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... thanks to Barnaby Carver for supplying the route details and topos for this page!
ROSEMERGY RIDGE AREA
OS Ref 413 366. These are the slabs on sea-level cliffs below Osborne Carn on the North side of the secluded cove know as the Whirl Pool.
Approach as for Rosemergy Ridge and Brandys Zawn (see Climber Club Guide to West Cornwall Bosigran, Chair Ladder and The Lizard. 2000). From the top of Brandy's Zawn walk around the zawn's Southern rim to Brandys Zawn Pinnacle, from here continue south along granite slabs for 100 metres to reach the Whirl Pool.
The first slab (Seaward Slab) has four prominent cracks and a large ledge at half-heigh. Left of this slab some large boulders form the roof of a cave, on the other side is the top of Blood Smear Slab. 50 metres further on is the Central Slab and another 50 metres further is a wide zawn with a waterfall at it's back, this is where Waterfall Slab can be found. Most climbs here are accessible for three hours either side of low water, the Seaward Slab climbs and those on the left side of Blood Smear Slab require low tide.
The easiest way to the base of the routes is by abseiling down Blood Smear Slab or, at low tide, scrambling down the mouth of the cave between the Seaward Slab and Blood Smear Slab.
The slabs are all South facing and catch the evening sun. The climbs here are all on solid granite and offer very nice climbing in the pleasant, remote surroundings of the beautiful Whirl Pool. Seaward Slab. This is the first slab with four cracks in it and is split by a large ledge at half height. All the climbs start from the very base of the slab and require dead low tide.
1) Seaward Crack Moderate
35 ft The left-hand crack on the slab. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 22 April 2002. Climbed on-sight.
2) Swimming Pool Severe 4b
40 ft The next crack after a hard start up a short corner. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 22 April 2002. (Climbed on-sight).
3) Wrestling Barnacles Severe 4b
40 ft The third crack after a hard barnacle covered start. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 24 August 2001 (on-sight).
4) Limpet Crimper Severe 4c
40 ft The right-hand crack, another hard start in a short corner. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 24 August 2001 (on-sight).
BLOOD SMEAR SLAB
This next slab has quite a few high quality routes.
5) Sea Face Severe 4a
(Not shown on topo) 30 ft The leftward slanting cracks on the narrow seaward face of the slab. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
BLOOD SMEAR SLAB
6) Grey Trail Very Severe 5a
45 ft Climb the short corner on the left of the slab, step left onto a foot hold and finish up the grey vein on the left edge of the slab. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
7) Indirect Hard Severe 4b
50 ft Climb the short corner of Grey Trail, traverse right for fifteen feet, climb up to the final break then step left and top-out. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
8) Dark Peak Can Wait Hard Very Severe 5a
A fine route. 45 ft Start on a flat boulder at the base of the slab, step left off this and climb a shallow runnel to a ledge. Continue direct up a short corner to a good finish up a thin lay-away flake. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver, R. Mitchell. 3 August 2001 (on-sight).
9.) Blood Smear * Very Difficult
45 ft From the flat boulder start up the crack before moving left along a ledge and up to an overhanging block. Climb through a gap and finish up a corner. Fine climbing. FIRST ASCENT: D. Hall, O. Henry. 1992.
10) Notch It Severe 4a
45 ft Climb the crack above the square-cut recess. Move right and up to a ledge then delicately climb the slab above. A good route. FIRST ASCENT: D. Hall, O. Henry 1992.
11) Flaky Toes Severe 4a
45 ft Another fine crack climb. Climb the crack on the right-hand wall of the recess via a flake. Continue to a ledge and then finish up bulbous flakes. FIRST ASCENT: D. Hall, O. Henry. 1992.
12) Delicacy Hard Very Severe 5a
55 ft Start up the flake of Flaky Toes moving right to a ledge. climb the thin flakes at the right side of the ledge moving up rightwards to the top of the corner. Traverse back left along a break to finish up the bulbous flakes. 12a.) Direct Start E2 5b Climb boldly directly up the slab to the right side of the ledge. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001. Climbed on-sight. Direct Start also by B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
13) The False Altar * Very Severe 4c
50 ft A good quality, slightly strenuous route up the large corner on the right of Blood Smear Slab. Finish up left below hanging boulders. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
The next two routes belay on small blocks on a grassy ledge, exit this with care leftwards to join the top of The False Altar.
14) Keep Off The Grass Man! * E1 5c
40 ft This stunning line provides some good climbing. After a hard start climb the arete on it's right-hand side passing over a roof at two-thirds height. Belay on the grass ledge above and exit this with care by moving left below the hanging boulders as for The False Altar. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver, M. J. Frith. 7 April 2002. After a foolish on-sight attempt in the rain where the first ascensionist failed to get off the ground the route was later flashed with no other form of pre-practice or prior knowledge.
15) Munge Severe 4a
40 ft Climb the crack right of the arete and pass the roof on it's right via flakes. Belay as for Keep Off The Grass Man! FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 7 April 2002 (on-sight).
50 metres further on is the Central Slab easily recognised by curving tram-line cracks. This slab has grassy top-outs and the belays are very limited, descent is via a steep grass gully behind the slab. A pre-placed abseil rope is a wise precaution but may be difficult to arrange. The routes here are however still good.
16) Smear Hard Very Severe 4c
60 ft Climb to the start of the higher curving crack and follow flakes straight up the slab above. Move left below an overlap and climb up to find grassy belays. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
17) Almost Tregiffian Hard Severe 4b
60 feet Take the lower curving crack rightwards to a recess and exit this onto a sloping grassy ledge. Belays exist but are hard to find. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver, R. Mitchell. 3 August 2001 (on-sight).
18) Grit Crack Very Severe 4c
55 ft Struggle up the central corner crack/off-width. Some grittiness. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo). 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
This final slab is on the North side of a wide mouthed, shallow zawn with a waterfall at the back. The slab is bare rock for the first 50 feet then becomes steep grass for a long way above. The easiest way off is most probably to down climb one of the routes!
19) Slab Route 1 Difficult
50 ft The best route on the slab. Climb up a small groove and the left edge of the slab. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo) 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
20) Waterfall Slab Difficult
50 ft Follow a line up the left-hand side of the slab a few feet right of Slab Route 1. FIRST ASCENT: D. Hall, O. Henry. 1992.
21) Slab Route 2 Moderate
50 ft The centre of the slab. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo) 11 August 2001 (on-sight).
22) Slab Routes 3 Very Difficult
60 feet The right side of the slab, tricky and grassy at the top. FIRST RECORDED ASCENT: B. Carver (solo) 11 August 2001.
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