Was out with Ed today, with plans to go large on Stackpole Head. These set of cliffs are justifiably regarded as some of the best in Pembrokeshire, but they have always seemed to throw problems at me when I have been down to climb there in the past. To start with it is within an area restricted from March 1st- August 1st, due to it being an important breeding site for nesting sea birds. It is a very tidal area, with routes being accessible for a short time twice a day and the base is very exposed to large swell - that can make it impossible to safely get to the bottom of the routes. Get these factors right and you still need to have good weather and rock conditions before it's wise to make the committing 40m abseil into this imposing cliff.
Today me and Ed were feeling keen for a dose of exposure and excitement. We arrived after the 40 minute walk in, to see waves crashing into the bottom and up the crag. We were still three hours off low tide, so after some wave watching and erming-and-arring we decided to do a route on the East Face of Mowing Word next to Stackpole Head. After a very wet first pitch of Traverse of the Slobs, Ed finished up the nearly dry top pitch of Logos. That done and low tide nearing we chucked our abseil rope down the length of Stackpole Head and made a belay at the bottom of Stackpole Grooves. The waves were still crashing in but we were fairly sheltered on our belay ledge, 6 meters above the watery chaos below. I linked the two pitches into a lovely single pitch and Ed followed. We didn't want to spoil our happiness of our Stackpole experience, by going down again and (with the tide on it's way back in and the sea no calmer) probably getting into trouble, so we headed over to Mowing Word West Face for a final route, The Beak in the evening sunshine. Good times.