041127-28 Pembroke

Overview - Pembroke is the most atmospheric of all the places we climb. It is simply stunning just to be there. The land just ends and the sea starts; no beach, no gentle roll or steep inclines (as in Cornwall) to the sea. The land stops and ~30m towards the centre of the earth, the water starts, creating large walls with superbly exposed climbing. Oh, and then there's the cafe and pub...

First three of these are Saddle Head, then Newton Head (took Al and I about a hour to work out where in the guide we were...), then Chapel Point.

Sea Mist (2* HS 4a):

Led - Disappointingly easy, but that's not what I was there for. Sea Mist is one of these classics that everyone who's ever done it recommends doing it. So I did. Another "interesting" (at the grade) move to the arrete, then pausing to take in the surroundings. Yep, that's why it's recommended - correctly starred. Mary seconded.

Blue Lagoon (E1 5b):

Led - Well, ish. Ab in, set up the hanging belay, get totally lost on the first pitch (same as Blue Sky - VS 4b,4b 3*). Half way up the second pitch; a very thin slab, get gripped for long enough to let a massive wall of rain head our way. I would quote "Well, I just got blown off an E1, but onto a 3* VS." Finished up Blue Sky fairly easily - note: I'm not so sure about the stars. Sitting at the top belaying, force ??? (some high number) wind blowing up the cliff into your face, rain coming in horizontally... And you suddenly realise that you're enjoying being there... How strange are climbers? JC seconded.

Sunset Boulevard (HVS 5a):

Self Belayed - Nice touch to finish off the day. Belay Jim out, with Richard following, then return to the rope that I'd just ab'ed in on and put SPA knowledge to good use. Excellent. Fairly straight forward, but interesting none the less. Not really memorable, though - perhaps on led.

Dai-Uretic (E1 5a/b):

Seconded Alun - Reminds me of Great Portland str. but not as good (Limestone!). Bouldery start, then beautiful bridging for the rest of the way... Well, five or six palm-offs, gaining about 2m height, and then a staircase. The E2/3 just to the right looks about the same - hard lower section (decent protection), then an easy run-out.

Ultravixen (2* E1 5b):

Seconded Alun - Quite a mix of techniques needed for this one. First make strong pulls on ledges and pinches that are just good enough (takes going up and down a few times); wander up and left with good protection on hidden large holds; either lay-off or jam a nice crack line; then finish over the roof on good jugs. Varied, very atmospheric and a very, very good climbing.