Saturday – Just Another Manic Lundy!
We all met bright and early in Ilfracombe to board the MS Oldenburg to make the 2hr crossing to Lundy. With the ferry swaying and rocking in the harbour we waited with anticipation to depart – luckily the weather was on our side and once we were in the Bristol Channel it was a pleasant crossing!
Jon Returning for his 10th visit to Lundy!
Once we docked on Lundy, we all marched up the hill and then split off into our teams for the day.
Steve M and James set the tone for their trip with an adventurous outing straight from the boat on the little-logged (in the last 20 years at least) Bleed for Speed E2 – 5C. James beasted the wet, green crux while Steve M had to deal with his own issues – the incoming tide – jumaring up the rope to the first bit of gear!
Steve N and Jake headed south to tackle the 100m+ Ulysses Factor – HVS 5a. Luckily Steve N had brought his sky hook as the opening traverse has little to no protection with ground fall potential for both leader and second!
Tim and I decided to start our trip a little more conservatively, heading to Beaufort Buttress. All was going to plan as Tim led Stuka – VS 4b with ease and I jumped on Force 8 – S 4a. Then things got wetter, for me at least! Tim attempted Admiral’s Arete – E1 5b before bailing back onto Stuka. Meanwhile I got plastered by a rogue wave at the bottom! After that I tried Hurricane – HS 4a but had lost all confidence in my soaking wet feet, so bailed back onto the Severe.
Tim on Admiral’s Arete – E1 5b. Out of shot – Simon getting soaked by rogue wave.
James “Beast It” Bisset on Bleed for Speed – E2 5C
Jon and Alastair headed to The Devil’s Slide area, climbing Albion – VS 4c and The Devil’s Spine VS – 4b with ease and importantly, stayed dry!
David and Christine decided to explore the Island after getting little sleep the night before, resting up to climb on Sunday.
After a somewhat adventurous day, I was happy to see everyone back safe at The Marisco Tavern for a post climb pint and dinner, as well as the opening of the infamous Tab 11.
Planning over pints at The Marisco Tavern
Inside the Old Light
Sunday – Easy Like A Lundy Morning
With rain forecast for early afternoon, most of the group headed swiftly for Landing Craft Bay and Flying Buttress area with varying objectives.
Sunrise before the rain
David and Christine opted for Horseman’s Route – HS 4b on Flying Buttress but ended up climbing the second pitch of Diamond Solitaire – VS 4c instead!
Steve M, James, Steve N and Jake all climbed Destiny – E2 5c where they encountered some challenging jams. The rain stopped play, then Steve & Steve eyed up some new routes at the top of St Patrick’s Buttress before returning to the hut after dark!
Steve Noble setting off on Destiny – E2 5c
Jon and Alastair at the base of Horseman’s Route – HS 4b
Once the rain had passed, Jake and James headed for American Beauty – HVS 5a, an epic 100m route with huge variety in it.
Alastair and Jon climbed Horseman’s Route – HS 4b and Diamond Crack – VS 5a with Alastair just coming off on the final steep section. After the rain they headed up to Beaufort Buttress to climb Stuka Direct – VS 4c.
Tim and I had other plans – find the wettest rock we can…
We started on the Lundy classic, The Devil’s Slide HS – 4a which was great fun on an awesome slab. Then, knowing rain was imminent, we headed back down to climb Albion, hoping to beat the rain. As Tim started the 4c pitch, the heavens opened and soaked the slab! Tim got the lead clean despite the rain, while I aided up in the rain!
Tim abbing down The Devil’s Slide
Simon chilling on the final pitch of The Devil’s Slide – HS 4a
Monday – Blue Lundy
Blue-ish skies forecast meant a full day of climbing for everyone! Most of us again headed to Landing Craft Bay and Flying Buttress, with David and Christine opting for The Devils Slide and (a much drier) Albion.
David on the first Pitch of The Devil’s Slide – HS 4a
The Devil’s Slide in all its glory!
Jake setting off on Double Diamond (Steve Noble special start)
Simon heading out onto the slab for Diamond Solitaire – VS 4c
Tim and I climbed Shamrock – VS 4c – a great route with plenty of jamming opportunities, much to Tim’s delight. We then headed over to Flying buttress and caught Steve N and Jake setting off onto Double Diamond – HVS 5b, a route Tim led later after we’d climbed Horseman’s Direct VS – 5a and the second pitch of Diamond Solitaire – VS 4c. Jake then set off on Indy 500 – E1 5b, falling a couple of times before handing the lead to Steve N who managed to get it clean.
Alastair starting the final pitch of Shamrock VS – 4c
Simon deep in a crack on Shamrock’s first pitch
Jon and Alastair weren’t far behind us, climbing Cow Pie – VS 4b, Shamrock and then heading over to Flying buttress to climb Alouette – S 4a.
