Daydreams is yet another route that’s been on my tick-list for decades – the last of the Pembroke Extreme Rock routes outstanding (as Return of the Natives now lies on the seabed!) and by all accounts an absolute classic. Three contrasting pitches (each probably worth E2 5b in its own right) weaving a very sustained line through weaknesses in this impressive buttress. It’s a 30 mins walk into the range East firing area and requires a mid to low tide, so the only way to fit it in on this trip was to wait for Saturday morning. Happily, the weather decided to play along for once (not without a bit of a fight – a pea-soup fog greeted us when we woke and only dispersed periodically).
Crag sighted (on the far left end of the headland below):
Ab in (a 70m gets you down comfortably with enough to tie into a concrete stanchion at the top – 60m might be tight!)
Bottom of the route out of the water (okay – should probably have checked that before abbing in).
… but still quite splashy!
Pitch 1: 30m, stiff pull through barnacle territory to enter a square groove, climbed with one tricky move, before traversing easily but spectacularly left for about 10m
… to a stance above the void
Pitch 2: 15m diagonally up the slanting groove line on slightly precarious footholds and layaways, with good but spaced fiddly gear which takes a bit of imagination to engineer – not obvious with absolutely no trace of chalk after the winter.
Pitch 3: 15m, easily up to the first roof, round this via a grungy offwidth layback to the next roof which yields to a sideways fist jam and a big heave.
That should have been “game over” and a romp to the top, but Jake managed to dislodge a microwave sized block from just below the top which fortunately missed me (protected under the roof) before crashing to the ledge below – luckily we had the whole place to ourselves so there was no-one to hit. Another useful reminder of the special care needed on sea cliffs.
… And that’s the end of the trip – some fabulous routes done in either great conditions or despite crappie ones, and equally memorable on both accounts. And of course just as big a list to come back for!