/ Sacre Coeur at Blackchurch Rock!
During the recent good weather in May, my partners in crime and I had a grand day out on the amazing sea stack formation of Blackchurch Rock on the Culm Coast near Hartland in North Devon. There are a number of most excellent routes on this fantastic foreshore pinnacle, complete with two walk-through tunnels, but the jewel in the crown is the superlative and most photogenic E2 5b/c "Sacre Coeur" first climbed by the legend Pat Littlejohn in 1974. The route is rightly described by UKC and Rockfax as "a majestic pitch of flawless quality" and a super-classic in the South West of the UK. Anyway the entertainment was duly recorded so for anyone interested in viewing a short HD film of this superb route then please use the following link:
So has anyone got any tales of derring-do to tell of their experience here? Trouble with the tide? Were your calves still in one piece at the top of the route?
Anyway all constructive feedback or comments welcome and hopefully it will inspire a few folks with strong calves and sacred hearts to visit this beautiful and tranquil part of the UK and climb on Blackchurch Rock, especially Sacre Coeur!
Cheers and happy climbing! :-)
Great video as always. Really captured the experience and atmosphere. Keep them coming!
great vid Dave, very jealous looked like a great day out. Nice sunset to finish the day I see!
Lovely as usual. Showed the route well, even made blackChurch Look Friendly :-)
Like the Nature and scenic stuff you put in. Adds to the atmosphere.
just a personal thing, but not a fan of Headcam footage.
Good work. Thanks
Nice one! will really inspire anyone who has it on their tick list :)
What a wonderful place! It looks as if god was playing with long oblong bricks the day he made that beach. Marvellous film; fwiw I like the head cam footage because it shows what is in front of the climber's fingers, and it is blended nicely with the more distant shots.
To Robin and all
Many thanks for all the positive feedback as it is very muchly appreciated!
Hey Choss thanks for the feedback and I know many folks do not like headcam footage for the obvious reasons. Personally I think GoPros are much more suited to snowboarding and mountain biking for example, which is why I try to use only a wee bit of headcam footage just to try and add a bit of POV and a look at the rock up close and personal! :-)
Great video, I tried getting a video like this myself when I lead it in April, but rookie error of low battery ended that. Interesting to see the seaweed line at about quarter height has lessened a bit in the month between, I couldn't see the rock on the traverse section. I found the crux was near the top but that may have been because my legs felt they were about to explode.
You showed good restraint with the headcam shots. I thought they "added" to things, just a bit. A few seconds more wouldn't have hurt. Ten seconds more would have!
Hi Dave thanks for the email to say you had uploaded the video, i really enjoyed watching it as a reminder of the day before you filmed your friend leading it. I had a fantastic day and loved the situation and character of the route. It was pretty scary as when i led it it was very greasy and quite wet at the bottom so ended up running it out for 7 or 8 meters because my legs were getting pumped out and fingers sliding off holds.Came pretty close to sliding off at the top of my runout!very thrilling stuff and such an amazing feeling when i topped out safe and just about sound.
keep up the good work and keep in touch with more film info!
Thanks Dave, These just keep get better, I would love to do this route, this will inspire me to put it on the list.
Nice one, funny how slabs all look easy from a distance! The Gopro footage was really enjoyable showing that actually it was bloody hard. Nice work but where were the dolphins?
many thanks for sharing, beautifully shot.
Great vid, brought back fond memories of my ascent a few years back - it's a route that had been on my wish list for over 20 years !
I'd have been happy with a bit more head cam footage - you don't really get the difficulty from the side-on shots, because the angle looks so amenable. And you can't get the right view from behind because you're staring into the sun....and up to your neck in the sea !
Hey Matt many thanks for the feedback! I guess the moral of the story is always carry a spare battery... ;-)
Yikes it sounds like the route was a lot drier when we climbed and filmed it! I found it super sustained and hard enough without the added excitement of wet and greasy holds... :-)
Cheers Jon and all I really appreciate the positive feedback and hopefully one or two folks will be sufficiently inspired to visit this beautiful part of England! As an added bonus you will probably have the whole crag to yourself... :-)
Are you working for the Tourist board? If not they should be paying you! Yet again beautifully filmed and edited..
Once again buddy a great video of a local classic climb. Really well edited and put together.
Where are you based out of interest because your videos are all of what was my local ish area. I lived near okehampton and then in plymouth.
Places i enjoyed and maybe worth a look if you havent already-
*Carn Kenidjack Cliff and saxon was a magic route.
*Cornakey Cliff and of course wrekers slab is an adventure.
*Vicarage cliff is a good day out. Nice pub "bush inn". Buy the landlord a pint and he let us camp in his beer garden. Result.
Good to see your making the most of the good weather in blighty.
<laughs> My mum used to work for our local Tourist Information Centre but not me guvnor!
Muchos gracias for your kind words!
Cheers Floss I am Bristol based so a majority of my films are from the South West and Wales. I have already filmed Wreckers but might go back one day and do a better job. Vicarage is a very nice place to climb but nothing super classic if I remember, but I've never climbed Saxon so that definitely merits investigation! Anyway plenty of other projects in the pipeline so just need to get out there and get them done... :-)
Great video Dave, captured the isolation, atmosphere and unique rock formations....that is definitely one for me this summer....I'd like to get on one of your expeditions so give me a shout sometime, cheers...
On my 'to do ' list for next week!
Another great vid. At E2 it's a bit harder than your usual fare, fair play on that score, a good tick. Would love to get on it myself, but suspect I'll need to enlist someone to drag me up it.
You describe the film as HD, I'm aware of YouTube's limitations, but it does come up pretty pixellated on my Mac, still captures the atmosphere, but would be great to see at a higher resolution (or is it just me seeing it all blurry - I'm pretty sober, honest).
