Climb Pembroke's Blog

We want you to see what we've been up to here at Climb Pembroke, and get a taste of who we are and what to expect if you come Sea Cliff Climbing with us here in Pembrokeshire on one of our Rock Climbing Courses or Family Rock Climbing days out

Cheddar Gorge and Avon Gorge Climbing

After a well earned weeks holiday in the Lakes with family, me Corinne and Gethin drove south to visit friends in Bristol and I had the opportunity to get out for a couple of days climbing. First day out was with Steve and we headed to Cheddar in search of some space below our feet. High Rock seemed a good place to find it, I suggested The High Rock Girdle. It's one of those obscure routes in the hard to interpret green Cheddar guide book and the route came to my attention a few years ago. Since then it has always been a route I'd liked to get on. The guide doesn't award any stars (unlike most guides) and I like this, causing the reader to analyse the description with an elaborate imagination. I've always liked (and feared) the type of Trad climbing a Cheddar. It seems that very few folk climb Trad here, and as so it becomes a complete battle with loose rock interspersed with a lot of soil and vegetation. 

So off we set, walking up under Acid Rock and out to the shoulder that abuts the right side of High Rock about two pitches up. The first pitch traverses out left, instantly the world drops away underneath you. Instead of being on vertical solid rock, you scuttle a thin vegetated ledge of uncertain stability, you are pushed out by a camouflaged wall of ivy, masking any potential holds. Out left you go until the most likely of unlikely potential upwards opportunities is decided on. Balancy and un-nerving moves with pretend protection leads thankfully to easier ground still cloaked with thick vegetation. After belaying I brought Steve up. The top corner pitch of Sceptre being more like rock climbing went far quicker. Steve joined me and we peered out left over the even greater void. The break lead out left again, this time another pitch up. Space walking leftwards in a stupendous position was brought to a stop a bottleneck at the "Shield Pitch" of Coronation Street. After the realisation that this would take some time to work through and light was at a premium, me and Steve decided that up wards at this point was the best idea. Climbing the Grotty gully above between High Rock and The Spire seemed the quickest way of topping out. Which we precariously dispatched - all very in themed with the vegetated adventure that had gone below. We both sat atop The Spire and then worked out how we were  going to abseil down (in two pitches) back down to our starting point. When we got back to Steve's car, we saw a team on the third pitch of Coronation Street - soon to be engulfed by darkness...  

The following day I was out with Tom. He had plans on Avon's Suspension Bridge Buttress and I obliged by warming us both up on Suspense - which I had forgotten how good is. Tom then powered through the masterful direct  Earl of Perth/Oblivion three star link up. A nice big pitch straight up the middle of the buttress, no mucking about. With time to spare, we headed down to Lower Amphitheatre Wall and I got on what turned out to be a total sandbag called Spiny Proboscis Nematodes. I liked the name better than the route...