South Country Van Tour

My birthday falls in the month of May, for the past six years this has meant having an exam on or within a day or two of my birthday. This has meant my last few birthdays have been spent revising. Rubbish! Since I finally finished education last year this was not the case this year!

Instead of sitting in the library I went on a mini south country van tour. I wanted to explore some of the great crags down south and also catch up with friends. Trip turned out as follows: Avon George > Ansteys Cove > Sennen > Bosigran > Pembroke.

The highlight of the first part of the trip for me was climbing the fantastic Empire of the Sun at Ansteys Cove on my birthday, followed by the hottest pizza I have ever eaten. Thank you to Trystan and my lovely girlfriend Amy for making the day so amazing.

Best mid grade sport route in the UK? 
Empire of the Sun 7b+ 
The main reason for the trek down to Cornwall was to go out for a sail in Trystan's dad's boat before he sold it. Unfortunately the wind was blowing a gale so we didn't manage to get out. While down in Cornwall we made a flying visit to Sennen and Bosigran, we managed a couple of classic routes before getting rained off.

Being the engineers that we are Trystan and I couldn't resist checking out  some wind turbines en route to Cornwall...very impressive and making almost no noise!

Trystan on the classic Demo Route HS (sandbag!) at Sennen Cove
Home with a view 

The last, but definitely not least, destination was a long bank holiday weekend Pembroke. Despite hearing so much about the place I had never made the trip down there before. I was not disappointed. It really is a trad climbers dream! Easily accessible vertical walls with generally well protected climbing in a beautiful location. The routes suited me well, since I'm not too keen on bold climbing!

Again the weather was quite mixed which meant most of the climbing was done at St Govans, not that I'm complaining, this crag alone would be worth the trip down! Climbing highlights for me was ticking the classics of The Arrow E1, Deranged E2, Test Case E3 and Tangerine Dream E4.

Although what really made the weekend was hanging out and catching up with old friends. Thanks everyone for coming down and being psyched to get out despite the cold, wet and windy weather.

Chilling in the van, managed to fit in 9 record for a Citroen Dispatch? 

Patti very run out while leading Clean Hands Blue Band E2 with half a rack! 

Good weather finally on the last day of the trip! 

Living the dream...The Tangerine Dream! 
Tangerine Dream was first trad route I've ever red-pointed. It was just so good I really wanted to climb it clean. I think it is also the first time I've fallen off a trad route for at least two years! Definitely a much needed fall, hopefully it will improve my confidence above good gear.

On the onsight I took a rest on the crux, the powerful moves are difficult to read when pumped! I went back on the final day only to take a fall from the same place, pulled ropes and finally climbed it clean next go, not perfect style but I still enjoyed it.

Sunny St Govans