Tag Archives: Bosigran

Ian and Toms super tangly ropes (or how not to organise your safety!)

5th May 2017

Bosigran/The Great Zawn

Simple Simon – HS 4b – Lead
Picnic – VS 5a – Lead
The Variety Show – HVS 5a – Lead

A great day at Bosigran with three climbs that all delivered on the entertainment front. For a change Tom and I got to climb together and we lucked into three top climbs at Bosi. Considering how many times I’ve been there this is somewhat baffling, but as Tom said, there is a tendency to walk past the climbs in the initial area to get to the big names. And this is probably why they are missed.


I’d seen some climbers on Simple Simon last month, so it was an obvious choice really. A somewhat bizarre opening pitch which involves grass trekking and avoiding the shrubbery actually delivers some good moves. The rising crack is fun and thought provoking. But it is the second pitch which is atmospheric, with a final crystal filled crack which needs some working out. Tom got it first time, but I had a few attempts before unlocking the slightly perplexing moves.


Picnic is if anything even more unusual. The rising corner seems straight forward enough, but there is enough about it to make it worthwhile. We left the upper pitch as we were Zawn bound, but I think the harder moves are found here and the crackline looks good. Something in the back of my mind says I’ve done this many years ago with Bart, but I might be mistaken.

Bluebells!! The hidden killer!

And so to the main event. We descended down the Desolation Row path (always entertaining with the lethal bluebells which act like butter on your shoes) and abbed down after Joe and Dave had kindly set up the abb rope.

Before we realised the ab rope was broken!!!!!

The Variety Show looks intimidating from the bottom and it delivers on intimidation when y0u’re on it as well. Basically a curving crack with a wicked sting in the tail. You have to be on your wits the whole way. But its soooooooo good. ¬†I think this may be some of the most absorbing climbing I’ve ever done. Once at the top of P1 you’re faced with a complex series of moves to get established in the final crack. I ended up bridging after climbing myself into a weird position. It was the only way I could straighten out, but it worked well in the end. Tom had similar dificulties and ended up in the same area, but somehow extricated himself in a different way.

Anyway, both up safely we then managed to make the biggest pigs ear of our rope work. I dropped it down the cliff, then Tom tangled it on the belay. It was at this point we decided the only way to straighten them out was to keep climbing so we did P2. How much fun can you have on overhangs and grass!

Seat with a view

Eventually we bushwacked our way back to the ab rope to find that Joe and Dave were having a mare on Zarathrustra with stuck cams and upside down falls. Joe eventually sorted it by abbing off again to get his gear. Is there no end to his energy? And so we got back to the car as it got dark after a very full but enjoyable day.

Woods for the trees

25th March 2016


Rapture – VS 4c – Tom

I dont know how many times I’ve been to Bosi and yet it still seems possible to pick up new lines, even in an area like Red Slab.

Tom and Dave synchronising

Tom and Dave synchronising

Rapture actually takes an obvious line through the overlaps, but cuts across about 4 routes in doing so, so not one to do on a busy day… It has two committing step ups but the gear in general is good and the holds are really positive. You get the full exposure of the Ding face, taking a line slightly higher than the Ding alcove but below the flake of Belle.

Tom on Rapture

Tom on Rapture

Its just really good climbing at the grade. The second pitch swings out wide on the flank of the wall, but Tom included the chimney of Ding to spice things up and then broke out onto a great slab near the top. This gives exposed climbing but up a friendly slab. All in all a top VS and it should have stars in the book.

Bosigran_Mar16 (12)

Neanwhile Dave was bagging an HVS in the form of Belle, another terrific climb on this wall. This takes the higher flake which is abit more committing. Good job on this for Dave this early in the year.

Dave on Belle

Dave on Belle

Unfortunately the morning was marred by wet rock as Joe and I were unable to tackle our main objectives. Joe wanted to try Kohima and I was looking at Dolphinarium and Variety Show in the Great Zawn. Still, thats for next time.


Oooh Suits you Sirs

1st January 2015

Commando Ridge – V Diff – Alt Lead

Big Ron and the boys made the most of a dreary New Years day, with an assault on Commando ridge in impeccable style… well maybe not impeccable but better that your average ridge climber.

