantastic ‘ The Womb Tomb’. Anyone who goes to Pen Olver should do this climb. It is excellent. The final exposed traverse just caps off what is a truly different experience form most climbs. And the famous cave painting is still there. Or is it a fake??

Pen Olver_May14 011

So onto my main event. Or would it be? From below I thought I had this one sussed.But once on it, it becomes a different beast. Not sure I agree that there are small wires to be had on the traverse. I placed two in what appeared to be good slots, only for one of them to shatter when Chris removed it. A crucial cam in the face settled my nerves and I was away. It was scary, but scary good. A few difficult moves later I was sucking in air on the arete and feeling decidedly sick. Way too much adrenaline. But what a buzz. I was soooo pleased to get this one, especially after making a couple of false starts.

Pen Olver_May14 020

The adrenaline wasnt finished for the day though. Chris was scratting around for a lead wanting something around HS but not finding anything. So he settled for a really good looking line called Sesame Street. Given V Diff in the book. V Diff My Arse!! I always trot out the saying that if it looks hard from the ground, it is hard.

Pen Olver_May14 028

Chris found this out, battling up the route and getting a real shock at its difficulty. Looks like he got his VS, because I rekon this was the more appropriate grade. It made for a fitting end to what was a great day out.  Tom spent a lot of the afternoon racking up leads on the Main Face with Pete. Looks like Pete might get his 60 after all.

 

Clouds to right of them, Clouds to left of them, Clouds in front of them, Volley’d and thunder’d;

21st March 2014

Bosigran

Venusberg – VS 4c – Lead

Ok a bit over dramatic but as has been typical of 2014 the weather was iffy. We spent the day watching dark squalls slowly travelling cross the ocean passing to our left and right, but somehow missing us. Tennyson’s poem seemed apt. How we escaped the rain I dont know but we did and I’m grateful for that.

Moody Bosigran

Moody Bosigran

Pete and I teamed up to have a go at Venusberg while Dave and Tom went off to do Ding. Chris had done Venusberg a while back with Nick and I’d always wanted to try it. Described as one of the more technical VS’s at Bosi it lived up to its reputation. The four pitches have a bit of everything. Pitch one deals out a tough mantleshelf, some abck and fronting up the back of the pinnacle, run out balancy climbing on pitch 3 and a very windy exit on pitch 4.

Happy Pete

Happy Pete

I think that Pete may have enjoyed this one more than me judging by the massive grin he ws sporting. A real adventure on a day when we had no right to expect to be able to climb. Lucky us!

Dave does descending

17th January 2014

Trewarvas – West Crag

Mouseproof – S 4a – Lead

A late start meant that Pete and I only had time for one route and Mouseproof proved to be a worthwhile undertaking.

The big Reach

The big Reach

For a Severe it is quite bold. Pro is tricky to find and a couple of the balancy moves require you to gain height before placements become available. I really liked it and enjoyed the exposure of the final moves.

Dave high on Avalanche Direct

Dave high on Avalanche Direct

Meanwhile Dave, Chris and Tom were on Avalanche having a go at the direct variation. This is an entirely different proposition to the regular route. Much thinner in the top section and much more difficult. Dave could testify to this as he put in some air time during a valiant attempt to clean the final few moves. Pete managed to sail through Avalanche making the top moves look fairly tame. They’re not!

Pete on Avalanche

Pete on Avalanche

A short day really, but hopefully just a taster for what is to come.

It’s behind you!!!!

5th July 2013

Carn Kenidjack

Seadreams Cliff and The Main Face

Seadreams – HS 4b – Lead
Great Central – Severe 4a – Lead
The Shield – E1 5a – Lead

The first time anyone goes to Carn Kenidjack it has the same wow effect on them. A near vertical wall which at first glance looks featureless is an intimidating sight. For four of the team on this day it was their first time and I’m sure it didnt disappoint.

Pete setting off on Seadreams

Pete setting off on Seadreams

We started on the Seadreams Cliff thinking we had plenty of tide and that there was little swell. Wrong on both counts I’m afraid. Plenty of swell which kept washing up the ramp below the routes and threatening to engulf our feet. Chris and I went haring off up a route each thinking that we’d only get one in, only to find we had time for a second and had only succeeded in cocking up the rotating leads. Oh well, it turned out well for me which is the important thing. 🙂

A killer belay..... at least it will be when that rock lands on Chris!

A killer belay….. at least it will be when that rock lands on Chris!

Both routes on the Seadreams cliff were good if a bit short in stature. We all got a crack at both pitches. Seadreams is the better of the two, but with a stunning view across to Cape Cornwall both seemed brilliant on this day. The pushing tide was threatening to swamp someone on the ramp. Chris as the last man standing confidently watched a surge miss him on the cliff side without realising that it nearly got him from behind although he was totally oblivious to this.

Chris enjoying Great Central

Chris enjoying Great Central

The it was time for the main event! We down climbed into Kenidjack. Its steep and is intimidating at first, but secure enough if you are confident. As you walk into the amphitheatre you suddenly realise how magnificent the main face is. A shear wall that seems blank at first but is full of holds and cracks.

First view of the main face for the crew.

First view of the main face for the crew.

