30-31st March 2012
Hawks Tor and Trewortha Tor
West Chimney – V Diff 4a – Lead
Crack,n,up – V Diff 4b – Lead
Cat Nap – Severe 4b – Lead
This trip came about because of a discussion on camping out on the moor. We had been thinking about doing this later in the year, but with the warm spring it was a case of striking while the iron was hot.
Tony getting ready to take care of those pesky Squirrels!
Our backyard for the night
Hawks Tor is a stunning location. Bodmin moor is bigger than you may think and the collection of Kilmar, Trewortha and Hawks Tor’s are isolated and give a remote feeling you would not expect. We found a perfect spot, flat ground and sheltered from the cold northerly. Fire bucket in tow and Jagermeister stowed in the hip flask we were destined to have a great night.
Bed pal. Courtesy of by Jane
Those pesky Squirrels were back, this time hiding in my sleeping bag, but I made short work of this one; taming it by the morning. Whilst Tony fry’d up his three course breakfast, to complement his steak from the night before and as an appetiser for his sausages at lunch, I eye’d up the climbs. Tom wanted to do some leading so we concentrated on the South end of the Tor.
Tony negotiating the hard start on Cat NapDave on Cat Nap
The two V Diffs I lead were both good climbs. West chimney was slightly better, but both had challenging finishes. I would say that for a V Diff West Chimney is bold. Straight forward climbing but little gear. The final move can be protected by a carefully placed cam, but your last gear is a long way below and it is an awkward move.
Cat Nap….. Welcome to the ultimate sandbag of the Tor. Graded Severe, but knocking on top end Very Severe. It’s more friendly with a bouldering mat under you, but placing gear is challenging (it is there though) and there are a series of slopers and jams to negotiate, and blood to leave.
Mats heading for Trewortha
Tony, Dave and Tom made it up with varying degrees of style and success. Nick showed us how it should be done. Shame I hadnt given the same example of technique as I fell off the opening moves about a half dozen times! I finally worked out that it was better to undercling than go for the slopers.
We wandered over to Trewortha were I was thoroughly defeated by Just Good Friends, a climb I cruised through the last time I was here. Still, it happens. The best thing about Trewortha is the bouldering. There is loads, and lots of it very hard. We found an 8 inch offwidth on a curved boulder. Laybacking all the way, but suprisingly the hard parft is when the lopes eases. You end up in a quandry as to continue laybacking or get your foot on the face. We all bellyflopped the top which as Nick said, could be the best way to finish it. The whole team negotiated this one which was a great end to a fantastic couple of days on the moor.
Ian's Atlas impression