Nice Tie

Nice Tie

Big Ron and the Boys

Big Ron and the Boys

After too many Prosecco’s at the Fish House at Fistral (amazing food by the way) the previous night we met early dressed in our finest New Years day suits. Strangely there was something actually likeable about climbing in a two piece, probably a throw back to bygone days.

Gearing up? Or already geared up.

Gearing up? Or already geared up.

We were also incredibly quick for us. Probably due to the impending rain, but we were up there in less than 2 hours. Plenty of soloing and moving together. By time I’d finished I was proper sober again, but absolutely knackered. The sleep on the way home helped!

The classic ridge.

The classic ridge.

What a great way to welcome in the new year.

Hung over selfie

Hung over selfie

Clouds to right of them, Clouds to left of them, Clouds in front of them, Volley’d and thunder’d;

21st March 2014


Venusberg – VS 4c – Lead

Ok a bit over dramatic but as has been typical of 2014 the weather was iffy. We spent the day watching dark squalls slowly travelling cross the ocean passing to our left and right, but somehow missing us.¬†Tennyson’s poem seemed apt. How we escaped the rain I dont know but we did and I’m grateful for that.

Moody Bosigran

Moody Bosigran

Pete and I teamed up to have a go at Venusberg while Dave and Tom went off to do Ding. Chris had done Venusberg a while back with Nick and I’d always wanted to try it. Described as one of the more technical VS’s at Bosi it lived up to its reputation. The four pitches have a bit of everything. Pitch one deals out a tough mantleshelf, some abck and fronting up the back of the pinnacle, run out balancy climbing on pitch 3 and a very windy exit on pitch 4.

Happy Pete

Happy Pete

I think that Pete may have enjoyed this one more than me judging by the massive grin he ws sporting. A real adventure on a day when we had no right to expect to be able to climb. Lucky us!

What a difference a day makes…


12th April 2013

Flat Top – HS 4b – Lead
Crazy Man Michael – VS 4c – Second
Little Brown Jug (Variation Start P1) – HVS/VS 5a? – Lead
Thin Wall Special(P2) – E1 5b/5a – Lead
Trapeze – HVS 5a – Second

I challenge you to read the title and not hum the tune in your head (or I’m a bit abi normal) I’m sat here looking out the window at drizzle, whereas yesterday at Bosi we were treated to Sunshine and a glorious day.

It was a strange day actually for me. Five climbs in my logbook, but in reality it was three. This was on account of a mix and match approach to our routes. Having walked away from Sinistra which looked more like a waterfall, we started on Flat Top, a really nice HS with some good moves getting past the overhang to the corner.

Me on Flat Top

As it happened overhangs played quite a part on this day. Joe’s lead on pitch two was Crazy Man Michael which starts with a … you’ve guessed it… a overhang. A lot tougher than Flat Top though. You never feel in balance and its strenuous. Having cleared this though the climbing continues up the exposed arete at a much more amenable level. It is well worth doing.

Joe about to set off on the tough opening moves of Crazy Man Michael

Joe high on CMM

Meanwhile the rest of the crew (Tom, Dave, Pete, Chris and Nick who made the long journey down from the wilds of Dartmoor) were on their own routes. Chris and Nick on the by all accounts very good Venusberg and the others on the classic Andrew. A climb I have fond memories of as it was my first multi pitch route with Bart. The step out from the ledge onto the slab is always tense because you never quite feel settled. A good lead from Dave on this one. Venusberg is definitely on my list for next time out.

Pete moving onto the delicate traverse on P2 Andrew

Having taken a closer look at Visions of Johanna, discretion finally got the better part of valour and I opted for a try on Little Brown Jug’s variation start in order to get to P2 of Thin Wall Special. Originally we had planned this for a threesome, but it made sense for Nick and Chris to get on a route instead of hanging around so they went off to do the brilliant Paragon.


The overhang start (there it is again) seemed OK to me, but the next move is very tin if you continue on a direct line. A bridging move right opens up the good holds higher up and then the climbing is fun right up to the belay ledge of Doorway/Thin Wall Special. Joe kindly deferred this one to me as I had wanted to lead TWS and the top pitch looked wild.

