/ Parson and Clerk

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Motown - on 10 Feb 2013
The Guide book lists this one as Alpine VIII- and compares this to English 6a/b but Mick Fowler describes the hardest moves as 5a in his 'Vertical Pleasures'. I realise that this comes from a book where Mick rates the 'excellent death potential' of another route, but does anyone know what that route really holds (Mick Fowler makes it sound great, but the guidebook describes Pat Littlejohn chickening out!)?

Any objective information?
Tom Last - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Will Cat:

Is this the one where the top pitch has fallen down (now harder)? Think Ian Parnell blogged on it not long ago - or that could have been some other south coast pile of choss.
frank ramsay - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Will Cat:

I've done this twice in the late 80's.

I'd say technically about 5a but nerves make it feel like 5c.

The first crux is the walk through the railway tunnel.

At lowish tide you can then get to the base of the Parson by a leap over a watery channel.

Top pitch is quite scary as you have to pull on conglomerate.

Final crux is escaping the owner's attention in the garden at the top.
Motown - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Southern Man: Could only find reference to Ladram Bay - another sandstone delight...
Ian Parnell - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Will Cat: Hi Will I've not done the Parson, always wanted to but didn't get round to it. I always assumed it was E3 5a i.e. serious and odd but not hard in a normal rock climbing sense. I'd be very surprised if Pat backed off it, in fact I thought he'd done the first ascent although perhaps it was Keith Derbyshire? Good luck
markk - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to Will Cat: I did it in the early 90's and remember the tunnel being very long and frightening; the climbing do-oable, but scary in places; and the landowner being annoyed. Approach at low tide and you don't need to get wet, so not all bad.
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Motown - on 11 Feb 2013
In reply to Ian Parnell: I guess he seconded, with the South Devon and Dartmoor Guide attributing the first ascent by Derbyshire and quoting Littlejohn - 'the neckiest bit of climbing I've ever chickened out of!!!' Mick Fowler's description, however, makes it sound great 'fun'... Thanks for much needed luck - would like to get it done this year.

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