30 May 2010


good climbing as always.....
some new areas.....
ready for next time.....

trying to find cool conditions one morning

Pete Collins on Renversement Dialectique 7a at Franchard Isatis

Ian Kirby on Renversement Dialectique

Duncan Bull on Petit Toi 6c+ at J A Martin


as my skin isn't compatible with warm rock I need another hobby....

(a Flickr Set on my blog)

19 May 2010

BMC International Meet - Cornwall

Gurnards head.  A team is on the first pitch of Right Angle
on the face above the breaking wave (bottom rhs)

I think I was disturbed from my sleep by the pain in my finger tips, then the sound of rain and wind battering my Land Rover slowly brought me fully awake.  As I lay there sheltered in my Land Rover I suddenly remembered that I had piled all of my gear in to a two second simple tent, brilliant though these tents are they are not designed to endure wind blasting directly from the Atlantic.  After continuously banging my finger tips while struggling to find my head torchtime I was relieved to see the tent intact in the lee of my Landy.  Crawling back in to my sleeping bag I was rocked to sleep by the swaying Land Rover happy in the knowledge that routes would be too wet to climb and I could avoid forcing my fingers in to those flared granite cracks.  My plan almost worked too, sadly granite dries quickly in the wind.

The reason I have been jamming my fingers in to unbelievably rough granite cracks by the sea was the BMC international sea cliff meet in Cornwall which I have been at.  Not too sure why I signed up for that! as I was not even that impressed by the area when I last visited years ago.  But the last week has been awesome even though my fingers and ego took a battering from the routes here. Acting as a host I tried to point Matteo, Simon, Jan and Jacek at suitable routes at several different cliffs spread around the Deep West.  The climbing standard of the thirty international guests has been inspiring and the people I have climbed with were able to onsight sport routes in the 7c/8a range.  Despite not have a background of UK trad leading my guests were quickly onsighting E4/5/6 and I equally quickly struggled to keep up!!  It was a little disheartening to be offering tips to someone about how to use wires in the morning then not being able to second their lead in the afternoon.  Some of my guests were totally happy to rely mainly on cams for protection (not that many of them either) quickly placing gear then moving on, a useful lesson maybe?  I was interested to hear from a guest that some European bolted granite cracks have had their bolts removed. Apparently they were quickly replaced but maybe this is the thin end of the nut?  Or maybe not!

Madaleine Sorkin at the belay above pitch two of The Dream

Matteo Della Bordella on pitch one of The West Face E5 6b

Matteo crusing on pitch two. I was completely suckered by how easily
Matteo lead this corner, when I tried I was soon pulling on RP's

French climbers Simon Remy (in green) and Max Bonniot
above The Great Zawn

Simon Remy on pitch one of The Dream E3 6a

Apart from one stormy night the weather was perfect, cool breezy sunny days which allowed me to visit a bunch of brilliant cliffs. The Great Zawn - great!, Carn Barra, Lands End and Gurnards Head, I'd visit them all again. I also heard good things about: Carn Vellan, Carn Les Boel and St Loy. Freedon Zawn, Pordenack, and Cribba Head are possibly worth a visit.  I didn't even make it to the main face at Bozigran or Chair Ladder!  Next time.

Simon on Pyjamarama E4 6b ***

Max on the brilliant Day Tripper E4 6a

Max on Pyjamarama

I realised near the end of the week that I was focussing on trying to find good venues for my guests and I hadn't really had my climbing head on.  This was to be expected really due to my slightly shaky knowledge of the area but on the last day I lead a couple of routes at Gurnards and finished on a good note (if I ignore the schooling I received from the 17 year old Jacek Czech from Poland at the sidepull fest that is Cheddar Gorge)

Jan Sofranco topping out Black Magic E2 5b at Gurnards.
After this he made a cool ascent of Tropospheric Scatter
another good (and tough E4)

Dave Pickford and Max at Gurnards on the belay at the start
of Dave's new route What Kind Of Voodoo Do You Do? E5 6a

Jan and I used the same start for Leviathan E4 6a then finished
up the crack of Mastodon E3 5c in one 45m pitch

Thanks to Becky and Dave at the BMC and the CC for organising the event.

If reading this on Facebook click here