Pembroke sun sea and sending

Last week I spent a few days in Pembroke, I just can't get enough of the place! The weather was much better than last time; wall to wall sunshine every day. It was almost too hot one day, not that I'm complaining! I love the sun.

Unfortunately since it was midweek Range East was closed during the day for firing practice, so we climbed mainly on Mother Carey's and Carreg-Y-Barcud. A couple of the days we nipped into Range East after the firing had finished at 4:30pm and climbed till dark.

I was lucky enough to climb with some good friends and strong climbers. Being on a trip with good mates is always a laugh.

I had already been down in Pembroke for a day or so with Amy when Luke, Barni, Konrad and Ewan joined me.

Van life
After dropping  Amy of to get her train home then playing a game of van vs. train when we missed it I popped over to St Govens for a few routes in the evening sun.

Barni on the Poisoned Arrow E4 6a

Barni on the Poisoned Arrow E4 6a

Luke giving it some gun onsighting John Wayne E5 6a
I had never been to Carreg Y Barcud in North Pembroke before, the climbing is very different to that on range East. The rock is gorgeous hard sandstone, generally at a slabby angle and well featured with small solid holds. Very similar to slate, bit with friction! We climbed a total of seven routes on the crag, including the classics Sinicure E1 5b and Kitten Claws E3 5c.

Carreg-Y-Barcud

The "Gurning Boyz/Sausage Fest" team!  

Although it looks blank on first appearance Kitten Claws actually has holds and pretty good gear. The gear is mainly small nuts, dmm HB brass offsets go in very well, the crux at half high on Kitten Claws is quite well protected with a dmm size 11 offset in sideways

Barni fiddling in small wires on Kitten Claws E3 5c
After climbing Kitten Claws we cooled off with a quick dip in the sea. After getting out we watched as Ewan started lowering his harness and shoes down the abb rope and shouted that he was going to jump. I didn't really believe him; being as he was right on top of the crag which is over 20m high, at slabby angle and with a ledge at the bottom! Luke started his camera recording and we watched as Ewan launched himself off the top of the crag after taking a (much needed) run up! After almost 3s of airtime Ewan executed a text book (for mentalists!) entry into the sea. Very impressive. Check out the video below:



When shade hit the crag Barni went for an onsight attempt of Mean Feat E5 6a. He put in an awesome effort onsighting some thin and hard moves upto the break. Above, the rock looked blank, Barni not totally sure of the correct route reluctantly traversed left into the top of Kitten Claws.

Barni going for the onsight of Mean Feat E5 6a
Next Luke had a go and managed to flash the route working out a sequence through a hard section above, then a runout on steep and hidden holds.

The next day we had planned to go DWS'ing but since the weather was not quite as hot we went back to Carreg-Y-Barcud. With Luke's beta Barni made short work of Mean Feate. Next it was my go, combining much beta from all angles I manged to flash the route, my first E5. Its a fantastic route, thin and slabby to start then steeper wall climbing above. The route is actually quite safe, protected with a double set of tiny cams, small wires and some bigger stuff in the breaks. Many placements are fiddly and some blind to place.

Adjusting into the crux fingerlock on Mean Feat E5 6a
Eyeballing the top mid-crux on Mean Feat
Later the same day after an ice cream and coffee hit in St Davids we headed over to Travellen in Rage East.  Barni lead Enter the Goat E2 5b and I lead Sunlover E3 5c. A very nice route with a bit of a bold lower section then jugs a hoy. 

We finished off by climbing The Fascist and Me E4 6a  which has a ridiculously steep and photogenic top pitch. Unfortunately the light and temperature were dropping by this point. Seconding Bani up the top pitch (which is nearly horizontally steep in places!) with two fleeces, a down jacket and a guidebook stuffed down my top was quite an experience;  I now know what its like to climb with respectably large breasts..difficult! 

Multipitching at Pembroke? Cold belay ledge on the Fascist and Me  E4 6a
On the last day despite feeling pretty beaten we climbed at Mother Carey's. I warmed up on the simply fantastic Rock Idol E1 5a then after admiring the resident crabs in-suite in the rock pools below the crag Barni knocked off a strenuous lead of Zeppelin E3 5c.

Barni fighting the pump on Zepellin E3 5c


Last but defiantly not least Luke pulled off the onsight of the trip climbing Beat Surrender E5 6b at Lydstep Point, next crag along towards the carpark from Mother Carey's. Luke put in an amazing performance on this strenuous, technical and sustained route. Sitting on the abb rope I had a front row seat. Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery. You will have to take my word for it, it was impressive! 

Luke starting off on Beats Surrender E5 6b
I managed to second the route by the skin of my teeth in far less style! The climbing was awesome, plenty of tensioned bridging and finger locks.





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