Showing posts from November, 2012

Clocking Mileage at Saltdean

With no sign of winter re-emerging I headed to Saltdean again with Julia. We left London at 7am in order to capitalise on the 8am low tide.

There was a decent turn-out of climbers given the perfect weather conditions of clear winter skies and little breeze. I was inspired to witness someone climb Blade Runner (C5/6) for my first time before I set to work on Everyman's Route (C5) in order to swap the screwgate karabiner installed last week for one rarely used. I then top-roped Cathy Come Home (C8) to the right but only to 2/3 height. The pair climbing next door to us had started to lead up the same route directly below me and, despite it being unlikely, I did not want to risk dropping an axe on them. I'll come back soon and work this route properly.

Water was beginning to pool beneath the Seaward Face, which I know from bad experience means rapid advancement of the tide here. We abandoned the section of cliff to climb Slab Route/Extension whilst the climber on Cathy Come Home w…

Saltdean: Something Less Dramatic

After last weekend's late night climbing antics at Dover I was keen for something less dramatic this weekend. Jack and me headed to the bolted routes at Saltdean.

We warmed up of Slab Route/Slab Extension. The start to Slab Route continues to get slightly harder each season as chalk falls away beneath it. A small cave has now formed beneath the slab. The undercut chalk at the base of the slab is plagued with extensive cracks that suggest the slab may begin higher up in the near future. The short wall to gain the slab offered good value and needed composure to clip to the first bolt, after which the climbing became easy.

Having climbed Slab Route we set up a top-rope on the lower-off further right, which I believe to be Christmas Cracker (C6). I think this was the route that Hugh Dennis climbed on the BBC program 'The Great British Countryside', which was broadcast earlier this year. Therefore surely a push-over? This section of cliff has since a lot of change in recent yea…

Dover Soul (V)

The tide was far higher than expected by the time Jack and me reached the zigzag path. Low tide had only been just over an hour ago but already the water had almost reached the cliffs immediately East. We quickly descended the path for closer inspection, which indicated that there was just time to traverse the cliffs to the beach that we had visited last weekend. We hurried across the high boulders directly beneath the cliffs but were nearly halted by the waters immediately preceding the beech by their absence. We delicately padded our way across a sequence of smaller boulders that just about poked their head above the water, to the safety of the beech. Ten minutes later and we wouldn't have made it. There would certainly be no return by the way we had come until the next low tide.

The obvious choice of route was a grade V called Dover Soul as there was gear to retrieve after last week's abseil retreat down its lower stretches. From the ground the route looked soft for the gra…