Tag Archives: Sirius

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22nd November 2013

Coastguard Cliff – The Lizard

Silent Movie – VS 4c – Lead
Quo Vadis – E1 5a -Lead
Sirius – HS 4b – Second

After what has seemed to be forever the bright weather came back. Friday turned out to be clear skies and little wind. The south facing Coastguard Cliff provided the perfect warm, sunny venue for Dave, Tom and myself.

Moody Coastguard Cliff's

Moody Coastguard Cliff’s

Dave and I had had a couple of outings to Hawks Tor in the rain and fog, but on each occasion the weather limited our efforts. This time we could go for it with dry positive rock. I’d done Silent Movie with Chris and remembered how good it was. A committing climb where you need to hunt out pro. But the holds are excellent and the climbing thrilling and exposed.

Dave cruising Silent Movie

Dave cruising Silent Movie

Having warmed up it was straight onto Quo Vadis. I figured with the bunch of crocks I was with I’d better pick a jug hauling route rather than a finger stretcher. QV provided this. It has two crux’s. The first is a thuggy haul over an overhang ontothe face. The second is a delicate rising crack which can be tackled in a number of ways.

Tom showing he's got balls - Quo Vadis

Tom showing he’s got balls – Quo Vadis

Tom and I laid back and Dave went out onto the face to the crimpier holds. Both ways are great and the climb overall is worth doing. Typical of the venue. Strenuous start followed by face climbing. It also provided one of our best photos of Tom in the crack. Really exciting and reflects everything about the day.

Dave sat on the belay P1 Sirius

Dave sat on the belay P1 Sirius

Dave wanted to get back into leading and took on both pitches of Sirius. This is also a really cool climb. Exposed with two contrasting pitches. A juggy but exposed traverse, followed by a more technical slab. It was a good lead as the climb is tricky throughout.

Dave leading P2 Sirius

Dave leading P2 Sirius

It was a fitting end to a brilliant return to climbing ways. Cornwall as usual delivered on the ‘spectacular beauty’ front. The booming surf added to the atmosphere and provided lots of distraction when you heard a set thunder in sounding like it was going to engulf you. We are so lucky!


The wrong way down

30th June 2011
Coastguard Cliffs – Tower Buttress
Sirius – HS 4b – Lead

Coastguard Cliffs

It was one of those days when each decision Chris and I made seemed to go slightly awry. I had been reading through the new Rockfax book on the South West and the climbs listed for the Coastguard Cliffs area looked good. The aim was to do a few climbs but as it happened we ended up doing just one but including a bit of adventure on the way.

Coastguard Cliffs

Having picked the wrong route down to the coast we tracked back towards the most southerly point admiring the stunning views in what was turning out to be a cracking day. The buttress with Sirius on is not easy to find. The best way is to use the bench above Holywood Walls as a marker which is 100m East of Tower Buttress. Make sure you stay on the East side for the descent unlike Chris and I. We set our abseil on a loose, steep corner above a narrow gulley.

Coastguard Cliffs

The scariest part of the day was lowering off with stones and bits of cliff breaking off on the way down. On reaching the bottom I scrambled for cover on a narrow outcrop while Chris dropped down. 15 minutes of head scratching later we realised we were on the wrong side of a very steep slippy inlet. The only way across was to climb. Trying 5a moves on rock covered with wet green slime is not easy and we used the ab rope as back up. It didnt help when we had to release and jump for the final edge. The stretch meant we skimmed the surface of the water before making undignified landings in the opposite side.

Coastguard CliffsSirius

Finally we found the start of Sirius which proved to be a great climb although easier than the gulley! You traverse across, before pulling up onto a ramp which goes up to a good belay. The rock looks like its going to be brittle and unreliable, but this is not the case. I found it fine and there are some good substantial holds even though the ground is steep.


The guide book makes a comment that pro is not as good as it could be, but again I’m not sure this is right. I found plenty and good placements. The upper pitch is a little sparcer in fact but all in all, a good climb in a great exposed position.

The fact that it was a hot and sunny day helped and once again Cornwall delivered the views. We’ll be back for Holywood walls which looks great and has a good selection of HVS’s.