It didnt disappoint. The corner of Doorway is good climbing in its own right and when you get to the roof it seems a bit improbable that it goes at 5a. A move up into the niche gives a chance for a breather and then its stepping out under yet another overhang and aiming for the gap. I found it really scary and although the holds are quite positive you need to shape yourself to get across to the finishing jugs. I just made it but hanging off the final jug dangling 150ft up is amazing.

Joe through the crux on Trapeze

Joe had to go one better by cutting loose with his feet, but his grin gave away how much he enjoyed himself, even if he looked thoroughly knackered.

Dave on Flat Top

Back at the bags with Nick and Chris still on Paragon and Dave leading Flat Top we decided on a last route so Joe had a go on the fierce but short Trapeze. Its all packed into two crux’s, but with the big No 4 Camelot on board Joe could protect the top offwidth crack. I like the route, but I imagine Pete doesnt having given it his best but on this occasion been defeated. I know the feeling well. Another day then.

As usual 7 hours passed like 7 minutes and we were late returning, but it was the culmination of another great adventure on the Cornish Coast and we have many more planned.

Ochre’s my favorite colour

Bosigran / Halldrine Cove
10th August 2012

Ochre Slab 1 – VS 5a – Alt lead (P2)
Ding – VS 4c – Alt Lead (P2)
Limpet Slab – V Diff – Second

On occasions the Ochre Slab area of Bosi is almost like a seperate venue to the main cliff. A large gulley seperates it from Raven Wall and whilst the well known multi pitch routes around the Doorpost area can be busy, this area has the feeling of seclusion.

Looking out towards Commando Ridge

And it was like that on this day. I’d earmarked Paragon initially, but OSR1 was clear and I’d always wanted to have a crack at the wild chimney on its final pitch.

With Dave and Tom tackling the classic Black Slab we scrambled our way across to the start via some soloing. OSR1 has two completely contrasting pitches. The first is all about finesse with a crux that involves traversing blind around the arete on the right. Pro’s ok but it’s a tricky move and you have to have faith that there is something there for your feet and hands. Chris made it look easy, finding the invisible holds and foot placements and looking like he was thoroughly enjoying himself. The whole line flows very nicely and although the top slab is bold, the climbing is not tough as you get higher.

Dave on Black Slab

The chimney is entirely different. Still requiring a bit of faith that holds will come, it’s all about pulling up into the space and then searching out the jugs. My first attempts, while Tom was belaying directly below were abandoned on account of my landing on his head if I fell. After a nervous couple of minutes I hauled up and ‘behold’ it all becomes clear how its done. Just have faith!

Dave leading Ochre Slab Route 2

Chris and I moved onto Ding while Tom and Dave went for OSR2 a fitting companion to our previous route and a brilliant climb as well. Chris got the first pitch of Ding which to be honest is the best one. He remarked later how all the climbs on this day seemed to flow and this is particularly the case with Ding. It follows a superb line up the face with a series of hard moves.

Ian demonstrating how not to chimney

My ventures on the second pitch once again exposed my failings on chimneys. Still, I had fun and the final swing out on the overhang (we were off route by this time, probably on Dong) capped two amazing routes. Big smiles all around then and only one course of action…..

To the Cove for a swim!!!!

and jump!

Having cooled off nicely on what was a baker of a day we finished on two side by side routes at Halldrine Cove, which Dave and Tom led. Contrasting, mine which Tom led, was an exposed arete and Chris’ which Dave led was an akward chimney. Both done really well by their respective leaders.

Dave and Tom leading at Halldrine

Tom and Dave are coming on really fast with their leading. I remenisced with Chris on the fact that it took a couple of years for us to get to the same stage that they are at after a few months. The big difference I suppose is that Chris and I had to learn everything for ourselves and we had no one to push us. Didnt stop us having fun though and this year we’re checking out E1’s so we got there in the end.

