23rd March 2016
Sluice – HVS 5a – Lead
Well this was good for a leg workout. I decided to take the right hand buttress down from the Coastguard lookout in the mistaken belief I could get to Sluice from the ‘Crystal’ section of crag. All this got me was a long walk back out with a full pack so I could drop down the other side.
Then of course I lobbed my belay device into the sea (wouldnt be the same if I didnt sacrifice gear at Carn Gowla) so had to haul another one up just to ab in. Not an auspicious start. But it did get a lot better.
I arrived a bit late to find Joe on something rediculously hard and overhanging. Desire an E2 5c with a wicked strenuous crack. Nothing new there then! After sorting out a lack of a second rope, Dave and I finally got started on Sluice a strange but enjoyable HVS on the corner of the buttress. With a good swell running the whole area was pretty dramatic and Sluice added some spice being crumbly and unreliable on the hold front.
There is a short but slightly bold start which leads to a couple of ‘bomber??’ threads. Then you move up and over the overhang onto the upper slab. Its a great exposed move onto some thin foot flakes. Tread lightly as they dont take much to break as Dave found out. Then a final nervous sequence up the wall on good but strange and sharp holds. I didnt want to load them son spent most of my time getting my feet right. For our first evening out this was great fun and hopefully lots more Gowla adventures to come.
I might even go back and try Desire one day if I’m feeling particularly strong 🙂