Monday, 3 February 2014

Deep Water Soloing in Brazil

Climbers in the 80s and 90s, came from all over the world to visit some of Brazil’s classic climbing crags such as Furnas canyons and Cipó in the state of Minas Gerais Cipo and Vulture Rock (Pedra do Urubu) in Urca, Rio de Janeiro. After climbing, the general practice was to refresh themselves by heading out for a swim in the surrounding waterfalls, rivers or the ocean where they climbed around on the wet rocks just having fun.

(Furnas Canyons)   © Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos 
But at that time Brazilian climbers  saw it only as a game and were enjoying playing and fooling around on the rock. After Klem Loskot´s appearance in the Big UP Productions film “Psicobloc“ which first aired on ClimbXMedia.com, the climbers of Brazil then recognised this activity as Psicobloc or Deep Water Soloing as it is commonly known as today.

(Hime Lake)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
In 2006, motivated by this same video, Felipe Dallorto went to the lake that lies beneath Moutain Hime in the neighbourhood of Jacarepagua, city of Rio, where he opened up a number of DWS routes. He was familiar with the area and regularly climbed the  mountains and sport crags, but only after acquiring knowledge of DWS that he then translated this onto the eighteen metre lake side cliffs in the area.

Felipe kept the place to himself for almost three years when finally he gave the routes names and grades. Word quickly spread of Deep Water Soloing in Brazil and  became very popular with locals as well as visiting climbers from all over Brazil.

The walls of this lake were formed by quarrying, which is unnatural, and to some unsightly, so Felipe set out to  find a more natural spot for DWS in Brazil. With the images of Mallorca in his mind, he kept wondering if Brazil could have a place with such beauty as the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

Felipe's expedition began in 2010, along with climber Flavia dos Anjos to seek out Brazil's next big soloing spots.  Among the places they visited and conquered, Arraial do Cabo was found to simply be the Brazilian Mallorca with high walls and perfect crystal blue water. They proceeded to open several sectors with a great number of amazing lines, which was situated in a place of outstanding beauty.

Following on from Arraial do Cabo the team traveled to the northeast of the country where they discovered that climbing was possible on the walls of the Carved Canyon (Cânion Talhado). The Canyon was perhaps the first place they had traveled to where major psychological issue arose concerning the size of the walls in the canyon. The sandstone walls, rise thirty metres into the air and to solo them would exceed the safety limit commonly accepted by the DWS community. The sandstone is also very brittle and a fall can come unexpectedly when holds snap. If something did happen then the nearest hospital is over four hour drive from this point!

A climber called Felipe Alvarez (Kabeça) invited Felipe and Flavia to explore the Canyons of Furnas in Minas Gerais. The Canyons are once again situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and in addition has an amazing waterfall. The only problem, in a DWS point of view, is that the top outs if done, are about eighty metres high. In order to solo here, the creation of high point markers were created of which a jump back down to the water was needed to complete the line.

(Arraial do Cabo)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
After the great explorations of Brazil Felipe and friends traveled to the deep water soloing mecca of  Mallorca, having been invited by the Pou brothers Iker and Eneko. During their time in Mallorca they opened a new DWS sector at Cala Serena.  On that occasion Felipe also had the pleasure of watching Chris Sharma in action, spoke to the Godfather of Mallorcan Psicobloc Miquel Rieira and also Daimon Beail  Mallorca’s DWS Rockfax author, as well as a great number of  climbers and supporters of the sport.

(Cânion Talhado) © Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
After climbing and learning more about the sport in Spain, Felipe decided to return to Rio´s islands to continue on his Brazilian exploration. So far Brazil only had the quarry lakes, and Arrail which is a three hour drive away, in addition was Talhado Canyon and Furnas which were a much further distance to travel to.

So they traveled to the islands of Tijucas, which is easily accessible, about 5 minutes by boat. They worked on two islands, the Pointed Island got a few lines established and many tries on a sector where certainly the most challenging projects will arise along with its cave sector and its futuristic cave.


On Alfavaca Island there is a canyon perfect for beginners that doesn't lack good routes for top climbers either. The canyons are approximately seven metres high and offer an ideal scenario to learn falling and understanding how DWS works.

(Ilhas Tijucas)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos
After six years studying and practicing Deep Water Soloing Felipe has seen and experienced the beauty of DWS.  Every project he did was worked ground up. Each fall on the crux means repeating things all over again! Being equipment free allows them to gain a greater connection to the climb itself.

Felipe believes DWS/ Psicobloc in Brazil has room for development. In Brazil there are thousands of kilometres of coast and rivers waiting to be explored and Felipe and Flavia dream about searching every centimetre.

For those who have the opportunity to try DWS the advice would be to start slow, study your limits and respect the ethics of sport. Always check the bottom before entering and observe the conditions of the tide.

(Ilhas Tijucas)
© Felipe Dallorto / Flavia Dos Anjos


Article by: Felipe Dallorto
Translation and adaptation: Flavia dos Anjos
Edited by: Emma Harrington and Daimon Beail for Dwsworld.com

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Access Issues on the Balearic Island of Mallorca

With the DWS ban at Cala Barques technically still enforced it has come to light that the ban now

extends to the whole of the Manacor’s region.

