Tuesday, 9 May 2017

NO CLIMBING in North Hill Woods

The landowner of the North Hill Woods area of Luxulyan Valley has stated emphatically that climbing and bouldering cannot be permitted. There is a good reason for this which is specific to this relatively small site, so please do not climb at North Hill Wood.

Fortunately there is plenty of good climbing elsewhere in Luxulyan Valley where access is not an issue.

Tom last's PDF guide Luxulyan Woods Bouldering and New Routes 2014 has been temporarily removed from the Cheesewring Climbing webpages until it can be updated to reflect this new information.

There was quite a lot of new route activity in South East Cornwall at the end of last year, full details of which will appear on the Cheesewring Climbing New Routes and Updates page dreckly! 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Devil's Jump access update NO CLIMBING

Since the writing of Cheesewring & South East Cornwall: A Climbers' Guide ownership of Devil's Jump has changed hands. The current landowner has advised that they do not allow public access to this crag. The BMC has been informed and they ask that climbers 'please avoid the crag unless an update is posted' on their Regional Access Database. See Devil's Jump entry on the RAD here.

The BMC is currently attempting to negotiate with the landowner. We will update in due course on any progress.

Monday, 10 November 2014

New guide to Luxulyan by Tom Last

EDIT May 2017: Due to an access issue at one of the venues featured in this PDF guide, the file has been temporarily removed from the Cheesewring Climbing webpages. Please visit the New Routes and Updates section to find out more.

Is Luxulyan Cornwall’s answer to Bovey Woods? Or is it, as Andy Grieve says: “...like Fontainbleu, with a wellington boot walk in!”? Well if you live nearby you have no excuses not to find out, as local photographer and Luxulyan jungle-lover Tom Last has produced a fine PDF guide for you to follow.

Luxulyan Woods Bouldering and New Routes 2014 by Tom Last describes over 120 boulder problems and 16 routes that didn’t quite make it into the main body of the 2012 definitive guidebook. Illustrated with colour photo-topos throughout, it’s certainly an ideal supplement to Cheesewring & South East Cornwall: A Climbers’ Guide and Tom has generously allowed us to host his PDF on our Cheesewring Climbing site.

Due to its 56 pages the file is a hefty 13 MB, but I’m told it looks good on a smart phone. If printing it out ideally it would be best as A4 landscape in colour; however, I suspect that would be a very expensive option.

Luxulyan has seen a burst of development over the last few years but it has huge potential for those with the willingness to explore. Tom deserves full credit for his recent routes and problems, as well as for all the hard work put in to documenting this often overlooked area. Well done Tom and thanks for letting us upload it.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Landslip Cove soon to be accessible once again

Work is taking place this month to repair the coastal path at Talland Bay. As reported in this news post, storm damage forced the closure, in February, of the Coast Path running past Landslip Cove, making access to the routes here impossible without ignoring the diversion. Hopefully once the work is completed this stretch of path will be reopened allowing safe and unhindered access to the climbing once again.

CORMAC’s countryside team is now organising a new diversion around the works, which are due to be completed within four weeks. The diversion is about a mile long and goes away from the coast following roads rather than footpaths; its route can be seen here on the South West Coast Path website.

This section of the South West Coast Path within Talland Bay was affected by last winter’s storms. The storms destroyed the existing coastal defences, which now need to be replaced to ensure the future of this section of the National Trail.

Repair work is taking place at 67 sites around the coast of Cornwall, funded by DEFRA and Cornwall Council. BAM Nuttall & Mott MacDonald will undertake the work at Talland Bay. To protect and improve the resilience of the cliff supporting the road they will be making placements of rock armour, gabion baskets and sprayed concrete.

CORMAC Countryside Officer Dave Wood said “It is great to see the investment in our coastline by DEFRA and Cornwall Council. We hope to keep inconvenience to a minimum during the works and ask that people follow the diversion we have put in place. Although we appreciate that the diversion will be in place for four weeks, it is hoped that this will preserve the route of the SWCP for many years to come.”

Although there are only four mediocre routes of historical interest at Landslip Cove, there are so few crags in this part of Cornwall that loss of access to any of them greatly limits what little climbing is available. Thankfully the temporary closure of this stretch of Coast Path will soon be at an end so climbers in the area can feel free to book a trip to experience the joys of The Circular Climb!

Updates on path closures and route changes can be found here on the South West Coast Path website.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tom Last makes first ascent of overhanging offwidth crack

Tom Last has continued his campaign of new routing in South East Cornwall with his most recent achievement being the impressive first ascent of an overhanging wide crack on Luxulyan’s rough granite. The Singularity weights in at around E4/5 6a and is located on a natural tor on the rim of Luxulyan Quarry proper – i.e. the massive semi-dormant quarry north of the village.

Tom said: “I first tried this ground up a couple of years ago and got completely shut down after the initial hands section. I came back a few weeks ago and decided to give it a top-rope, not really expecting to get anywhere, but after a couple of tries, I managed to link it. The difficulty of the climb though is in keeping it together for the duration, so I started trying to lead it – climbing it, I think, on my 6th or 7th lead attempt over three sessions.

“The crack goes from hands, through the grim off-width to a wild move that hopefully gets you into the final mad squeeze chimney. The route overhangs for about 25-30 degrees for its full length. It is absolutely brutally hard,” says Tom, “Honestly though, you couldn’t get a better line, or more ridiculous experience.”

The route is well protected with #6 cams and surely must be one of the most challenging wide cracks in Cornwall. The photo below shows Tom’s lower legs and feet struggling with the top-out during the first ascent while belayer Hernan Cardenas Ibanez tries to think of a few excuses not to follow. The picture above is not of the first ascent but gives a better impression of the route.

