Climbing in Cornwall

So after a little jaunt en-route in Dewerstone we set out for the far west and Cornwall!! We booked our accommodation over the phone en route and a few hours later we arrived and set up camp. With fine weather we immediately inspected the guidebook and headed for Sennen. After finding the place we set off down the scramble to find the climbs, after a few guidebook checks and the usual ups and downs we found where we were on the crag compared to the guidebook.

With only a couple of hours on the car park we chose another easy climb in Sinners Route (Diff). As I had been unhappy with my previous climbing performance, I made my way comfortably up this ladder of a climb and Jess followed up second. Once at the top we decided the decent route was too long and opted to drop the kit off and had a relaxing walk around the beach after a long days driving, and a short days climbing it was a nice way to relax!

The next day we woke to rain and poor weather so decided a day of bouldering was needed, however we had no guide although we had knowledge of bouldering at St Ives. We got to our location and used the Internet at the local library and printed off an online guide (…/G…/Stives/BoulderingInStIves2007.pdf), and then after a little tourism relocated the car and parked for the cheap price of 6 pound for the rest of the day??? We worked our way to the first boulders on the guide at Mans Head and after a spot of lunch started on the Beginners crack climbs behind, these were nice easy climbs to get warmed up on but unfortunately the area had a lot of broken glass around it and even in some of the holds, so we moved on to Cloggy Point where we climbed many of the routes. It ended up being a day of on and off rain and sun, but whilst climbing we could see dolphins out to sea, and had the whole place to ourselves. Just as we left we planned to walk the beach and get fish and chips, however the rain came in earnest to ruin our plans, but all in all it was a really good day, with some fun bouldering routes!

The next day we set out to climb our main objective of this trip, Bosigran Ridge (AKA. Commando Ridge). We had no access to the internet and forgot to check tide times the day before, so just gambled on being able to make the lower start of the climb, unfortunately out luck was not in that day and after scrambling and abbed down, the start of the route was getting splashed by some rough seas, so we set off up the nearest face following an easy looking line which provided little troubles. We accessed the ridge line but was unsure of where we were so Jess lead on and tried to understand where we had come to on the route, she could not work out where we were so just pushed on and made belay to bring me up. This route is more of a traverse than vertical climb, and although I started strong I soon made the mistake of forgetting that I had a damaged foot, and wedged it in a hold and placed a lot of weight onto it whilst trying to remove a piece of very well placed gear. In short this pissed me off and I started one of my little rants f’ing and blinding at this f’ing s**t and so on. Once I was moving again I managed to continue this rant at the belay and even directed some of my anger and crap in Jess’s direction which then just led to a really awkward and tense climb from that point on.

We continued to move up the ridge and made our way following the guidebook and general instinct of where you could see had been climbed and what definitely had not, from my next belay on of the twin ropes managed to get caught. I tried to free this rope but it just would not budge. So attempted to belay jess on the single rope until she reached rope which was stuck, however I had not protected the rope she was climbing on until later in my traverse so she ultimately had to solo a part of the climb as my belayed rope would only swing her into the deck rather than hold her fall. Jess made the traverse safely and found where the other rope was caught. We then continued on with what was becoming a never-ending climb.

Jess pulled on the ropes and I made may way up to the final part of the ridge where hours later we had started our decent, but jess had continued up further and after a little fiasco and tempers still flaring just stayed where I was and when she got down sorted out the gear in a solemn sort of silence. I did my best to appologise about my behavior earlier in the climb, but these were not fully received due to the tension of the climb and between us on the day.

All this took us a long time, I don’t remember when we started but it was past 4 when we finished, a very long day with only a little food, so we were both looking forward to some food back at the car, we took out the now warm cool box, and set up in one of the mill buildings by the car park for a relaxed lunch of salmon baguettes…this was pretty short-lived as just as we had everything ready we realised we had forgotten the tin opener and gave up, packed up and made our way back to the camp site. Although this day was not a failure, we achieved our goal of the day; it did not feel like much of a victory. Sometimes things just don’t go smoothly, and climbing with your partner can sometimes put extra strain on the climb or make it easier, this day was the former.

After a wet day walking around the disused mines we made a second trip to Bosigran, this day proved to be a lot better, however when it started and we got to the crag without the guidebook it did not seem like it was going to be. We knew that the central buttress had a variety of easy routes on it from memory of the guidebook so we spent a good part of the day climbing a few routes on the face, all of which provided good climbing on quality granite rock. On a post look at the guidebook we had climbed Alison Rib, Kate, In-Between and Oread. We drove home late that afternoon/evening and it felt good to have climbed some really nice routes to finish the trip on. I’m pretty sure I will be back as we never got a chance to climb on Lands End or have a real go at Sennen, but it will be better to approach these when I have fully recovered and have more faith in my climbing!


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