Cornwall

Grabbing some Cornish good weather before the long dark winter… Well, that was the plan for our trip to Cornwall, staying at the CC’s Bosigran hut, the Count House. Jon had booked the hut for our group – Jon, Paul, Steve, Sally, Sarah, Chris, Ian, Anna, Laetitia and I.

Count House and Haldrine Cove

We arrived at the Count House in the late afternoon after the long long drive to Cornwall from the Lakes. What wonderful summer weather greeted us. Still and warm. So we rushed out to solo four of the easy (D & VD) routes at Haldrine Cove.

Having arrived a bit earlier the rest of the gang busied themselves with routes on Bosigran main cliff and getting in supplies from the supermarket in Penzance. Check out this happy shot of some of our group enjoying the “summer” weather outside the Count House.

Anna, Sarah, and Chris outside the Count House
Anna, Sarah, and Chris outside the Count House (photo by Ian)

Bosigran

Our second day began on Bosigran main cliff with the direct E2 version of Thin Wall Special; the Chicken Run, I’d meant to stick to the ordinary E1 pitch but the early morning dampness had caused the crack of that line to be a bit, well damp! Whereas the steep face above looked nice – and the climbing was superb, if a bit poorly protected (three poorly placed micro wires was all that protected the top 15 metres or so). The top pitch of Thin Wall Special involves some powerful jamming to pass a large overhang – I was glad of Paul’s skills honed on Peak grit! We ended the day with Visions of Joanna – a route that started with some tough moves with less than encouraging protection. Paul did an excellent job on that route too…

Paul on Visions of Joanna
Paul high on Visions of Joanna

Lands End and Bosigran

We woke to light rain on Monday – our “wet weather sports plan” was called upon – a mass ascent of the Lands End Long Climb, an eight pitch VD route. To quote the guide book, “Mountaineering meets the Atlantic”. What a great route, and not that easy either! Chimneys, faces, jamming cracks, rock crevasse jumps and all just 10 metres from the Lands End hotel!

Pete on Lands End Long Climb
Pete on the traditional Lands End Long Climb

💡 After that another Cornish cream tea was consumed at a surfer’s café in Sennen.

Some exciting power-kite flying at Sennen provided a little more fun between climbing. So exciting in fact that at one point the kite dragged me head first along the sand for 25 metres! 😯 Still steering the kite as I was dragged I managed to regain control and get back to my feet – phew. 🙂

The weather had cleared up by late afternoon, so after the power kite flying, we managed to get back to Bosigran for some more climbing. A two crag day!

We headed over the back side of Bosigran Ridge and tackled the excellent line of Gallipoli – only a single pitch, but what an elegant (and challenging 5c) pitch it is!

Bosigran Ridge; the challenge of Gallipoli (photo by Paul)
Bosigran Ridge; the challenge of Gallipoli (photo by Paul)

Chair Ladder

The tide times dictated that we should visit Chair Ladder as early in the holiday as the weather permitted – and this was the day, “wall-to-wall” blue skies. 😀 The day’s tick list included the classic Bishop’s Rib – what a great route, a tricky first pitch and an amazing steep and brilliantly positioned, yet due to the knobbly rock, reasonably easy second pitch. If only all climbing was this good! 😎 Bishop’s Rib got a fair hammering from our party with ascents by Laetitia + I, Chris + Sarah, and Paul + Jon. A testimony to the quality of the route?!

Terrier’s Tooth also provided some excellent Classic Rock – especially with the original (VD 5a?) unprotected start. 😕

We finished on another Chair Ladder super classic – South Face Direct – an amazing VS whose penultimate pitch was so steep and overhanging it must be the only “upside down land” climbing I’ve know at such a grade! 😆

Starting the second pitch of Bishops Rib at Chair Ladder (photo by Paul)
Starting the second pitch of Bishops Rib at Chair Ladder (photo by Paul)

Carn Kenidjack

Wednesday started quite overcast and windy. A sheltered location was called for, so why we chose Carn Kenidjack I will never know! Then add in the desperate descent down a loose 80° grass slope, certain death down steep cliff faces on all sides, and with the best landing being a jagged boulder strewn beech beneath! 😮 What a venue…

By the time we arrived Paul & Jon were already on the cliff’s classic route, Saxon (HVS). They’d decided to do the direct start and direct finish. An attempt to get three routes for the price of one? 😆 Good effort!

Sarah & Chris were also well established on Rock Dancer (E1), so we chose Thane (E2), a route up the far right side that climbs a long corner at the top which the guide suggested required some nerve. 😯 It was a great route. Just two negative points really – a little loose rock and no decent belay at the top. I ended up anchored with a micro wire and a sling around a boulder that I wasn’t sure was completely stationery!!! To save weighting the poor belay I kept the weight on my feet – stood on the loose 80° grass slope. Needless to say my mouth was a little dry when Laetitia got to the top.

My toes were sore from tight rock shoes before we got to Carn Kenidjack. After this belay they were in agony, so that was our only route for the day – but what a route!

Time for another cream tea! Consuming cream teas had been established as a fun competition – who could eat the most during the week? The bench mark had been suggested as one cream tea a day! Today saw Chris attain an unbeatable lead, his closest competitors (Sarah just one scone behind and Pete two scones behind) failed to eat even a single scone! 😥 Well done Chris! 😆

Thane at Carn Kenidjack
Thane at Carn Kenidjack

Gale Force Bosigran

Thursday started wet and windy. Later it did clear up a bit, but stayed very windy…

Waiting for the rain to stop Ian, Jon, Laetitia and I played a long (perhaps too long?) game of Kat Attack. Anna, Ian, and Jon then headed off into Penzance while Paul, Laetitia and I braved the gale force winds and wild sea to grab a route on Boisgran. We chose Ochre Slab, a reasonable proposition in warm, still and dry weather. However, adding in a very strong wind and a general dampness from the morning’s rain, it gave us an exciting time – not scary or desperate, just fun! :love:

Big smiles on Ochre Slab at Bosigran in a gale force wind!
Big smiles on Ochre Slab at Bosigran in a gale force wind!

We climbed every day until Friday when wet weather set in and we all scampered home a couple of days early. Lucky really, ‘cos my finger tips were sore from the rough granite and my toes were screaming with the pain of being stuffed into tight rock shoes every day. Oh, and it gave us a chance to relax at home before the reality of work on Monday. 🙁

8 thoughts on “Cornwall”

  1. The boys in the Bow Valley want to know why Tish’s hands aren’t on the rope on Bishop’s rib. They’re a bit like that round there!!

    Watch this space for all the news soon.

  2. Well, one (the crucial braking one) of Laetitia’s hands is on the rope, so all is quite safe. But now that you point it out it is worth comment. She’s actually pointing out a massive and curious seal in the water watching the climbers on Chair Ladder! :star: I think the cameraman, Paul, missed the seal by the time he’d snapped this shot, when he turned round the seal had moved on – more fish to catch… 😉

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