Full details of this route can be found here on the Cheesewring Climbing New Routes page.

Elsewhere in the Luxulyan area Tom has also contributed Aces High, essentially a highball direct finish to his route Sheela-Na-Gig at Carmears Rocks. There is a video of this route here on Facebook. While on the South Coast he has also discovered a new cliff with climbing potential just west of Dodman Point called Greeb Point. So far the only route here is a fine-looking Diff. From the Delta to the DMZ.

Full details for all Tom’s recent routes can be found on the New Routes page of the Cheesewring Climbing website. Many thanks to Tom for supplying the information and for the use of his photos.

If anyone has new route descriptions or any other news for the area please do send it in.

Penrose Outdoors now stocking Cheesewring and South East Cornwall guide

Amazingly this month marks two years since the publication of the latest edition of Cheesewring & South East Cornwall: A Climbers’ Guide – how time flies! Tempus fugit as they say in Rome, or rather said, but that was a very long time ago indeed, although I’m sure to some also seems like yesterday… anyway I digress…

Only this weekend I received more kind comments about the guide so I’m glad the book is appreciated. It’s now available in even more outlets here in Cornwall, so anyone who has not yet bought their copy need not find it hard to get. Penrose Outdoors now stock it in their shop in Truro, thanks to Jeremy Dyke at Penrose for putting in a good word for us.

The guidebook has also been spotted in Cotswolds in Truro and Nevisports on the A30 at Kingsley Village, Fraddon. It’s always available to buy in the shops in Minions village (by Cheesewring Quarry) and at The Barn Climbing Wall in Milton Abbot, Devon, too.

Local bookshops can order it in if they haven’t got it in stock, just quote ISBN 978-0-948385-57-5, and it can, of course, be obtained direct from the publisher here on-line at www.stivesworldwide.co.uk.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

South West Climbs Volume 2 review

The last weekend in May saw the launch of South West Climbs Volume 2 covering selected climbs in Devon, Cornwall and the granite isles (Lundy and Jersey). The book is the latest in the successful series by Pat Littlejohn, but is also a product of a more recent collaboration with publishers The Climbers’ Club.

The first incarnation of Littlejohn’s South West Climbs was published by Diadem in 1979 and proved so popular that it was reprinted in 1989 with a second edition being published in 1991; this second edition itself has been reprinted and revised numerous times, most recently in 2008. When the Climbers’ Club took on the title it was decided to split the coverage over two volumes and Volume 1, covering Gloucester, Somerset and Dorset, duly appeared in 2012.

The involvement of the Climbers’ Club has certainly added a new impetus to South West Climbs and their experience is evident throughout the book’s 412 pages. Authoring duties are shared with outstanding Bristol-based climber Martin Crocker and the artwork for this nicely-designed full-colour tome was done by Mark Davies and Don Sargeant.

Although a selected guide it’s worth noting that the book has the best coverage of the Exmoor Coast climbing currently available in print, while climbers in South East Cornwall might be interested to know that 20 routes from this area – at Cheesewring Quarry as well as Hawk’s, Trewortha, Kilmar and Helman Tors – are detailed in full.

South West Climbs Volume 2 by Pat Littlejohn, ISBN 978-0-901601-98-8, is published by The Climbers’ Club, priced £25.00, and can be purchased through their website, as well as through bookshops and outdoor retailers.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

More route descriptions

A few more route descriptions for Kilmar Tor and St Clether Crags have just been added to the Cheesewring Climbing New Routes page. Thanks to Rich Hudson for providing the information.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Recent new routes and bouldering in South East Cornwall

Tom Last has been in touch to let us know about some recent stuff he has been doing in the area. Amongst various new bouldering and micro-routes at Roche Rock and in Luxulyan Valley he has also recorded a solo ascent of the slab which is found in the back of Luxulyan Valley Quarry. This gave the route The Downward Spiral, a bold protectionless E1 5a on dubious rock. (See photo and description here).

Tom, in the company of Todd Berryman, also added what sounds like a very pleasant easy route at Gell Point which is located between Dodman Point and Hemmick Beach. This must have the best name of any of the recent new additions in South East Cornwall - The Future Sound of Grampound - and just goes to show what quality new lower-grade climbing potential there is on the South Coast. The photo below, courtesy of Tom Last, is of Todd Berryman making the second ascent of this route.

Full descriptions of these routes and others can be found on the New Routes section of the Cheesewring Climbing webpages. Our thanks to Tom for the details and use of his photos.

Also of note, Andy Steinberg has done a sit start to Backlash on the Split Boulder at Bearah Tor (page 116 of the current guidebook), which goes at roughly the same grade. Andy also added two new problems here: Hacienda (Font. F6C+ or V5), which links the Backlash sitter into Driller Thriller; and Lashback (Font. 6A+ / V3) up the right arĂȘte of this face.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Cheesewring proposal on BMC meeting agenda

It may well be quite short notice but climbers in the area might be interested to note that the agenda for the next BMC South West Area Gathering has just been published. The meeting is to be held on 13th March at 7.00 p.m. at The Nova Scotia Inn, Bristol (see notice on BMC site here). On the agenda is a proposed extension to the existing bolting at Cheesewring Quarry - PDF here. I've been sent assurances by BMC South West Area Secretary Philip Wilson that this won't be decided at the Bristol meeting and there'll be a chance for discussion of the matter 'locally' (West Penwith).

I'd very much like to hear other people's opinions on these proposals and more generally the suggestion of extending bolting at Cheesewring Quarry. Please add your comments here or on this thread on UKClimbing.

- Barney Carver.