April 25, 2010 George Foster

Bowderstone, St. Bees and a ‘Quince’

In the week that saw petrol prices hit a staggering 130.9p a litre (that’s SHIT by the way if you’re reading this from America) i was trundling my way North to the Lakes. 50mph MAX to save as much fuel as i could until i reached home and the more reasonable prices. Motorway driving at that speed is pretty much a piss take, you might as well be travelling in reverse BUT as my driver instructor loved to point out…..”you save 20% more fuel going at 50 than you do going at 70″. What’s this got to do with climbing? That bit? Not much, save for the fact that i was heading into the district of Lake (singular).

When the sun shines as much as it has done the past couple of weeks this early on in the year it usually pays to sit up and take notice of it. My bikini doesn’t fit and isn’t this seasons colour anymore so the only other thing left to me was to head for a climb. Now i’d best keep it brief cos to be honest if something hasn’t got photos i soon switch off and sure everyone else is pretty much the same! No surprise that the reason i point this out now is cos i don’t have any photos myself so to hold your attention i’ll keep it nice and short.

Had a little look into St. Bees for it’s bouldering potential. I went there before some years ago on a brief weekend trip down from uni with Dom, Davey Sander and the international man of mystery – Paddy. It’s ace…….really beautiful setting right down on a wave cut platform mere centimetres above the sea – in fact given it’s tidal a lot of it is also mere centimetres below the sea, which can be rather frustrating! This is how we found it the day we turned up last week……..warm but wet as the tide was still on it’s way out and had left a lot of the fragile sandstone in almost unclimbable condition. Now me and Dave aren’t the most prolific of climbers and it’s fair to say that psyche was low so we ended up just pottered around for a large part of the day. The pottering around did however yield some success as we both got some action in on the ‘classic’ Headbanger, though the effort of topping out on this, the Lakes’ (and therefore the WORLDS) softest V8, proved the shit that tipped the toilet over and we left pretty soon after!

Look at that, i’ve already waffled on for too long as it is and only got half way through the details. Quickly then……..had another look at De Quincy up on Bowderstone crag. I’d first had a look on another brief sojourn from uni with the international man of mystery and found it quite steady. This time then, with a few more years hanging off thin strips of wood behind me, it was a much easier proposition and a cheeky little E7 was in the bag. Biggest news of the day though goes to the man of the moment Callum who showed it his winky before wiping his arse with the holds………in short he flashed it. Rectec-p! If you don’t know the gear placements, as apart from the wobbly pegs and slings-on-hollow-flakes, they’re all pretty inobvious then you’d fully deserve your E7 tick and you could maybe have a claim for the techy 6b it gets given…..however, if like me you gave it the cowardly headpoint treatment then you’d struggle to find a 6b move on the thing, even 6a (if you’re going well) feels generous. 

Alas, V8 in two or three goes (soft as Mr.Whippy’s shite notwithstanding) and E7 aren’t bad for a few days work.

Comments (2)

  1. dom

    Nice one george keep up the crushing. I remember when we were there last you did the stand-start to Headbanger at V3 and were chuffed with that. Funny link to dave!

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