Alexis Perry has been in touch to report headpointing another tough line down in West Cornwall with a bolt free ascent of a line based on 1025 at Carn Vellan*.
"Last Sunday (29th July), I managed to link Ziggurat into the top arete of 1025 in one big pitch. It pulls over the roof to the right of 1025 (where the debolted 8c project went through - the 8c bits must be elsewhere as these moves aren't so bad), then powerfully traverses left to the arete up which it finishes. An exercise in ridiculously strenuous trad climbing! Happily it's safe - the RPs which protect the crux proved their worth on several occasions! Toproped the crux. Toproping under the roof gets silly, it's too steep and the E5 terrain on Ziggurat is more practicably worked on lead. Under the roof is often really wet with condensation and seepage and getting the route ticked became an exercise in patience."
In his email Alexis then rambles on a bit about the grade so to summarise he says it can't be E8, but he found it harder than Son of Satan E8 and all of the E7s he's climbed so he's given it E7/8. IMHO it sounds like he may as well just give it E8 although it could be a viable proposition for an onsight attempt by someone with suitable talent...
Here's Alexis's really boring footage of his ascent.
*As some of you may be aware, Carn Vellan has been the subject of much controversy regarding whether or not the main roof section should be a bolted sport crag. The following is Alexis's insightful summary and opinion:
"Carn Vellan, the pulsating heart of Cornish climbing controversy. A daunting, incredible overhang obscured by bile and bitterness. This route ties together a trad route, Ziggurat, and a debolted sport route, 1025, into one big trad pitch. This is NOT an ethical statement, more an attempt to maximise climbing on an amazing cliff that has become redundant.
One need only go to Dorset to observe pluralism working effectively on natural sea cliffs. Carn Vellan possesses several lines that are so blatantly perfect sport terrain - long, hugely overhanging, gearless routes - that I cannot criticize their bolting. Strangely though, I no longer wish to see Carn Vellan as a sport crag. I have spent hours in this beautiful, wild and lonely location. Sport crags are busy. Sport crags are loud. More people never make for a better cliff. Carn Vellan is sensitive: bolts it can live with; crowds it cannot."
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