John Cox relives a particularly pant-filling experience at Berry Head in Devon:
"The belay is a ledge six inches wide by two feet long, set amid overhanging territory and piled high with fulmar vomit... Stefan started to hand me the gear. I explained that this did not accord with my plans. If I was responsible for our future progress, I said, then we must abseil into the sea...."
Leading the travesrse pitch, eventually reached the peg just before the stance. My crab was in my hand about to clip it, when the hold I was holding with the other hand broke loose. My view turned from grey rook to wall to wall azure, apart from the now detached hold winging across it. I eventualy smashed into the corner at the start of the traverse. Fortunately the baddly bruised ribs didn't start to hurt until after we had topped out - 2 days lying very stil in my tent in St Just
In reply to Chris Craggs: Hi Chris -- I'm tempted to say it was bivvy gear since a (high profile) friend of mine spent a night in the Dreadnought cave stance having been benighted. Actually it's a rope bag which we swapped between us at the stance. Since the first stance is only a few feet above the sea it is a good idea to have fed the ropes into a rope bag in such a way that they will feed out of it easily. Just clip it to the first belay -- voila - dry ropes!
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: See if you can get John to write up his tactic for bailing off Yellow Wall routes at Gogarth! I seem to recall he posted it in a thread about The Moon a couple of years back - seriously funny!
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:Enjoyed the article. Did Dreadnought in the late 70s and my overriding memory is that there were hundreds of pink/white Jellyfish (which I thought were Portuguese Men o'War but were probably Root Mouth Jellyfish) floating in the water below. I remember thinking to myself that falling off definitely wasn't an option!
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
I have read this story, and jcm's other one about the lost car keys, several times. And every time I read them they genuinely make me laugh out loud. Again. Utter classics.
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> "The belay is a ledge six inches wide by two feet long, set amid overhanging territory and piled high with fulmar vomit (Stefan had already kicked the nest into the sea)."
> Is this not the kind of behaviour that gives climbers a bad name? Kicking birds nests off ledges and into the sea just because the ledge would make a good belay?
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Brilliant article, gave me flashbacks to when I first seconded the route, any delusions I had of leading the second pitch vanished when pumped stupid I clipped into the nearest anchor at the belay, leant back and the piece 'shifted' and suddenly my head was level with Simon's ankles...
I read this with amusement. As it brought back a similar memory.One day at Gogarth back in 1978, met up with an American. He was looking to do DOWH and claimed to be a professional photographer and had suiably expensive gear. Said he climbed 5.9. For the times he was suitably attired.Loud shirt,bandolier for gear etc, you get the picture.
I was a mere 18 having been recently introduced to Gogarth and got volunteered into doing it with him. I lead the lot.He sounds like the same guy!! He struggled on some of it .
Moral of the story - steer clear of Americans who claim to be professional photographers!!
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: i always got the impression John Cox was a hard trad 'ead who didnt get scared from his posts on the forums, this leads me to belive otherwise!! but still awsome account im sure id be scared too!!