P is for Pembroke

P is for Pembroke, and another AMC meet is not complete without a scurry over to Pembrokeshire for some adventurous-trad filled climbing extravaganza.

I think the 14 of us who went were all slightly optimistic with the weather considering even on Saturday morning at even 9am it was still raining. But! And as we found out once the weather shifted and the mood was set on Mother (s)Carey’s for our first day, it was highly surprising to find The Great Wall and other largely dry. The only possible set back was amount of pigeon poo on much of the rock as this is breading season (NB: we stayed away from Deep Space and the other parts as per RAD/UKC). The group (Mike, Seb, James and Felix) were largely eyeing up some classics – Rock Idol (a sublime 3D venture at E1) and James B leading the charge on a highly popular E3, Zepplin, which all can admit is one FINE price of rock. Bloody nails mind, especially the start of P2.

Mike K and Seb taking on Rock Idol (E1)
with Matt being seconded on Strait Gates (E2)
James B on the classic Zepplin (E3) and
Seb seconded on Rock Idol

All in all a great crag, and worthy of even repeat ascents which Max and Matt got up to but switching from second to lead on Sunsmoke and Straitgates. It’s also noteworthy to mention that once again Max’s habit of lobbing gear into the sea still seems accurate. Some say dumb luck, but more to come on this. Below is Seb taking on Sunsmoke (E2) also.

The evening was rounded off with the group choosing a healthy amount of burger and chips at the local pub, and plenty of beers. 13 of us all in all, and a pleasant evening before retiring and dreaming of more trad.

Day two and a mix of aspirations but a large group headed to Bosherton Head for what is an absolute gem of a outcrop of a crag. Leo and Felix headed for a true adventure takling Preposterous Tales (E2) which for those not in the know is an epic traverse into a multi pitch dark cave, which pops out just a wee bit inland. From feedback it was found to be largely wet and hard graft so kudos to both of 

them for the strife and struggle to finish the route and top out. Max, Matt took out High Life which for P1 is a wonderful route following an ascending rightwards traverse before P2 is the airy/scary bulge with max exposure which Matt was quivering in his boots and having to back climb before de robbing as the temperature of the rock and situation was intensifying. I think it’s a fair comment, that life choices were being considered with Mr Coney’s choice of a sandbag 🙂

Paul, Antony, Max, Matt, Leo and Felix on Bosherton Head

After this Anthony and Paul, followed by James and Felix were at West Face which come on is one sexy piece of rock .Paul took on a beaut of a route called Keelhaul at E2 which follows this cool looking overlap and an airy finish. A very cool route. And Mike K and Seb heading for a belter of Pigs On A Wing further west. Another airy but 5 star route which the author considers better than A Dream Of White Horses.

Paul and Felix at West Face
Seb hanging about on Pigs On A Wing (HVS)

The wind was high and by late afternoon the group dispersed reluctantly anticipating the start of the working week. Two great days. The final foray was for Max C he decided yet again to lob ‘kit’ into the sea. This time the guide book took the wrath of his indifference. Like true Thunderbirds it was operation rescue, but also for Mr Coney to climb Keelhaul, which in true psyche he nailed. The evening was late and it was a rush to finish off the weekend with a traditional fish and 

chips before they closed, and even a gluttony of a McFlurry for good measure. I think it took about an hour to finally thaw after what was sunny but a cold Sunday. With sore arms, a belly full, another fruitful and iconic trip to the land of P for Pembroke. Thanks to everyone for a mega shotgun trip away.