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NORTH DEVON AND CORNWALL
Guidebook: North Devon and Cornwall Author/Year: Wilkinson/Hope 2000 Publisher: The Climbers' Club
New routes further west of Millook are found on the Atlantic Coast page (this includes the majors crags of Pentire and Carn Gowla)
Cow and Calf
Blisterin Barnacle Slab
Speke's Mill Mouth
Lower Sharpnose Point
Crookletts Area (Bude)
From the top of Scrattling Zawn contour along the rocks/grass right (facing out) until it is possible to begin a scramble decent down to just below the high tide line, then boulder hop left till you reach a dark zawn approximately 20-25 metres high. At low tide it is possible to stand on a small platform, step across the water onto a smaller ledge to begin the route
Dark Relief * Severe 4a
80ft The steep looking corner crack on the right, at the back of the narrow zawn. Upon first appearance this crack seems to be some fist jamming pump fest, until viewed from close up where the line does not seem so aggressive. Pleasantly steep for the grade, good rock and solid protection throughout. A choice of two exits can be made at the top the left seems more fitting for the sustained direct feel to the route, right is easier. First Ascent: John Mason, Sharon Robert. 06-06-2007. Clean onsight.
Back Scrattling Zawn
The Dark Side Very Severe 4c
50 ft The obvious corner bounding the left-hand side of the wall, some 40 feet left of Last of the Big Nuts. FA. David. Hope, Teresa Dunn. 20.08.2000
Far Back Scrattling Zawn is the smaller, more broken zawn to the north of Back Scrattling Zawn. Eighteen routes climbed here from Difficult to Hard Severe. First ascents by David Hope, Teresa Dunn and Mark Garland, varied leads, lengths between 25 to 40 feet. 21.08.2000
Potato Crack E4 5c, 5c, 4a #
210ft “Boiled or mashed, sir?” Climbed on the hottest day of the year. The striking diagonal crack slanting left from the foot of Concrete Rose. Pitch 1 and 2 could be lead in one very long pitch with a triple set of friends. As it is although there’s plenty of it protection is never completely reassuring! Huge friends pretty essential.
1. Follow an easy ramp to the terrifyingly obvious wide crack slanting along the lip of the cave. Good jams lead to a particularly funky bit requiring the full offwidth improvisation; arm bars, head rests and full body jams, hopefully you know the score. Belay 20ft beyond the cave at good gear but a very poor stance.
2. The continuation is a little more conventional although still tricky in places. Belay onto of the big flake of Bird’s Nest Crack.
3. Ramble leftwards and take the rotting runnels to steep grass which is scaled to a “stance” on the footpath. Who needs a stinking belay!
FA Ian Parnell, Dave Pickford (Alternate Leads) 10th August 2005
The Nightfishing E7 6b #Headcleaner E6 6a/b ** #
120ft A direct line through the 'dark heart' of Cheesegrater wall between 'Dark Angel' and 'Emmental Arete'. Roughly follows the grey/brown streak that rises from the centre of the unmistakable green area at the base of the wall. Perhaps the first truly 'modern' wall route in Britain on continuously overhanging shale. Remarkably, the climbing is excellent and sustained, and the rock sound up to half height. From thereon it becomes more friable although at no point does it become terminally loose. A large rack of cams is essential (2 sets from 0.5 to 3, supplemented by a reassuring 3.5 and 4 for a large pocket below the first crux). An insitu angle peg (and hidden bong runner just to its left) point the way at half height and give some confidence for the upper crux section. No other fixed gear. FA Dave Pickford April 05 The first ascent was made after an abseil inspection on which two pieces of fixed gear were placed. All other protection was placed on lead.
50ft The perfect introduction to the harder routes on the Cheesegrater cliff, which can be reasonably well protected with cams and wires. Climb the obvious, straight crackline (although indefinite at the start) starting on the apex of the pedestal. After the crux final moves, climb slightly left to finish. FA Dave Pickford, Simon Tappin. September 2005 Climbed after abseil inspection. All gear placed on lead.
The Dark Dialogues E7 6b/c ** #
120ft A superb addition to the Cheesegrater, offering a highly technical crux above excellent gear. Shares the start of the mighty crackline of 'Dark Angel'. Climb this route for 5m (friend 4), before moving out left on to the wall. Climb the wall approx. 2m left of Dark Angel for 10m to a large pod, in which a friend 5 and other gear can be arranged. Make difficult moves up to a final tricam in a pocket. The crux sequence involves a series of demanding moves lefwards on unpredictable rock to eventually gain the sanctuary of the final niche of 'The Nightfishing'. FA Dave Pickford, Dan Donnovan. June 2005 Climbed headpoint style after abseil inspection. All gear placed on lead.
The White Threshold E7 6c *** #
75ft The hardest route at Baggy Point is also the showpiece of the Cheesegrater, offering highly technical and sustained climbing with good but hard to place protection. Begin as for Headcleaner at the very top of the pedestal. Move right out across the break to a good cam 5 placement in the large hole in The Nightfishing. Make a difficult sequence to gain a jug high on the left, from where good small cams can be placed and another big move up left leads to a large oblong hole (no gear). Powerful moves up right gain more indefinite cracks and a good cam 2. Psyche up and make a final desperate lunge from a poor pinch into the finishing crack, where a good large wire protects the precarious final moves. FA Dave Pickford, Ian Parnell. August 2005 Climbed headpoint style after abseil inspection. All gear placed on lead.
Unkle Tim HVS 4c #
160ft A good climb and one of only a few at Baggy when the tide is in. Start as for Blind Faith (ie. just above Kinyboots on descent ramp) and keep traversing for another 30ft to an undercut and belay (large/medium nuts), climb up and right between the lines of long rock eliminate and sexilegs. FA Mark Garland and James Hoskin 14/01/01
Snory Tori VS 4c #
100ft A Girdle traverse, starting 20ft left and up of Goats on a platform, following a diagonal break rightwards across the slab until you meet the overlap of Titmould Incorporated. Follow this back left under the overlaps to belay on the rib. Can de done in two pitches to ease drag. FA Mark Garland and Dan Ridpath 10/4/02
Godspell Foothold broken on the top arete, bumping the grade up to E5/6 (June 2011, thanks to David Toon for the info).
The crag has recently seen visits from Stu Bradbury and team, as well as Andy March and his crew. Te following is an amalgamation of their info.
The following routes have been climbed recently - new grades detailed below.
Hand Job E1 5b* A recent (?) rock fall has occurred near this route - abseil inspection/cleaning advised.
Iron Fist E3 5c ** New stake at the top for belay and abseiling down this section of crag. A recent (?) rock fall has occurred near this route - abseil inspection/cleaning advised.
Cat Burglar E4 6a * The bottom of this route has changed and we felt it more like E4, this has a new stake and peg belay which will serve all of the routes on this wall.
Shadow Walker E2/3 5c **/*** Still a superb climb albeit a touch shorter, it can now be done in 1 pitch as about 30ft of the top now lies on the beach, it is now around 135ft. Lee Bartrop also followed this route.
Sheep Dog Trials in Babylon E2 5b/c. Although the climbing is fine (apart from a touch of loose stuff towards the top) it can't be recommended due to the belay situation: there aint one! The ground above the wall slopes steeply and we couldn't get a stake in anywhere and had to climb loose rubble above the slope to find a small thread behind a perched block to gentally ab off.
ACCESS: IMPORTANT You will need 100m of spare rope to get in ie: 2 /50m ropes. 1 to rig & 1 to abseil ... it is also essential to take a helmet as there is still much loose rock; prussik loops would also be a wise precaution.
This is the approach from the car park to the top of the walls: From the National Trust car park near Exmansworthy farm follow the sign for the coast path in the corner of the carpark. Go over the stile andturn right then follow the vehicle track keeping left to reach a gate with another stile on its left. Now follow the hedgeline over a further stile until you reach the coastal path at a 3 way wooden sign. Go right (signed for "Windbury head") to the end of the field and over another stile (Blackchurch Rock can be seen in the distance). From here look for a prominent small tree in the hedgerow about halfway across the field before the next stile is reached.
Go through the gap by the tree and follow the narrow path through the blackthorn first left then once out, down and right (small white markers might still be attached to the odd tree branch to give clues):
For the top of the Iron Fist Wall follow the markers heading back left and looking out for the white topped rock in the sea below until you come to a scree slope, follow its edge down looking out for a small tree down and right, there is a stake and sling at its base and a fixed rope for a handrail (or fix a rope and abseil if you prefer) leading down to the top of the Iron Fist Wall where a further stake is in place for the abseil to the beach (50m) it would be wise to leave a fixed rope in place in case of problems or bad weather as the tide cuts of escape and it would be a mammoth walk to Blackchurch along the beach.
For the top of Shadow Walker Wall instead of following the white markers left, keep right, heading for a flat area with a group of obvious trees. Carry on past these and looking down you will see another flat area with more trees; the top of the Shadow Walker Wall lies to the right and below the furthest rightward tree looking out. A belay from that tree and a smaller tree further up the bank will get you down the cleanest line to the top of the wall (this rope is now your anchor for your abseil rope to reach the beach and also for your belay at the top of the routes; it is also your escape back to the coastal path so don't forget your prussiks!). There are no belays at the top of Shadow Walker other than this rope so try to route the rope so as it won't pull loose rock down on you.
We also have the following report from Andy March:
"...we found the prominent small tree in the hedgerow and set off into the jungle. This consisted of head-high bracken, and there was no evidence that anyone else had been that way for a long time. But underfoot, there were clear traces of a path. We didn't see any of the small white markers attached to tree branches, but by using a bit of common sense and luck, we were able find the way.
Our first objective was Shadow Walker and we managed to locate the first "flat area with a group of obvious trees" and then the second "flat area with more trees". We found the rightmost tree (looking out), which had a rusty krab and wire nut hanging off a branch, presumably as a waymarker. Unfortunately, I ignored common sense and the instructions, and decided that we were in the wrong place! This was partly because, peering over the edge, I couldn't see anything that looked like the top of the Shadow Walker wall, and secondly the tree seemed too big, and I couldn't reconcile it with the instruction to equalise the belay to a smaller tree higher up (the tree seemed perfectly adequate on its own). So we went back about 50 yards (westward) and abseiled off a tree there. This took us down to a terrace, where we tied on another rope and continued down to the beach. We were actually abseiling down the line of Dog Burglar.
