UKC

America - Carn Gowla

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 oakapple 25 May 2010
Went and did America yesterday, amazing adventure route!! Just a warning to any one thinking of repeating this route in the near future, that there is a herring gul nest quite well hidden with chicks about 2ft from the belay at the top of the first pitch and the beginning of the slab pitch. It is probably worth waiting a few weeks, as we understandably got quite birded. The slab was in a very green and dirty condition, but dry!!! The crux peg was in a moderate to poor condition but can be backed up with RP's.
In reply to oakapple:

Well done! What was the slab pitch like, how serious? What about the top pitch, how hard technically and what was the gear like? Did you ab in or do the first pitch? I've been and looked down it a few times from the top, what on earth do you belay on if you ab in? I couldn't see anything...it's a route I want to do, bit scared though!...
 Tom Last 25 May 2010
In reply to oakapple:

Wow, good work!
OP oakapple 25 May 2010
We abbed in!! There is a thread in the wall and three reasonable stakes near the edge. The 1st rope is pretty much a free ab which gets you to the slab pitch belay, where you can change to the second rope and ab to the ledge and start of 1st pitch. The slab technically isn't too bad but the rock is very dirty and lichenous making it feel pretty serious and if there is any dampness it would be a totally different story. The top pitch is steep but on positive holds. The holds were a little dusty and the pegs are very poor, but they can be backed up with good wires.
In reply to oakapple:

Cheers, much gear on the slab?..
 Tom Last 25 May 2010
In reply to HappyTrundler:
> (In reply to oakapple)
>
> Cheers, much gear on the slab?..

The burning question!
OP oakapple 25 May 2010
In reply to HappyTrundler:
Yeah there is some gear on the slab,it is all pretty small 2 micros/RP's near the crux peg (moderate /poor) which sticks out about 3 inchs so just tie it off!! Then also tied off the wobbly flake which also had a pretty good micro near it, that is the last gear. Then slab eases off but gets dirtier and greener higher you get, probably 40ft to the belay!! The climbing is not that hard but its definatley an adventure route!! Oh yeah the belay for the slab pitch is two small wires in the same slot the belay peg has gone!!
 Al Evans 25 May 2010
In reply to oakapple: This is my only experience of America
'I was climbing in Cornwall with Pete (Livesey), we had done a few new routes and the second ascent of Deja Vu
http://www.dangeroussite.com/images/gallery/Brians/dejavu.JPG
Pete asked me if I was willing to go with him to make the second ascent of America on Carn Gowla, no problem.
We drove up from the Count House, all we had was a description from Pat Littlejohn scribbled on a bit of bog paper. When we got to the top of the crag, Pete seemed to have an innate sense of where the route was and where we should do the abseil down to the start.
We peered over the top of the crag, and in an horrendous sea mist we could just make out the glacis which is one of the belay stances, the whole crag was dripping and bright green,
"Oh my god", I thought, "he's gonna want to go ahead with this".
This was after all, Pete Livesey, the most pushy climber on UK rock at the time, I just knew he would want to do it and was crapping myself at the prospect of even the abseil.
Pete turned to me and said
"How do you fancy going to the pub Al"
In reply to Al Evans:

'It is sobering to reflect that on the first ascent Littlejohn led [the slab pitch] in a stready drizzle.'

jcm
OP oakapple 25 May 2010
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> 'It is sobering to reflect that on the first ascent Littlejohn led [the slab pitch] in a stready drizzle.'


Wouldn't want to even consider it!! We were pretty lucky even yesterday in what appeared to be near prefect conditions. After I had done the slab my partner climbed the top pitch, I could see a massive bank of cloud moving towards us at great speed by the time he setup the belay I was in it!! Made the top pitch interesting with the dust on the holds turning to clay lucky they were positive!!
In reply to oakapple:

Thanks for all that, it's a hell of a tick, I'd rather lead the top pitch than the slab...I must say I couldn't find any stakes the last few times I went there...it's definitely one of the most intimidating crags I've ever seen, that slab, bright green with white streaks of bird poo...
OP oakapple 25 May 2010
In reply to HappyTrundler:
I have added some pictures of route. Abbing was probably the most scary part of the adventure, its almost all completely free!!
In reply to oakapple:

