Rocktype Killas slate
Altitude 15m a.s.l
The Passion of Botallack Head Zawn © Tom Last
Botallack Head Zawn is delightfully atmospheric, black, and brooding; ideal during heatwaves. There is some impressive climbing in the lower grades, with The Dungeon a challenging but technically reasonable adventure. The seaward face of the main wall catches the afternoon sun but some dampness is inevitable deeper into the zawn. The rock is smooth, with many sloping holds, and becomes slippery when wet.
Approach along a wide track leading northwards from the village of Botallack, keeping left of Botallack Manor, to reach ample parking just past the Botallack Count House (National Trust). From here, continue along the wide track passing some houses. About 500m beyond the houses the rocky tower of Carn Vellan can be seen seaward. Carn Vellan forms the northern arm of a craggy bay and Botallack Head its southern arm.
From the track, strike down towards the southern side of the bay across mining spoil-heaps to reach a mine shaft blocked with a metal grille, with a sturdy retaining wall, on the edge of a dripping zawn. The knuckly pinnacles of Botallack Head are to the left of this zawn. Botallack Head Zawn lies on the southern side of the Head.
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