This unfortunately extends to the venues which are most recognisable to climbing world and perhaps Mallorca’s most famous:

1.    Cova del Diablo
2.    Tower of Falcons
3.    Porto Cristo Novo
4.    Cala Barques

If climbing at these areas, then do so in a very low key manner. The rule is based on cliff jumping and DWS is an unfortunate victim of this. There are many areas south of the Manacor region that are not banned and should be used until the Situation dies down.

Also a much larger and darker problem is emerging from the horizon that has much wider implications on the islands outdoor community as a whole. Access to climbing areas that reside on private land and also the freedom to access the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is under threat, with steep charges being implemented on some areas already. This if continues could have a harsh backlash on the islands outdoor tourism industry.

A full story can be found on both UKC and Rockfax websites. 

























Below is some general information that is currently circulating the web about what you can do to pledge your support.


Join the FB group (it's in Spanish but will be updated in English in the future)

Sign the petition, send the email in the petition, send the tweets in the petition
http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/tramuntana-mountains-tax-free

Don't climb anywhere that imposes restrictions or access fees that are not supported by Montaña Libre de Impuestos. We do not want authorities and landowners to think that these measures will be profitable. If so, we will only end up with more problems in other climbing areas.

Currently avoid:


    Sa Comuna de Bunyola (Fraguel, Ca'n Cristo and Ca'n Fil)
    Finca de Massanella (La Reserva climbing area)
    DWS on the Manacor coast (see above for areas covered)

Send an Email - If you have thought of planning a holiday to Mallorca next year and change your mind then send an email (in English) to Serradetramuntana@conselldemallorca.net
Explaining that you had planned a holiday but you have now changed your mind owing to the proposed restrictions on Access.

Retweet it to these addresses: @TurismeEsportIB (Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Balearic Islands), @ATBIllesBalears (Tourism Agency of the Balearic Islands) and @carlosjdtruyols (Government Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Balearic Islands).

If you have any business connections with Mallorca, then please consider writing a letter explaining how this policy will drastically affect tourism on the island of Mallorca.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Mallorca DWS Destination Page

The Mallorca DWS destination page has been updated! The new Rockfax Mallorca DWS Update mini guide is now available and there are many new areas to discover, with enhanced information and new / additional lines!  The Mallorca destination page contains area descriptions, photos and information on how you can contribute with the development of Mallorca DWS.
Check it out here!

 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Mallorca DWS Update - OUT NOW!!

The new Mallorca DWS update is out now!

The Deep Water Soloing mecca that is Mallorca is an ever expanding place, and this, the fifth publication on Rockfax that covers deep water soloing on the Balearic Island, clearly demonstrates that.

Here we see 64 new lines, 6 attainable open projects, 5 existing lines with enhanced information and 11 reintroduced lines from the west coast. All of which can be found at 12 DWS venues around the island, of which three are entirely new and are appearing here for the first time. Venues include: The Tower of Falcons, Cala Barques, Porto Colom – Lighthouse, Cala Marcal, Cala Sa Nau, Cala Mitjana, Cala Serena, Sa Calobra and introducing Cova Des Burador, Cala Brafia and Cala Estreta. Also returning is the west coast soloing crag at Port De Soller. The information in this update enhances the Mallorca 2011 Rockfax guide and also opens up developing venues which still offer a wealth of development opportunities.

Created specifically for the mobile device and using thousands of photos to create highly detailed images, this guide continues the Rockfax tradition of producing innovative world class climbing guides.

Get your copy today. Click Here!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Video Highlights of the Psicobloc Masters Deep Water Soloing Competition

Park City Television has put together an awesome video of the deep water soloing competition "Psicobloc Masters" held at the Utah Olympic Park USA.

Check it out here:



© Park City Television

© Park City Television

Monday, 5 August 2013

Psicobloc Masters Series (Results + Video)

  By Emma Harrington

Last weekend saw the first ever deep water soloing competition in the USA take place, the"Psicobloc Masters Series."

Competitors were allowed to work the route the day before the main event, practicing taking falls of up to 50 feet into the pool below. The event was located at the Utah Olympic Park USA, a pool usually used for ski jumpers to practice their soft landings in the water.  It had been reported that a couple of the climbers had taken bad falls, with Delaney Miller bruising her chin and Vasya Vorontnikov spraining his ankle!  For the original use of the pool, the water is normally ruffled with bubbles to create white water, therefore making softer landings when hitting the water for the ski jumpers. But in the case of the DWS competition, they did not use this well needed facility.
Big names like Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Tommy Caldwell, Sasha DiGiulian, Alex Johnson, Emily Harington also took part and took big falls.



The women were up first, with two women climbing simultaneously on the wall at the same time.  The climber who won each duel would then advance onto the next round until only two climbers were left for the final.

