Predannack Head The Beginners Area Sexygenarians – V Diff – Lead Moonlight – VS 4c – Lead Zig Zag _Mod – Alt Lead
Weeks of rain and shit weather led to this. A fleeting chance to get out for a climb in a weather window predicted by BBC weather. My poll on Facebook suggested Porthguarnon which was t’the peoples’ choice. But what do they know! I over-ruled them as any good dictator would and so we headed for the Lizard, the one area predicted to be dry.
And yes it was. The doom and gloom ‘its too cold to be outside’ mob off the telly f@#ked up good and proper. We had sunshine almost all day and a totally chilled session in an area only 10 mins from the car. Bliss.
The Beginners Area is easy to find as long as you pick up your bearings on The Diamond Wall. Also it helps to know that North (as per the guidebook) is down the coast to the right facing out to sea. Very disorientating when its not strictly ‘North’.
I paired up with Pete (his first climb of the year! no less). So we started on a nice crack climb, Sexygenarians which is straight forward but nice climbing. Its amazing when you haven’t been on the rock for a while how alien everything seems until you get back into your rhythm. By time we moved onto Moonlight, a technical VS I still wasnt quite on it, hence the mad attack of disco leg which Pete could even feel through the ropes. Anyway, it went well after a nervy start. And it made me feel better getting a more difficult route under my belt.
Our final routre was Zig Zag, as sets thundered into the cove below. Very atmospheric and warranting a quick belay station about 5 metres up to avoid Pete getting swept away by a rogue set. Its basically a easy ramp, but with great exposure and even a waterfall at the end. What more could you want.
Days like this are precious. Sun, great mates and great climbing. Take your packed lineups and stuff them up your arse. We had this to ourselves. Viva the outdoors and viva Cornish Rock!
Zig Zag – HVS 5a – Lead Dextrose – HVS 5a – Second
Meeting up with Nick later in the day seemed to suggest that we would be struggling for time, particularly as we both had arrangements for later on. However being Sennen and only single pitches we bagged two classic HVS’s.
We also met up with Rowena and James who were just finishing off Demo Route. It was watching them that drew my attention to Zig Zag a route I had long admired. Its a truly striking lightning slash down the wall at the north end of the crag. Watching another climber wrestling with the succession of niches and cracks gave me a hint of what was to come, although once on the climb I got a full on sweat on.
Nick’s monster cam came in very handy in protecting what was the crux move. This is an akward move, one that felt as though I could be off at any moment. Instead of jamming I went for the layback which is what probably made it feel more precarious. By time I topped out I was fairly pumped but chuffed to bits that I’d made it. Nick was also chuffed I made it as he avoided a soaking from the fast rising tide which had tried to get him earlier on.
Then it was across to the Southern side of the crack and Dextrose. I’d had a go at Dexter a while back but was defeated by the cold. No problem with that this time, but Dextrose turned out to be a cracker. Its a weird climb really, not taking the obvious line, but taking a loop across the face and finally approaching from the other direction. It’ sthis that makes it so good.
It’s hard too. I wouldnt have had a problem with giving it E1. The stretch across the face is made more airy because you have to move up when really all you want to do is go sideways. The rounded groove is also tough and this is capped off by gear which you have to work hard to place. A good lead from Nick and imo one of the Classic routes at Sennen.
The final move over the top provides a suitable sting in the tail as well. The rock though is superb. All in all great fun and one I may try leading in the future.
26th July 2011 Bosigran – Raven Wall Area Zig Zag – VS 4c – Lead
Taking the afternoon off work makes climbing feel so much better. Its as though you’ve managed to cheat your way into some fun whilst everyone else is still beavering away. It was a bonus that it was really hot. In fact sweatingly hot (not sure that’s a real word).
Pete had not done a tricky multi pitch climb and I’d always wanted to do Zig Zag so we went for it straight away. Zig Zag is a strang climb. A bit disjointed but the three pitches are all good in their own way.
The bottom optional pitch is steep, with good holds and pro. It gets the adrenaline pumping immediately and has a challenging top out.. Then its across the Raven wall ledge to a rising ramp that leads to a short black veined wall. This is tricky and strenuous and leads to a brilliant narrow ledge with amazing views over the bay and towards Commando Ridge. Pete’s usual fear of ledges kicked in and as my leading piece of gear fell out he wasnt inspired with confidence.
The third pitch is the cracker though. You leave the ledge making exposed moves up and around the overhang. The holds are there but need a bit of lateral thinking. A short section that reminds me a little bit of Pegasus at Chair Ladder goes up to the ‘puzzle’. Be bold on this and it all comes together for a final push onto the finishing ramp.
Its not the best VS at Bosi but it is fun and takes you up through the central wall which is spectacular.
We picked up our free gear which must be a new introduction at Bosigran – by all accounts when you top out someone leaves a pile of slings and clippers for you to take as a reward.
We did search for the true owners but to no avail, so Pete is now the lucky recipient of two brand new slings! What a great way to finish the day and the sunset just topped it off perfectly.