Tim heading up Double Diamond – HVS 5b
Alistair on Cow Pie – VS 4b
Steve M and James climbed Rampart – E3 6a, with James again beasting the wet crux pitch thanks to an upside-down knee bar. He then promptly dropped a whole rack of nuts… Steve & Steve then put up 3 new routes they scouted the day before, a VS, HVS and an E1.
James approaching the crux of Rampart – E3 6a
There were seals!
After a great day of climbing everyone (eventually) met at the pub for some well deserved food and beers. Tab 11 took its biggest hit this evening as we all socialised with climbers from Brixton Climbing Club.
Tuesday – Lazing on a Lundy Afternoon
By far the wettest day of the trip, Tim and I decided to head to Seal Slab – Diff and Walrus – S before heading back to take shelter in the pub. Jon and Alastair had similar plans, climbing Battery Rib – V Diff before also opting for the shelter of the Marisco Tavern.
Two smiling Steves from the top of Needle Rock
Alastair on a wet Battery Rib – V Diff
The Steves and James headed to Needle Rock for a more adventurous day. Steve & Steve climbed Integrity – HS 4b while James decided it would be best to skip the climb for fear of all of them getting stuck on Needle Rock for the night!
This was supposed to be Jake’s last day but due to the weather the MS Oldenburg couldn’t dock on Lundy. The day trippers on the boat ended up spending 12hrs at sea as due to tides it couldn’t return to Bideford! According to the boat crew it was the first time they had not been able to dock in 20 years!
Wednesday – Any Given Lundy
With the forecast much more promising Jake managed to escape Lundy after the failed attempt the day before. Unfortunately because of the sailing times he was unable to get any climbing in before leaving.
Steve N and James on the first pitch of Fifth Appendage – E1 5b
Steve N leading the top pitch of Fifth Appendage
Steve, James and Steve headed to The Devil’s Chimney, climbing The Fifth Appendage – E1 5b and then moving onto The Promised Land – E3 6a – an Extreme Rock tick. James ‘Beast It’ Bisset took the first wild and overhanging pitch with ease with both Steves setting off just in time to avoid the incoming tide. Steve M took the second thin 6a slab pitch before the decision was made to jumar up the ab rope and skip the last pitch because it was dark!
James on The Promised Land – E3 6a
Jon on Immaculate Slab – HVS 5a
Jon and Alastair climbed the Immaculate Slab – HVS 5a before heading to Needle Rock to climb a much drier Integrity whilst Christine and David climbed Shamrock before heading over to Landing Craft Bay.
Alastair on Needle Rock
David abseiling into Landing Craft Bay
Tim and I had the aim of climbing American Beauty so headed to Beaufort Buttress to get a good vantage point overlooking the route. Unfortunately the slab was still soaking wet so Tim led Streaky – VS 5a up the slightly greasy slab on the right of Beaufort Buttress. I then led Capstan’s Arete – VS 4b in what felt like gale force winds! We then headed over to Indy 500. All was going well – we set up the ab rope, abseiled in and then I realised I’d forgotten one of the ropes. Back up the Ab line I went! After I’d wasted what little energy I had left ascending the rope, Tim dispatched Indy 500 with ease before we sat down for a warm can of Thatchers in the sun!
Tim on the greasy slab of Streaky – VS 5a
Simon on the final section of Indy 500 – E1 5b
Thursday – I don’t like Lundy(s)
The final day on Lundy was a bit of a mixed bag. With low tide coinciding with our departure time of 15:30, a lot of the climbing was inaccessible earlier in the day.
David and Christine headed off to Montagu Buttress to have a go on Cable Way – S 4a. Unfortunately this plan was doomed as the approach was completely under water!
Steve M on My Life in My Hands – E6 6a
The two Steves opted for some Top Roping at Black Crag. They both got on My Life in My Hands – E6 6a, which in Steve M’s words “had some awesome hard techy moves that no-one in their right mind would want to lead” before going for another new route (E1) on Sunset Wall.
“This is definitely the start of Diamond Crack” – Tim before heading up Show of Hands – E2 5c
Tim and I headed back to Flying Buttress with the aim of climbing Diamond Crack. Knowing we’d struggle to get there straightaway because of the tide, we opted to try the two VS routes to the right of Diamond Crack – The Exorcist – VS 5b (?!) and Solitaire View – VS 5a. We then moved to the next crack over, which we thought was Diamond Crack. Not consulting the guidebook, Tim set off on what he thought was Diamond Crack. After a prolonged battle up a greasy slot/off width, Tim made it to the belay ready to haul me up! After looking at the Lundy supplement we realised Tim had climbed Show of Hands – E2 5c, which made a lot more sense based on the description and the difficulty!
Jon and Alastair finished their trip on Beaufort Buttress climbing Streaky before having a look at The Devil’s Slide but deciding to call it a day as there was far too much traffic on the slab!
Heading back to the MS Oldenburg
Everyone made it to the jetty on time ready for the smooth boat ride back to Ilfracombe! If you’re not sure whether to go on the Lundy Trip in 2023, hopefully this report has helped sway you!
By Simon Perrett
Smiles all round after a great week on Lundy!