The Southwest, a fabled area of Cornish granite sea cliffs, North Devonian adventure climbing and Lundy. An area that every year has been on the list of ‘must go climbing there’ places but every year had eluded me…until this year.
Walking down to Pentire Head I looked up in fascination at the lines of Eroica, Darkinbad the Brightdayler and Black Magic…we did them all. Black Magic is probably one of the most engaging and sustained routes of its grade I’ve climbed. The runout upper section felt lonely and pumpy, superb!
Standing on the pier at Ilfracombe waiting for the ferry, arms and shoulders felt tired from the day before and I hoped I hadn’t peaked before I had even got to Lundy! The island sits 12 miles off the North Devon coast in the Bristol Channel. Having extensive bird bans, late August onwards is the best time to arrive for climbing although the MV Oldenburgh is full to capacity nearly every day with day trippers and bird watchers throughout the summer. As a result island climbing life feels quite different to being on Pabbay or any other Scottish or Irish island though when you get on to the cliffs it feels every bit as remote.
Five days of good weather meant we were able to get on quite a few classics and came away sampling probably the best of Lundy. The granite on the whole is immaculate, though varies in makeup along the length of the Island. Highlights of the routes had to be Antiworlds, The Promised Land and A Widespread Ocean of Fear, each memorable in different ways!