|The Devil's Chimney (left) & Needle Rock (right)|
But something was wrong... She was taking for ages to unweight the rope. Anna was out of sight and all I could hear were the waves brushing the shore. I started to worry about the length of the abseil. The summit of the Devil's Chimney was a long way below. Did she have enough rope? I prusik'ed down the steep grassy slope to where the cliff dropped away more rapidly. Anna was a distant figure hanging on the end of the rope far below. 'Lower the nuts' she shouted up. We had made a schoolboy error in that I was wearing the rack at the top of the cliff whilst Anna had nothing below. What's more she had one of the 60m ropes on her back so I couldn't even ab down towards her on the halves.
|The Devil's Chimney from the cliff top|
|At the intermittent lower-off|
Photo by Anna Kennedy
|Anna's intermediate lower-off|
|We climbed the obvious groove to the left of the column in the centre of the photo|
The top pitch now matched the CC description. Anna made fine work of the steep slab leading up to the small overhang and into the cracked wall above. Probably the best pitch of the route. Then it was my turn and soon we were both on the summit full of smiles. The original plan had been for me to lead the harder first and third pitches but having linked the first two pitches I was really happy that we had been able to split the difficulties and interest more fairly. Overall the route felt more like VS, 4c than HVS, 5b. Presumably the first pitch fell down at some point.
|The steep slab|
|The small roof|
|The upper wall|
|My only Puffin sighting was on the summit of the Devil's Chimney|
But getting to the top was of course only half the battle. We still needed to descend and then exit the beach via a route leading back up the main cliffs. Ambitions dropped a level. We had achieved our main objective and had lost a lot of time trying to reach it. Now it was time to leave without further dramas.
|Anna abseiling from the summit|
We chose a nice looking single pitch VS, 4c called Pretender, which climbed a steep cracked wall on perfect rock with a good variety of moves. And with the usual bags of atmosphere as is staple on Lundy. Then throw in an army of silver fish at the crux. Some stiff moves towards the top above a square cut-away were surely worth 5a?
|Between sea grass and boulders|
|Pretender (VS, 4c)|