/ Tears of a clown, Sennen

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Ged Desforges - on 07 Jun 2010
Was down this way last week with my girlfriend, and went for a look at this on the shunt. Have to admit I got completely shut down. As in couldn't even get close to doing the moves. Does it take a pretty direct line up the face, and not go out to the arete on the right? If so then it's frickin nails! I've been trying Homegrown, 8a+ at cheddar recently, and made a LOT more progress on that.

Any experience of this route? Any clues?
In reply to Ged Desforges: Hi Ged,

I have done this route, but it was a while ago.

There is some confusion about exactly how Mark Edwards did it vs. how everyone else has done it, and no doubt Mark will be on here within a few seconds , I think he climbed a few hard moves that no one else did, or something.

Anyway - I followed the line in Mark Edwards' own guidebook pretty exactly, and also got the runner out on the right that he has in the action photo in his guidebook.
I trended up rightwards to briefly join the easier route on the right, before stepping back left and going up the wall on crimps with a few rp's.

Felt about f7b-ish to me, so I think you might be in the wrong spot - or perhaps you might be trying Mark Edwards' original way low down?

Jack
Ged Desforges - on 07 Jun 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

That sounds more like it. Seemed much more like 7b ish this way. The "true line" felt like it would be at least 8a+/8b. Like I said, I couldn't even touch a few of the moves, didn't really seem to be any holds. If he did it that way, it's way harder than E7!

cheers anyway.
M. Edwards on 07 Jun 2010
In reply to Ged Desforges:

Hi Ged,

Tears does make its way to the little ledge on the right arete. I have linked the moves up the wall via top-rope, but thought it was to thin to climb for the gear on offer.

I have never seen chalk on my original line, but once you gain the ledge, stand on it, and "immediately" step off left onto the left wall following some downward pointing closed flake/over-laps to the left, reach the center of the wall, and make a long reach to gain the horizontal break straight above (Crux sequence). Follow the thin crack and wall above to the small overlap, and top.

Hope that helps,
Mark

Ged Desforges - on 08 Jun 2010
In reply to M. Edwards: Cheers Mark, that makes sense. Spent a while trying to figure out that direct line, would be an awesome route if it went. I managed it from the little overlap, but just couldn't do the moves going through it. And gear didn't look too inspiring either.
M. Edwards on 08 Jun 2010
In reply to Ged Desforges:

Yeah, its hard. This one is for someone in the future. Also, The Diamond Face at Bosigran still hasn't had a true ascent. I believe only me and Ken Palmer have top-roped it. We both agreed it would make a mega route. You have a look at it, really good climbing via top-rope. Nails to lead, if someone takes it via the sharp end.
M. Edwards on 08 Jun 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Sorry Jack, I meant to say congrats on your ascent of Tears'. Good effort. Great to have "traffic" on West Penwith backwater routes.

Iain Peters - on 08 Jun 2010
In reply to Ged Desforges:

Tears was on-sighted by Toru during the recent BMC International Meet. You can see what else was done on the following link. Guess West Penwith is no longer a 'backwater"!

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=3686
M. Edwards on 08 Jun 2010
In reply to Iain Peters:

Hi Iain,

I hope he stepped left as mentioned above to get the E7?

I have seen some photos of the meet; my dad noticed High Street Blues (E4 6a) has a high side runner used in Delilah. Not really the grade with this side runner. Also, with Tears', missing the crux (I have also done it this way to check the grade) I think is maybe E5/6 6a.

Geese, I don't want to sound like some winging yokel, but its important to know this stuff. I still applaud all who made the effort to come down to West Penwith and also those that helped put it together.

I and my dad once saw Ben Bransby on-sight High Street Blues. He did a fine job. He said it was bold, as it is. So I can understand if folk want to use side runners, or even take an easier option, that's great and up to them. But its not a repeat in the original style or line.

I really don't want to upset anybody by mentioning all this, hope that's clear.

Mark
In reply to M. Edwards: Hi Mark,

Great considered responses - I'm sure people understand you're not having a 'pop'.

An interesting point - and one that might be worth discussion:

If the original way of doing a climb is perhaps, after several repeats (some onsight) considered not the most logical way - then does the new way become that climb, or do people have to stick to the old way.

I am a great fan of the phrase that is often used in North Wales - 'does it hang together' - as in - does it make sense to climb it that way when you are doing it?

I must admit, it never even crossed my mind to traverse down a bit to add on some extra moves to Tears of a Clown, but when new routing it is sometimes easy to be sucked in to a sequence or line.