Chris on Shrimpet

Oh Yes! Nearly forgot about the encore. A pod of Risso’s Dolphins appeared literally as we finished the day. Could it get better. Yes. A stop for a beer at Zennor capped what was a truly memorable day.

Tom checking out the dolphins off Halldrine



A chorus of approval

13th May 2012


Anvil Chorus – VS 4c – Alt Lead
Alison Rib – Diff – Second

It was so bloody cold when we arrived. Dark and windy and not inviting at all. Bosigran had seemed the best shout for this day but it didnt look that way at first.

Belay view from P3 Anvil Chorus

Pete had brought along his new rack and I was giving Anvil Chorus the once over. With the corner of Ac looking like it might be the most sheltered spot we went for this first. I had always wanted to lead the third corner pitch ever since seconding it with Nick so this gave me the opportunity.

Pete on the first pitch of Anvil Chorus

It’s easy to forget how good a climb is until you get back on it. AC is not just about one pitch, although the 3rd is the most spectacular. All four have something to offer. Pitch one, two short slabs, can be tricky but it got me nicely warmed up.

Pitch 2 Anvil Chorus

Pitch two passes an overhang with a very airy move, requiring Chris to step out onto a poorly protected arete and a final push onto a large slab. By this point the sun was out and Bosi had transformed into acres of warm granite taking the chill off the day. So the corner pitch was done in sunshine, making the crack a lot more amenable. It’s strenuous in places but well protected; towards the top you need to push on to a brilliant rest point. A fantastic traverse to an atmospheric mantelshelf follows.

Pete on the third pitch of Anvil Chorus.

For me this was the crux, especially when my foot slipped and I almost whipped off. It made for a rather panic stricken udge onto the ledge. A shame really because 30 minutes later I did the same move again after retrieving a nut, but this time with more style.

Chilled walk back after AC

The final pitch was made harder for Chris because he completely ignored the obvious left hand crack. As a result he used a hard layback move off the arete to get established, making it a much more scary venture altogether.

After our exertions on AC it was Pete’s turn. With a new rope, new lead rack and me and Chris badgering him, he set off for his first lead up Alison Rib. It’s a great climb to make a first ascent on. Pete got good gear in and looked like he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Pete on his first lead on Alison Rib

Ian on Alison Rib

He even managed to find the top after some guidance from Chris.

I wonder if this will hold. Oh well its only Ian....

So no longer a lead virgin, Pete, Chris and I headed home. It’s amazing how 9 hours just flies by when you’re having so much fun.

Politically incorrect climbing

16th January 2012

Gollywog’s Cakewalk – HS 4b – Lead
Oread – V Diff – Lead

I love Bosi, the atmosphere and the beauty of the place, so what better venue to get onto when the sun pops out and you are sheltered from a cold wind. For Tom it was his first outing there so I wanted to start off on something reasonable.

Gearing up ledge below Gollywog's Cakewalk

The last time I tried to lead GC, I ended up way off route. Admittedly it was when I had first started leading and the first pitch scared the pants off me. So I went left and ended up on Red Slab(ish). This time it felt a lot more comfortable, although the traverse across the slab is still fairly run out. A high runner in the left crack helps out a lot and the slab itself is a great bit of climbing.

Following this the climb fragments a bit following a black ‘quartzy’ type vein to the top. Still some tricky climbing on weird rock, but too much greenery in amoungst it for my liking. Climbing shoes and grass dont mix!.

Oread is another of those climbs I’ve passed loads of times but never thought about climbing. I think its easy to get drawn into the main cliff and the big routes. On this occasion it made abundant sense to give it a go as it was on the way out and with time getting shorter it was nearer to the car.

Me leading Oread first pitch

Tom finishing off Oread in the sunshine

The climbing is better than I thought, adequate gear and a number of variations possible. I tried to mix it up a bit and picked a line which saw me at the top of Alison’s Rib. Tom made short work of it to cap off a good day out. I am thinking that this spring could mean a shot at Suicide Wall. It’s about time I had a go at one of Bosi’s E’s

The wait is over

30th July 2011
Little Brown Jug – VS 5a – Lead
Grendel – E2 5c – Second (dnf)

This was to be an iconic day for me. Little Brown Jug has been watching me for years now, waiting for me to climb it. Sometimes you get into a rut – LBJ was like this. I desperately wanted to do it, but every time I went I found an excuse not to. Anyway, Nick put paid to that. His advice of “Get on it before it gets too busy” drove me to climb it.

