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West Cornwall: Bosigran and the North Coast (Volume 1) Climbers' Club Guides

West Cornwall: Bosigran and the North Coast , 225 kb
The next generation of Cornish guidebooks from The Climbers’ Club is off to a terrific start with publication of the definitive Bosigran and the North Coast. Extensively researched by local activists with years of climbing experience on the north coast of West Cornwall, this thoroughly revised Climbers’ Club definitive guidebook includes:

  • Over 1,200 routes, at all grades
  • Covers the coast from Wicca Pillar to Land’s End
  • Includes Bosigran, Kenidjack and Sennen
  • Detailed maps and access information
  • Full colour photodiagrams
  • Enhanced photodiagram coverage to the major areas
  • New climbs and new areas such as Echo Zawn
  • Inspiring full-page action photography
     

What does the new guide offer?

The publication of the new Bosigran guide for 2016 comes some 15 years since Nigel Coe and team’s last Climbers’ Club guide. Volume 2 covering Chair Ladder, the South Coast and the explosion of new routes on The Lizard will follow hot on its heels later this year. Bosigran and the North Coast has been researched and written by local activist Andy March, with the Sennen section by Heather Ohly. The fact that the principle author of the guide Andy March, who did a great job with the West Cornwall Supplement, has climbed the traverse of String of Pearls on Bosigran in both directions, you realise the script is in very good hands. Aside from a complete overall overhaul of grades and route descriptions, the extensive photo-diagram coverage by Simon Cardy includes every route for the popular crags such as Bosigran, Kenidjack and Sennen and dozens of lesser known cliffs that deserve more popularity.  Don Sargeant’s always outstanding maps make approach to and navigation of the cliffs even easier. 

Bosigran Main Face, 216 kb

James McHaffie on The Marksman, Bosigran, 181 kb
James McHaffie on The Marksman, Bosigran
© Simon Cardy
Simon Cardy on Night Flight at Aire Point, 193 kb
Simon Cardy on Night Flight at Aire Point
© Graham Everitt

Classic Routes

Just in case anyone needed a reminder, this guide includes some of the UK’s best classic climbs such as Little Brown Jug (VS), Bow Wall (E2), Doorpost (Hard Severe), Bosigran Ridge (V Diff) Saxon (HVS), Demo Route (Hard Severe), Longships Wall (E3) and Land’s End Long Climb (V Diff).

Sam Dixon on Demo Route, Sennen, 209 kb
Sam Dixon on Demo Route, Sennen
© Simon Cardy

Sennen Intro, 183 kb
Sennen Sample Page, 214 kb

 

What new crags are covered in the guide?

Two new areas stand out:

Firstly, Geevor, or as it is more affectionately known, Midge Zawn, and  Echo Zawn.  Geevor is a short stroll from the car park at the Levant Mine. The first climbs on the left wall begin with some excellent short easy routes on massive holds and solid protection. It’s a great place to take beginners or to grab a more relaxing session in the evening sun.  Further down the zawn, Sara Scaife and Chris Griffiths’s fast emerging cult route Midgey, Midge, the Midge is one of those unique routes you won’t find anywhere else. Repeat ascensionists have raved about it and warned about its hard, but thankfully short, second pitch.

Secondly, Andy March, Des Hannigan and friends have been beavering away in Echo Zawn during 2013 and 2015, just a stone’s throw beyond Kenidjack. They have come up with several quality routes as well as recruiting Pat Littlejohn for another of his two-pitch E3 5c gems, Old Gold.

Are there any new routes?

Whilst the Lizard peninsula has seen an explosion of new route activity (still under wraps and due to appear in Volume 2), the north coast has nonetheless seen a steady trickle of often remarkable new lines.

High end offerings include International Kidney Dealer (E7) at Robin’s Rocks from Alexis Perry, who also climbed the trad-protected 7:27.13 (E7) through the central overhang at Carn Vellan and straightened out Sennen’s Tears of a Clown  with his Tracks of My Tears (E8). At Land’s End, Devon main man Ken Palmer has come up with Rubber Dinghy Rapids (E7) while the perennial Mark Edwards has added Heart (E8) to his existing portfolio of ultra hard Sennen routes.  Worth mentioning are routes such as Neil Foster and Claire Reading’s The Coffin Level (E6) and The Man Engine (E1) in Zawn Dredd and Ivory Coast (E6) at Freedom Zawn. Down on Bosigran’s Main Face, Graham and Ruth Everitt found two amazingly independent new two-star climbs, The Radjel (E3) and Wiley Coyote (E3) either side of Beowulf; hard to believe that these lines had to wait until 2011 before they were found.

Shane Ohly on Seaward End Crack, Irish Lady Cove, 169 kb
Shane Ohly on Seaward End Crack, Irish Lady Cove
© Simon Cardy

Are there any hidden gems?

There is much buried treasure tucked away down remote and obscure cliffs that never see the light of day but hugely rewarding cliffs. Whilst these routes have never deterred the north coast’s cognoscenti, the new guide begins to give these routes a bit more attention through careful attention and close revision of the approach descriptions and with the aid of Don Sargeant’s fantastic maps. Some of these climbs are quite hard. Pat Littlejohn heads the list with climbs like the Adversary (E4) in Zawn Duel and Roraima (E4) in Great Moor Zawn, others are more amenable such as The Dungeon (HS) at Botallack Head Zawn which gets two stars, while Pendeen’s Horn Zawn has a swathe of highly enjoyable routes that have the bonus of being within minutes of a car park. Special mention in this department needs to must go to Chris Nicholson and Sam Salmon’s The Guilty Snowflake (E1) in Windy Zawn as well as previous Cornwall guidebook writer, Pete O’Sullivan's amazing routes, Earthly Powers (E2) down on Whirl Pool Buttress and the even more incredible three-star, Stella Maris (E3) in the remote Rabman Zawn, which took 15 years before it got a second ascent.


Cornwall Bosigran and the North Coast by Andy March is published by The Climbers’ Club at £25 and is available from the Guidebook Shop on The Climbers' Club website or climbing gear shops. 

 

Ed and Adam Booth on Mastodon, Gurnard's Head, 169 kb
Ed and Adam Booth on Mastodon, Gurnard's Head
© Don Sargeant
Nick Boyd on Black Slab, Bosigran , 217 kb
Nick Boyd on Black Slab, Bosigran
© Simon Cardy


Guernard's Head , 196 kb

The Helyg Hut in the Ogwen Valley, 158 kb
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