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Back to South Coast New Routes

...a few new routes from the Carn Les Boel area of West Cornwall! Many thanks to Rik Meek for details and supplying the photos.



South facing and largely non-tidal, but affected by heavy swell. Approach as for Black Carn South, but instead of scrambling down into the zawn, scramble down rightwards (facing out) over boulders and slabs. Several broken buttresses are passed, but the seaward two are more substantial. The routes are on perfect granite, on the most seaward buttress. Scramble down a cleft to the very base of the cliff. After finishing, a careful scramble upwards regains the descent ridge after about 150 ft. Alternatively, from the belay of Pudsey, it is possible to downclimb at about diff. The first route gives extremely well protected climbing in a good position. Start on ledges at the left side of the face below an obvious groove.

Hideous Hoover Injury HVS 5b 60 ft Climb into the groove and move up, before moving right to join the following route. Climb up onto the slab below the roof, and traverse right to the far end. Climb up and left to a belay ledge. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 16/09/01

Wing Commander Dunning Severe 4a 75 ft Start down and right of the previous route, just left of the arÍte. Move up onto the black arÍte and climb easily for a few feet. Now move left into a stepped groove and climb this in an exposed position until a short, black, slabby corner is reached on the right. Climb this to a large ledge and belay. FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 08/08/01

Pete O Sullivan on Gelert HS

Gelert Hard Severe 4b 75 ft ** Superb climbing with good protection. Start as for the previous route. Where that route steps left, make bold but easy moves to a roof. Pull through the roof and continue steeply up the rightward slanting faultline until a final steep pull leftward gains the belay ledge of Wing Commander Dunning. FA Pete O'Sullivan, RikMeek 08/08/01

The next routes start from ledges below the main face, above the cleft used to reach the start of the previous routes. Should the sea be threatening, it is possible to start those routes from here, by climbing down and left to the arÍte.

Pudsey Very Severe 4c 60 ft * Good, steep climbing up the centre of the face. Start below the obvious crackline in the middle of the wall. Climb this for a few feet, then step right and follow its continuation steeply to the main roof. Make an awkward move rightwards and follow easy ledges to a belay. FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 08/08/01

Cro-Magnon E2 5b 60 ft ** Good climbing, with a dramatic and intimidating finish. Start just right of Pudsey. Climb steeply and independently until a junction with Pudsey a few feet below the roof. Climb to the roof and move up and leftwards through it, using the obvious undercut. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 02/09/01

The following route climbs the next buttress up from the sea. Start below a prominent crack at the foot of the narrow steep buttress.

Wasp Pant Terror HVS 4c 50ft A short route, with an adventurous feel. Climb the steep crack to a ledge and move up. Move up and right into an unusual groove on the right arÍte of the buttress. Climb this and move left into the wide horizontal break. Finish more easily by a wide crack. FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan, Des Hannigan 23/09/01


This is the promontory immediately South of Black Carn South. It provides a range of excellent climbs, in a beautiful south-facing position. The left hand routes are on perfect granite. The climbing is accessible for three hours either side of low tide (routes starting inside the chimney are less affected by tide), although it is very susceptible to even slight swells at all states of the tide. Approach from Porthgwarra as for Black Carn South, but a few yards before the wall that crosses the path, descend steep slopes towards a promontory. Descend an awkward rock step where this narrows and continue easily to the top of the crag. This is marked by a yawning chasm, running right through the end of the promontory, which is bridged by two remarkable poised boulders - the routes are below on the left. Descent to all routes is by abseil, most atmospherically down the chimney itself. The following routes start from the floor of the chimney, below the poised blocks and provide good, climbing in an intimidating situation.


Ginger Spice E1 5b **
Tremendous, atmospheric climbing up the chasm. Start at the highest point of the cleft. 80ft. Climb up the chimney directly below the blocks, initially by extreme back and footing, until it is possible to bridge, and eventually finish up the seaward face, passing under the topmost block. Belay on the seaward side. Probably impossible for anyone under 5'10"! FA Steve Hill, Rik Meek, Andy Pemberton c.1997

The next routes share a common start a few feet down (towards Chair Ladder) from the start of the previous route.

Wake Up E1 5b
This climbs the obvious broken groove at the left hand end of the impressive landward wall below the blocks. 90ft. Climb onto a sloping ledge a few feet up the wall and make poorly protected moves up and left to reach a good crack. Move up and left again to gain the groove. Follow this more easily, taking care with some loose rock, to finish just right of the top boulder. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 16/09/01

Proper Wriggle E2 5b *
Good climbing up the centre of the wall, with protection in the right places. 90ft. Follow the previous route to the good crack. Climb straight upwards to reach a horizontal break. Continue upwards with more difficulty, until just below the final overhang. This can be tackled head on, or, more enjoyably, just to the right. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 16/09/01

Naughty Naked Nude E2 5b **
Tremendous, sustained climbing, in a superb position, with an exciting finish. 90ft. Climb onto the ledge as for the previous routes and arrange protection. Make difficult moves rightwards using the break, until below a vertical crack. Move up (crux) and follow the crack above until below the final overhang. Pull through this and climb the spectacular flake crack above by jamming and lay-backing. FA Rik Meek, Brian Hannon 16/09/01

Turning right out of the bottom of the Ginger Spice chimney leads to the following route up the arÍte of the seaward side of the chasm. This area is covered by a topo.

Blocks Prom topo - don't forgot to click for larger view!

Blockhead S 4a
140 ft * 1. 4a 80 ft
. Climb the system of cracks and grooves in the arÍte, with good moves near the top, to a belay. 2. 60 ft. Climb easy walls and then tiptoe across the poised block to the mainland. FA Martin Dunning, Pete O'Sullivan, Mike Homer 22/07/01

Turning left out of the chimney leads to a series of fine buttresses. Routes are described from left to right.

