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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.