Tag Archives: St Loy

A right good spanking

1st June 2012

St Loy

Ivy Incorporated – V Diff – Second
Harmony – HVS 5b – Lead (dnf)
Monochrome Men – E1 5b – Second
Supercruise – HVS 4c – Lead

I returned to St Loy for one specific reason on this day and as with my attempt before with Joe, Harmony gave me a good seeing to.

Once again things just did not flow on this HVS. I thought I new what I was going to do, but its easy to forget how akward the climb is and how pumpy it is too. Add to this my sweaty hands and I had a recipe for disaster which I duly served up to myself.

Ian making it look like a straight forward step up. IT ISN'T!

I have resolved now to return on a cool evening and remember the lessons I have learnt so far.

  • Dont place pro on the high crucial hold on the first niche. Otherwise you just make it even harder.
  • Wait until my hands are not as sweaty so I can get the jam working on the second niche.
  • Do this climb at the end of a session, otherwise the bitter taste of defeat stays with you.

Ian about to get his second spanking of the day on Harmony

At least this time I didnt spit my dummy out…..just.
Otherwise this was a great session, mixed with Chris adding to his E1 tally and Dave tackling a stiff V Diff. And we had the company of Dolphins, which always brings a smile to your face.

Dave kicking things off on Ivy Incorporated

 

Ivy Incorporated is not a straight forward V Diff. The bottom section is steep and unusually for a climb of this grade you place gear in a not very relaxed position.

Dave looking after Ian on Ivy Incorporated

But it is a fine climb, leading to a high top out above the main face. Dave managed to find the biggest pro placement I’ve ever seen looping a sling around a three ton boulder. Its what you might call ‘bomber’.

Chris moving onto the face on Monochrome Men

Chris had great fun on Monochrome Men, a demanding E1 but well protected. It really should get four stars it’s that good. As some passing climbers said, if MM was up country there would be people on it all day and I could see why. A committing swing on to the face leads to good holds and pro.

Chris getting balanced before the final tenuous moves on Monochrome Men

But as you get higher the holds and foot placements start to get thin culminating in a desperate move for the thank god holds at the top. Just brilliant.

Dave about to encounter the difficult stuff on Monochrome Men

My final climb of the day was Supercruise, a soft HVS given 4c, but really more 4b in my opinion. I think it gets the HVS for the bold moves high up where you leave your pro a way behind.

Cruising on Supercruise

Having said that, its a good climb, if a little taxing on the toes. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is a good candidate for a warm up if your going to tackle the other more demanding E numbers at St Loy.
And with that we walked out a lot quieter than we had arrived. Exhausted but happy.
…. as Larry

Running out of options

22nd December 2011
St Loy
Sloe Steel – VS 4C – Second rpt

Joe’s return from London should have heralded a few good sessions over the Christmas period, but this year the weather has been appaling. A combination of rain and wind on almost every day has meant few opportunities to get out and have a decent climb.

This was not a bad day when compared to what has been previously, but it was still grey and uninviting. St Loy as the warmest and most likely bright crag on the South Coast beckond. Dave, Tom, Kieran and Joe accompanied me in the beautiful walk in (undiminished by the overcast conditions) and we set up around Cress Cendo.

It’s an easy spot to set a top rope up on and provides a number of routes to play on. The biggest problem was that Chlorophyll Cluster was dripping wet and this had been Joe and my target for the day. We settled on Sloe Steel as an alternative, a good VS with a tricky crux. The move out of the diagonal crack and onto the rounded crest requires a bit of thought, but does provide good protection. The hardest bit is topping out through the gorse and setting up a belay as there is a wacking great Gorse bush blocking everything.

Joe leading Sloe Steel

Me seconding Sloe Steel

We made a real fist of scrambling out, although wet slimy, mossy rock is not a good escape route. My advice is to continue the climb on the cracks just behind Sloe Steel.

Joe pre crux

Joe going through the crux

On returning to the group who had all successfully climbed Cress Cendo we practiced smearing on the first pitch of The Hairiest whilst Joe went in search of something hard to climb (an unsuccessful venture in the end).

