2015-05-24 Portland, Wallsend North & Shawncliffe   Leave a comment

With Battleship on our radars from both reading the guide book and talking to friends, there’s loads of quality here, so we try and investigate the access problem: After the violent storms last year, it was rumoured that the approach had gone and some of the climbs were no longer existent.  The approach has indeed gone and access to Battleship is now from a long walk in from Blacknor Far South or Wallsend North.  We rock up quite early and we can see it’s already crowded though, so we stay in Wallsend North which is deserted.

Cosa Nostra, 6a+  

The easiest line here is a nice looker – Cosa Nostra, 6a+ up a black scoop.  Again excellent grip, though some hand holds had a soapy feel to them.  I move on to The Treacle Factory, 6b which again is nice.  Now warmed up I have a look at Acid Jazz Disco, 7a but mess up the onsight.  Some tricky moves on this and it was difficult to read, though Anthony flashes with some excellent beta.  I have another try for the send, now that I had worked out the sequence, but I ping off it.  Another redpoint to be collected at a later date.

Quite different from yesterday’s sun & heat, today is cloudy, windy and cold.  There’s also mist rolling in from the northwest.  Once we break for lunch, we decide to move out as it is getting damp.  We park down at Portland Bill and try to knock out a couple of lines in Coastguard sector, but I abandon a 6c+ (Nothing But The Groove) at the second clip – it was like climbing on soap that had been drizzled with olive oil – yeuch! 

With the mist / fog still coming in from the northwest, we drive over to the east side of the island – Shawncliffe, which was relatively good for weather conditions.  Everything else though got worse.  I misread the guidebook and expected to re-warm up on a 6a+.  It was a 7a+, Live By The Sword and I dog it.  Anthony fights it too.  Then I get on a nice looking 7a, Modern Nightmare but don’t have enough draws, thanks to an incorrect guidebook.  So I come down before the anchors.  Anthony tries the 7b+ that shares the start but does manage to strip both routes.  Then I try the ugliest, hardest 6b+, Wierd Shit and wish I hadn’t.  Still, considering the weather, we had thought the day was over several hours ago.

Better luck tomorrow.  Here’s a picture from the mirador:

2015-05-24 12 Mirador

6a+   6b   7a   7a   7a+   7a   6b+

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