I'd second the suggestion about Saxon at Kenidjack, brilliant ...and Rock Dancer at E1 there is possibly even better - I led the former and was dragged up the latter.
Nice one Dave...another hit!
Like others I liked the atmospheric shots and the wildlife on the walk in, some hardcore climbers might want that shortened a bit(?) Love the stratified rocks.
I liked the way you edited in the headcam shots eg when someone was topping out. Also nice use of music.
I might be wrong (I might have missed it) but since you had 2 climbers simul-climbing did you miss the chance of some close ups of someone doing a 'crux' by hanging a cameraman in close proximity off a top rope?
I'm guessing the pixilation was an internet phenomenon but I fiddled around lots with file size and quality and found out that loading a file into iTunes seemed to produce the best compromise of file size and quality for my admittedly mainly 'holiday snap' videos.
Nigel aka Torchy
I love your work ! It captures everything great about a day's climbing. And what a fantastic looking rock !
I really look forward to doing the route sometime.
Thanks, again - really inspiring stuff……..
This brings back varied memories! It was my first E2 way back in 1998 and felt easy at the time. Did it years later with my now wife and became a bit of an epic. Tide was coming in so we went round the back and abbed in to a hanging belay start. The wife tried it, and backed off, resulting in much rope faff. I eventually led it finding it much thinner than I remembered and by the time we reached the top we were cut off by a high spring tide and big swell meaning retreat was impossible. Then it started to rain... I phoned my dad who laughed and yes we just had to sit and wait for about 2-3 hours till we could paddle off with our tails between our legs! Good times! Nice video too, well edited, with great selection of angles to give the scale of the climb.
Cheers Mr Trundler hope you get on the route this summer and would be nice to hook up sometime! :-)
Nice one Sean hope you get a bon temps day for it like we did! :-)
Hey Ivanator many thanks for the positive feedback! I first climbed Sacre Couer about 10 years ago but it felt a fair bit harder this time, no doubt because I'm older, fatter and weaker...
Anyway sorry to hear the viewing on your mac was a bit pixelated. No consolation but the film is in lovely HD on my tablet and telly! I'm a bit of a philistine in terms of best rendering settings and all, but has anyone else had this pixellation problem when viewing the video? :-)
Hey Nigel big thanks for the feedback as it is greatly appreciated! Yep El David and I simu-climbed Sacre Coeur after a fine lead from Rusty.
But as we climbed the 2 VS's first (well worth doing) to warm up + let the very wet base of the slab dry and let the sun come round a bit, it was all a race against the rapidly incoming tide! However as you say it would of been nice to have 1 or 2 crux close ups so maybe next time... :-)
Lovely video...really unusual, but all the better for it. Was that a tinge of psychedelia in there?
I turned up there having got bogus info from a surf shop about the tides (pre-internet) so had to wait for 5 hours! The pub lunch and the swimming before the route were nice though. Great route, tiring on the toes :-)
This films makes me want to go back
I'm sorry but forgot to comment about your vid. What was different to the usual fare was the intro via what looks like a very pleasant walk-in to the crag, which is all part of the experience for me.
All I remember of that route was screaming calves!
Hey ILC many thanks for the kind words and I really hope you get on the route sometime soon, as it is a great day out in a spectacular setting with a delightful walk-in as a Brucie bonus! :-)
Bloody hell Chad that sounds a bit like a Dr Pepper advert! What's the worst that could happen? And fair play to your dad for just laughing... ;-)
Has anyone else had a nice relaxing, straightforward outing to compare with this? :-)
Hey Jules many thanks for the nice feedback, much appreciated and no intentional psychedelia in the film! I just try to make a relaxing, ambient wee movie with some of the sights, sounds, flora and fauna encountered during the day which all hopefully make up a quintessential climbing day out with some good friends... :-)
Well Well yet another esoteric classic for Mr Eagle. It is always a pleasure watching these shorts as the camerma work and story board is well thought out. Que well trained animal, i am sure you have a cage of extras at home. HD so good too. These vids always have that i must go and do this next weekend feel to them. One day UKC may actually put this type of production up as feature on its home page and inspire folks to the beauty of climbing.
Thanks Sean yep it was a very beautiful walk-in from Brownsham Farm down to Mouth Mill with various pheasants, flying beasties, bluebells and the sun to accompany us along the way! Have you got the route done yet? :-)
Thanks Owen muchly appreciated! Yep not only do you need a sacred heart for Sacre Coeur, but you need super-strong caves as well... :-)
Cheers Mr Kiwi much appreciated. However I would not hold your breath as I submitted my last video as a possible "Friday Night Video" but did not get any response!
These just get better and better. I also enjoyed the restrained use of headcam footage, although another few seconds would have been fine.
Thanks James glad you enjoyed it and appreciate the positive feedback! :-)
Another great video thanks for sharing!
Watched this last night. Thanx for posting a great vid of a great route. I really liked the fact you included part of the walk in and it reminded me of how pretty it was. We found a slow worm on the path when we went :)
Zapperalla are pretty good too :)
Excellent video Dave, enjoyed the whole adventure, wildlife especially included, which is what this sort of climbing is about. Will get down there shortly to get this stack ticked, roll on the weekend.
Hey SGD many thanks for your kind words and indeed the walk in from Brownsham farm is delightful. It is great that quite a few folks have picked up on this as the walk in, wildlife, camaraderie and all is a big part of the whole climbing day out experience for me so happy daze! Cheers Dave
PS yep those Zepparella gals are badass... :-)
Hi philhilo and a big thanks for the positive feedback. Hope you get a few routes done on Blackchurch Rock soon and enjoy the walk-in as much as we did as it is an amazing place! :-)
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