At the end of the day, you cant always get perfect days climbing, but given Cornwall’s damp end to 2011 this was probably as good as we were going to get.

Benchmark!

19th April 2011

St Loy Cliff

Monochrome Men – E1 5b – Lead

The previous Saturday ahd reall been bugging me. I was hyped and ready to go for M Men, but the weather put paid to any chance then. Feeling slightly deflated I spent Sunday winding myself up to the point where on Monday morning I collared Pete and begged him to come and belay me.

St-Loy_Apr11-Pano

Given that Pete had a bad finger this was a little unfair but Pete with his usual generosity agreed immediately. And so I spent a nervous Tuesday Psyching myself up for the climb.

Whilst Pete spent the walk in gazing at the fantastic views I was very much pre occupied with working out how I was going to approach my first E grade lead. As it happened, events have a way of just taking control and in double quick time we were set up and ready to go. Monochrome Men did not disappoint. It’s an amazing climb. A tricky initial mantleshelf followed by a strenuous pull onto the face and then the best bit. Twin cracks leading up a fantastic open face. Lots of holds and pro right up to about 8ft from the top when suddenly I was faced with a very hard finish.

My recent use of hand jams came in ‘handy’ so to speak, enabling me to pull through to the thank god rim of the slab. I spent the next ten minutes thinking I was going to be sick. All that adrenaline had to go somewhere, but what a fantastic feeling. 

I’ve now achieved my aim in climbing for my 50th year on one of the best climbs I’ve evr been on. It cant be bad and many thanks to Pete for his time.

The sunniest and warmest place in Britain….. or not

16th April 2011
St Loy Cliff

Sabre Dance – E1 5c – Top Rope
Smear Fear – E2 5C – Top Rope

St Loy has a reputation of being one of the warmest places in the country. The old bronze age field systems were said to be the first in the country to be harvested. So therefore why was the only place in Cornwall not to have sunshine and warm weather St Loy! Look either way along the coast there was blue sky, but ovel the crag there was a nasty dark cload which proceeded to unload an hour and a half’s rain on us.

St-Loy_Apr11-009St-Loy_Apr11-008

This was going to be the day I did my first E1 lead but having been forced to top rope for the morning and with the pm feeling chilly in the wind we chose to spend the day top ropping. There is something to be said for top roping though, in that it allows you to climb with complete focus on the climbing without the responsibility associated with placing protection. Not as exciting or challenging, but equally as enjoyable. Under these circumstances and with Steve along with us on his first outing on Cornish rock it was eminently sensible.

St-Loy_Apr11-007

We moved to the Test Piece buttress because of its accesibility and also the variety of climbs available. Starting on the East end we tackled a few un-named climbs which gave Steve a chance to test himself out. On my go I drifted left from a starting crack and ended up on Smear Fear an E2 5c with small holds and foot placements. It was hard work but I made it. It’s amazing how grippy the rock is at St Loy. The guidbook calls it immaculate granite and for good reason.

St-Loy_Apr11-002

Then the anti was upped as Chris tackled Test Piece another  E2 5c with a thuggish final sequence. The holds are their but it pays to keep moving as your arms tire quickly.

St-Loy_Apr11-7St-Loy_Apr11-5
St-Loy_Apr11-3St-Loy_Apr11-2

The best of the E numnbers though is Sabre Dance. Graded E1 5c it is hard and very fingery. Again good foot placement helps a lot. Having been grossly unfair on Steve with the E climbs we moved West and finished on a couple of grooves. These were made much harder by the fact they were so covered in moss and lichen. Its a shame because under all that growth there are a couple of good climbs here. Again not in the guidebook but, worthy of being listed. I’m sure someone has recorded these as first ascents, but they need a lot more traffic before they came into condition.

St-Loy_Apr11-014

The walk out as usual sapped our strength, but the beauty of the area is always inspiring. My only regret was that I didnt get to do my E grade on the lead.

Benchmark!

19th April 2011

St Loy Cliff

Monochrome Men – E1 5b – Lead

The previous Saturday ahd reall been bugging me. I was hyped and ready to go for M Men, but the weather put paid to any chance then. Feeling slightly deflated I spent Sunday winding myself up to the point where on Monday morning I collared Pete and begged him to come and belay me.

