70m, 3 pitches.
The direct line on the highest cliff in Torquay is a mountain climb by the sea, with a magnificent top pitch. It is described here with a detour onto P2 of Gilgamesh, as originally presented in the 1971 Ed. of S W Climbs. P1 and P2 are Avon-esque, absorbing and quite bold in places. Red and brown tricams useful. Fully restored and then led March 2017, with top pitch free.
1 24m 4c (As for the original) Climb the rib on the left for about 8m to a shot hole in a recess. Step up left onto a small ledge, from where bold moves up a rounded slab lead to a hidden shothole and break above. Traverse rightwards and step up into a triangular bay. Climb the steep wall to a cam placement and high peg, then move right to more peg belays.
2 24m 4c Gain and follow the cracked rib, but move rightwards across the head of a grassy bay. Climb the corner and then a continuation rib (peg). Go rightwards to a crackline, which leads to a good belay ledge.
3 22m 5c Move up and right to a groove, then climb back left onto the steep wall. A harder sequence gains a good hand-ledge (peg above, small wire backup). A tricky ‘right-left’ manoeuvre then achieves a standing position on the ledge, with only a couple of finger-pockets for security (& 2 small wires, hard to place). Balance up and reach high for a good hold on the flowstone cornice (in-situ thread). Pull over and finish up the enjoyable slab.
Pat Littlejohn, H. Clarke Sep/1974