I'm currently beavering away to try and update the Kernow Klimber website, as the current one seems a bit dated. As I am trying to do this myself, its taking a bit of time and lots of frustration! I have the added pressure of disappearing to the Brecon Beacons for the next fortnight and will only have limited wifi connectivity...aaarrggghhhh! How did we cope before the internet? I'm sure our lives were simpler.
Last week James from Holland joined me for a couple of days of vertical pleasures. Our first day at Bosigran was a bit damp in the morning, but turned out nice in the afternoon. The climbing at Bosigran is just brilliant, it's no wonder this is the place where everyone flocks to on their first climbing trip to Cornwall. Solid, rough granite, great situations, no tidal considerations and covered in classic routes from Difficult through to E7, one could argue that there is no better place to climb in the UK.
James hadn't climbed for several years, we took things easy and climbed Alison's Rib (Diff), Black Slab (Diff), Andrew (HVDiff) and finished with a combination of Little Brown Jug pitch one and the top pitches of Doorpost. Alison's Rib is a delightful little route. Most people avoid the top pitch, but this provides some good, old fashioned jug pulling up steep ground and should not be missed. Black Slab is one of the handful of climbs pioneered by perhaps the greatest climber this country has ever produced, Colin Kirkus. Colin was a master on the rock and was the climber's climber, studying pictures of cliffs while at work to sort out possible new routes and then cycle from Liverpool to Snowdonia and back for the weekend just to climb his new lines. You can read more about Colin in Steve Dean's book, Hands of a Climber, a great read and insight to the man.
The first pitch of Doorpost can seep after prolonged wet weather, so the first pitch of Little Brown Jug is a good alternative. The hardest moves are at the very start, but a little confidence will pay dividends. The stance is a semi-hanging one on small wires from a good ledge and at this point, James admitted he wasn't that good with heights! Moving quickly up the top pitches, he was glad to be back in the land of the horizontal!
Being a little uncomfortable in an unusual situation is normal as this is part of our self-defense mechanism - the Fight or Flight syndrome. The best way to overcome things like this is controlled exposure to those situations, or in other words, a little at a time. I have been climbing for over 25 years now so standing on the edges of big drops, or hanging from exposed belays is second nature. James used to be a pro-cyclist and road race in europe. He said being in the 'peloton', close to the back of another cyclist who is travelling close to 90 kpm, can be a little un-nerving. Un-nevring?? Bloody terrifying in my books. I'm a 'Driving Miss Daisy white knuckle' rider on the most simplest of mountain bike trails, but then again, I hardly ever do it...i'm too busy enjoying myself climbing!
We took things a bit easier on our second day and headed to Trewavas, the once secret crag on the south coast. Again, no tidal worries and all single pitch routes. Here one can chase the sun, or escape all but southerly winds....the perfect winter venue! I provided ropes from above so that James could climb until his heart's content (or his arms gave up). We were blessed with sunny skies and calm winds all day. Apparently it was stormy and snowing up country!