Once on the beach, it was easy to identify the routes. We set off up Shadow Walker and thoroughly enjoyed it. The prominent peg before the traverse left has snapped, but you can see where it used to be. I thought the traverse was the crux - thin and moving away from the gear. I couldn't decide between E2 or E3, definitely nowhere 6a, and certainly 3*. I did it in one pitch, which seemed much the best plan, as the second is then well out of the way of any debris which might be dislodged at the finish. My plan at the top of the route was to continue up to the terrace, and belay on the abseil rope. This wasn't a very good plan, and wouldn't have worked at all. Fortunately, there is a useful ledge at the top of the route, where I found some belays which I judged acceptable; a thread round some apparently solid blocks, and a wire and a big cam (Camalot 3) in a slot between some other blocks. This seemed OK-ish as a combination. M then lead up through some more overhanging blocks (heart in mouth, but it went OK) and traversed right for a good 100 feet to the abseil rope.
After lunch, we went down again and headed over to the Hand Job area. This wasn't so successful. There was a lot of debris on the ground, and the crack line was very vegetated. I set up up the initial crack, gardening as I went. All the horizontal surfaces were covered in earth and gravel. The pull onto the narrow shelf seemed impossible - the shelf was banked up with about 12 inches of loose earth and gravel. Looking up, there seemed to be a patch of new rock scar maybe 6 feet high between the shelf and the start of the main crack. So I gave up, and downclimbed. It looks to me as if something big has fallen off in the Hand Job area, probably in the last 6 months, judging from the state of the debris. There wasn't much sign of the route Umbra Crack either. I took a photo and posted it in my gallery, so perhaps some expert can say whether it's changed or not. Of course, it could just have been me chickening out? I would certainly recommend that you approach Hand Job or Iron Fist from above to check then out first, and take some cleaning equipment. We had run out of time, options and weather, so we had some jumaring practice to regain our sacks. This took us very close to Cat Burglar, which looked good, relatively clean and in one piece, but a bit too hard for us at the moment. Then a bracing walk back up the hill. It started raining as we reached the coast path. We didn?t mislay the car keys."
Cow and Calf
The first 2 routes are locatedon the south face of the calf (the crag above the sea, right of the boulder corridor ) which is passed on the aproach to the main sea level crag of the Cow.
The following two routes were tottering piles of choss prior to cleaning; they still contain some loose and snappy rock but provide a couple of worthwhile, non-tidal routes.
Little Big Crack HVS 5a #
30ft The wide jamcrack on the right of the wall gives a gear/arm swallowing pitch! FA: Stu Bradbury (Solo) 4/5/06
Transformer E3 6a #
30ft The thin vertical seam/crack & rounded blobs on the left side of the wall give steep technial climbing with a peppering of loose rock.FA: Stu Bradbury & Nick Dill 29/5/06.
The next route is on the main north face of the Cow and lies between Elisa Johanna and Atlantean:
Dark Side of the Moon E4 5b #
100ft Bridge up the steep corner right of Elisa Johanna to reach a sloping ledge at its top (good nut around the arete in Elisa Johanna). Step right onto the face and
climb it on "stuck on" black blobs which give bold and exciting climbing (RURP provides the only protection) to gain the crack at the top of the wall - climb this on brittle rock to pull up into the finishing corner of Atlantean and the top. FA Stu Bradbury & Nick Dill, 29/5/06
Toonmaster Jolly featuring Ex-man C E5/6 6b * #
100ft The left-hand arête of Tsunami, starting up Over the Moon. Technical and run-out on the crux. Follow the finger-crack of Over the Moon to its kink left. Step right onto the arête (crucial cams), and then slap/barn-door up the arête past shallow pockets to jugs (peg, good wire out left too). Continue up the arête, easing quickly, to the exit of Tsunami on the right. FA: Martin Crocker, David Toon, Martin Jolly 8.4.07
Global Warring E2 5c * #
100ft A very amenable route (once the start has been negotiated) on a fine line; this is the right-hand arête of the Cow and Calf. Start under a black face 3m left of the arête (the Mind-Melt wall). Make a hard, bold starting move up a line of weakness which is followed to a ledge on the arête. Follow the arête easily until it rears up – now there is a good crack just right of the arête. Take the arête on good pocket holds to ledges and the top of the ridge. FA: Martin Crocker (unseconded) 8.4.07
Okavango Crocodile Hunter E8 6b *** #
The 'bad young brother' of Kalahari Black. Racking up below this one before an on sight ascent will probably generate a few giant reptilian gulps. The long-awaited solution to the outrageous leaning wall to the left of 'Kalahari Black'. The grade is unconfirmed, and given for the onsight - which is feasible and would be one of the most impressive achievments in the history of south west climbing. The first crucial wire was pre-placed (not pre-clipped) on the first ascent. With all the gear in place, the climbing is solid F7c.
90ft Start as for 'Kalahari Black'. Climb Kalahari (hard and never completely dry) past the stainless peg to clip another (poor) peg before moving left on undercuts under the roof (crucial rock 3 in a blind sideways placement, very hard to see let alone place!). Make a big move up to some strangely welded-on flakes and a shakeout (crucial upside-down rock 4 and very poor super-rock 4 on the left). Press on direct, to place an utterly crucial set of cams (0.5 and 1 in a horizontal pod high on the right, poor 0.5 on the left) before the crux sequence. From a good undercut on the left, make some very extending moves on slopey crimps to gain the brief sanctuary of a good break (decent rock 3 and bomber keyholed rock 5). Make more tricky moves direct towards a sticking-out angle peg (not clipped on first ascent, more for directional purposes - there is a totally bomber 2.5 cam in the big slot left of the peg). Make the second crux sequence to another good cam slot (1.5) and welcome jugs. A tricky short traverse left leads to the arete, where a quick rockover brings an easy groove within reach. Finish up the groove, watching out for the big Croc snapping at your heels! FA Dave Pickford, Ali Smith (climbed headpoint style after abseil inspection - not top-roped) July 12th 2006
- a second ascent might bring the grade down to E7, but given the strange nature of the rock and the outrageous difficulty of finding and placing the critical, highly specific gear without prior knowledge, I think it would definitely merit an E8 tick for the onsight hero.
Kalahari Black is reckoned to be solid E7 6b (according to Dave Pickford - he didn't repeat the route) and as far as I know hasn't had a second ascent. (I seem to remember this being originally graded E6+ by Martin but the + disappeared from the current guide - Dave Henderson)
Two of Four HVS 4c #
The photogenic right-hand arête of the beach slab (climbed by Qui 3). The rock isn’t that bad – provided you can ignore the symptoms of large-scale instability looming overhead! 100ft Climb just left of the arête to a narrow ledge (hidden peg). Follow the arête on its left-hand side past the occasional cam/wire placement. Towards the top, step onto the arête (peg) and continue carefully up rubble to a saddle. Block and multiple scrub belays. Scramble up the ridge to escape.
FA: Martin Crocker, Jonathan Crocker (29.5.06) (this was ten years after Qui 3; I should have brought all the – larger now - family along and called it Four of Four).
Thirty metres on (south) from the Beach Slab is a petit black wall with a crack in its left-hand side insisting it isn’t too short to climb. Well here it is – and some more.
Titbit * E2 5c #
30ft A well-protected bit of stuff. Follow the crack to a good hold 2m below the top. Stretch right for a finger-jug and spring for the top.
FA: Martin Crocker, unseconded 29.5.06
Titbite E1 6a #
16ft Kind of a boulder problem, kind of not. From a shallow pocket at head height in the right-hand side of the wall, gain edges above and grope for better holds above. FA: Martin Crocker, solo 29.5.06
In the centre of the inside (landward-facing) wall of the stack are twin parallel cracks.
All Bottled Up E5 6b #
40ft Downright mean and pent up. Navigate smooth rounded rock to the crack (peg). Make a long, powerful move up the crack so gaining big holds that lead slightly rightwards to the top. FA: Martin Crocker, unseconded 29.5.06
Shake and Stand Well Clear * E3 6a #
40ft The right-hand crack in which you can freely indulge your desire to continue living. Gain the crack from the right and climb it to the top before withering. FA: Martin Crocker, with Soloist 29.5.06
I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky E2 5b #
40ft Start in the centre of the landward wall of the channel behind the stack, left of the converging Ernie and Bert cracks. Climb the crack past a small chockstone at half-height and proceed on increasingly dubious rock to the top. FA: Martin Crocker 29.5.06 (with 'Soloist' device submerged by a rising tide)
Martin Crocker also has the following update on Hellbound:
"I met Graham Hoey in Cheddar this year who said he was reliably informed by ‘experts’ that his ascent of Hellbound a few years back was the second ascent. I led the route on 1.8.92. (‘flashed’ after checking the gear)."
Dry Riser Severe #
50 ft. Climb the obvious right hand corner, on the seaward facing bit of cliff. Surprisingly solid. FA Nic Dill, ?
Surge Damper E2 5b #
Start up a short corner, between Sugar Puff Power and Under Pressure.Go straight up to the big break. Small friends were very useful. At the break I had to traverse off left for a belay ,.FA Nic Dill, Lee Bartop Awaits a proper finish as Lee was in danger of getting wet
Chapman's Left Hand E2 5b #
Climbs the left arete of the main rock. FA Mark Kemball and Stu Bradbury 9/7/05
Sidewinder Arete HVS 5b #
Climbs the right arete, traversing right from the starting crack of Murphy's Nightmare (good gear, crux) to reach the arete where the climbindg eases. FA Stu Bradbury and Mark Kemball 9/7/05
Little Lefty VS 4b #
Takes the left arete of the smaller stack. FA Mark Kemball and Stu Bradbury 9/7/05
The Earth-Sea Tragedy E6 6b ***
A sensational 12-metre natural, leftward extension onto the wall right of Dyer Straits takes the original route to a higher plane of consciousness and experience. The Guidebook description of the parent route isn’t too good, so the entire route is described. Start 5m left of the arete.
18m. 6a. Climb easily and then boldly over a narrow overlap to the right end of a leftward-slanting crack-line (peg runner - O.K. in 2000). Delicately follow the crack leftwards until it is possible to gain the arete (peg runner). Move up a step to a better belay (peg and nuts/cams in crack).
