040828-30 Cornwall

Overview - Gorgeous coastline, and lots of huge granite slabs. Absolutely terrifying, especially the abseils in! Four crags (though the first two were only big enough for half days) - Penden (wicked ab in, but slick/breakable basalt rock), Rosemary Towers (small, but well worth a longer visit), Sennen (a perfect place for teaching beginners, Central Area), and Bosigran (you can't get out of going here when in Cornwall).

Foam Follower (HVS 5a): Pendeen p188

Led - I thought this was a VS 4b when I got on it, hence using it as a nice warm up. A more up-to-date guide described it as "since a recent rockfall, this is now a serious undertaking" Don't think I quite got the right line, but it was hairy enough to give me the fear - especially after the first hold on the traverse broke off in my hand... Seconded by Nick.

Pork Ordinaire (HVS 5a): Pendeen p187

Seconded, Nick led - I feel slightly sorry for Nick on this one; he set out up it as his first E1, after we both looked at the enjoyably easy and well-protected line. However, it is not E1, and only touches 5a in a few places - but overall, a very nice climb!

Hard Times (E1 5c): Rosemary Towers p122

Failed lead - Fantastic granite climbing (very grit-like), lay-offs from small seams, mantels into crack lines, and fairly sparce on gear. As usual, I got to what I thought was the crux move, and, even with bomber gear at my feet, couldn't commit (this seems to be a pattern on 5cs). Having escaped around the arrete and finished up the side, I now know that the top-out is the crux. Horrible palming on a blank sloper (6a, I reckon). Just trust the friction... Nick, William, and Moose seconded

Corner Climb (VDiff): Sennen p243

Solo - A good solid VDiff to teach on, as there's plenty just off-line to stand on and inspect from. No idea or comments on what the actual climb is like, but the atmosphere is fair more important!

Letterbox (S 4a/4b): Sennen p244

Solo - The escape route at the end of the day. Can't comment on this one either, as didn't even look at the guide - This area of Sennen is 20 climbs Diff-VS, so it's pick a nice looking line, and go up it. Again, it's the atmosphere of the crashing waves and sunshine you're really there for...

Little Brown Jug (VS 5a): Bosigran p132

Led pitches 1&2 together, Nick finished - Having a complete lack of ability to find and start up the initial moves of this climb didn't conform to the expectation of one of the most recommended climbs down in this part of the world. A very tenuous foot-traverse, and I'm on completely the wrong line, having done moves that are two / three grades too hard, and without protection. Oh well. A fairly straightward corner for the rest of that pitch, then a beautiful up-and-right traverse to the best bomber hanging-stance I've ever found. Oh, and I finally placed my sky-hook as proper gear! Final pitch is fairly gripping, but a nice run non-the-less. All in all, not the must-do all have talked about, but still worth ticking.