After a gap of four years it was decided to organise another trip to the far west of England. We would use the same campsite as on previous occasions at Tower Park in the village of St Buryan, being well placed for most of the climbing and walking areas on the Penwith peninsula.
A good initial response saw a fair number sign up for the trip, but domestic problems, college commitments and other issues caused a reduction in numbers attending.
However, a select band assembled at Tower Park on Wednesday evening.
Thursday dawned a bit damp so a recce of some of the climbing areas was undertaken. Rain at Sennen and late donning of wet weather kit resulted in your correspondent feeling a bit soggy by the time we got to the large platform at the foot of the climbs, perhaps tomorrow would be a better day.
A quick visit to a local tea shop revived us and a drive to Bosigran to inspect Commando Ridge and the Main Face confirmed that things needed to dry out a bit more.
Friday stayed dry and a number of routes were ascended. These included “Demo Route“, a Sennen classic on which I managed to pull out a critical bit of gear while scrabbling in the off-width crack. This required a considered retreat to reset it. Photos of us on the climb have been posted on the UK Climbing website. A quick dip in the (cold) Atlantic beside the RNLI station rounded off the day.
Saturday was different. Opening the tent flap in the morning, visibility was no more than 100m.“This will burn off in an hour or so,” we said, “By the time we get to Bosigran it will be gone“. It wasn’t. While sitting in the car park we were joined by Gary Dyer who was having an extended holiday in his caravan quite near our camp. Two hours later we were still sitting in the car park hardly able to see across the road.
“Come back to the caravan for tea and we can swim at the beach at the foot of the cliff” said Gary, so off we went. A perfect sandy bay with rollers for surfing greeted us. It was still b…..dy cold, and the Lifeguard was having to stand at the water’s edge to peer into the fog to be able to see if anyone needed rescuing. I think we lasted no more than five minutes, before rushing back to the caravan site café for tea and cake to try and warm up.
That evening we had arranged to meet Naomi and Greg, who were staying in a caravan near The Lizard. A very pleasant meal was enjoyed in a pub in the picturesque town of Porthleven, just along the coast.
The next day the fog was as dense as ever and I had to return home, but John who stayed on reported the it persisted for a total of three days.
I still felt that it was an enjoyable trip and I learned to try not to hook your protection with you rack as you climb past it.