Chris and Dave set up for Saxon Direct. This is probably my favorite climb of all time. It has everything. It seems unlikely at the grade but as it unfolds you realise there are holds a plenty. Gear can be hard to find unless you think carefully. It’s there, but it takes some finding.

Dave at the horizontal crack before the tough top wall of Saxon Direct

Dave at the horizontal crack before the tough top wall of Saxon Direct

The same could be said for the Shield. The bottom pitch has spaced gear but its good. The climbing is pretty good too and no pushover. Tom and Pete seemed to really enjoy this pitch and we all ended up at a very cosy belay. From here the character of the climb changes. No longer good gear and larger holds. Now it becomes small crimpy holds and foot placements and poor gear for about 10 metres.

A very relieved me after getting through the bold section of P2 The Shield

A very relieved me after getting through the bold section of P2 The Shield

Once you get to the groove of Thane there is something and you can breathe a sigh of relief. Up to that point the motto is ‘dont fall off’. We all made it though and a very satisfied team collected at the gearing up ‘hole’ to pat each other on the back a recollect at what was an amazing day.

View to Cape Cornwall

View to Cape Cornwall

Cornwall delivers again with excitement, beauty and in our case, comradery.

REBORN!

18th May 2013

Pen Olver – (The Lizard)

Songs from a Gentle Man – VS 4c – Lead 
The Peoples Queen – VS 4c – Lead
Dolphin Surprise – HS 4b – Lead
Songs from a Broken Heart – VS 4c – Lead
The Womb Tomb – Severe – Second

Despite our round about route to The Lizard via St Erth (caused by our usual indecision)  this turned out to be a good choice. 2013 is going to be the year of the never ending winter. Lots of sun on this day, but accompanied by a cold North Westerly which we were fortunate to be sheltered from.

Gearing up.

Gearing up.

We managed quite a few climbs on this day. With all the routes being single pitch and access very easy we were up and down all day. Dave and I kicked off on a cracker called Songs from a Gentle Man, a route which follows an exposed arete. It looks bold at first but there’s gear where you need it. The rock is fragile in places, but you dont need to haul on it. Use your feet well and it feels secure. I thought it was great, one of the best at this venue.

The arete of Songs from a Gentle Man

The arete of Songs from a Gentle Man

Meanwhile Tom was leading the tricky Vumba, which has some good moves in its final section. Dave set off on Peoples Queen, which is hard VS. The difficulties are short lived, but the main groove pushes you out and if you get your shape wrong its tough.

Pete exiting the difficult groove of Peoples Queen.

Pete exiting the difficult groove of Peoples Queen.

Pen Olver_May13 014

My attempt on Dolphin Surprise was delayed whilst I tried to work out the opening moves. Considering this was graded HS 4b it was the hardest move I did all day. It’s a real pumpy pull up to the first ledge using a less than perfect hold. Once past this the rest of the climb is straight forward, but its a shock to the system.

The view from the start of Womb Tomb. Tom about to head off.

The view from the start of Womb Tomb. Tom about to head off.

The four of us left the best till last. The Womb Tomb is brilliant. You get to the start through a narrow gash in the rock which brings you into a dark almost enclosed chimney which widens as it rises. Climb this on surprisingly grippy rock until you break out into the sunrise with a wide bridging move.

The bold move out of the dark chimney.

The bold move out of the dark chimney.

A bold step across lets you exit onto the seaward side of the pinnacle on the right (facing landwards). A climb that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Ian and Pete’s alternative start to Commando Ridge

7th May 2013

Bosigran Ridge Area

Gallipoli – E1 5c – Lead
Commando Ridge – HVS 5a Variation – Lead

An early finish from work was the call, especially with the news bleating on about a change in weather. A rain front was due around 6pm so we thought we could grab a few hours before it arrived.

The last time we came to this area we got caught out by rain so this time it was a pronto decent to the bottom platform. Gallipoli caught my eye a while back. A fantastic line up immaculate granite. It’s given 5c in the guide, but from the bottom doesnt look too bad.

The line of Galipoli

The line of Galipoli

Looks can be deceptive though and I was soon taught a lesson in how to miss-read a crux from below. Pete, diligent as always witnessed me try a number of different variations to nail the crux, before I realised it was a case of ‘manning up’ and going for it. I made it, but I cant say I felt secure. Once committed the holds become apparent but they are not helpful as a whole.

I’ve not done a lot of 5c moves and this felt significantly harder than the 5b’s I’d done recently. It gives me confidence for having a go at some of the E2’s in this range though.

Looking back at our alternative start

Looking back at our alternative start

Pete declined Gallipoli but we spotted a slightly different line following a crack which finishes in the niche at the top of Pitch 2 of commando ridge. Not in the guide I would guess it to be in the HVS 5a region. Strenuous and sustained but with good pro. The two Herring Gulls guarding their nest looked on in amusement and a bit of angst as Pete and I struggled up and traverse around into the niche. (we kept well clear of them and their eggs)

Eggs!

Eggs!

Once on the ridge we thought it would be churlish not to tackle the big fin. This is probably the best pitch on the ridge and I didnt want to rob Pete of the chance of standing on the pinnacle which he did in good style.

Pete on the fin

Pete on the fin

We abandoned the ridge with grey clouds building all around us. Perfect timing and back in time for tea this time. Next up….. Lands End me thinks.