1 36m. 6b. Climb the crack to the left of the arete to a rest on the arete after 15 metres (as for E.R.R 11). Climb the arete (peg on the left - hard to clip; hand-placed blade below), to the foot of a slight crack-line that shoots leftwards across the main face; peg runner (rusty, but good small wires too). Ignore a second ring peg above and right (E-S T goes past this to rejoin E.R.R. 11), and launch up the crack and follow it, very sustained - peg runner, to a slight rest three moves from the top (junction with Dyer Straits - I think). Balance up, and pull through for the top past a bombproof wire placement. F.A. Martin Crocker, John Harwood (Climbed first attempt without top-roping [i.e. no falls]). 15.7.2000
Note: this was claimed by Stu Bradbury (seconded by Nic Dill) on 06/05/05 as "Earth, Wind and Dire" with 1 rest point.
The following route starts in the cave on the underside of the Dyer's Slab (south side) and is the flip side of Earth Rim Roamer and gives a harder alternative start to that route.
Mind Over Matter E4 5c #
70ft A gymnastic and strenuous route. Start in the cave, bridge to its top then contort out and into the wide body slot on the right. Struggle up this (large Camalot useful) and if successful (!) pull up left then follow the brown sloping rib and crack to where it steepens. Move left and gain the stance of Earth Rim Roamer and belay. Either continue up Earth Rim Roamer or abseil off. FA. Stu Bradbury, Nick Dill 29/12/08
Just to tempt you onto the route here are Stu's comments about a previous less successful attempt on the line: "as I was pulling onto the loose slopey belay ledge at the end of the 2nd pitch a hold snapped and during the fall I was flicked upside down, ripping one peg and two worthogs out of the dried mud! hitting just about everything on the way down, i ended up below nic on the earth rim roamer belay having fallen the entire pitch, just over 35ft! and held by the 1 remaining Warthog!!
Blisterin Barnacle Slab
Seaward Fin from Blisterin’ Barnacle Slab.
Allez Ratour Espania Severe #
40ft Start 40ft right of the landward arete, climb an obvious right to left diagonal crack. FA Mark Garland, Jason Lloyd 1/6/03
Olive Oil Severe #
40ft Start 20ft right of the landward arete and 5ft right of Languishing Limpet. Climb the obvious line on weakness (straight crack) to the top. FA Jason Lloyd, Mark Garland 1/6/03
Start 5ft right of the landward arete and follow a series of overlaps easily to the top. FA Mark Garland 1/6/03
Blisterin’ Barnacle Slab
Funky Appendage Severe 75ft
The right arete of Blisterin' Barnacle slab, avoiding several opportunities to escape rightwards. Finish by hand traversing leftwards to the summit. FA John Bull solo 12.4 04 (probably done before)
Zaith E1 5b #
70ft Start at a short corner 10ft left of Jazz Discharge Party Hat, a boulder problem start that climbs a vertical overlap to the top. FA Jason Lloyd, Mark Garland 1/6/03
Resurrection E1 5b ** #
50ft Start at the seaward end of the crag in the landward of the two shallow caves. (In between Spring Surprise and Bulging Speedeye Wall) Climb with difficulty out of the cave strait up past a series of small pockets to reach the top.
FA Mark Garland, Jason Lloyd 1/6/03
Hartland Quay Area
The following route is on the steep north face of "The Bear" the prominant free standing tower situated on the rocky beach north of the hartland quay hotel.
Gripped by the Beast E6 6a ** #
80ft The left to right trending crack gives nervy sustained and fingery climbing on snappy rock. Start just right of the left arete on the jagged ledges above the drop, thin moves off quartz patches and streaks gain a finger slot and the arete worrying moves up this and then back right gains the crack which is followed to the top ,2 pegs add a modicum of sanity to the unpredictable nature of the rock.(beach boulder belay) FA. Stu Bradbury 9/8/05 unseconded (many thanks to Glen Craven for the Belay)
Stu Bradbury reports on the first ascent: "I first abbed and cleaned off much loose rock in July 04 then 2 attempts were made ground up, the first ending in a near deck out after a hold snapped and a cam (borrowed from Simon Young!) ripped! The secound ended in failure due to being being phyced out by the poor rock. I then left it for 12 months before returning with Nick Dill in July 05 to look on a top rope and to my suprise managed to do it first go by the skin of my teeth and with much fear (even on a top rope) after which I decided to go for the lead which I did on 9/8/05 ( it felt more like an exorcism). I pre-placed some gear low down to keep me of the ground due to the unpredicable rock, the onsight lead awaits and would be a bold undertaking indeed!"
Bear Rock Area
To the right of Bear rock, looking north is a thin free standing fin detatched from its mother fin behind, i have called this" The Bran flake Fin" the following 2 routes are situated on its south face.
On its right is a deep corner crack this is:
Crunchy Nut Crack HVS/E1 5b #
50 ft Climb the steep corner crack by bridging,jamming& laybacking, finishing on some crunchy flakey rock towards the top.FA ,Stu Bradbury & Mick Wagner,27/8/03.
To its left is a steep groove of compact solid rock streaked with quartz this gives:
Cereal Killer E5 6b ** #
40ft Climb the groove directly by bold technical & sustained moves to its top. (1 side runner in the form of a camalot 1 in crunchy nut crack placed from the starting footholds of the crack provides the only protection for the crux moves) Where the wall steepens bridge across the corner to place gear in the crack then pull up on to the steep protectionless left wall and climb up and left on rounded lumps & edges to the top.FA Stu Bradbury (Headpoint) 27/8/03.
Beach Boulder Belay for both routes.
Fibres Edge E1 5a #
40ft Climb the face just right of the left arete passing a good finger slot (which also eats a 0 cam!) continue directly up to the half height peg (no further protection) passing the crux above by way of a finger pocket out right in a photogenic position of much cheek to the top. (Abbed 1st to remove loose debris from the top & place peg)FA stu bradbury 1/9/03 solo (trailing rope).
"A south facing crag on the Landward side of Bear Rock. Fifty feet from the landward arete of Bear Rock is an obvious large crackline. It looks like two rocktypes meet to form it."
Grizzly Bear E3 5b #
50ft Climb the obvious 50ft crackline with difficulty, crucial friend 4 protects the top section FA Jason Lloyd, Mark Garland 7/6/03
Just to the south of Bear Rock is an arch shaped mound of rock with a steep 40ft wall on its south side which is capped by a long narrow overhang with a corner on its right which is visible on the approach from the Quay.
This has now been dubbed The Bear Wacher and contains the following clutch of short but excellent quality climbs.
Broken Face E1 5b #
40ft Start at the lowest part of the low level ledge below the overhang, step up right on to the higher ledge and follow the thin seam up the wall on good edges to gain the rightward trending diagonal crack which leads to the corner,bridge across this to gains the wall on the right which leads to the top. peg & large cam belay (peg removed). FA Stu Bradbury 11/ 03
Autumn Gold E2 5c ** #
40ft Delightful fingery face climbing on slots & edges. Start as for the previous route but climb directly from the lowest point up the steepest & highest part of th wall left of the central crack. Pass a small round recess at half height to reach the left-hand side of the capping roof , pull left to gain the corner & the top. Beach boulder belay. (small to medium cams useful) FA Stu Bradbury 11/03
Firethorn E4 6a ** #
35ft This takes the centre of the steep wall left of Autumn Gold ,from beach level climb the wall in a direct line to reach the protruding lump of rock with a slot on its right side just below the mantle shelf ledge at the top of the wall .
This gives excellent bold face climbing with fierce crimping in its upper half (1 poor peg protects the crux moves) Beach boulder belay. FA Stu Bradbury. 11/03 Led ground up with a pre placed peg, I lowered off 3 times on a sky hook before I managed to get the moves right partly due to some holds snapping off and partly to muster up the balls to go for it !!! ( a lot of effort for 35ft of climbing but a good route all the same.)
A new wall situated between Warren beach cliff and the Bear Rock area to the north of the Quay.
It is accessible 2 and a half hours either side of high water (but if it's incoming then keep an eye on it as it sneaks round on you from the south and you can get trapped in !!). It is a short (40ft) triangular wall (Better than it first appears) which is tucked in against the main cliff with a small through cave on its right side.It is an excellent winter venue as it is sheltered and south facing catching any sun that's going and gives a collection of short but enjoyable routes with some good technical climbing on generally good rock ,although remaining true to its Culm nature it does contain a peppering of loose just to add a touch of Spice !
Twin pegs are in place at the top for the belay.
Climbs are described from left to right
KALEIT NEMARA E3 6a * #
30ft The left side of the wall contains a crack running rightwards at half height start below and slightly right of the peg.
Powerful fingery moves lead diagonally leftwards to gain the peg which followed by a lunge for the horizontal crack, follow it rightwards to reach the vertical crack which is climbed on finger locks to the top.FA Stu Bradbury 2/12/04.
NUCKELAVEE E4 6b ** #
40ft The central line gives excellent steep sustained climbing with a fierce low down crux.
Start right of K N below a triangular mono finger pocket make hard technical moves to gain the peg (protected by a 00 wire) and continue more or less directly to the top which is harder than it looks! (a quick pull on the 00 wire will reduce the grade to E4 6a but still give a fine route) FA Stu Bradbury 3/12/04
SHAPE SHIFTER HVS 5b #
40ft Start on the right at the cracked arête ,follow this using the crack and hidden holds round to the right ( good pro) and gain the small ledge at its top then step down and left on to the face which is climbed diagonally leftwards to the top. Enjoyable.FA Stu Bradbury 2/12/04.
BROKEN BLINK VS 4b #
40ft This route is situated between the arête and the through cave and climbs the sandwiched rock to gain the ledge of SS it then climbs (with care) to the very top of the pinnacle and down its otherside to gain the belay( take care with loose rock towards its top, the second found out as she caught a piece in the eye!)FA Stu Bradbury & Marina Groves 2/12/04
The following route is situated on the North wall in a reccess next to the through cave behind the "Nuckelavee" wall.
MADE IN THE SHADE E4 6a/b ** #
60ft Fine technical climbing on solid rock with two alternative cruxes! Climb the cracks up the middle of the wall to reach the pancake of rock,now either move diagonally up and right to make a dynamic slap for the arete and pull up the pancake to reach the top of the ramp or climb direct to reach a layaway ledge on the left to gain the pancake and ramp,climb the wall on the right of the corner above the ramp to finish.
belay on pegs over the wall which serve as belays for the south wall routes. FA: Stu Bradbury Nick Dill 2/5/09.
