22nd June 2012
Thea – Severe 4a – Second
Acid Test – VS 4c – Lead
Prior Claim – Severe 4a – Second
The hardest part about climbing at Tregiffian is getting there. A solid walk in from Boskenna Cross gets you to a low granite wall and a very indistinct path that just disappears into massive stinging nettles and brambles.
A machette would be handy here, but after getting scratched and stung in the cliff jungle you burst out onto a glorious meadow which sits above the crag. There below is Tregiffian, a small amphitheatre of ochre granite. It’s beautiful.
Finding your bearings takes a while, but if you follow the rocky buttress on the right facing out you come to a cave made out of precariously balanced boulders. This leads to the main crag. The swell meant the far side of the crag was wave washed an unaccessable even at low tide, but there were a number of routes close to the cave. The first of which was Thea which Dave set about leading.
Graded Severe, Thea has a tricky and poorly protected crux. The rock is a bit suspect too in the lower reaches, but the higher you get the better everything becomes, culminating in some brilliant face climbing below the pinnacle. A good climb in my books and a great first Severe lead for Dave.
Tom lead the last climb of the day, Prior Claim, also his first severe, making it a landmark day. This was a complete contrast in technique to Thea. Protection was good throughout, but there were a number of exposed and tricky moves, both low down and near the top.
Riding high on the rounded crest of the ridge, it is spectacularly placed and was agreat climb to finish the day on.
Sandwiched in between these two was my lead on Acid Test. It is worthy of it’s stars. Innocuous from the ground it proves a lot more trcky when you get up to it. I thought it was a hand traverse, but instead in became an exercise in balance, requiring some contortions to place gear.
As much as it scared the pants of me at first, I thought it was excellent and I want to do it again – this probably says it all about how much I rate it.
The walk back out was long and hard and we were all knackered by time we got to the car (having chased a fox out of the adjacent field). Tregiffian is already marked in my diary for an early return. This time with the full crew and with a smaller swell so we can tackle the whole crag. Oh yes and with a fishing rod!