St-Loy_Apr11-Pano

Given that Pete had a bad finger this was a little unfair but Pete with his usual generosity agreed immediately. And so I spent a nervous Tuesday Psyching myself up for the climb.

Whilst Pete spent the walk in gazing at the fantastic views I was very much pre occupied with working out how I was going to approach my first E grade lead. As it happened, events have a way of just taking control and in double quick time we were set up and ready to go. Monochrome Men did not disappoint. It’s an amazing climb. A tricky initial mantleshelf followed by a strenuous pull onto the face and then the best bit. Twin cracks leading up a fantastic open face. Lots of holds and pro right up to about 8ft from the top when suddenly I was faced with a very hard finish.

My recent use of hand jams came in ‘handy’ so to speak, enabling me to pull through to the thank god rim of the slab. I spent the next ten minutes thinking I was going to be sick. All that adrenaline had to go somewhere, but what a fantastic feeling. 

I’ve now achieved my aim in climbing for my 50th year on one of the best climbs I’ve evr been on. It cant be bad and many thanks to Pete for his time.

The sunniest and warmest place in Britain….. or not

16th April 2011
St Loy Cliff

Sabre Dance – E1 5c – Top Rope
Smear Fear – E2 5C – Top Rope

St Loy has a reputation of being one of the warmest places in the country. The old bronze age field systems were said to be the first in the country to be harvested. So therefore why was the only place in Cornwall not to have sunshine and warm weather St Loy! Look either way along the coast there was blue sky, but ovel the crag there was a nasty dark cload which proceeded to unload an hour and a half’s rain on us.

St-Loy_Apr11-009St-Loy_Apr11-008

This was going to be the day I did my first E1 lead but having been forced to top rope for the morning and with the pm feeling chilly in the wind we chose to spend the day top ropping. There is something to be said for top roping though, in that it allows you to climb with complete focus on the climbing without the responsibility associated with placing protection. Not as exciting or challenging, but equally as enjoyable. Under these circumstances and with Steve along with us on his first outing on Cornish rock it was eminently sensible.

St-Loy_Apr11-007

We moved to the Test Piece buttress because of its accesibility and also the variety of climbs available. Starting on the East end we tackled a few un-named climbs which gave Steve a chance to test himself out. On my go I drifted left from a starting crack and ended up on Smear Fear an E2 5c with small holds and foot placements. It was hard work but I made it. It’s amazing how grippy the rock is at St Loy. The guidbook calls it immaculate granite and for good reason.

St-Loy_Apr11-002

Then the anti was upped as Chris tackled Test Piece another  E2 5c with a thuggish final sequence. The holds are their but it pays to keep moving as your arms tire quickly.

St-Loy_Apr11-7St-Loy_Apr11-5
St-Loy_Apr11-3St-Loy_Apr11-2

The best of the E numnbers though is Sabre Dance. Graded E1 5c it is hard and very fingery. Again good foot placement helps a lot. Having been grossly unfair on Steve with the E climbs we moved West and finished on a couple of grooves. These were made much harder by the fact they were so covered in moss and lichen. Its a shame because under all that growth there are a couple of good climbs here. Again not in the guidebook but, worthy of being listed. I’m sure someone has recorded these as first ascents, but they need a lot more traffic before they came into condition.

St-Loy_Apr11-014

The walk out as usual sapped our strength, but the beauty of the area is always inspiring. My only regret was that I didnt get to do my E grade on the lead.

Not always in Harmony.

Treen
21st – 23rd May 2010

St Loy
Harmony – HVS 5b – Lead (Dnf)
Monochrome Men – E1 5b – Belay

St Levans Wall
Phenocryst – HVS 5a – Lead
Gentlemans Relish – Severe 4a – Second
The Scorpion – E1 5b (provisional) – Second

The decision to camp at Treen on this weekend could not have been a better one. Probably the best weather of the year and perfect conditions for climbing and camping. Joe, Nick, Kath and I met up in the evening and after setting up spent a relaxing evening down at the The Logan Rock Inn.

