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…
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! 😀
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!
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”.
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…
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:
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.
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…
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!!!
Cornish Cream Tea
And finally, no trip to Cornwall is complete without a Cornish cream tea!