Rockfax Description
The east facing wall of Great Zawn is carved by an eye-catching left curving corner, which provides the line for this tremendous route. The climbing is remarkably diverse but the line takes some time to dry out. Start below the corner-line on boulders at the mouth of the zawn.
1) 5b, 25m. Climb the corner which is steep and sustained, but takes plenty of gear, to a stance under an overhang.
2) 5b, 20m. Move up and then work leftwards below the overhangs until it is possible to move up to the overhangs from where more leftward traversing gains a belay below a wide crack in the overhang above. A slightly bold and technical pitch.
3) 5b, 10m. Pull up steeply through the overhang and get stuck into the wide crack which is thankfully not too long. A large cam is useful on this pitch. A vague climbers' path sometimes leads through bracken around the head of the zawn back to the top of the abseil and the gearing-up ledge. © Rockfax

Ticklists: West Country Climbs, The best the UK has to offer for beasts (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), The best the UK has to offer for mere mortals (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), CUC Climbing Club, Part 2: Hidden Gems, Adventures & Harder Offerings.

Ian MK 27/Aug/17 Lead O/S

Having now read previous comments I feel I should tell our story: Having been away for a few weeks, consistently climbing single pitch E2 5B’s with Anna seconding no bother. Anna said we should get a multi pitch done and given the 5 days of dry weather we had just had, we agreed to give this a go. We had a leisurely lunch at the gearing up spot around mid-day before setting up the abseil and heading down. The grassy slope, as described is very loose and the 50M ab rope only gets you to the bottom of this before it drops off several meters on more loose rock and mud (hard to asses from above). We opted to ab off the end of the ab rope to get to the base of the climb. Apart from the bottom corner the rest of the wall looked relatively dry apart from the odd bit of seepage. It was hard to imagine it ever being much dryer though having studied pictures since it clearly can be. By the time we had debated climbing the ab rope to fetch a nut key it was about 3:30. We decided to just give it a go without one. The bottom corner proved to be much wetter/slimier than it had first appeared. I managed to get to the base of the corner crack which looked absolutely nails even if it had have been dry. After some convincing I managed to move out onto the right-hand wall, still wet but with some actual holds. The corner above was much dryer but still crawling with life, Brown woodlouse, those stupid things that just fall all over your face when you put your hand in a crack and some much bigger pre historic looking things. I had to spit several out. The climbing was still nails! I climbed the corner to its cap and built a completely hanging belay. This turned out not to be the described belay but did prove to be very comfortable though. The climbing on pitch 2 seemed to be a little easier until I got to the next wet streak moving up the wall beyond the blunt spike. Every time I attempted to move up the wall I put my hand on the sopping wet hold and had to come back to the rest. Eventually I plucked up the will to make a harder move and reach past the wet key holds and made it to the pitch 3 belay. Pitch 3 proved to be a typical desperate off-width which to my amazement and elation, I managed to hump my way up using leg and fist jams into the undergrowth. I was well pleased with myself!! I watched the sun set as my partner battled up the crack, blissfully unaware that there was no vague climbers path and that it was about to get dark quite quickly. I said, let’s get back to the van, have a cup of tea, get head torches and come back for our bags. Anna reminded me that the van key was in my ruck sack. We battled up the hill through the bracken and hundreds of spiders and eventually made it to the coast path. I decided to drop my harness and run back to get our bags in the moon light. Pretty exciting stuff, defiantly high in the grade, even if it was a grade higher!! Well pleased to get it clean, let alone getting out alive. And with the added bonus of retreating all our gear, Anna only armed with some flakes of rock she put in her chalk bag to uses as a nut key. 3 stars obviously!!!

with Anna
Anna Maykova 27/Aug/17 2nd
with Ian
mcgovern 14/May/17 AltLd

Brilliant climb, first 2 pitches in 1

with stan
Luxulyan 15/Aug/16 AltLd

What a route. Stunning line and an atmospheric setting. We had it in good conditions and it felt tough. Def E3 5c with what felt like top end 5c/6a moves in the lower corner. The last pitch is just horrendous!

tim.fairhall 15/Aug/16 AltLd G/U


with Richard
amccann 18/Jun/16 AltLd O/S
James Oswald 18/Jun/16 AltLd O/S

Excellent route. Lead p2. The upper crack is wild! Amazing exposure.

with Alex Mccan
beni ?/May/16 2nd O/S
with Wojtek
Ian Jones 29/Jun/15 AltLd β

Bob agrees this is Welsh E3. Stupendous with a hell of a sting in the tail. Top pitch is 5c+ at least. THIS IS NOT THE SAME GRADE AS THE STRAND OR A GRADE EASIER THAN GRASP THE NETTLE..

with Robert Durran (aka 'Big Bob')
soph 27/Jun/15 AltLd O/S

Both pitches brilliant

with Michaela Tracy
Duncan Campbell 27/Jun/15 AltLd O/S

Lead pitch 2 (and 3 as per Rockfax - better to string together). A brilliant route, though as we had gone down for West Face we had no big cams and suffice to say I fully shit my pants scrabbling up the wide, dirty top crack and over the mud cornice - would recommend taking at least a blue dragon. Fortunately there is a chockstone low down in the crack. Wild!