Treen_May10-063Treen_May10-054

It was probably here that Joe and I made a questionable decision to climb at St Loy the following day. Probably the hotest crag in Cornwall on the hotest day of the year so far. We should have foreseen a few problems.

Saturday

Still, its a great venue and we had two climbs in mind (Harmony and Monochrome Men). The former was mine to lead and wasting no time I set off up the first corner/niche before the sun came around onto the face. Well, Harmony proved to be a bit much for me in the end… an opening difficult corner leading into an even harder one. It was the second that stopped me in my tracks. I was just not strong enough or lacked the technique. On reflection I have considered a different approach which I will try next time which will hopefully be shortly.

Treen_May10-058Treen_May10-056

So then it was on to Monochrome Men, an E1 with a strenuous start. Joe made good work of the opening moves, moving up onto the slab with relative ease. MM is fairly well protected, but Joe’s decision to stay left meant he eventually ran out of holds and pro only a metre or so from the top. Two falls later and well pumped Joe retired to give it a go another time. Meanwhile, I was wilting in the sun and after an brief foray up to the starting ledge I decided discretion was the better part of valour. That and the fact I was kna…d.

So a frustrating day, one which knocked my confidence a bit and made me a tadge grumpy. A BBQ on Pendvounder Beach with our gang and LECC cheered me and Joe up. Stunning views and a sense of isolation make this a perfect spot to end the day with lots of new food to try courtesy of Nick and Kath. I will have to be more inventive when we have BBQ’s.

Sunday

A chance to explore St Levans Wall area or Pedn-men-an-mere. Parking up in the church car park down a quiet lane (with a lovely lady security guard making sure we were all honest) we made our way down to the wall via a series of grasy steps and boulders.

Treen_May10-003Treen_May10-026
Treen_May10-Trawler

The wall is very impressive with a series of crack running up and across, all of which looked difficult. The E1, Midnight Express, looked unlikely at the grade, but at a later point we were assured its OK. Having just missed Redfish because of the tide, I went for Phenocryst, described as ‘cheese grater granite’. I soon found out why with the rock being crumbly and not giving me the feeling of maximum reliability.

Treen_May10-031Treen_May10-Phen1
Treen_May10-Phen2Treen_May10-St-Lev

Still, I enjoyed the climbing and reached the top virtually on empty, but very happy with myself. With my breath back I belayed Joe up, who in keeping with his exploits on this weekend snapped a hold and fell off. He was not happy. Nick joined us at the top making me wonder what all the fuss was about… how come I make it look so difficult?

Instead of dropping back down we moved off to the Marconi Slab area and Nick tackled a Severe which led us nicely onto the middle tier. The rock in the Marconi Slab area (lower tier) is not brilliant, but it improves as you move towards the centre recessed cliffs. We found a number of lines here, but finally settled on twin cracks on the headwall of a descent slope. Both Joe and Nick had spotted these and Joe, determined to redeem himself led them.

Treen_May10-016Treen_May10-021

Later we decided they were around E1 5b, but were not named in the guide. We named it The Scorpion (it may well already have a name) because the climb, which is strenuous from the off leads you to believe that having nailed the final large black chicken head its over. Oh no… the sting in the tail is the final move which is hard, as Joe found out and took his fourth fall of the weekend. Nick took over the lead and finished the route, acknowledging the final tricky move. We’re not sure what the route is, but as Nick remarked just seeing a climb and getting on it is climbing at its purist.

Treen_May10-036Treen_May10-037
Treen_May10-044Treen_May10-051

We packed up in pristine weather, with views over Hella Point and the Seagul’s feeling relieved that we were leaving their nesting grounds, walking back to the car park and stopping at the Logan Rock for a beer and a bit of reflection on the weekends events.

Treen_May10-038Treen_May10-040

For me it was mixed, for Nick his highlight had been Boysens Groove a tough E2 at Cribbar Head and for Joe it had been a weekend of pushing his grades, culminating in a few falls. At least it is a sign of progression that we are tackling climbs of these grades and stature.

Rest of the photos here