Tag Archives: Pentire Point

My (not so dead) dead chicken has better feet than you do!

19th July 2016

Pentire Point
Black Zawn

Nipped in the Buddha – VS 4c – Second
Little Black Dress – EC 5B – TR
Brother Chris – E3 5c – TR (dgd)

Dave had been wittering on about NITB for ages so it was only fair to let him have his moment (of fear). NITB is one of those VS’s that doesnt look too bad until your trying to find your equilibrium as you move up into the groove. From the ground it is quite steep. From the groove it is overhanging. Either way it’s not easy.

Joe pose....

Joe pose….

After I had dropped the ab rope into the sea we dropped down onto the ledge below NITB. For a change most of the climbs were dry. Unusually.

Before the groove NITB

Before the groove NITB

The Black Zawn never really looks inviting but the truth is that there are a large number of high quality climbs here. The harder varieties suffer from a distinct lack of gear, but the moves and holds are brilliant. Most of the E numbers are on the buttress starting right of The English Way and heading all the way around to the seaward face. A awkward traverse gets you to Merchants of Menace a very good looking E2 which I think I’ll have a go at one day.

Top Groove ofNITB

Top Groove ofNITB

Dave made NITB look relatively easy, which it isnt. A sloping slab leads to difficult moves up into the groove. Then its a case of using the angles to make it easier for an exciting finale.

Dave does E2

Dave does E2

The E2 was an excellent climb, but leading it would have been a different proposition. Very little gear, particularly protecting the crux moves which were fiddly before you arrived at the jugs.

Whooo Whoo!

Whooo Whoo!

The E3 was superb. Beyond me to clean it on this day, but what a climb. It looks so unlikely from below, but as the guidebook says, miraculous holds appear when you need them. Unfortunately for me I didnt see one of the hidden miraculous holds so had to rest about half way. But for the main part it is just excellent move after excellent move. I’d love to say I’d lead this but I’d have to have a closer look at the gear first.

Boy this lad can climb.

Boy this lad can climb.

A tired group of three discussed Joes horrendous feet before a steep walk out on a stunning evening with a huge moon rising over the fields and part noises drifting across from Polzeath. The end of a good day.

Good Moon Rising

Good Moon Rising

And as a final point. How can you not know if a chicken is dead or not. Daves hutch cooked chickens some how rose from the dead – maybe they are Frankenchickens.

Stars in our eyes

6th May 2013

Pentire Point

Twilight – HS 4b – Second
Our Stars, Our Sky – VS 4c – Second

I wasnt sure that I would make this session, as it had been a hectic weekend, but with the sun out and a calm windless evening in prospect, it was too good to resist.


Chris arriving at the ramp after Pitch 1 OSOS

Chris arriving at the ramp after Pitch 1 OSOS

As it happened I arrived at just the right time. Dave had led Twilight and I grabbed a rope and seconded up after him. It’s a good climb too with a good move up into the crack/niche. Just the right antidote to get us all looking for more.

Given the conditions I couldnt help thinking that OSOS would be a good bet. The problem was getting four of us across the traverse was going to take time, but the sun would last.

Chris and Tom checking out the traverse... "what across there!"

Chris and Tom checking out the traverse… “what across there!”

After a guarantee of adventure to the others we set off to find the not so obvious abseil. With a good sized swell washing up the runnel, traversing into the base was also exciting. Came within a few inches of catching me out.

Out there...

Out there…

On this occasion the bottom pitch was a lot drier and was a good climb. The move around the nose requires a bit of thought, but to be honest it’s all about pitch 2 which Dave led. Probably a step up in the whole exposure/technical difficulty area for him but he seemed to breeze through it. There is a runout after the initial start for about 12 ft or so which adds spice, but the pro is so bomber and the drop so steep that it is a safe VS. Having said that its not an easy one and you need to factor in the exposure and feeling of being ‘out there’ the the route radiates.

Relief to have made it before the dark sets in.

Relief to have made it before the dark sets in.

Chris and Tom paired up as a second team and followed us across, meaning we finished in the gloom, but with a beautiful sky as the back drop. Not many other places I would rather have been on a day like this.