Cheers, great topic and pictures, proper adventure climbing...
 cornishben 25 May 2010
In reply to oakapple: James - we headed down to Chapel Porth beach after work, I'd just started bouldering and saw that bank of cloud appear on the horizon, 5mins later we were enveloped! (glad it was only 2ft down to my mat not 100ft to the top of America though..)
In reply to oakapple:

Nice one. Thats a dead impressive tick. Did you find it pretty full on for E4? It didnt look like it was in brilliant condition! Cant imagine it see's many accents a year...
 M. Edwards 25 May 2010
In reply to oakapple:
Nice one. We (my dad and me) did an early-ish ascent. We did the traverse in. The route wasn't in good condition, a bit damp but okay. I got the slab, just turned out that way, but I can't remember any pegs being there. Maybe my memory is poor. Nice route though as are the others hereabouts too.
OP oakapple 26 May 2010
In reply to cornishben: Hi Ben, yeah I was taking photos of it coming in, like something out of a horror movie!! but I had done the slab and John was near the top so knew it was going to be ok.
OP oakapple 26 May 2010
In reply to Will Goldsmith:
> (In reply to oakapple)
>

Its adventure E4, much more mental than being very technical or pumpy (although the top pitch is quite steep), its just very committing right from the beginning with the big free ab. You need to be confident in what you are doing or it could easily turn into a proper epic!

I think the conditions we got, other than the sea mist at the end and the birds were as good as it gets. The harder lines on the buttress look amazing, they are generally on much steeper ground and are therefore much cleaner.

In reply to M Edwards:

The traverse in would probabaly be the best way to do the route as you wouldn't see the slab until you were on it!! But at the momment that side is soaking wet and still lots of birds nesting!! The peg was definately very old looked about twice its original size with 2/3's sticking out 1/3 in, however the microswires near it were good and the crux was only a couple of feet above so pretty safe.






 M. Edwards 26 May 2010
In reply to oakapple:

Just checked my original Guidebook, and indeed it says in the description that all the pegs where removed, quote:"(peg, removed)". So no wonder we found none. They must have been replaced at a later date. Like you have said, the gear is good anyway, and we can remember thinking its okay without them.
OP oakapple 27 May 2010
In reply to M. Edwards: Yeah The gear was were you needed it i.e the hard bits. But that top bit, which you would run up if it wasn't 200ft above the void, but thats what makes the adventure!!

On another note I was part of the BMC international meet and took a really strong Slovenian, an Italian guy and a pretty strong uk climber down to Carn Vellan. The crag is in such good condition at the moment everything is dry!! The Solvenian guy Luka onsighted a new start to fun curve factory starting back in the under the arch E6 6B. The Italian matteo climbed wild at heart but started to the right of the obvious crack up a shorter crack and then a short wall to the niche before the crux. Really good solid rock all the way with that start avoids the loose rock of the other start.

The Solvenian guy luka had a really good onsight attempt on bridge of skies falling at the crux and the Italian Matteo almost flashed it but also fell a little further though the crux. They both thought it was a wicked route and a good safe E7 to try and onsight with solid f7c crux.
 M. Edwards 27 May 2010
In reply to oakapple:
Thanks for that info on the international meet. We had a pre booked course so had to stay over here to run it. Would have loved to watch our routes get some traffic. Sounds like a great meet you had. Did anybody video any ascents?
Very lucky to get Carn Vellan dry, its such a frustrating place to climb, with the sea, sea fog, seepage and hidden from the sun most of the day. I was hoping Monster Munch may get a second ascent, but I hear they all wanted trad, and I can understand that. Good to hear the grades are okay too, we get a lot of "they can't be that grade". I think Cornwall can hold its own now. Viva Kernow!!!
OP oakapple 27 May 2010
In reply to M. Edwards:
Yeah it was inspiring to be apart of. One of the biggest difference was they didn't just do one hard route and then going home/pub, they would want to do 2 or 3 more and then go to the pub!!! I was knackered after 6 days of cornish classics but was really cool. They had a look at monster munch but didn't think they could do it in a day, so just stuck to onsighting E5 and E6's. Checkout javu.co.uk and the bmc for route ticklists. The Japanese guys made some very impressive ticks!!
 M. Edwards 27 May 2010
In reply to oakapple:
Yeah, they climbed an impressive tick list. Congrats to you guys for doing a good job too.
normal12b 27 May 2010
In reply to HappyTrundler: OK Tobo, I am inspired too, let's put it on the list for this summer!

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