14th May 2021
Black Carn South
Memento/London Bridge Combo – VS 4c – Lead Onsight
Chico – HS 4b – Second
Zeppo – VS 4c – Lead
Last time at CBS Chris and I got terribly lost. I knew from the guide book that there were plenty of mid grade routes, but we didnt seem to find them. So we returned intending to get our bearings and get on a few of them.
Well, getting our bearings using the guide book descriptions wasnt easy. For some mad reason the guide just ignores the blatently obvious features of the crag and does the usual ‘ to the left of the rounded arete’ or ‘just right of the obvious crack’. Well what about the fucking obvious massive chimney, or the huge jammed boulder or even better the startling diagonal quartz vein that slices through the top of the buttress.
Christ they make it hard. Even when we did find the routes, the descriptions still didnt tally properly. At least not in a clear way. So I’ve added some topos here which might help us if we go again in the future.
The described line for Memento looks highly unlikely at VS and I didnt go near it. 6 metres of unprotected tricky climbing doesnt seem in keeping with the grade. Two alternatives look better. Continue up a further two metres and go left at a horizontal break which may provide pro or go up the left hand side of the chimnet (again looks quite tough) but there are places for nuts/small cams. Then go right at the large ledge below the trapped boulders.
My combo was entertaining and the top part is nice climbing. The bottom is gritty and fragile but this is in keeping with many of the routes.
Chico and Zeppo were similar in difficulties. Harder at the starts and then pleasant climbing. But both are short and divided by a large ledge. Be aware that Zeppo now has a nice hold at the top thanks to the original rock fracturing and a large rock detaching. Fortunately not with me hanging on 🙂
Will return to do the harder routes once my fitness is fully back. But a nice venue to spend a day.