Pandora – VS 4b – Second Wellingtons Stand – VS 4b – Lead Atom Head – E1 5c – Second
Oh how your head plays tricks with you. The ugly head of indecision rears itself and then you’re up and down trying to persuade yourself that the terrifying move you want to make is fine… it wont hurt you. Even if you fall.
Alas, it’s not so simple. Having bottled Wellingtons Stand on my last outing here I had unfinished business. So finding myself trying to make the same tenuous move on two small crimps with a crap foot placement was no different. Except in the end I forced myself up by shear force of will. And lo and behold, it wasn’t that bad. Which is easy to say after you’ve done it without falling off.
So I thought that was going to be my epic for the day, but Joe had other ideas. Atom Head is one of the best climbs I’ve done recently. Tiny holds and foot placements. Run outs, padding, gorse, rusted pegs. You name it, its got it! What a fantastic lead by Joe. There is pro but you need to keep it together to place it and it must feel awfully lonely up there on the lead. What an end to the day. Abbing off as it started to darken gave a sense of having eked out every available bit of light and dryness available.
It was also really good to be out with Joe. Like old times 🙂 Except now he’s miles better than me. But thats an advantage, because he can get me on routes I would dream of leading myself. Cracking and Slabtastic!!
In Memorium – HS 4a – Lead Tombstone – S 4a – Second
After a long layoff (since October) I finally got back to some proper climbing. The recent rain meant the Culm was the obvious choice to avoid seepage, but as it turned out the day was bright, if a bit windy.
The nice solid descent
My pre Christmas jitters seemed to have settled down as well, as my excursion onto ‘In Memorium’ demonstrated. For HS this packs a bold punch. Climbing on flakes and edges which are not reliable adds some nerves to the route, but unexpectedly for HS there is little reliable gear. To the point where the run outs are actually dangerous.
Joe on belay duty
You follow the arete basically, climbing inside and outside up the line of least resistance. But other than a CAM low down there is no bomber gear until higher up. The best thing for me is that I didnt back off and I didnt have problems with my head game. Sorted…
On the main slab
Dave and I then moved across to Tombstone, a really good severe tackling the overlap on the main cliff. Well worth the effort and well protected as well.
Sunset at Vicarage
As usual Cornwall delivered the breathtaking scenery. And a buttery yellow sunset capped what was a thoroughly good return to climbing ways.
Now I need to return here and bag all the VS/HVS routes which look damn good.