Mowing Word

Almost exactly a year on from my last visit with Jake, Jim and I enjoyed another grand day on Mowing Word – it really is a great bonus to have this splendid crag almost completely untroubled by bird bans.

We started on the East Face with Logos, a fairly amenable E1

Followed by Charenton Crack, an unsung 3* gem of an E2 up a very steep corner crack – gopping wet from bottom to top today and probably worth E3, but fingerlocks and good gear abound. Here’s Jim pulling the ab rope, to give an idea of just how steep it is!

Marvellous view of the Arête of Steep Pace and across to Stackpole Head.

Then we followed the sun around onto the South Face – here’s Jim contemplating the grungy traverse on Razor’s Edge, E1.

… before heading further round to tackle Widowmaker, E3.

This is the route just left of Chimes of Freedom, which I did last year, and once again we managed to engineer things to be on the hanging belay at bob on high tide (only this time the sea was a bit more spicy). Despite recent familiarity it still took a while to figure out where the route went – basically if you rap from the shiny BMC spec ab stake just north of the Diedre Sud stake you’ll end up just to the left of the start of the route (and you’ll want to clip a piece or two of gear on the way down as otherwise you’ll be in the briny!)

The tricky move in the lower groove described in the book is actually okay, but the pull over the roof is a really stiff one and you’d end up a l-ooo-ng way beneath it if you came off – I ended up shuffling a bit further and trespassing on the left hand variation of Chimes to reach the belay (which is more a figment of a guide writer’s imagination than an actual stance). Meanwhile Jim only just escaped a soaking on the belay as the direction of the swell shifted and a few big rollers crashed in – wet rockboots were the worst of it…

Here he is pulling through the roof.

Cracking day – and the seagulls seemed to have enjoyed the spectacle.

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