Tuesday, September 21, 2010

some thoughts on cornwall

this year I ended up agreeing to go back to the amazing Frankenjura for another limestone holiday. However it seemed a shame to go straight there especially when we had a cornwall visit planned for a week also. So after a bit of research and some good advice off a well travelled Mr Adams a bit of a road trip was planned. Cornwall to kerlouan to ploumanach to font to frankenjura. A bit of a dogleg, Yes, but a scenic and less travelled one which breaks up the drive rather well.

Cornwall was good, amazing in places and very distinctive. Paying over £7 in parking on our first day in Cornwall was a bit of a piss take though (multiple venue days are not advisable for the wallet down there) still thats why its the south, its the bit you end up seeing once your fully doubled over from jumping through all the rule-a-hoops. We checked out Godrevy first but the tide was well in so we only got an hour of excellent bouldering in the main cave. After being pushed out by the tide we headed for Clodgy. After stupidly parking in st ives and only being allowed 2 hours due to monetary restraints we hot footed it round the coast to clodgy point and Mikes sitter to Barnaby carvers excellent problem The Groove. Sufficed to say that this was the only thing at this venue i really wanted to climb, although Salad fingers and boomerang are both excellent, being on nice holds, the rest of the venue is massively lacking in inspiring 7/8s and lacking in potential for more.The rock is overachieving in that British past time of falling apart in most places. Horribly angular and shattered it struggles to form any sort of stable overhang. Basically i thought Clodgy was more of a locals venue, mind you it has never been championed as anything more than this . After doing the groove stand after warming up (a crimp snapped on the flash) and figuring out the beta on the sitter it was time to get back to the car to avoid being clamped. The next climbing day I worked out that if you park at helesveor farm the walk in is the same and you can park all day with no clamping worries (i offered the lady £2 for her troubles). Half the arete holds were pisswrapped thanks to the gully to the right being full of soil from it having tipped it down the day before. (if this was my project i’d clean the soil out the crack off a ladder to stop this seepage) After a bit of a moan i manned up and did the sitter in a couple of goes, with some serious hold towelling. My sequence was much easier than Mike’s (i did the moves on mikes sequence and i’d have definitely given it 8A+ if i’d used that) That said the boulder is generally exholdiating so i can see this problem changing grades alot if it gets lots of attention over coming years. For the sequence i used (will put a video up when i get a decent connection) i’d feel bad taking more than 7C+ for it. And the stand up seemed fair at 7B after using the sequence on Barnaby carver’s video.

Aah Godrevy how i wish you were a bit further north. I really really rate this venue. I feel the rock makes what is there 10X better than it’d normally be. rounded slate slopers have got to be some of the greatest holds on the planet. We spent 3 days here in total and i liked every problem i did and i did as many as i could, except for controvoscopy which was a bit buried under pebbles i think? details on start holds?. I did some nice projects too (tbc) which i got on video. Infact there seemed to be projects appearing out of nowhere. on my last day there I got ooh so close to a nice and hard roof project which was hidden in plain sight, oh to have 1 more session, this would have been hard 8a/+ ish and it has a great leftwards extension at 8b/+ish for sure. thanks to the blankness of the slate alot of the climbing here can be brutally basic this project has a great (almost) 1 armer in (Leo you’d crush it). Again its on video so i’ll whack it up at some point. Providence was also excellent and the dyno drive by move is a real keeper for the memory banks. This place has got to be due a new guide soon to do it justice? just some photo topos’d do the trick. Or maybe Greg just spoils us up in the lakes.