New Boots E2 5c **
Excellent - sustained but well protected. 80ft Start just right of the arÍte, below a series of cracks. Make a hard move up into the crack and move up steeply to where it forks. Another hard move leads into the left hand crack, which is followed to the top. FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 21/07/01

Panties E2 5c **
Equally good. 80ft Start as for New Boots, but at the fork, move right and follow the right hand continuation crack steeply, until it eases below the top. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 22/07/01

Just right again is a sloping ledge below an obvious corner/groove.

Rum and Ribena E1 5b **
80ft Climb onto the left hand side of the ledge. Reach around the arÍte on the left to blindly place gear. Make a difficult swing up and onto the arÍte, move up and follow the cracks more easily to the top. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 22/07/01

Clever Trevor E1 5b
80 ft
Climb onto the right hand side of the ledge and follow the steep corner above by awkward bridging and back and footing. Continue easily to the top. FA Mike Homer, Pete O'Sullivan, Martin Dunning 22/07/01

Do It Yourself VS 4c
100 ft Start a few feet right of the previous route at an obvious square groove with twin cracks in it. Climb the groove to the top, move right and climb easily to an obvious layback flake. Climb this to a roof, pull over this and follow the arÍte airily to the top. FA Rik Meek, Brian Hannon, Pete O'Sullivan 02/09/01

Hyena E2 5b *
A little gritty low down, but getting better. 80ft Start 10 ft right again, at a discontinuous crack system. Gain the crack and climb it steeply for 40ft, where it eases slightly. Move left and follow the steep continuation crack in the arÍte, to finish as for the previous route. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 02/09/01

Running along the base of the crag is a gully of rotten granite. At the highest point of this is a ledge on the right which is the starting point for the next route.

Aerosol E1 5a
45 ft
Lean across the gully to the arÍte of the main wall and fix gear. Pull onto the wall and follow cracks and the arÍte to the top, with less than perfect protection and rock. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 22/07/01

Across the zawn from these routes is a striking smooth slab, rising from a ledge. This can be approached by scrambling round the zawn at low tide, or by following directions for Pellitras Point and scrambling rightwards. It gives the following short route:

Cortina HVS 5a
40 ft Good moves. From the ledge, climb the corner to a smaller ledge. Move left into a subsidiary groove and follow this to the top. FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 09/09/01

The obvious left hand line was left unascended, due to the alarming amount of daylight visible through the crack.


Facsimile HVS 5a
60 ft Start as for Las Meninas. Climb to where that route moves left, make one move left, then pull steeply into the first layback crack. Follow this to the top, with exposed moves to finish. FA Rik Meek, Pete O'Sullivan 01/07/01

The following routes are on the seaward side of the promontory; although relatively non-tidal, they are affected by rough seas. To the right of The Groove is a wall of perfect, golden granite - the first route follows the obvious low-level break from left to right, before climbing directly up the wall.

Cold War E3 6a **
Another excellent route up the left hand side of the wall. 50ft Start as for Lardus, climb to the vertical crack and follow this to a break. Make a strenuous hand traverse left for 8 - 10 feet, before a difficult move up onto a very faint rib allows easier climbing, and then the top to be reached. FA Brian Hannon, Martin Dunning, Rik Meek 16/12/01

Lardus E2 5c **
Superb climbing, with a technical crux. 70 ftStart near the left hand end of the wall, below a thin crack. Move up to the diagonal break, and follow it rightwards for 20 ft, with excellent moves and protection, until below a much thinner, vertical crack. Step up to this, arrange protection, and make difficult moves up to reach a jug. A further hard move gains the slab, and easier climbing to the top. FA Rik Meek, Martin Dunning, Brian Hannon, Pete O'Sullivan 04/11/01

Brian Hannon on Rapscallion E3

Rapscallion E3 6a **
A sustained route which takes an unlikely line, straight up the centre of the wall. 50ft Start just right of the previous route. Climb to the break, then make hard moves up the thin flakes to the right of the crack, to the next break. More hard moves up the continuation flakes lead up and right to easier ground. FA Brian Hannon, Pete O'Sullivan, Martin Dunning, Rik Meek 04/11/01photo

Near the right hand end of the wall is a step in the ledge below it. The next route starts just left of this.

Red Snapper E2 5c *
Tremendous climbing, with an exciting finish. 50 ft Make hard moves straight up the blank wall, protected by RPs, until easier moves lead to a junction with Pollyvia. Follow this for a few feet, until below a blunt arÍte on the right wall. Climb this steeply to the top. FA Brian Hannon, Rik Meek, Martin Dunning, Mike Homer, Pete O'Sullivan, Des Hannigan (and Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all) 23/09/01

Homer's Thong HVS 5b
50 ft Climbs the obvious groove in the upper half of the wall - harder than it looks. Start just right of the step in the ledge. Make hard moves up and left into a faint groove and move up to ledges. Move right and climb the steep and rather crunchy groove to the top. FA Mike Homer and a cast of hundreds 23/09/01

On the wall across the zawn North of the above routes is a prominent dark pink slab rising out of the sea, which is most easily gained by abseiling to the ledge below it (accessible for 3 hours either side of low tide). It gives two routes, which enjoy dramatic situations (particularly if there is any swell), at an amenable grade.

Pinky D
40 ft
Climb the left side of the slab. FA Mike Homer, Martin Dunning 22/07/01

Perky D
40 ft
Climb the right side of the slab. FA Pete O'Sullivan, Brian Hannon, Rik Meek 22/07/01


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