Saturday, 2 July 2016

Curious Holes and Horrible Vistas.

So yeah I'm down in Bristol for a bit, specifically to climb in Cornwall, Devon, and North Pembroke. Have I got out to those majestic and diverse sea-cliff paradises?? Have I fuck. I've got sucked into the local limestone choss bollox. I blame the Pylon King, but I also blame the weather, the shambolic organisation of PK's 2nd in command Sgt Stannerz, and myself. Oh and that actually with a fresh perspective and recent renovations, some of that local bollox is actually quite good. I mean limestone is shit, UK limestone is particularly shit, UK inland limestone is the ultimate in shit. But fuck me I've even enjoyed Cheddar sport climbing in the last week - as well as a host of other venues from the mighty Avon to the mighty Woodlane Quarry....

Funnily enough this is a very old stomping ground for me. Learning to climb at school, and later on regularly visiting a mate at Bath uni, I'd semi-regularly potter around these curious holes with their horrible vistas, although a combination of inexperience and inexplicable issues meant I ended up leading a few HVS/E1s and soloing too many 1 star VSes on too many big limestone crags. An early teenage foray saw me attempting Le Poudin Noir at Sandford Quarry, with youthful enthusiasm and it's old sandbag grade. I backed off to the wise words of my young mentor Pete Rigby "Sensible idea Matt, my old man says 'the climb will still be here tomorrow, just make sure you are'". A couple of decades later and I laid that old ghost to rest, and I'm bloody glad my teenage self didn't commit past the start as the whole route is pretty sketchy and intense, and very good for a limestone quarry. Alas we ended up too late to get any battered poudin noir in the local chippy, but a pint of cider for dinner sufficed.

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