It was worth the wait. Chris tackled an alternative start which made a lot more sense than the traditional route. We headed up the first pitch of Doorway and Chris who’s getting right back into his leading made short work of it.

The top pitch of LBJ is just remarkable. It’s challenging from the begiining. The move off the belay ledge stopped me in my tracks and took some figuring out. It pays to be bolder here and move out from the inviting corner. The holds then start to arrive.

Little Brown JugLittle Brown Jug

Little Brown Jug

The crux is just that. The crux. The peg is gone now (I was at the BMC meeting when someone brought the remnants of it along!) but there is protection there if you look for it. It pays to be a little taller for this but you find it by gradually moving up. Delicate and balancy moves get you through this section which is amazing. Heart in mouth stuff but its what climbing is all about and I loved it.

Little Brown JugLittle Brown Jug

The final section is a crank for the top. Wild but with good holds and is an exhilerating end to one of the best climbs I’ve ever done. Chris, Nick and I were full of smiles at the end testimony to why LBJ is so iconic.

Now Grendell…… This was up a few levels in difficulty. It didnt help that it was baking hot at this point leading to sweaty hands and greasey foot placements. (Thats the excuses out the way early). Nick made abrilliant effort on this. The bottom crack is tough and the niche which imo is the crux of the route was very difficult for me and Chris. There is a point where the holds run out and you have to rely very much on foot friction. In my case this wasnt quite enough and I slid off twice. Very frustrating as I am sure I can do this.

That said, Nick worked hard for this which is an indication to me of its difficulty. A small fall on the crux did not take away what was a brilliant lead.

So now it was a choice between an HVS or a jump in the sea to cool off at Halladrine Cove. Of course the sea won and quite rightly on this day. It was take your breath away entries into the water but after that I got the light burning sensation you get on your skin from swimming in a cool sea. Amazing feeling and a stunning way to end the day.

Halladrine CoveHalladrine Cove

I think by this time Guiness and Mutley had just about had enough having been dragged all around Bosigran and all they were thinking about was curling up and sleep. We hover headed for the Gurnards Head for chill down pint and to discuss the days highlights of which there were many.

Its a puzzle?

26th July 2011
Bosigran – Raven Wall Area
Zig Zag – VS 4c – Lead

Taking the afternoon off work makes climbing feel so much better. Its as though you’ve managed to cheat your way into some fun whilst everyone else is still beavering away. It was a bonus that it was really hot. In fact sweatingly hot (not sure that’s a real word).

Zig Zag

Pete had not done a tricky multi pitch climb and I’d always wanted to do Zig Zag so we went for it straight away. Zig Zag is a strang climb. A bit disjointed but the three pitches are all good in their own way.

The bottom optional pitch is steep, with good holds and pro. It gets the adrenaline pumping immediately and has a challenging top out.. Then its across the Raven wall ledge to a rising ramp that leads to a short black veined wall. This is tricky and strenuous and leads to a brilliant narrow ledge with amazing views over the bay and towards Commando Ridge. Pete’s usual fear of ledges kicked in and as my leading piece of gear fell out he wasnt inspired with confidence.

Zig Zag

The third pitch is the cracker though. You leave the ledge making exposed moves up and around the overhang. The holds are there but need a bit of lateral thinking. A short section that reminds me a little bit of Pegasus at Chair Ladder goes up to the ‘puzzle’. Be bold on this and it all comes together for a final push onto the finishing ramp.

Zig Zag

Its not the best VS at Bosi but it is fun and takes you up through the central wall which is spectacular.

We picked up our free gear which must be a new introduction at Bosigran – by all accounts when you top out someone leaves a pile of slings and clippers for you to take as a reward.


We did search for the true owners but to no avail, so Pete is now the lucky recipient of two brand new slings! What a great way to finish the day and the sunset just topped it off perfectly.