Wolves in sheeps clothing

Pentire point
Redwall Cliffs

28th March 2013

Warrior Mouse – HVS/E1 5a – Lead
Cradle of Filth – HVS 5a – Second

OK. Leaving you climbing shoes behind three times is beyond a joke. I need a new system whereby I keep my shoes with my bag instead of in the shed where they so often seem to be when I need them?

Fortunately Tom came to my rescue, sharing his red chillis with me which did me fine for two difficult routes. Redwall Cliffs are to be found at the end of the path from Pentire Farm, so access is straight forward; just walk past the bench and head towards the sea. Watch out for the outlandishly large sheeps poo which Chris assured us came from the famous Pentire wolves……… Whatever it was, Tom shouldnt have stepped in it.

View to the Rumps

As with a lot of the Atlantic Coast routes, the rock is not as solid as Penwith granite.  In fact around this cliff there is a lot of looseness. Tom detaching a grapefruit sized lump of rock from the cliff did not instill confidence. But Warrior Mouse is a great looking line leading up a steep groove and then out onto a steep face.

After my usual faffing moments where I started…stopped..started…etc I got stuck into the bottom chimney/groove. It is very steep which makes it tough to place gear, but once I had placed a key nut my confidence leapt and and the rest of the climb came together nicely. There is an atmospheric traverse followed by some excellent face climbing where the rock deteriorated with altitude.

Gearing up on Cradle of Filth

Creating belays is troublesome as there are no anchors directly behind the crag. On WM you can anchor to a side bluff, but for Chris he ended up using a concrete water trough some 55 metres back connected by Tom’s 10mm rope (just a little stretch in the mechanism).


Chris chose another HVS further across on the main cliff. Cradle of Filth is aptly named due to a muddy step early on in the climb. But after this it is anything but dirty. The meat of the climb starts when you reach the headwall. This is also where the crux is. The move up from the ledge is precarious and technical. Once you work the sequence out it is OK but you have to rely on some less than positive holds initially.

The loose top out

There’s also another exciting finish to the climb with loose rock abounding. Having said all of this, Redwall Cliifs turned out to be a good venue. The views across to the Rumps and Pentire Point are startling and on this day the sea was calm and clear.

View to Pentire Point


Return of the Cruncher

12th September 2010
Pentire Point

The English Way – HS 4b – Second
Nipped in the Buddha – VS 4c – Lead
Our Stars, Our Sky – VS 4c – Alt Lead P2

This was a day for calendar shots so we took a couple, ensuring the magazine pose was just right. I think I’ll need to stick with the day job though.


Pentire Point in my mind was the playground of ‘grown up’ climbers. People who see E5 as a reasonable grade. So it was great to discover that there is a real mixture of climbing here and some amazing routes. Nick and I ended up doing three great climbs.

Black Zawn is aptly described in its name. It is a place that the sun does not often reach and therefore is a bit forbidding when you first drop down on an abseil. It is also wet in places, mainly due to run off. Having said that there is something magnetic about the climbing there. The two routes we did were both great. The English Way was just a means to climb out at first, but turned out to be worthwhile in its own right. An awkward move at mid height destroys all pretences of elegence and makes your mind work hard.


Nipped in the Buddha was not dry enough in the morning so we considered a couple of options: play around on a top rope on the more difficult climbsor have a go at a route I remembered from somewhere callesd Our Stars, OUR sKY. The latter won out and we lucked into a fantastic route, which provided a great deal of adventure and two good pitches. I led the second pitch which follows a line across the shield face just above the undercut. It’s amazing, one of the best pitches I’ve evr led. Not  the hardest, but committing with perfect foot and hand placements where you need them. I had my crunchy moment, as I stepped into a crystalline pocket, but this seems to be a trend with me. Of course my attempts to follow Nicks instructions on communicating with my second went slightly arrae so we sat there like lemons for ten minutes waiting for a signal to move. My fault, but as Nick said, a lesson well learnt.



Still buzzing, I managed to get the lead on Buddha as well. This one is much harder climbing, with some wet areas. To be honest this didnt effect the route and I think I got it as good as you can get it in the dark, dank zawn. Once again, brilliant climbing, pushing me all the way with a tricky crux a few metres above the slab. Its great to have routes where the rock feels really positive and all of them were like this. It can be brittle in places, but take care and you can climb with confidence.


With the sunny day fading we climbed back towards Pentire Farm (just long enough to get another calendar shot). Another new venue for me and somewhere else to add to my long list of places to return to.