Pan Grade VS 4b
60ft Climb the arete and slab 10ft to the right of "give ua a break", pleasant and challenging, poor protection in the first half. FA Mark Garland and Dave Roderick 2/4/02
70ft The obvious diagonal quartz crack, right of Pan. FA Mark Garland and Dave Roderick 2/4/02
Tinkerbell HVS 5a
30ft A splendid, delicate and fingery route. Sustained. Follows a fine crack line up the middle of a small slab above a rock pool, 25ft right of Hook FA Mark Garland and Dave Roderick 2/4/02
The following route is found to the left of Diamond Back:
Cheap Little Scrubber E3 5b #
100ft Start at the lowest point of the slab, a bit bold at the top. Follow thin quartz cracks up left almost to the corner, move right for 10ft then straight up the slight groove to finish carefully leftwards. FA Steve Findlay, Sue Martin. 13.8.05
Mushlatski E3 5b #TOP
100ft Same start as the previous route. a bit bold at the bottom.A few bold moves up and right reach the thin cracks, follow these to good holds and gear.Now up right to finish as for Diamond Back FA Steve Findlay, Sue Martin. 13.8.05
St Catherines Tor
Long Time No Sea V Diff #
250ft This is a classic culm adventure route and not for the feint hearted. Climb the right hand crack of the slightly concaved slab just left of Three Slab Pebble for 70ft, move left then meander up the scree until you reach the summit of the Tor. (very little gear) FA Mark Garland, Mark Sykes and Dave Roderick 5/9/01
Blue Bikini XS 5b 360 ft #
Remarkably Loose but reasonable climbing up the centre of the west face. Start at the base of the obvious arete right of the unclimbed wall.
1.140ft Climb the groove and arete to unstable ground, then slightly left to bellow a shattered wall, poor peg in a block,cam 4.
2.120ft Tiptoe left into the gulley and straight up to an area of rock. Traverse left for 50ft to a poor peg belay on a slight arete.
3.100ft Step left into the gulley, climb its left side on unstable scree and blocks then up right to an area of real rock, peg (removed), loose climbing remains to the top. Good earth block belay up right.
FA Steve Findlay, Dan Donovan 12.8.05
Speke's Mill Mouth
Apparently Pressure Drop has received a reasonable amount of traffic recently and remains reasonable as E3.
Both Down to a Sunless Sea E5 and Surface Tension E5 rely heavily on pegs. These are probably still the originals (1989) so will probably be a tad unreliable. Please let me know if you repeat these either in their current condition, without pegs altogther or if you replace the pegs.
Odd E5 6a # Something to the left of Pressure Drop I think. A bold crux above suspect gear? FA Simon Young
Luke Pavey reports that the south side has had a massive rock fall - "150ft by 100ft by 15ft deep slab gone this means Berlin to Mainsail all gone. The Wager and Up the Ante still ok!"
Return of The Native E1 5a #
120ft As for Red O left of arch in subsidiary slab. Straight up as for Red O, then right diagonally on lip of arch more or less following twin cracks past 2 useless pegs before heading up to an exhilarating finish (Glory be to God) on classic mixed terrain. Dec something '03 Iain Peters (Class of '73, and the '88 guide that got most people lost.) and Dr D 'Patey' Hillebrandt
...has developed into a good little crag.
? HS Somewhere to the left of Titanic Nights. FA Simon Mooney
Coco de Mer E1 5b ** #
Climbs the next crack left of Titanic Nights. Good climbing, excellent protection with small to medium cams. A little bold at the top - high in the grade. FA Jon Wilson, Nic Wilson Aug 2002
Bru Sheep E2 5c * #
To the left of the descent route, above the “Hole” cave is an obvious hanging layback corner. Start in the cave beneath this, climb up under the roof then traverse left to the arête. From the large footholds, make blind moves right into the corner and climb it to the top. FA Nic Dill, Mark Kemball 11/10/03
Titanic Nights has been repeated - confirmed as a ** route.
Hole in the Head for a Brain E4+ 6a #
60ft An engrossing eliminate, staging the hardest climbing on the crag. The gear is not unreasonable. Start midway between the E1 5a crack right of the recess on the left and Coco de Mer. Pull up to a finger-ledge. With small-wire protection in the thin crack just left, work up the slab past a mono, trending right on larger holds but with less gear to a peg. Climb to the second of two quartz bands; then step left to the exit of the E1 5a crack. FA: Martin Crocker (unseconded) 28.5.06
Also," a hanging crack or hanging arete to the left has also been done"!
Mark Kemball has placed a new stake at the bottom of the grass slope mentioned in the guide. A faint path leads down to it, so at the moment access is not too difficult.
The peg belay at the top of the routes on this is not in very good condition! It is probably best to continue up the wall with the peg in it and belay from blocks above.
Slanty Brain Tree E1 5b #
60' Climbs cracks to the left of Cyclops finishing up the arête above with good gear for the upper section in the horrible looking chimney on the left. FA Matt Vigg and Mark Kemball 30/8/04
Run of the Arrow E3 6a #
60ft The right to left diagonal crack above that of Lifeline gives good pumpy climbing. Follow the Crack/Handrail with growing interest until a hard move is made to gain a peg(crux) continue to another peg, now finish directly up the wall on snappy holds to gain the top. (small wires protect).FA: Stu Bradbury & Nick Dill 30/8/04.
Stu Bradbury: "I can confirm the grades for Cyclops and Minotaur these are both lovely routes worth, I think, ** and * respectively."
(This crag is found near Elmscott at OS ref: 218208)
Approach: Park at Sandhole Cross. Follow the public footpath over a stile and West for 100 metres. Where the coast path swings North go down a slope into a second field to Dixon's Well (marked on map, a damp area on the ground). Cross a faint barbed wire fence to search out a steep and vague fisherman's path down to a "sheep pen" on the cliff edge. From here it is about 30 metres to the beach and there is normally a fisherman's fixed rope in situ for the final scramble to Elmscott Beach. Walk 700 metres South to the North facing crag. This walk is possible at all tides unless there is a big swell.
The crag is series of North facing slabs running seaward as a promontory. Max. height is 40 metres finishing in grass slopes.
At the left (landward) end of the promontory there is a crack curving up and right across the first slab (Biome). The right side of this slab is undercut. Further right is a slab leaning up against the main cliff with a through passage behind it. This finishes in an arete at it's apex. Further right is another undercut slab which is easier angled. The promontory continues rightwards to the sea. It is only possible to get around the end of the promontory for two hours around low tide.
Biome Severe 4a
45metres Start at the left (landward) end of the landward slab below a prominent crack that curves up and right above the overhangs. Follow the well protected crack to join an arete (this is the finish of Mother's Final Thunder). Belay to stakes 5 metres above the rock. Abseil from the stakes (these are nice long ones joined by a tape and an in-situ karabiner). FA Dave Hillebrandt, Fred Shaw 19.7.00
Mother's Final Thunder VS 4a
40 metres Start just right of a flat-topped boulder below the leaning slab. Move direct up the leaning slab to it's apex at 12 metres. From here go up the arete to it's top and the stake belays. FA Dave Hillebrandt, Anthony Moore 13.5.00
40metres Start immediately right of the leaning slab next to it's through passage. Determined moves over the overhang enable one to reach the elegant crack formed by the right side of the leaning slab. Follow this (good rock and gear) to join the arete of the previous route. FA Anthony Moore, Dave Hillebrandt 13.5.00
Eden Project Severe 4a
40 metres Takes the slab right of Canute and the final arete of Mother's Final Thunder. Start just left of the damp and vile corner crack that marks the right side of the slab's lower overhang. Make juggy moves over the overhang to become established on the slab. Move direct up to its apex at 35 metres. Holds become smaller as the angle eases. From the blocks at apex (runners) move left on grass and up to the in-situ stakes as for the previous routes. FA Dave Hillebrandt, Anthony Moore, Kyle Pattinson 2.7.00
There is a variation start from the next slab right, avoiding the overhanging start. Technically easier, less exciting but still meriting severe for the bold top section. FA Fred Shaw, Dave Hillebrandt 17.7.00
Note: Descent for all routes is by abseil from the in-situ stakes. These stakes are nice and long (1 metre) and linked with tape and a krab - it's probably worth taking replacement tat and krab just to be on the safe side.
Wrecker's Right Hand HVS 4c, 4c, 4a/b #
A no-star classic and probably recaptures the excitement of early ascents of Wrecker's Slab, before all the loosest stuff got knocked off. 1. Start 25-30 feet right of Wrecker's Slab below an obvious scoop. Climb to the scoop (ring peg) and belay. Loose and bold. Pitch 2. 175 feet. Looser, and with very poor protection. Climb up and right to cross the overlap, then continue straight up to a large ledge right of the last stance on Wrecker's Slab. If you have long ropes belay on the ledge. If you don't either find a poor belay somewhere lower down and gibber while your second comes up, or gibber as you move together for a few feet until you can belay on the ledge. 3. Move left and finish with relief up the final (solid) pitch of Wrecker's Slab FA .Mike Davies, James Marshall (alts) 29/3/02
"The above route appears to simply be the original route climbed on Wreckers Slab by Admiral Lawder, Tom Patey and Zeke Deacon. This is outlined in the history section of the current guide and Iain Peter's old guide and confirmed in a recent conversation with Iain. Sorry to take the credit away but those old guys did have big balls."
80ft Crosses Spotted Dick R to L. Start a few feet R of Spotted Dick. Cross SD at the overhang and follow the left edge of the Vicarage Tower to the top. FA Steve Scadden and Len Carr 26/10/03
Lip Gloss HVS 5c
60 feet Climbs the right arête of the groove of Pandora. Start between the two starts for that route and make very hard moves up to the end of the overlap (or more easily, use either of the starts). Climb straight through the overlap and follow the arête to the top. FA Pete O'Sullivan, Rik Meek 25/08/02
Caitlin E1 5b
70 feetStart as for Sunstruck. Follow that route to the pointed block. Instead of moving up and right, move left into the obvious groove. Climb this with difficulty, through the overlap and up the slab to the top. Good climbing. FA Pete O'Sullivan, Rik Meek 25/08/02
Monster Race HS 4b
70 feet Start between Sol and Wellington's Stand. Climb straight up to and through the overlap and finish up the right-hand crack. FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 25/08/02
70 feet. Start a few feet left of Choss and Chips and three feet right of the loose corner. Go straight to the top. FA Steve Scadden 20/4/03
Wynot E1 5b
80ft Start below the righthand side of the Vicarage Tower. Cross to the hidden spike of Harpoon. Cross Harpoon. Up and over small overlap. Follow the crack which slants steeply up to the right. FA Steve Scadden and Luke Pavey 12/1/03
Before Lunch HVS 5a #
40ft Start at the right side of Vicarage Tower (same as Whynot). Straight up and through awkward cleft to top.
