The weather has finally decided it's Spring time this week. Gone are the bitterly cold, but glorious dry days, and in their place are the warmer temperatures (double figures today!) and the rain. I have spent the past week up in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, working on a Leadership course for Network Rail. It's all very different from the climbing and mountaineering work I usually do, but a change is as good as a rest. I snuck off to the The Gower, on Friday night, hoping to find some dry rock, but despite a beautiful sunset, Saturday dawned wet and windy. Plan B was to go surfing, so I jumped in at Llangennith and had good time in choppy 3 foot surf, despite it being nearly 5 months since I was last in the sea!
I have been out and about in Cornwall, since returning from wintering in Scotland. Nothing too serious though, as I've been taking time out to be with my boys. We managed to get out to do some bouldering at Little Fistral beach, in Newquay as well as heading down for some adventures in West Penwith. The climbing in and around Newquay isn't great as the quality of the rock is poor, but if you spend some time looking, there are a few places worth visiting for a spot of bouldering. It won't be anything like you might get in the Peak District, but it's better than nothing (just)! At Little Fistral there are a few small caves to play around in, and a steep wall with incut holds of various sizes. The landing is ok, which is a good thing, as the holds are a little fragile and have a habit of breaking just at the wrong time.
The weather was still very cold during our trip to West Penwith, but the boys braved the elements to climb one route at Halldrine Cove, before we headed for the warmth of The Count House.
The next day we decided to explore the moors of Carn Galver. I have been coming to climb in this part of Cornwall for over 20 years and have always said I should spend a day exploring the ground on the opposite side of the road to the hut, but never had. What a perfect opportunity to do so, accompanied by two young intrepid explorers!
Just down the road from the National Trust car park at Carn Galver Mine, a path leads out onto the open hillside and this we followed, carrying climbing gear, a bouldering mat and sweets. (all parents know you need the occasional bribe!) We made our way to the southern end of the rocky ridge of Carn Galver, and followed it north (back towards the car park), scrambling over rocky pinnacles and sauntering along broad ridges. Here and there were short, climabable pieces of rock and we spent some time climbing up the easier looking ones. Nothing too hard or serious. On one section of the ridge, we came across dates and initials of people carved into the rock. I can only assume these were made by the miners and their families, who must have enjoyed the vast openness of the moorland after the claustrophobic confides of the mine. It is a wonderful place, and the views are tremendous, and it must have been a good day for the youngsters, as there were plenty of sweets left, at the end of the day!
I am going to be working in South Wales for another couple of weeks, but will be back in Cornwall at the beginning of May. Here's hoping we get a summer this year. Looking forward to climbing on sun-kissed Cornish Granite!