A Chance Encounter with the hardest HVS in the world, and more Mowing Word

Something old and something new for today’s itinerary – the boys fancied Mowing Word which we were happy to go along with despite a few recent visits ( https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2019/04/18/mowing-word-2/ https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2019/07/01/stand-by-to-boogie-more-mowing-word-fun/) and Charlie threw in the suggestion to combine this with a visit to Chance Encounter Zawn for a bit of escoteric excellence.
The approach through the Lilly Ponds is quintessential middle England and you’d be hard pressed to know you’re only a few hundred metres from the sea:As well as this patient heron, we also spotted a Mexican standoff between a wiley fox and a nonchalant magpie.
Chance Encounter zawn is well hidden, a few hundred metres west of Ramming Hole, but we spotted Mark and Graham setting up their ab in to Splendour, E3, highly recommended by our local aficionado, Charlie. “Fancy meeting you here!”
Helen and I rapped down the opposite side of the zawn, through seriously overhanging terrain, with increasing disbelief that we’d find a HVS exit via Goodge Street. This also gave great views across to Mark engaged in battle with a somewhat sopping Splendour All very atmospheric (one to come back for, along with it’s more subterranean neighbour Soup Dragon – note to self: wait until the sun is on it…) Meanwhile, Goodge Street proved to be plenty spicy enough, with wet but very positive holds leading up a steep crack to a small cave and a roof. A few very stiff and committing pulls out left over the void are required to surmount the roof of the cave – they’re having a laugh at HVS. Spectacular!
On to Mowing Word in time to spot Paul and Charlie rapping in for Widowmaker (if you know where to look!) Helen and I did the two stupendous routes to the left of Diedre Sud: here’s Helen on Snozwanger which takes the centre of the left wall, with Graham just visible below on the arete of Blowing in the Wind each given HVS / E1 depending which guide you choose, and both providing a sublime climbing experience on a sunny, breezy afternoon.
We topped out just in time to get a couple of pics of Mark on the crux of Onion Eaters:Another fab day in the Pembroke wonderland, and great to enjoy such fine company – cheers guys!

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