Tag Archives: Sloe Steel

It was the best of days… it was the worst of climbs


22nd February 2019

Sloe Steel – VS 5a – Lead (Dgd)
Margin – E1 5c – T/R (dnf)

Continuing in the spirit of failure which has dogged my recent outings, I had a typical day of jittery nerves and low confidence. This has been a theme in my recovery from my shoulder injury. It probably stems from not having the confidence to put power through my right arm or maintain my grip in my right hand. This puts all the stress on my left and as I’m out of condition it undermines my belief.

However I look at it, my climbing is pants at the moment so I’m hoping the trip to Leonidio may kick start my season off. I have loads on my tick list for this year and last October I was on siting E1’s for fun.

Margin was an interesting climb. Very furry and at first glance looks easier than it is. The initial crack isnt too bad, but the transition into the rightward trending crack is tough and a bit tenuous. I have to say I wouldnt want to lead this as its low on gear and high on the possibility of failure. But as a top roping climb it was fun.

St Loy always makes you feel good, even if you’re off form. It helped that Tom showed us a new way into the climb which doesnt involve the long descent and climb through Boskenna. Although a perverse part of me enjoys that route, because I’m sure it pisses off the locals with all their ‘Get Orf My Land’ signs.

Running out of options

22nd December 2011
St Loy
Sloe Steel – VS 4C – Second rpt

Joe’s return from London should have heralded a few good sessions over the Christmas period, but this year the weather has been appaling. A combination of rain and wind on almost every day has meant few opportunities to get out and have a decent climb.

This was not a bad day when compared to what has been previously, but it was still grey and uninviting. St Loy as the warmest and most likely bright crag on the South Coast beckond. Dave, Tom, Kieran and Joe accompanied me in the beautiful walk in (undiminished by the overcast conditions) and we set up around Cress Cendo.

It’s an easy spot to set a top rope up on and provides a number of routes to play on. The biggest problem was that Chlorophyll Cluster was dripping wet and this had been Joe and my target for the day. We settled on Sloe Steel as an alternative, a good VS with a tricky crux. The move out of the diagonal crack and onto the rounded crest requires a bit of thought, but does provide good protection. The hardest bit is topping out through the gorse and setting up a belay as there is a wacking great Gorse bush blocking everything.

Joe leading Sloe Steel

Me seconding Sloe Steel

We made a real fist of scrambling out, although wet slimy, mossy rock is not a good escape route. My advice is to continue the climb on the cracks just behind Sloe Steel.

Joe pre crux

Joe going through the crux

On returning to the group who had all successfully climbed Cress Cendo we practiced smearing on the first pitch of The Hairiest whilst Joe went in search of something hard to climb (an unsuccessful venture in the end).

At the end of the day, you cant always get perfect days climbing, but given Cornwall’s damp end to 2011 this was probably as good as we were going to get.