with Robbie
Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing 27/Jun/15 AltLd O/S

I'd always been worried about the Cormorant on the nearby ledge, but it's actually quite a distance away from the route itself and therefore easy to avoid.

mikeshewring 26/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

2nd pitch

with sharpie
eduardo 24/Aug/13 2nd dog

Found first pitch very hard. Even Misha didn't find it a pushover. Pleased to get the rest of it clean. 2nd pitch is more technical, nice moves. Top pitch is an awkward, stenuous, leaning, abrasive, lichen encrusted off-width. Much straddling and shuffling plus levering off protracting foot / leg / ankle bars/jams needed for this, something I rarely practise at the climbing wall.

with Misha
Misha 24/Aug/13 Lead O/S

Superb! An awesome line which is as good as it looks. Much of P1 was slightly damp, which heightened the grip factor. The initial corner to the ledge was bloody hard and the open groove above was pretty sustained as well. The gear is good if you can hang on to place it! Felt more like E3 5c in the conditions (which I suspect were fairly average) but it's probably only top end E2 5b when dry (then again...). Set up a hanging belay a few metres lower than shown in the Rockfax. The slab on P2 was thought provoking as it was a bit run out on the traverse leftwards and one of the holds was wet but it was straightforward 5b slab work for a few moves and otherwise enjoyable 5a. I traversed higher than shown in the Rockfax, moving left across the top hanging slab to a spike - that made sense but there are probably alternatives. The P3 offwidth was kind of fun - exciting swing out on jugs, then more jug hauling and finally a bit of udging and leg jamming. Placed a BD cam 4 but not essential as there's a chockstone in place. Zillions of large spiders in the heather at the top. Bet they found the route easier! Led all pitches. Started at 4pm, topped out at 7.30pm, in St Just chippy at 8.30pm! Ed dropped a crab and nut so the following morning I abbed in to retrieve it and shunted back out using a prussic and belay device up the tottering choss below the spike abseil. That wasn't much fun...

with Ed
nickdonohue 14/Jul/13 Lead dnf

Struggled up first 15-20m. Not only generally greasy but sopping wet in the corner. Decided it wasn't our day, and escaped from a convenient ledge. Hard to imagine when you would get it in condition.

with Ashley Hold
Justin T 08/Jun/13 2nd dnf

Not a "get back into trad" route! P1 only then we "escaped" off right (an interesting experience of much unattached grass sketching), both cold and gripped. Considerably thinner and more sustained than expected - neither of us fancied more of the same but bolder!

John Mcshea 08/Jun/13 Lead
Hidden ??/2012 Lead O/S
Hidden ??/2012 -
duncan 18/Aug/11 AltLd O/S
with Dan Donovan
Hidden 14/Jul/11 Lead dnf
Ian Jones 28/Apr/11 AltLd dnf

Obvious sandbag. Clearly E3 5c. Pabbay quality. Started at 4pm and ran out of light. Resigned ourselves to a long night on the boulders.....

with Major Daniel Moore
Hidden 27/Apr/11 AltLd dnf
pezzerrr 11/Aug/10 AltLd O/S

P2 and 3 run together

Hidden 12/May/10 AltLd O/S
wojt ?/Sep/09 Lead O/S
Rob Kennard ??/2007 -
pete johnson ?/Aug/06 AltLd O/S
with Rick Newcombe
Hidden ??/2006 -
lukea 16/Jul/05 Lead O/S
with Al
jfletcher 12/Jul/03 AltLd
with Tom Wells, James Strongman
Hidden 28/Jul/01 Lead
William Robertson ??/1999 Lead O/S

First pitch 6a. Entire route deserves E3.

with Lee Clement
Mark Kemball ?/Aug/98 Lead
with Paul Chantrell
Martin Cooper 26/May/97 AltLd O/S

Whimped out of P2 and did P3. Excellent route

with Stan
Hamish Leslie ??/1997 AltLd O/S
with Ste Lawler
Hidden 23/May/95 Lead O/S
Nigel Coe ??/1991 AltLd
Hidden 18/Jun/88 AltLd O/S
Seymore Butt ??/1987 Lead
with Ian Fenton
ukb & bmc shark 22/Jul/85 AltLd

pulled on a piece on off width overhang near top

with Dave Marsh
keefe 29/Aug/84 -
charlesmfrench 23/Apr/84 AltLd O/S
with Ian Milne
Hidden ?/May/82 Lead
Roy Stuart ??/1982 Lead O/S

Very hard on both pitches. E3.

with Billy Bones
Hidden ?/Jul/81 -
mitch1960 ??/1981 Lead
with Dave Fernig
petemeads ?/Aug/76 Lead

Nicky spooked by the style of climbing, and that it was not gritstone, so I got to lead P1 and P2. Probably worth E3 but it was pretty dry for us...

with Nicky Stokes
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High E3
Mid E3
Low E3
High E2
Mid E2
Low E2
High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
Votes cast 20
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
High 5a
Mid 5a
Low 5a
Votes cast 20
Votes cast 20
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Flashed (β)
Ground Up
Not Set