Not content with nicking my gear, Dave has moved on to more blatant thievery. Cant really miss a rope can you! I might let him off due to fact I hadnt even noticed it was missing until the following day. Also lost my guidebook. I wonder if he’s got that too! Old age eh…
BREAKING NEWS! Turns out Sam is the thief, not Dave. The above is pure slander and I retract everything I’ve said. But still not deleting it!!
Sam, a good friend of Bart, came along with us today for her first experience of Carn Gowla and Gowla turned it on with a beautiful evening. We dropped down onto Indian Buttress for a crack at TTE mainly because the tides and swell were a bit against us and also because its a bit more amenable for a quick foray . Its always a pleasure to go to ‘Scary Gowla’. I get that privileged feeling whenever I wonder across the colourful upper cliffs and as you drop down, Gowla does its thing; part intimidation, mostly excitement.
TTE is typically Gowla, unreliable holds, iffy gear, shear and with a drop into the sea. Standard stuff really but at least its escapable and not too terrifying for a first venture for Sam. But it does deliver on the fun side and what a way to finish the day off.
It was also a nice way to think about Bart. In happier times, when we would scare the pants of each other with adventures into the then unknown. Back when we were climbing, every outing was a potential for disaster, mainly because neither of us knew what to expect at many of the venue’s. Good times, if a bit harrowing at times. I like to think I’ve continued the tradition of turning most days out into epics. Just ask Dave 🙂
The first evening session of 2013 saw us explore a new buttress at Carn Gowla. Indian Buttress is the furthest south of the major Gowla venues, but offers some great climbing.
Finding your bearings is a touch difficult though as we discovered. We abbed in down the obvious V groove in the west face but the descriptions in the guide are not easy to follow. It refers to a sea level ledge but to be fair the main ledge is well above sea level.
Joe on an ominous Touch the Earth
Still once we did establish things the climbs proved worthwhile (at least for me as I am a Gowla apologist unlike my compadre’s). I find the climbing here enthralling. Yes the rock can be suspect (like biscuit or razorblades depending what bit your on) and the pro barely adequate at times; it’s sharp, forbidding and exposed and belays are a nightmare; most climbs involve abbing in and the sea slamming into the cliffs offers a further dimension. For me this adds up to excitement and of all the venues we climb at, Gowla is the most adventurous. Clearly my colleagues dont see it that way as the evening was punctuated with curses and threats to never return.
Plenty of holds but how solid are they?
Touch the Earth is deceptive. From below it is innocuous, but once you step out onto the face it brims with exposure and the holds are positive and solid. The finale is a steep slab where pro becomes less obvious but holds get better. Not sure it is VS; the lack of pro in the upper section may be why this grade is proposed, but Joeand I agreed it is well worth the two stars it gets in the guide.
Swirling seas below Red Cloud
Meanwhile Chris led Red Cloud a severe following an obvious crack to the right of the decent slab. This looked ood but I was advised is very sharp. Tom managed to break a few foot placements so maybe the grade will get harder the more it is climbed. I intend to try this one the next time out.
I now have my eye on some routes on the Sewerage Wall area, but it looks like I may have to rely on Pete for company on my next visit unless I want a mutiny.