Cornish Guidebook Centenary Celebration

Continuing the celebration of 100 years of continuous definitive guidebook publication the Climbers’ Club held the second of three big celebration events, this time in Cornwall at it’s amazing hut, the Count House. Being a bank-holiday weekend the long drive south was a little daunting, but the brilliant weather (with rain forecast in Cumbria 🙁 ) made it all worthwhile…

Carn Galver mine buildings, Bosigran
Carn Galver mine buildings, Bosigran

Lizard Point

We began the adventures with a trip to Lizard Point, a new venue for us and well worth the drive of 40 minutes from the Count House.

It’s an awesome spot and super popular with tourists, being incredibly beautiful and the most southerly place in the UK. The National Trust parking attendant greeted us with a hearty thank-you (we’d used our NT membership to park for free) and a long speech about how we’d chosen the worst day possible to visit – it was so bad that we were likely to fall in love with the place and never leave; just like him! 🙂 Cornwall is ace; such a mega holiday-vibe! 😀

The old Lizard Point lifeboat station
The old Lizard Point lifeboat station

We climbed a few routes at the lovely Tower Buttress and Hollywood Walls areas of Coastguard Cliff, a pleasant pair of crags discovered in ’84 by Iain Peters (who organised the meet). We climbed in a leisurely, holiday, fashion as we were the only people there. All this on a bank holiday weekend, just brilliant!

Jon leading Valentino
Jon leading Valentino
Laetitia at Lizard Point; Tower Buttress and the Hollywood Walls
Laetitia at Lizard Point; Tower Buttress and the Hollywood Walls
Laetitia leads out the impressive traverse of Sirius
Laetitia leads out the impressive traverse of Sirius

Bosigran

The next day we settled for the easy (no driving required) option of Bosigran. After Laetitia had climbed Venusberg our next objective was the famous Suicide Wall. It’s a route I’d wanted to climb for years but just kept on missing out on for one reason or another – mostly long queues, which surprisingly for a bank-holiday weekend weren’t too bad, although we did have a short wait at the first belay while the party in-front climbed the traverse pitch. It’s this traverse pitch that makes the climb famous – from the guidebook “Reaching the heart of Bosigran”.

Laetitia on the famous Suicide Wall traverse, with Jon waiting to climb on the 1st belay behind
Laetitia on the famous Suicide Wall traverse, with Jon waiting to climb on the second belay behind

We bumped into Frank and Daphne at the top where Frank shared with us the story of the first ascent of Suicide Wall and how it was traditional/essential for all parties to then complete the Suicide Wall boulder problem…

Laetitia on the Suicide Wall boulder with Bosigran trailblazer Frank Cannings spotting

Jon and I also climbed Visions of Johanna, a route discovered by M Springett, Frank, and P Biven in ’68. With such company on the meet it seemed impossible to climb anything that someone didn’t either know all the details of the first ascent, or was the first ascentionist!

Cornish Guidebook Centenary Celebration BBQ

That evening was the main centenary celebration BBQ, complete with an awesome BBQ’d steak! :yum:

Bob and Iain - Centenary BBQ master chefs - serving Andy his steak
Bob and Iain - Centenary BBQ master chefs - serving Andy his steak

It was a bit chilly outside but the heat from the BBQ and the superb setting sun kept most people outside right up till the sun dipped below the horizon.

Roger and Fiona wrapped up despite the sunshine at the evening BBQ
Roger and Fiona wrapped up despite the sunshine at the evening BBQ
Mark, David, Laetitia, Bob, and Andy catch the last of the sun's rays at the BBQ
Mark, David, Laetitia, Bob, and Andy catch the last of the sun's rays at the BBQ
Andy, Gerry, and Laetitia outside the Count House enjoying the Centenary BBQ as the sun sets
Andy, Gerry, and Laetitia outside the Count House enjoying the Centenary BBQ as the sun sets

The sun set with the faintest of green flashes; an amazing and (I think) rare/hard to see optical phenomenon. I’m not sure if the quality of the image at the scaled size required for the web does it justice, but here’s a picture I caught of the sunset’s green flash…

Sunset - Green Flash...
Sunset - Green Flash...

Great Zawn Traverse

The next adventure on the celebratory agenda was a mass traverse of the Great Zawn, repeating its adventurous discovery by A W Andrews. There was some debate as to whether it would be feasible with the sea as rough as it now was, but we all bravely (foolishly) scrambled down and abseiled in to the zawn. Anyone who knows the crevasse-leap in the zawn will know just how foolish we were with a big sea running and very wet rock from sea spray! Needless to say, the HS escape route got more (top-rope) ascents that day than it has probably seen in the past decade!!!

Laetitia, Fiona, Daphne, Bob, and Iain watch the sea spray driving up into the Great Zawn, Bosigran
Laetitia, Fiona, Daphne, Bob, and Iain watch the sea spray driving up into the Great Zawn, Bosigran
Pete with a Seagull feathered cap!
Pete with a Seagull feathered cap!
Pete, Laetitia, Daphne, Iain, Fiona, Mike, Bob, Pete, Frank, Andy, and Toni at the base of the Great Zawn, Bosigran
Pete, Laetitia, Daphne, Iain, Fiona, Mike, Bob, Pete, Frank, Andy, and Toni at the base of the Great Zawn, Bosigran

Cornish Cream Tea

And finally, no trip to Cornwall is complete without a Cornish cream tea!

Centenary cream-tea at the Count House; Jon, Laetitia, Keith, Roger, Leo, Iain, Pete, Bob, and Toni
Centenary cream-tea at the Count House; Jon, Laetitia, Keith, Roger, Leo, Iain, Pete, Bob, and Toni

3 thoughts on “Cornish Guidebook Centenary Celebration”

  1. Okay pictures. They remind me of backpacking along the coastal path a few years ago (when I was a teenager). Every mile seems to require four miles of walking because of the way the path snaked up and down along the cliff-face. We took a rope with us to abseil off anything we thought we could scramble back up so I know what you mean about the wet rock. Stops were made at ever beach as one of the lads had thought to bring some binoculars. In the end we failed to complete the path because one of the team broke his foot (on a rest day) whilst trying to get to a particularly secluded beach 🙄 😆

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