I think both variations should be equally worthwhile perhaps?

Jack

M. Edwards on 08 Jun 2010
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Hi Jack,

Yeah, I can see your point. I think you have answered it yourself very well... Both ways should go in a guide, with two grades, and then folk can choose their preferred line. Clearly Tears of a Clown needs this sorted out.

For me, I had already done Ace of Spades, and it was enough for me to be forced to traverse up to join that line. So I just wanted to step left asap to make Tears' more independent. My real desire was to go straight up the wall, but that was light years away for me to lead, then and probably now.

I'm sure many other climbs must have this scenario. As long as history records the original line, then that's okay for me.

Mark
Iain Peters - on 08 Jun 2010
In reply to M. Edwards:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)>
> I'm sure many other climbs must have this scenario. As long as history records the original line, then that's okay for me.
>
> Mark

Very interesting points you both make, and ones that will become increasingly relevant as the blank spaces between existing routes get smaller. If, as you say Mark, it's possible to step off a line either for rest or to place a side runner then it's likely that most will choose that option which rather compromises the definition of 'independent'. My own view is that the grade would be given for the way that the route is most often climbed. An example might be Eroica, before the peg on the crux went AWOL at E2 5b with one point of aid with the addition (in brackets) of E3 6a for the free version, which is how I described it in the 1988 guide.

I agree entirely that the historical record of how routes were first and subsequently climbed should be accurate, but it is also quite common for variations to become the accepted way of climbing a route.

Unfortunately I was kept too busy refuelling the various teams to witness their achievements but I do know that Toru Nakajima's ascent of 29 Palms impressed a very distinguished audience, and that many of the new routes put up were climbed onsight, ground up by people who'd never been on a granite seacliff before.
oakapple - on 09 Jun 2010
In reply to M. Edwards:

Hi have I have also onsighted High street blues and I reckon it was more like E5 without the side runner. I was also belaying Simon (guy in the photo ) and thought with the high runner it still felt E4 (although that obviously depends on how high is high!!).
M. Edwards on 09 Jun 2010
In reply to oakapple:

"E5"! Wait till I tell my dad (he did the 1st ascent), he will be pleased ;-)
oakapple - on 09 Jun 2010
In reply to M. Edwards: Yeah i reckon or very top end E4, there is not much gear on that face, well only one piece until the jugs below the over lap and its a good bit to the side and below you!!. Having said that I still cannot do one of the other E4's a Sennen, bloody "Samson" three seperate atempts at that one!
M. Edwards on 09 Jun 2010
In reply to oakapple:

Samson, great line. Unlike Samson Arete, which is easiest as a lay-back. Samson pulling over the roof has a sneaky touch. Here's some beta...

Get your fingers in the crack above the roof, now swing your knee up onto the lip, yep, the knee, so no shorts! This makes the move over really easy. Give it a go next time, it works!
johncoxmysteriously - on 11 Jun 2010
In reply to oakapple:

We couldn't do Samson either. The fact it was in the guidebook we were then using as HVS 5c didn't help.

jcm
M. Edwards on 11 Jun 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Well, when you think my original grade for Marionette (E2 5c) was VS 4c(also at Sennen). I thought I did the first ascent at the time, at the age of 15, with my one trusty moac nut and EB's. Mind you I had not climbed anything in the guide above VS, so that's what it must be, right?

I used to climb with the three local Peplow brothers all the time. We did at Aire Point at this time too, on-sight, and one gets E3 in the guide! We should really put a claim in for those routes, its in the guide as someone else's (1985). That's way after we did it.

guess grade where harder in those days ;-)
royal - on 11 Jun 2010
In reply to M. Edwards:
It's the Pasties, they make you strong. Are the grades in Cornwall still considered tough in general? The few other places I've climbed seemed to compare pretty well, but I do always try to go to areas with similar feels to Cornwall.
M. Edwards on 11 Jun 2010
In reply to royal:

Yep, its those pasties followed by cream teas! Now yer talking!

I personally have found in the years since those early days, that yes Cornwall has harder grade generally. But I think they are just about lining up to other areas now too.

Just have a look at the old guides...Shockingly low grades sometimes. Take Terriers Tooth direct start...V,Diff! No gear and a nice crack to land in below. Now its given H.Severe.

Beware: There are still some gems around ;-)

In reply to M. Edwards:
> Take Terriers Tooth direct start...V,Diff!

I remember doing it that back as quite a new climber and being somewhat surprised/traumatised by it!

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