Tag Archives: Carn Boel

Failure Friday

19th Feb 2015

Carn Boel (Upper)

The Drum – HVS 5b – Lead (dnf) then TR
Grindeer – E2 5B – TR
Drifters – E1 5c – Retrieve gear (and some sneaky practicing)

We made this day a real cack handed ordeal. One we should have driven to Lands End and not walked all the way from Porthgwarra and two, we should have recognised a series of sandbags when we arrived!

Cool lefty

Cool lefty

It was though a terrific day, with lots of hard climbing and some really challenging routes. I started the day trying to lead The Drum. An excellent HVS running up a crack line on the left of the main face. From the ground it looks innocuous and well protected. It’s neither.

Carn Boel from the South

Carn Boel from the South

I havnt felt so pumped for ages. A proper test of my ability to keep hanging on. Placing gear was strenuous, climbing was strenuous, staying still was strenuous (you get the idea). I felt like Popeye by time I eventually succumbed and slumped into my gear. It was all a matter of mental state.

Tom on the crux of the Drum

Tom on the crux of the Drum

By time I reached the crux I was pumped and couldnt find any gear. I knew in my mind that once I committed there was no going back and it looked poor for gear. This was actually an accurate forecast as it was. For HVS it is remarkably bold. I think it would be E1 in most peoples books. Definitely 5b though.

Pulling onto the main slab

Pulling onto the main slab

So all pumped up I tried again on the top rope and this time went straight through. Of course without having to place gear. One I will try again maybe later in the season.

Joe on Grindeer

Joe on Grindeer

Meanwhile Joe was having his own epic on Drifters. Another one where gear is hard to come by and the climbing suprisingly dificult. It did for Joe on this occasion (unusually), but I expect he will be back shortly to tame it.

The tricky moves onto the main wall

The tricky moves onto the main wall

We all (Tom, Dave, Joe and I) had a go on the E2, which actually proved to be OK. Tough again with some amazing moves into the vertical crack, but manageable.

Me on Grindeer

Me on Grindeer

This spot is great for a winters days climbing. Above the sea, sheltered with great views. We were lucky to get this on this day as the weather came in with a vengance on the walk back.

Shame Dave and Tom chose to take the long walk to the car. Pay attention!!!!

One demon down. Another one added…..

8th September 2012

Pordenack Point / Carn Boel

Friends – VS 5a – Lead
Immaculate Groove – E1 5b – Second

A really foggy morning greeted us from our tents at Treen. Treen has a great campsite and was a good choice of venue for the BMC meet. Shame then that most of the BMC was at Treverven Farm campsite on the other side of the valley! It appears Treen hadnt been warned so we ended up on the wrong site.

Even with an inauspicious start the day turned out to be a cracker. The previous evening in the Logan Rock I’d arranged with Nick to meet at Pordenack which would give me a chance to have another go at Friends, the VS that had bested me previously.

Hot. The weather that is... not me!

With everything heating up nicely Tony and Joe set up for the tricky Nothing Much. I set off hoping that things would be easier second time around. They werent. But Friends is such a good climb. Once you are past the overhang the pressure is on to get through it. There are no good rests so by time I reached the atmospheric top out I was fairly pumped, but well chuffed to have made it clean this time.

Tony on the final section of Nothing Much

For Tony, it was straight in at the deep end on Nothing Much but he made a good fist of it, making it clean and getting Joe’s pro out, including the bit he fell on doing the difficult traverse. I think after three HVS’s in a row Joe was pretty knackered.

Me and Nick after some strenuous climbing on Immaculate Groove

Nick had his eye on an E1 on the point across the bay called Carn Boel. Immaculate Groove turned out to be just that. A brilliant technical slab leads to a brutal overhang which needs to be dealt with through jamming. Nick made the slab look straight forward, but found the crack tough on the overhang. Fair play though, he made it even if it cost a little blood. I didnt fair so well, slipping on the slab and then just running out of energy and strength when I needed it most.

So a fair trade. One nemisis conquered in Friends and another created in Immaculate Groove. I will return…

The upper section of Carn Boel, called Terrace Cliff has some meandering routes. From the bottom they look poor, but actually they offer good climbing. I’ve done Kari before which turned out to be a tough V Diff. Tom led Bitter End, another challenging climb which goes up through the heart of the cliff.

Pordenack Point from Carn Boel

And so ended another great weekend. Lots of good routes and good company.


Mix and Match

10th September 2010
Carn Boel

Kari – V Diff – Lead

Not happy with having caned our legs last outing, Pete and I decided to march into Carn Boel. Why pick a crag close to the road when you can get away from it all?

Carn Boel 5

Still, it was well worth it. Heavy discussions on Religion and life did not result in the outbreak of hostilities (like it normally does in the world) but helped pass the time as we wandered past the petting zoo. Carn Boel is another exercise in crag finding, although easier than Black Head.

Having found the decent chimneys we made our way to the Terrace ramp only to be faced with trying to work out which route was which. I think in the end we did a Wandering Worlds – Kari – Four Directions combo.

Carn Boel3Carn Boel 4

Whatever we did, it seemed harder than V Diff, or else Kari is hard. We ended up doing four pitches but it probably should have been five as we solo’d out the top section. There are lots of holds and foot placements throughout, but pro can be hard to place and particularly on the last narrow sloping ramp there is a committing move which draws you out left forcing you off balance and requiring a bit of boldness. The ramp is steep and slopes away from the cliff making the whole exercise awkward as it says in the guide. As a V Diff leader I would  be surprised to be faced with a pitch like this, but alternatively I could be making too much of it.

carn Boel 2Carn Boel 1

Pete and I were  pleased at how entertaining the whole climb was. Each pitch different technically (the overhang  on P3 requires a bit of brute force), whereas the bottom crack is fingery and more balanced. Lots of lichen and vegetation in places, but nothing you cant get around. Altogether another fantastic evening on Cornish granite. Beats being at work!

Pics to follow