FA Steve Scadden and Len Carr 31/8/03
Substitute HS 4b
120 feet Bisects the upper slab between Pandora and Vicarage Tower. Start at the seaward end where a horizontal crack leads to a big flake. Follow the crack, go around the bottom of the flake and continue across the slab to Vicarage Tower. FA Steve Scadden and Luke Pavey 12/1/03
C.U.Wen.I.C. Very Severe 4b #
140ft Start just right of the cave, climb to the overlap at 25ft, then go up and left over the loose slab on small holds to reach the ridge. FA Gareth Palmer, Kevin Lowry 29/5/2004
More Tea Vicar? MXS 5a * #
75ft The inevitably (!) named loose and unorthodox crack/seam right of Crazy Paving. Start at a shallow corner about 6 metres right of Crazy Paving, and well left of the arete of In Memoriam. Climb the wall left of the shallow corner to a thin crack, which eventually runs out into a seam, on deteriorating rock to the top. Nice climbing, with an unusually frisky (!) flavour for such a stalwart crag. FA Dave Pickford, Sarah Garnett. June 2006. Climbed onsight
Final Straw XS ("extremely stoopid" that is!!) 4b #
150 ft From the left end of the beach climb up the loose scree/mud for 50 ft to a belay under a car size block. Move right over the loose slab then climb the steep grass to finish (praying as you go), belay from fench posts. not for the faint hearted or any one sane. FA Gareth Palmer, Kevin Lowry 7/8/2004
Paul Harrison reports that Arabesque/Thief of Bagdad have suffered a rockfall and are now worth about E4 5c.
Limpet Bizkit VS 4b #
70 ft Right of the rock pool of Rock-Pool Crack and Slab is a second rock pool at a lower level. Climb from this, trending leftwards on pockets towards a crack at 45', about 1m from the right arete of the slab. Finish up this.
FA John H Bull and Jessica Ball, 11.4.04
Breaking Time E3 5b/c
75ft To the right of the shallow cave of Arabesque etc, and back a bit, there is corner with an obvious square cut roof at 20ft. Start in the corner get right under the roof (large friend) and make lovely move left to gain the curving groove above. Loose rock at the top. FA Lee Bartrop and Nick Dill. 05.07.04
Breaking Time Direct E3 5c Climbs the arete instead of the the corner to the large cam under the roof. FA. Richard Moss
Booby Prize E6 Second ascent - Ian Vickers (onsight). 3rd Simon Young (top roped first). The remaining pegs all appear to be in acceptable condition, although one has fallen out from the start section since the FA - this can now be protected by a couple of RP's and is quite bold. One of the best hard routes on the Culm and definitely one to try to onsight!!
Safe as Milk E2 5b
Climbs the front, seaward face of Bobby Prize Butress. A preplaced rope for protection on the loose final section is advisable! FA Nic Dill, Tom Newberry, Mark Kemball 29/1/06
Moped Zawn (just North of Lower Sharpnose)
Moped Zawn is just North of Oldwalls, between Higher and Lower Sharpnose. There is a way down to Moped Zawn from the cliff path, (just north of it) this would also be useful for those trying to get to "Matchless" (at Oldwalls) at higher tides. Park for Stanbury Mouth, walk the coastpath north about 1/2 mile. Before Higher Sharpnose it is possible to descend a steep slope to the beach by Moped Zawn, there is a very long "fisherman's style" rope attached to a boulder.
Sideways Scooterer E1 5a ** #TOP
Takes a splendid corner, left of the main face. 1/ 60ft. Climb the crack in the corner to the left of the main face, on a rippled wall. Step left at 20ft and gain another corner move up and step left again to surmount a ledge/boulder, peg at head height on the arete (removed). 2/ 120ft. From the ledge gain the corner and climb to the top, 2 pegs (removed). Excellent climbing made more problematical on first ascent by rain and mud. Hexes and medium wires, large friends would be a distinct advantage. Abseil off the back from 20ft rope around boulder (may require replacing). First attempt with Rob Galley thwarted by darkness. FA Lee Bartrop, Mark Kemball 4/2/00
Where is My Mind? XS 5a 90ft
The corner right of Sideways Scooterer. Start as for SS but continue up the corner with care (peg)to reach the parallel crack on its right, climb this with the help of the face on its left to reach the peg just below the overlap, now pull up and right on any thing that will stay in place and climb diagonally right (in fear!!) to reach the rubble arête and pray it stays there! now climb as if on egg shells to gain the wall on the right to belay on pegs ,(removed) An optional finish up the corner on the left to the roof and left to finish or count your blessings and ab off the pinnacle of rock down the ridge.
Not for the faint hearted or anyone sane for that matter. FA Stu Bradbury & G Craven Autumn 2003
Oldwalls – seaward face
Iain Peters. "Re-climbed Matchless 21/09/08. Fairly clean, but gave it a quick short back and sides. The peg is showing signs of age but can be backed up by 1/2 sized Friend. The approach/escape is heavily vegetated. Best way in is either as for Moped Zawn or along the beach from Stanbury Mouth. Kicked off a large, loose block that had obviously been used for a belay!"
March of Time Very Severe 4b/c #
The striking arête left by the collapse of Concorde. Some hollow rock but generally sound and with positive holds all the way. 120 ft From the non-tidal glacis at the base, take the left side of the arête to the first big ledge. The central section is more exposed and leads to a junction with Matchless on the ‘pancake’. Press on up the final arête to reach the fixed belays above Matchless. FA Littlejon, Garner
Zeitgeist E4 5c
A strong line giving consistently good climbing despite some fickle rock. Start at low to mid tide on the boulders below the most obvious corner/crack line on the seaward face. 140 ft Climb the initial corner on good holds and continue up the groove above with increasing difficulty till it ends below an overhang. Move up right to the beginnings of a crack and follow this until a deep crack heads up left to a final tricky move.FA Pat Littlejohn, Dave Garner. 22/04/04
More than a Match is effectively cut off until about 2 to 3 hours before low tide. An alternative start can be made: Less is More E1 by extending the Matchless high tide start by dropping diagonally down to the first peg on Matchless, then taking a rising traverse along an obvious fault line to just past the start of More than a Match. It drops down via the left hand of the two niches, More than a Match starting up the right hand of these two niches. FA Murray Dale, Mark Gray 04/05
Mike Raine reports:
"Tales of Don Juan E1 5b very enyoyable but possibly high in the grade. Sensual Seas E1 5b is low in grade technically but the peg is just about dead, however it can be backed up with a collection of micro stuff so should be left to rot in peace. Hippodrome is E1 5b (given E2 5b in the guide) and very low in that technical grade.
The pegs on Volupte (E3 in guide), Consenting Adults (E4 in guide) and Blackwater Down (E1 in guide) are in a very poor state and should probably be replaced if anyone has designs on these routes - and they should."
Iain Peters 21/09/08. "Can confirm all Mike Raine's earlier comments on the state of the pegs on the crag. Now even more rotten! The abseil stake has vanished. There's a good thread amongst the boulders above the seaward arete c/w old tat. This provides the only belay and an extra rope is required. The base of the routes can be accessed down steep grass on the landward side of the slabs. The approach as described in the guide is very overgrown. Much better is to walk in along the beach from Stanbury Mouth on a falling tide".
If anyone replaces these pegs (or leads the routes without) please let me know.
Lower Sharpnose Point
North Fin, South face.
"The wall between dimond smiles & Crooked mile is climbed directly giving an excellent independent line.(if you check out p 159 in guide N Dev& Corn it starts off the boulder between 6&7)"
Feeding the Rat E4 5c/6a #
100 ft Start at a quartz streaked reccess, step off the boulder and pull on to the wall on small edges,once establised climb boldly up to a protruding lump of quartz at 20ft (first gear) climb directly up over a bulge (cruxy move) to gain the large hole in the crack of the smile at its junction with Crooked mile, climb its starting moves up and right for about 7ft before braking out leftwards up a rising diagonal quartz crack on edges & pockets to reach a large flat hold , now move up to reach the left end of the large sandy hole, reach up directly to gain the large finising crack which is hand traversed towards dimond smiles to finish on a sharp sidepull to top out. FA Stu Bradbury 16/2/04 (many thanks to Steph for holding the ropes)
Dijon Extra-Strong (Mustard Direct) E5 6a ** #
This is a better and more logical version of the old E4 known as Mustard. 80ft Start below a shallow depression at 2 metres exactly half way between the starts of Diamond Smiles and Crooked Mile. Climb up and rightwards into the depression (bomber large wire). Climb straight up to the large break of the Smile. Arrange good gear in the break and head direct up the mustard-coloured lichen streak (crux), past a good slot with a 1.5 cam in it, to better holds (junction with Mustard). Finish direct (tricky). FA Dave Pickford, Ali Smith. July 13th 2006 (climbed after brief abseil inspection )
The relationship between the 2 previous routes is not clear - it's not a huge gap so it is possible they share some common ground?
Two Passports and a Cunning Plan E5 6b #
120 ft. A sustained but well protected link with some new climbing towards the end; the hardest route on the wall. Start as for Wraith and climb this route to the break of The Smile. Follow this leftwards until the point at which Crooked Mile intersects. Follow Crooked Mile diagonally rightwards past its crux. Where Crooked Mile zigzags back leftwards, continue to the top peg of Wraith. Make tricky moves to get established on crimps in the horizontal seam to the right of the peg and follow this, traversing right via a hard move (crux), to gain good slots and the finishing few moves of Out of the Blue Dave Westlake, Tom Newberry 19.9.07 (Climbed in "onsight" style but having done all the other routes previously!)
To the left of KUNG FU KEKS on the short landward fin in-between the north & middle fin .
Ace of Diamonds E2 5c * #
Some fine moves 50ft Start below "kung fu" and hand traverse the right to left diagonal quartz crack to reach the arete, a high stepping rockover allows the upper arete to be slapped and followed to the top, pulling over onto the slab just below the top. ( med to big cams useful for the belay) FA Stu Bradbury & Nick Cox 29/4/05
Middle Fin, North Face
The Flying Finn has had a repeat (probably the second ascent) by Stu Bradbury and Nick Cox - the grade is reckoned to be E5 rather than E4 and it sounds like a big adventure!
