Tag Archives: Thea

Richard Burton eat your heart out!

Not I might add the actor, but the famous explorer Richard Francis Burton, purported to be one of the first Europeans to cross Africa from West to East. I read a story about how they had to cut their way through miles of jungle; so Tregiffian’s not Africa but today’s outing felt like it for a while.

Sophie in the Jungle

It was a pretty harsh introduction for Sophie as a new member of the group. Shame I forgot to mention that we would be hacking our way through 100 metres of dense thorn, stingers and brambles. Still, I managed to forget my trousers as well, so shorts it was and the tingling sensation is still there in my legs 6 hours after leaving. I suppose its a right of passage though. Here’s Rule 4…. live with it!

Me on Acid Test

However despite the pain it was an amazing day. Sunshine, perfect rock and great climbs. And finally a plunge in the freezing briny. Tregiffian is a truly magical place. Remote; a hard slog to get to and requiring commitment to jungle bash your way in, but the climbing is very fine.

De-rigging after Acid Test

Sophie and I started on Thea, a nice Severe with a tricky leftwards move at half height. Th rocks not perfect on this route, but the final slab makes it worthwhile. And then on to Acid Test, one of my favourite VS’s. Joe explained that I was doing it all wrong because I just step into the crack and try to walk up it. Precarious, but fun, but there’s nothing for your hands so its a bit of a trust things using the crack to cam your body on.

No explanation required!!

Our final swim capped off a great day. Still a bit cold, but actually not too bad once you’ve been in for a few minutes. Not a bad turn out for this one. 6 of us with Dave, Piers, Chris, Joe (back from his adventures in Norway), Me and Sophie.

Jungle Warfare

22nd June 2012


Thea – Severe 4a – Second
Acid Test – VS 4c – Lead
Prior Claim – Severe 4a – Second

The hardest part about climbing at Tregiffian is getting there. A solid walk in from Boskenna Cross gets you to a low granite wall and a very indistinct path that just disappears into massive stinging nettles and brambles.

Tregiffian in all its glory

A machette would be handy here, but after getting scratched and stung in the cliff jungle you burst out onto a glorious meadow which sits above the crag. There below is Tregiffian, a small amphitheatre of ochre granite. It’s beautiful.

Dave high on Thea

Thea top to bottom

Finding your bearings takes a while, but if you follow the rocky buttress on the right facing out you come to a cave made out of precariously balanced boulders. This leads to the main crag. The swell meant the far side of the crag was wave washed an unaccessable even at low tide, but there were a number of routes close to the cave. The first of which was Thea which Dave set about leading.

Dave on the crux of Thea

Tom just above the crux of Thea

Graded Severe, Thea has a tricky and poorly protected crux. The rock is a bit suspect too in the lower reaches, but the higher you get the better everything becomes, culminating in some brilliant face climbing below the pinnacle. A good climb in my books and a great first Severe lead for Dave.

Tom in the niche of Prior Claim

Tom lead the last climb of the day, Prior Claim, also his first severe, making it a landmark day. This was a complete contrast in technique to Thea. Protection was good throughout, but there were a number of exposed and tricky moves, both low down and near the top.

Dave about to step out on Prior Claim

Riding high on the rounded crest of the ridge, it is spectacularly placed and was agreat climb to finish the day on.

Ian about to start the crack of Acid Test

Looking down from the belay of Acid Test

Sandwiched in between these two was my lead on Acid Test. It is worthy of it’s stars. Innocuous from the ground it proves a lot more trcky when you get up to it. I thought it was a hand traverse, but instead in became an exercise in balance, requiring some contortions to place gear.

Looking across at Acid Test the right to left thin rising crack.

As much as it scared the pants of me at first, I thought it was excellent and I want to do it again – this probably says it all about how much I rate it.

Dave soloing high above Acid Test

The walk back out was long and hard and we were all knackered by time we got to the car (having chased a fox out of the adjacent field). Tregiffian is already marked in my diary for an early return. This time with the full crew and with a smaller swell so we can tackle the whole crag. Oh yes and with a fishing rod!