I was wondering if anyone could recommend some E6s (and E4s and E5s) in Pembroke or the South West area which are safe enough to go for a good onsight attempt? Also preferably not too bouldery/sequencey.
I know this slightly detracts from the 'onsight' bit but I'd rather be safe...
Stuff I've looked at are Orange Robe Burning, Fireball XL5, Hunter-Killer and Big In America at Pembroke. Also Suicide Blonde at Daddy Hole.
If anyone has any experience of these routes, or any other hard, quality trade routes they've found reasonable to onsight, it would be much appreciated if you could share them!
In reply to Joughton: Ghost train at Stennis Ford is pretty onsightable if you keep your wits about you on the run out.
Haven't tried them myself but id guess a lot of stuff in huntsmans would be good candidates. Hunter-Killer, The Black Lagoon, Souls etc.
Ocean Drive at Bosherton Head is meant to be quite good and pretty safe. Hard climbing between threads from what I've heard.
edit: also in the more general 'south west' category, A38 and Write Off at Trym Valley (A38 being hard but safe and write off actually being E5 and dangerous if you don't get the gear right) and Pink Ginsane at Avon gorge. Smoove Groove at Avon is also very onsightable, being about french 6c to top rope, you'll need to go for it on a very bold day though as it's a solo. Wait for some cold conditions.
A visiting team onsighted two Devon E6's a week or two ago. Caribbean Blue and Free the Spirit at Sanctuary Wall. The fixed gear on these routes has been recently upgraded. The E5/6 link up of Free into Caribbean is also recommended as is the top pitch of Flaming Drambuie (E5 6b) - I can't vouch for the gear on the bottom pitch. Interestingly the same team gave up at the start of the hard climbing on Caveman. Again I cannot vouch for the state of the fixed gear.
Orpheus at Chudleigh is onsightable (about f6c?) but like Avon's Smooth groove the penalty for failure might be a deckfall. Demolition at Sennen is similar - a fast belayer and a ground runner might keep you safe on that.
In reply to aln: The tactic we've used in the past if for dad to abseil directly down the line putting threads in and checking its got *enough* gear which is very nice of him, as it means the actually climbing can still be onsight for me.
The routes in Huntsman's Leap that use pegs are probably best avoided, since they were placed a very long time ago. And the crux of Souls is difficult to protect - I'm told it's worth E7 if you don't find the crucial hex.
Both of Pat's E6's at Bosi are well protected where they need to be. The Absolution has bold and scary slab to cross before you get to the technical groove crux (well protected with micro cams and small wires), but if you are onsighting E4/5 the slab should not be a problem. Morgawr tackles the burly roof directly above the ghost so has loads of space to fall into!!
I belayed a Czech guy Jiri Sefl on both of them on the last day of a BMC international meet. Jiri fell off the groove on the Absolution, but went on to onsight Morgawr not long after. I fell off both of them
In reply to Joughton: I hadn't seen that your request extended to E5 and the wider SW too...
Pembroke - Orange Robe Burning at E6, rather than Souls which others have said is gnarly if you don't find crucial runner (who has a Hex 2 nowadays anyway? Jordan OS'd last Aug and found some micro friends instead)
At E5 you've got a huge number of possibilities - things i can personally recommend:
Leap - Minotaur, Just another Day/Scorch the Earth combo, Fitzcarraldo, Headhunter. Elsewhere - get some in, Barbarella, Just Klingon (7a+ clip-up if the threads are fresh). Meanfeat & Beyond the beyond at Barcud (take a wad load of Rp2 to Rock3 to C-y-B).
Demolition - very soft for E6. Don't think you'd deck from the crux with a heavier belayer.
Smoove Groove - Enjoy at E4/5 with a side runner. It used to be E5 5c - 6a is probably generous; certainly ain't f6c.
Pink Ginsane - monster whipper potential. Go at it with a 7b OS mentality, where you've skipped a clip 'cos you're psyched and it should be fine!
Upper Wall, Avon - Bold as Love, 7b+ ish. Fine now the drilled peg has been replaced by a solid glue-in bolt. the tied off peg has held lots of falls. Do Arms Race, E4 and Low Profile, E5 while you're there (easy ab-station descent if your 2nd can't/doesn't want to follow any of these)
Guernica - Sketchy! E6 6a should say enough.
Down at a Sunless Sea E5 6a in the guide, but probably E6. The pegs can be backed up with wires, but it's bloody sustained on your feet. the E3 here is great, and the crag is a great bivvy/discrete camping spot.
Pacemaker, Wraith and Blackhorn Winter (better than the guide suggests) at Sharpnose
Demolition is apparently quite soft but I'm not sure it's your style - looks like a bouldery section with potenital for a ground fall unless your old man is speedy.
Suicide Blonde is supposed to be good and I think would suit you - sustained wall climbing with reasonable gear. It takes a direct line through an E4 called Zuma, which is itself very good if you get there and don't fancy the look of the E6.
On Sanctury Wall there are a couple of slightly easier routes to go at to get a feel for the place before trying the E6s. Call to Arms is an excellent pumpy E4 with plenty of gear up a crack/corner. False Gods is a soft E5 with new pegs. I fell off backing up the top peg, but it probably doesn't neeed it and either way you'll cruise it - steep pumpy climbing on good holds.
No idea what Guernica is like, probably scary! Keen to come and hold your rope on it (or any of the above) though!
We've some over here, most of which are Martin Crocker jobs. http://www.gmc.org.gg/crag-index/
Use the filters and off you go - his descriptions should give you a good idea of what you're going to get. We can put pegs back in that have been removed if you want.
I can't be totally specific but Ken Palmer abbed the lines earlier this year and replaced threads and perhaps the odd peg and pronounced them climbable. I was towed up the link up (Free the Spirit into Caribbean Blue) and thought it looked pretty safe - lots of fixed gear to encourage and nearly all of it could be backed up.
Get on the boat over to Lundy...if you prefer it off vertical then anything on The Diamond (Watching the Ocean, Wild Heart etc. If you like it steeper the The Parthenos, Cithaeron, Too Precious etc.. but honestly you would be spoilt for choice. I always found those Sharpnose routes nice at the grade as well.
In reply to Joughton: Thanks for all the other ideas too guys, keep them coming! Unfortunately we're already set off now so places like Lundy and Guernsey are out of the question (although Lundy is something I need to do soon).
Stopped off at Avon to break up the driving today and I managed Low Profile so we're off to a good start!
Hi Jake. I'm without the car Tuesday & Wednesday so won't be able to make it over to Torbay. Will give you a call & try to catch-up later in the week though. Hope you have a good time in the meantime.
If you do Suicide Blond there's not much else of quality there to warm-up on except the E4, which is so close that climbing it first might spoil doing Suicide Blonde afterwards. Might be worth doing a warm-up somewhere nearby then dashing over there?
Caveman looks brilliant, but I've heard it's a bit of a horror show. It's possibly quite serious to second too, so not sure it will fit the bill.
Finally, if you fancy ditching the rope I can highly recommend Rainbow Bridge.
> If you do Suicide Blond there's not much else of quality there to warm-up on except the E4, which is so close that climbing it first might spoil doing Suicide Blonde afterwards. Might be worth doing a warm-up somewhere nearby then dashing over there?
Actually thinking about it, Pegs Progress and/or Clotted Cream at Meadfoot would be OK warm-ups.
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