Culm to Mother - repeated by Stu Bradbury / Nick Cox after abseil to replace the pegs. Thought to be E5 6a **. I did hear a rumour that Dave Pickford had repeated this with the pegs in their poor condition.
Middle Fin, South Face
Tokyo Fish Mafia E6 6b ** #
70ft The obvious challenge of the scalloped wall between Finesse and Break on Through. Very good, independent climbing. Start a metre right of the arete of Finesse. Climb the wall (bold to start) to good gear and a no-hands rest on the sloping ledge of the arete (as for Finesse). Step back right on to the wall, arrange gear (various cams and good small wires high on the left, as for Finesse). Now extend up on small crimps to a good microflake (upside-down cam 0). Run it out up the flake to a long, bold move at its end for good slots and a poor small wire. Swing easily left from here out on to the fin. Belay on the thread of Break on Through. FA Dave Pickford (unseconded) July 13th 2006 (climbed after short top-rope inspection, all gear placed on lead)
Old Dog, New Tricks E2 5c * #
27m A direct line up the centre of the "Dulcima" wall giving good independent climbing. Start at the cave/niche on the left at the base of the wall, pull steeply out of the cave and onto the black wall via slots, continue direct over the bulge above on undercuts and onto the ramp of dulcima, follow a direct line up the centre of the wall until tricky moves right and up gain a large sandy hold left of the arete, climb back left and up by a rockover move to reach better holds move slightly left finish. (small cams useful). FA Stu Bradbury, Mark Kembal 24/7/10
Coronary Country The line described in the current Climbers Club and Rockfax guides is not the orignal (i.e. it's incorrect). The description in the previous Climbers' Club guide (by Iain Peters) was the line climbed by Steve Monks on the first ascent and is arguably better, harder and more independant than the modern variant (which could be referred to as Coronary Lite). The original starts in the same place but instead of carrying on to the spike on Fay, goes straight up a crack at the first spike (bold) to reach a break which is traversed left until beneath the pegs.
South Fin, North Face
Zazuum E4 6a/b ** #
100ft A steep and serious route on the wall right of the "Eyore" groove giving good independant climbing. Take small cams and wires. Follow the ramp to the large spike, step down left and on to the wall, bold and technical moves on small features lead up between two fine seams/cracks to reach a good but sandy hold, commiting moves right gain hollow flakes, follow a series of flakes above to reach the high overlap, pull up and left to stand on a loose flake above the groove, now follow the steep wall on the right to reach a hole below a small flake near the arete (large cam), moves above these lead diagonally left to finish on the last few moves of Eyore. FA Stu Bradbury & Nick Dill 5/3/2011
Murkin V Diff
50ft. Climb the slab on the left side of the fin. At half height follow the crack right and so to the top. Belay by lowering a rope down the back of the fin, secure it to a thread, there’s also a peg. Abseil descent. FA 30/12/07 Hannah Woolley, Richard 'Mosseee' Moss, Gregor Candolin
Details and topo on new page.
Soapy Water E3 6a #
25ft A trite little treat, worth doing while here. Start 2m from the left-hand edge of the Rise of the Phoenix wall. Climb rightwards on small holds (peg at 5m), and then direct with a few long reaches.FA. Martin Crocker (with Soloist) 30.5.06
Menachurch Point - The Prom
A 'short promontory' midway between Dunsworth Cliff and Menachurch Point. Its south side is an overhanging pocketed wall which is sheltered, sunny, and only seawashed at the highest tides.
Routes finish at an abseil/lower-off sling on the narrow crest forming the top of the wall.
Collapse Paranoia 25m Very Severe 2a (9.4.07)
Follow the sea-through ridge a-cheval on a rickety old horse to the abseil point of Pat's routes.
FA: Martin Crocker, on-sight shakin' solo
Crab Heaven 15m E5 6a (9.4.07)
In common with its neighbours: steep and strenuous but with surprisingly good gear. Start 3m left of Maggie's Farm at a jug-rail at tall-man's head-height. Climb up past two diagonal slots (cams) and make long moves straight up a leaning section to a white crystalline undercut. Climb converging twin cracks above and finish on the ridge: good nut belay a metre on the opposite side. Use the in-situ belay or instigate the 'beach belay' manoeuvre.
FA: Martin Crocker, unseconded
Martin Crocker: "Repeated Pat's routes (the point of coming here): Maggie's Farm (which I climbed direct from an upward-pointing triangular flake) and Shelter from Storm. Good pumps in the sun; grades fine."
Pocket Book HVS 4c #
70 ft The shallow corner at the seaward end of the wall, gained from the left and followed to a tricky finish. Continue along the ridge to the abseil point. P Littlejohn, D Garner 4.5.01
Maggie's Farm E5 6a * #
50 ft The central line, heading for the discontinuous crack system higher up. Strenuous and sustained. Climb to the obvious nut slot at 20 feet, pull up R then back L to the crack which leads to a jammed block. Continue up R to the lower-off point. FA P Littlejohn, D Garner 3.5.01
Shelter from the Storm E4 5c *
50 ft Great holds and gear to combat the steepness. Start 15 feet R of Maggie's Farm near the zawn entrance. Climb 15 feet then traverse to the L end of the overlap and move up and L to the obvious short crack. Climb straight up to the lower-off sling. FA P Littlejohn, D Garner 4.5.01 (repeated by Tom Rainbow)
The following route was done at a high spring tide with a reasonable swell. In such conditions it is very atmospheric. By watching for a gap between the waves it is possible to reach the start with dry feet!
Tap Dancing With The Maharaja's Daughter E2 5b * #
(possibly E1 especially with more traffic) Start in the trench on the left of the cliff as for Trident direct start. 1) 140ft Climb the trench to the good chock stones at its top. From here move right onto the slab and traverse horizontally. There is good protection when you reach the crack of Trident (place something high for the second). Protection is found regularly after this. Continue in the same line to the corner of Britannia (two old pegs and a good cam) Move horizontally round the arête and cross Stiff Upper Lip to reach the arête of Aphrodite. Climb this to belay at the pinnacle at the top Britannia. Finish easily up the arête above. (As for most of the routes hereabouts). FA Mark Kemball and Nic Dill (29/8/04) named in memory of Barbara Dill.
Dynamo Hum appears to have disappeared. Such is Culm!
Spock's Third Ear E1 5b #
To the left of Klingon Kulture Shock is an obvious triangular niche. 40ft Climb up to this and continue direct. The crux is moving on to the finishing ledge. From here, it is best to move up left over easy ground to block belays at the top. If the route were to get a little traffic, the grade could well go down to HVS. FA Nic Dill and Mark Kemball (29/8/04)
Klingon Kulture Shock is worth its star, but the three pegs at the top, although still adequate for a belay with a well placed bum, are not suitable for lowering. It is probably best to move right and finish up the seaward face of the point.There is also a bolted project in the cave here which should weigh in at about French 8b/8b+!
Christmas Crack HVS 4c #
40ft Walking south from the entrance to the beach (before you get to Watford Gap) there is a slab split by a very obvious crack. This is loose but is fairly easy and well protected by medium cams. The crux is negotiating the steep earth bank at the top. Steps were cut in this by abseil prior to the ascent and it could be avoided by hanging a belay rope over the edge, but this would spoil the fun! FA Mark Kemball and Nic Dill (29/8/04)
Angry Cockroaches E6 6c has seen a second ascent. The grade may be more like E5 6b/c (not for long though as the pegs will soon rust-out, when the grade will go to E7/8 I expect), but we'll need more ascents for a consensus...
Left of Sun, Sea and Sand:
Sewage Hard Severe #
60ft Climb the groove right of Sand, stepping right at the roof onto the arete, then take the obvious rising line leftwards to join Sand near the top. FA Martin Dunning, Pete O'Sullivan, Mark Porter 15/05/05
12m. Climb vertical cracks left of a 'wart' at 5m. These lead to the left hand end of the higher arched overlap; over this leftwards to finish. FA John Bull (solo) 1.4.02
The Kleptomaniac Area
Richard "Mosseee" Moss has knocked up a little pdf guide. Download here.
Threshold Apprehension E3 6a * #
70ft This climbs the red overhanging corner on the underside of Kleptomaniac and the crack in the headwall above the roof. Follow the corner until just under the roof Make strenuous and commiting moves rightwards on undercuts to gain a standing position on a narrow sloping ledge and slap the arete, now move up and left to gain the crack which is followed to its top. Finish left at loose blocks. FA Stu Bradbury 13/2/08
Dangerous Driver Wall
Straight on athe LightE1 5b #50ft Start 6ft left of the loose groove below a pocket. Climb to the pocket and move onto the ledge, above which step right (wires) then trend a little left and on to the top. FA Mosseee 14th August 2001
Turn Left at the Roundabout E2 5b #
50ft Start below a peg left of Dangerous Driver. Climb to the peg then move up and left to jugs and an unstable finish. FA Mosseee 14th August 2001
Aardvark HS #
45ft On the left of the Dangerous Driver wall. Climb the short steep wall to a ledge then the groove above. FA Mosseee 14th August 2001 (I think this may have been climbed before but not, to my knowledge, recorded.
Skull and Crossbones Wall
Richard "Mosseee" Moss has knocked up a little pdf guide. Download here.
The Eternal Optimist E2 5b ** #
90ft A suprisingly reasonable climb, adequately protected on good rock. This takes a line between "The Suicidal Optimist" and "Skull and Crossbones", linking two small pockets. Climb directly to the first pocket (good gear), then move slightly right, up, then back up left (medium wires) to reach the second pocket (peg, placed on the lead), crossing "Dutch Departure" at this point. Continue up, trending left to the top, the protection on this section is adequate, but a hand placed blade peg (removed) in a horizontal crack provided extra security. Belay and descend in a similar manner to "The Perpetual Pessimist". Lee Bartrop and Mark Kemball, 6th September 2000. (On sight, ground up.)
