Thursday, 13 August 2015


Sanctuary Wall in all its glory! Copyright Justin Timms
I couldn't belive it! Another wonderful forecast for a Saturday! Unbroken spells of bright sunshine and highs of 23 degrees centigrade. Clearly the chief scientist at the Met Office was on holiday over that weekend. Let’s hope not in Cornwall, as Bodmin Moor’s tarmac snake has got its static metal scales on this summer since the Council decided to dig half the road up. We decided on a stay-cation. Torquay to be precise. Once described as the jewel of the South West.

Since adventurous Ed was enlisted we opted to push the boat out and go for something a bit more exciting than the usual well traveled 3 star classic. Sacrosanct is at HVS, the easiest way up Sanctuary Wall. I say easiest because the whole crag overhangs its base by 10m and mainly plays host to routes providing strength sapping near death experiences. You’d think something so loose would just fall over?

Looking at the line of Sacrosanct (HVS 5a) and the rest of Sanctuary Wall. The route climbs from the top of the triangular pinnacles left across the wall into the gully then breaks out right again across a slab before finishing up the overhanging crack. 
After a DWS to the start from Anstey’s Cove we climbed up to the start of the route on a ledge 30 feet above the sea. The first pitch is either 4c or 5a depending on which book you look in. It entails a short traverse on less than generous jugs out across the grossly overhanging wall but at least it has a rusty peg for comfort. So off Ed went across the wall without the slightest hesitation and off he disappeared round a corner onto a ‘good belay ledge’ that turned out to be mostly overhanging vegetation. Still, there was an ace rusty peg to belay so not all was lost.

After a nut clenching second I perched on the ledge and we swapped some gear (except I left him with the size 4 Camelot as frankly, I think it’s becoming a bad omen). The next pitch was a traverse across a slab to a little ledge perched on the edge of oblivion before a safe but super steep strength sapping crack. Crimp, haul, lunge, yard, disco legs, choss, gardening, made it!

The steep second pitch of Sarcosanct (HVS 5a). Copyright Pete Saunders.
Ed reckoned pitch 2 was harder than pitch one but I think he’s wrong. Perhaps it’s because he was carrying the size 4! Either way it's an ace route, but don't tell everyone that.. 

Later that day soloing The Plimsoll Line (S0/1) down at Meadfoot Quarry.

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