The Perpetual Pessimist E1 5a (no stars) #
70ft To the left of "Skull and Crossbones" are two vertical lines of weakness (mentioned in the description of "Dutch Departure"). Climb the left of these until level with the obvious circular "hole" at just over half height. Move right to the hole for a good protection spike, then back left to continue in the same line on more friable holds to the top. Fortunately there is some reasonable protection before the final section. Sit astride the summit ridge and lower a rope down the far side for your second to arrange the belays. Descend by abseil. (Note there are no possible belays on the ridge at this point.) An interesting culm experience. FA Mark Kemball and Lee Bartrop, 6.9.2000. (On sight, ground up)
And moving further down towards Bude...
Richard "Mosseee" Moss has knocked up a little pdf guide. Download here.
(GR 201073) Just North of Crooklets beach (Bude) a wide path leads down to the south end of the Wrangle Point beach (page 186). Siren’s Rock (for want of a better name) is the foreshore rock more or less in front of the end of the path.
Giddy E7 6b **
35’ An excellent route. Climb left of the obvious small triangular pocket on poor holds until a good resting finger hold in a shallow scoop is gained. Make a committing step left for a flat edge and make a long reach above for a good jug and easier climbing above. FA Simon Young, Sept 00, solo after practice. Now repeated - probably low in the grade and maybe easier for the tall? Grade will also change a little according to beach covering. An excellent little route.
Sheila E3 5c * #
35’ Start to the right of Giddy. Straightforward climbing direct via slots leads to some small diagonal cracks (gear). Finish direct up the slab (bold). FA Rob Galley Summer 00 (after the FA Simon Young climbed and named the route, thinking it was a new route - it seems that the name will stick).(reckoned to be 6a for the short?).
The following delightfully-named lines adorn the rock right of Sheila and may have been climbed before. Described LEFT TO RIGHT.
Chocolate Starfish MVS 4b
30ft The crack to the right of Sheila. Variation finish 4c Half way up the crack a small groove goes leftwards from the original. FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
30ft Just right of Chocolate Starfish is a slab, which is slightly undercut. Climb this. FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
Rusty Bullethole V Diff
25ft Crack right of Dribbles. FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
Sheriffs Badge Diff
25ft Crack right of Rusty Bullethole. FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
Smears V Diff
25ft Just right of Sheriffs Badge is a small groove leading to an overlap. Follow this and the slab above to the top. FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
£10 V Diff
25ft Follow the slab right of Smears. FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
30ft The big crackline right of £10. Scramble off leftwards. FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
Sea View V Diff
30ft Start in small groove below the right-hand arete. Follow the right arete of the slab. Belay as for Minkie ?).FA Mossee, Hannah Woolley, Dave Everrit April 2001
About 100yards North of "Sirens Rock" is a short slab containing 4 pegs.
Fuel Crisis E4 6a * #
25ft Climb the slab past these and lower-off the last one to avoid a death top-out. FA Funky Simon Young Sept. 2000
Below Full Tilt is a a narrow zawn with a steep right hand wall (looking in!!).
Goats E8 6c 35ft **
The roughly central line is identified by a peg about 5 feet below the top of the wall. Climb line up the the wall! Gnarly landing and first gear 20ft up (excluding a head-height Camalot 2 placed from the ground!) after a French 7b/7b+ section. Dry conditions are rare but preferable. FA Simon Young August 2002 (Headpoint) Repeated by DH 2002 (headpointed)
Wreckin' and Divin' HVS 5a ***
Another excursion in the depths of compass cave which emerges from the slot in the roof, an exciting route.
Start at the back of the cave in the entrance to the tunnel which goes further into the cliff. Bridge this awkwardly and gain the corner above. Move up the corner intrepidly to the roof of the cave, peg in the wall. Then climb leftward along a faultline in the wall towards the light and exit through the hole in the roof. Headtorch is essential.... as far as i know its unrepeated FA. Lee Bartrop, Matt Vigg. April 2001
The next two routes are in the Westerlation area:
Re-mergent,b E2 5b * #
80' Start at the through hole just right of Cool Canute (page 190). Climb the wall fairly directly passing a peg or two. FA Lee Bartrop, Mark Kemball 30/7/00
Western Man HVS 5a * #
80' A boulder bridge crosses the zawn high up between Westerlation and Cool Canute (taken by Troy, page 190). Start 10' left of the point beneath the boulder bridge, follow disconnected cracks trending rightwards until just left of the bridge. Finish direct. FA Mark Kemball, Lee Bartrop 30/7/00
Miss Otis Regrets E2 5c #
80' Start at the base of the unclimbed crack left of Sugar Magnolia (page 190). Three pegs mark the line. Climb the crack for a few feet, (gear), then move up right to the first peg. Continue to the second, then move up to the left of the third. Just after this, the climbing eases, trend right to finish. FA Mark Kemball, Lee Bartrop, Nick Dill 16/9/00.
Penelope Won't Leave the Pitstop E5 6b **
Climb the centre of the smooth face to the left of Corinth. Start on the grey wall on the left of the starting corner of Corinth and go up to a crescent shaped overlap placing small wires in the thin crack in its centre. Surmount the overlap and gain the face by stepping left into a shallow pocket, the pitstop, leave this by making a commiting move to the next pocket above, reach right to clip the first peg. Move up, then step right to another peg. Go leftwards to gain a thin crack, then up using the arete (loose rock) past another peg, continue to the top on friable rock. Belay from two stakes on lower fin below. FA Lee Bartrop, Mark Kemball 28/01/00
Repeated in 2003 by Stu Bradbury "it takes in some excellent bold fingerey & sustained slab climbing mostly on good quality rock although it deteriorates badly towards the top (surprise! surprise!) the 3 pegs which are what protect the route are in reasonable condition but of course won't get any better with time.
I would agree with the given grade but I did ab the line to inspect the pegs and practise some of the sequences on a shunt prior to my ground up lead. I feel an onsight lead would feel pretty bold! all in all a good effort and a fine addition to compass point from Lee."
Phantasmagoria E3/4 6a #
120ft A fine interesting climb of some character, taking a direct line up the centre of the wall between Compass-tures-green (CPG) and Frog Abuse.. Start at the centre of the arched recess and climb through the overhangs to gain the slab above (crux). Move up and climb the pocketed wall (2 pegs) to reach a leftward slanting crack. follow this to an awkward mantle onto a good edge (junction with CPG) then step back right onto the wall and delicately follow the thin seam diagonally rightwards (RPs) to reach the suicidal top out (pre-placed belay rope strongly advised). Variation: the initial crux can be avoided by climbing the start of the corner of Frog Abuse and traversing left to gain the pocketed wall redcing the tecnhincal grade to 5b. F.A. Stu Bradbury, Lee Bartrop, Mark Kembal.13/1/07
According to Martin Crocker: "The description for Dreadlock Holiday is wrong – the quality of the rock increases (substantially) with height. Up to 12m (first meaningful gear) the rock is more liquid than solid. Unforgettable lead though!"
The following route is situated on the wall to the right of Compass Mentis.
Loaded Dice E2 5b #
60ft Start on the granite platform just right of the squre cut recess. Follow the diagonal left to right pocketed crack/gash to almost at its end before making tricky moves left andup to gain the square block in the centre of the face. From here move up and left to reach the arete near its top (a pre placed rope off the fence provides the belay). F.A. Stu Bradbury, Marina Groves 14/2/07.
(Page 194 North Devon and Cornwall Guide)
Sean Hawken's Borderline has seen a couple of repeats with the grade being confirmed at E4 although dropping a technical grade from to 5c.
Brainchild has also been repeated - confirmed as a top quality E5 6a (2008 update: "replaced the snapped off 1st peg (short but good lost Arrow) 2nd and 3rd pegs look like titanium so look good. There is a fourth peg which you have to make moves out to the arete to get before stepping back to gain the crack (it's an old looking knife blade) but if you are feeling strong you can just plough on up the crack on natural kit.. overall its steep ,strenuous & pumpy, with some runouts lower down, all mixed with a peppering of loose and a touch of sandyness but well worth the effort".
Bum Note E4 6a * (1 rest) #
70’ Climbs the narrow buttress forming the right side of Sigmoidoscopy chimney. The lower crux section is climbed on the right with good protection on the left. A rest on a wire was taken just above the crux. The upper section is easier, but still quite sustained, the protection becomes marginal and the rock starts to deteriorate. Move right at the top to finish. F.A. Nick Dill, Mark Kemball, 30/9/00 On sight. (Named for the leader’s excessive flatulance.)
Jamboree E1 5b #
Climbs the very obvious flake/groove system just right of "Bum Note". Good jamming leading to a short finishing chimney. Suprisingly good climbing (it looks a heap of choss). Well potected with cams. Nic Dill, Mark Kemball (11/1/03).
Id HVS 5a #
Climbs the crack system in the seaward end of the fin right of Jamboree. Again, much better than it looks and well protected with cams. Mark Kemball, Chris (Id) Dill, Nic Dill (11/1/03). In the same area, "Up Yours" looks very friable, and the "well protected crack" doesn't look like it will take much gear without a very good cleaning. "Waisted Youth" seems to be no more.
About 100 yards south of Bude Pillars is a large loose looking non tidal cliff - this has been named Capricorno Cliff after a nearby shipwreck
Insubsequenciousness HVS 5a ** 140’(?) #
80 yds south of The Wasted Youth Slab is a cliff facing the sea with obvious vertical rock layer bands - classic culm. In the centre there is a chimney with a small 'boulder choke' at just before half height. The start is gained from a fallen grassy slope. The rock is loose in places but generally OK, adequate protection can be found using medium wires, medium hexes, and small-medium friends. An enjoyable outing. Climb the chimney to the boulder choke, go on the inside of this, overcome a small overhang above to gain the next corner, which forms another chimney in its upper half. FA Lee Bartrop (wearing trainers) & Rob Galley. 10/9/00 (Lee thought it such a wonderful “experience”, that he went back and repeated it a week later with Matt Vigg)
At EFFORD BEACON Shippery Mhic XS is said to have expereinced a small rock fall. The route is still reckoned to be climbable but as with all Mick Fowler XS's approach with caution!
Access note from Martin Crocker: "Note that the Efford Farm Business Park car-park mentioned in the guidebook is not a public car-park (I stayed at the guy’s camp-site and had a chat with him): please find an alternative."
North fin , south face
Trick or Treat E2 5b * 50ft #
Start at the second low level slot in from the seaward end of the wall and climb directly up the wall below the overhung niche on delightful holds to the first peg (poor) also a poor no 1 wire to its right, the wall now steepens , climb this with care(good small holds but unpredictable rock)passing another peg to the niche, leave this via the crack on its right and pull on to the unstable top. ( belay & escape by dropping a rope down onto the beach and tying off to large boulders for ballast. ) FA Stu Bradbury, Marina 2/7/03
Situated between the north fin and the central fin it protrudes from the main bulk of the cliff. The climb is found on its steep and concave south face.
JENGA! E1 5a * 50ft
A good natural line which is more a test of faith and commitment than technicality.
Start at the arête & follow the disjointed crackline which weaves its way up the wall to a steep finish(good cams in suspect rock provide encouragement!)and add your name to the scroll of loonies at the summit,(Stuffed in a crack) FA Stu bradbury 7/7/03.
The next route is on the "central pierced fin ,the arch has a deep diagonal crack running out of its through cave" the route takes the arch and left to right running crack on its north face and requires plenty of fire for the overhanging arch start and BIG cams for the crack above. (The crack formally contained a jammed rugby ball at half height!)
Dig For Fire E3 5c* 50ft
Start inside the arch and strenuously climb its overhanging right side by contorted moves, to gain a jam in the start of the crack,now place a big cam in the crack above before swinging a leg across to bridge the arch , gain entrance to the crack and climb it to its termination ,care is needed on the very loose top or it may well be your own!!! FA 2/7/03 Stu "Bossanova" Bradbury
(Belay & escape by dropping a rope down the back and tying off to cams in the roof crack of the low level though hole of the fin behind). An entertaining route which draws on a wide variety of techniques which include undercuts,heelhooks,kneebars,armbars and jams.
Unconsciously Screaming E3/4 6a 60ft (*)
Start between La Bella Negra and Obsidian Rose below the obvious rounded right to left diagonal. Place a crucial friend #1/2 in the small overlap just left of the route (this was placed from the 'ear' on La Bella Negra). Climb directly to the break (bold and powerful). Climb the rounded ramp line using it for hands and feet to the top. Tom Rainbow, Chris Snell (onsight with crates) 15/7/01
The Flying Freehold E2 5b 50ft #
Pumpy but well protected. Start from the ear of La Bella Negra. Traverse the break to the seaward arete. Belay on the stake (as for Obsidian Rose) FA Tom Rainbow, Clark Alston April 2002
**The Storm Hound 15m E5 6a (5.9.04)
Superb and sustained. Tackle the vertical crack-line in the sheet right of Black Dog Bite. Wire placement on crux is not that obvious, unfortunately.
FA: Martin Crocker, unseconded
Martin Crocker: "I repeated the three existing extremes here too, in so doing free-climbing Obsidian Rose at hard-E2."
"There has been a recent rockfall at Upton Slabs on the Culm Coast. The starting niche at the bottom of Big business and Broken English is now full of loose rubble which has covered the area after the whole of the previously loose headwall above the Big Business slab has collapsed. The metal stake mentioned in the guide above Crocus Cat and Ocean Rendezvous has rusted away but was today replaced with two substantial 11mm slings with a fixed heavy duty screw gate carabiner for an easy descent anchor." 1/5/06 David Hillebrandt
"It may have been that my ascent of Big Business (in September 2004) was the first after the collapse of the slab bottom right. I approached via the apocalyptic slope above: just abbing nimbly down the slab sent poised sheet after sheet of dominos clattering to the beach. I revised the line on the topo, and adjusted the description in my guidebook as follows:
Big Business 40m E3/E-by-gum! 5b (1.83/5.83)
You might as well be the last person on Earth - scuffing around this desert wasteland, the curvature of the planet severing your contact with life below as you climb on.......... Here, plunging run-outs and surreal domino-rock accentuate the joy of being cast adrift on a piece of Culm's most outlandish topography. Start left of the overhung rockfall niche at the bottom right of the slab. Tiptoe rightwards above the niche into a thin crack system. Follow the crack, steeply at first past a poor peg. Continue convexly up the line (rusted-off peg stub) to emerge lonesome on a broad ramp: place a good knife-blade here, and chill next to it for a while. Easier-angled climbing leads on worsening rock slightly leftwards up the headwall to the top.
White Rasta: both described pegs were in-situ 2004. Serious: E3"
(Page 200, North Devon and Cornwall Guide) On the shore, about 200m southwest of the Arrowhead Pinnacle is a smaller stack accessible for an hour or two either side of low tide.
A Foaming Point V.Diff ** #
40’A smashing little route! Unusual for Culm in that it provides good, well-protected climbing on solid rock! Leap the trench at the base, and climb directly up the slabby northern face. FA Mark Kemball and Nick Dill, 23/11/00
Foaming Jugs HVS 5a *** #
40’ Takes the natural line up the overhanging southern face. Solid rock, big jugs and good protection. It feels much bigger than 40’ when you’re on it! FA Nick Dill and Mark Kemball, 23/11/00 It was a very windy day and the beach was covered in foam, at one point, Mark tripped and disappeared into a “foam drift”.
The Old Man and the Sea E5 6b *** #
75ft Just south of “Mine’s a Point” are three fins. This climbs the centre of the northern face of the most southerly fin. Two old pegs (placed in 2000) indicate the line. Start in the centre of the face and work up rightwards towards the first peg (a good friend 00 and a medium sized wire on the way and another small cam and medium wire above). Climb straight up above the peg to reach the right arête; then traverse leftwards towards the second peg passing a good wire slot on the way. From the second peg, move slightly left; then climb directly to the top. There is a rope sling around the summit, but this is probably best backed up by good belays at beach level on the southern side. FA Mark Kemball with Nic Dill, Stu Bradbury, Lee Bartrop, Liam Grant, Tom Newbury (old Uncle Tom Cobliegh etc)! 19/11/2005.
Mark Kemball - "I first tried this line and placed the pegs some time in 1999 or 2000 with Rob Galley. Got back on it a month ago with Stu Bradbury, Nic Dill and Tom Newbury, after trying it ground up, we top roped it and placed the gear before Stu tried to led it (but took one fall). Today, we top roped it, before I led it with preplaced gear. (So I suppose you’d call it a headpoint.) Once you’ve got the moves sussed, it’s still very sustained 6a, with the odd bit of 6b. Stu led it (with the gear in place) just after me. It’s very steep slab climbing, Stu reckons it’s on of the best climbs of this nature on the coast. The name celebrates my 50th birthday which was a couple of weeks ago."
Points North E3 5b * #
60ft The North face of the pinnacle. Start at the shallow scoop just left of the right arete climb up and out of the scoop strenously to gain a standing position on a ledge near the arete. Step left to gain the central weakness and follow it in a direct line to the top (3 pegs provide the only protection). F.A. Stu Bradbury, Nick Cox 08/08/08.The star is for the esoteric experience rarther than the quality of the climbing !
Inconsequenciousness XS 5a or Grade III 150ft
Approximately 100 yrds north of the pinnacle of 'mines a point', there is a grass descent slope. at the southern end of this slope there are some rock towers in the form of sandstone ribs that lead to the top of the cliff. From the beach you can see a shoulder width slot between two walls, this line carries on up to meet a second chimney with a boulder perched in it. This is the line of inconsequenciousness.
1) Enter the first slot (placing two pegs 3/4 way up, removed) and climb out the top and move up the grass ledge above, place a long angle stake (removed) as a belay.
2) Kick steps up grass gully (peg on left, removed) and gain the second chimney, go under the boulder and continue up long grass slope to a ledge, belay with several pegs in sandy rock on a fantastic 'alpine feel' crest.
3)Make steps up short final pebbledashed wall and flop over heather cornice onto a skyviewing mattress. Gaze at the clouds, blue sky or stars, depending on when you have the urge for a classic North Cornwall adventure route.
FA Lee Bartrop and Nic Dill 19/11/05
An easy path leads down to the beach just north of the headland (and just south of Arrowhead Pinnacle). The headland is unusual in that the bedding plane is horizontal. There are three main buttresses, the climb takes the left side of the central buttress.
Right Groove E1 5a #
60’ Climbs the righthand of the two grooves at the left of the central buttress. Well protected, in a spectacular position, unfortunately spoiled by the very loose final 10’. Belay to the in-situ stake well back. FA Nick Dill, Mark Kemball 12/11/00 (The route was lead ground up, on sight. It would, however, make a good quality HVS if a belay rope were lowered down the final 10’).
Park in the small car park just north of Widemouth (199032). A path leads to the beach just north of Lower Longbeak. Looking north, you can see a south facing slab, unfortunately on closer inspection this is disappointingly easy angled, however,facing it (and facing north) is a much steeper slab, probably the must southerly piece of climbable culm.
Southern Outpost HVS 5a* #
45’ Climbs the obvious crackline in the north facing slab, traversing right at the top to avoid the loose overlap. Lower a rope to the beach on the south side to belay. FA Mark Kemball, Nick Dill 12/11/00 ("We are not too sure about the grade, it felt a lot harder as it was climbed ground up, cleaning mud out of the crack as I went. This is our estimate for when the rain has finished cleaning the mud off the holds").
Much of the North Cornwall information has been supplied from Lee Bartrop's Rock Climbing in North Cornwall site. In order to keep all new route information in one place Lee has removed it from his and is now going to change the direction of his site to concentrate on more personal climbing accounts and articles - have a look!
Richard "Mosseee" Moss has knocked up a little pdf guide to some of the routes. Download here.
Drive South on the coast road from Bude, beyond Widemouth, until Millook is signed on the right. Drive down the hill and park considerately at the bottom. Walk onto the beach and turn right, walking beneath some impressively folded cliffs. On the headland beyond is a jumble of boulders... the following routes lie on a big one with a steep 25 feet high North Facing Wall
Pushing Millook E4 6a
25ft The centre of the wall. An unprotected start leads to the half height ledge (arrange gear). The tricky wall above leads to the top. FA Simon Young, Dan and Dave Henderson June 2002
Millooky Likey HVS 5c
25 ft The steep arete left of Pushing Millook. A tricky start with poor landing leads to easier climbing on the arete, climbing the steep side most of the way until a step left at the top and finish up the slabby side. FA ? Dave Henderson onsight solo June 2002
The wall and crack to the left both go at about VS.
Park in the car park at the top of the hill and walk down the steep path to the headlead at the Northern end of the Millook beach. Just before the final steep descent to the boulder beach a large block is visible on the left:
Fatness of the Silence E4/5 6a
The right side of the arete, gained from the right. FA Simon Young May 2003
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