With Sasha and Delaney topping out in the initial rounds, Sasha wisely decided to drop off early to save her strength when her rival fell lower, this enabled her to save her strength for the rounds ahead. On one round Delaney decided to climb higher rather than jump off as reportedly the bad fall in the practice rounds had seemed to have spooked her, opting to down climb the scaffolding at the back of the wall rather than jumping from the top.  The fresher Sasha then climbed to victory.



After Dani Andrada reset the route, it was the mens turn. Everyone wanted to see Chris Sharma dyno his way to the top, but he surprisingly fell on a tricky dyno mid height, giving an opportunity for Matty Hong to come 3rd place.  In the end it was Jimmy Webb Vs Daniel Woods, with Jimmy taking 1st place and Daniel taking Silver in 2nd place.

The competition was organised by Mike Beck and Chris Sharma to coincide with the outdoor retailer trade show, and as expected it was a great sucess.

Lets hope there are many more DWS competitions to come.

RESULTS

WOMEN

1. Sasha DiGiulian
2. Delaney Miller
3. Meagan Martin

MEN

1. Jimmy Webb
2. Daniel Woods
3. Matty Hong
©Park City Television
©Park City Television
(c) Sanukfootwear




Friday, 2 August 2013

Watch the Psicobloc Masters Finals Competition

Don't forget the Psicobloc Masters Finals Competition taking place on 2nd August 2013.

Footage streaming live on the web from Utah Olympic Park USA.

Watch a live streaming webcast of the finals on August 2nd, 7pm (MDT) (that's 1am GMT August 3rd for UK viewers).
A replay of the competition will also available after the competition.

Watch live or the replays Here

Walltopia / Psicobloc

© Sasha Digiulian

© Mike Call

© Joshuauhl

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Berry Head - South Devon - UK

The deep water soloing season is in full swing here in the UK, and August the 1st sees the climbing restrictions lifted on the area of Berry Head in South West Devon. The restriction on climbing in this area is in effect from 1st March to 31st of July due to nesting birds. All climbers are strongly advised to call the Brixham Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre to advise them of your climbing activities in order to prevent any unnecessary call outs that may be made by members of the general public thinking that climbers need rescuing. In 2009 the Berry Head National Nature Reserve contacted the BMC concerning DWS and false call outs, putting an amber flag on climbing in the area as the call outs were obviously an area of great concern. Please do not jeopardise the future of climbing at Berry Head and call the Brixham MRCC before climbing.

 PLEASE CALL the MRCC on 
(01803) 882 704 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Desert Flight: Deep Water Soloing in the Arizona Desert

Desert Flight: A Climbing Mom's Vacation

© Mike Call / PrAna
PrAna Ambassadors Carrie Cooper and Jacinda Hunter escape the heat of the summer, the stress of work, the craziness of motherhood and run away to a climbing oasis in Arizona USA.

Maybe the last place you would think about going for deep water soloing is the hot desert of Arizona, but the rock in Clear Creek is western desert sandstone and the water is warm and clear.  "It's just climbing for the sake of climbing, relaxing and being in the sun. Just having a good time".


© Mike Call / PrAna
Jacinda Hunter, a nurse and mother of four (two boys and two girls), juggles work and parenthood with bouldering V11 and red-pointing 14b.

Carrie Cooper lives in Salt Lake City. She started climbing in 2001, and quit her job as a web manager to tour Europe and Africa solo for 8 months. Now she balances motherhood, school and climbing.  Her next goal is to break through  to the V11/5.14 level.


PrAna original source

Friday, 26 July 2013

Even the pros need to practice their test jumps for DWS!

Deep Water Soloing Competitions arrive in the USA with the Psicobloc Masters Competition taking place on 1st and 2nd August 2013 in Park City, Utah.

Even the pros need to practice their test jumps for the Psicobloc Masters Competition! Watch a live streaming webcast of the finals on August 2nd, 7pm MDT (that's 1am GMT August 3rd). Replays can also be watched.

Some of the best climbers in the world will compete head-to-head on a custom made wall up to the grade of 5.14a (F8b+) in difficulty, featuring a 26-foot roof, 50 feet above the water. The competition will feature a men's and women's division and winners will share a $20,000 prize, the largest of any climbing competition this year. 

Watch live Streaming here

Test Jump Footage

Monday, 22 July 2013

Mallorca DWS Update

The Mallorca DWS Update - Coming Soon.
An exciting new DWS update (by Daimon Beail) to the 2011 Rockfax Mallorca guide is due to be published this summer. No fixed date has been set, but the update will be supported by a destination guide to the island and a guide update article.

The guide brings twelve areas up to date, and is a combination of areas being enhanced, updated and appearing for the first time. The guide has been developed for the mobile platform and looks stunning. 

I’m sure it will give you plenty of ideas of where and what you want to do on your next trip to Mallorca.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Climbing Gear on Flights

By Emma Harrington

DWS equipment - Safety first
Have you ever been on a long trip away and had a nightmare trying to squeeze all your climbing gear into one hold bag with a maximum allowance of 20 or 15kg? Your bag full of quickdraws, trad gear, helmet, climbing rope or rope ladders and safety equipment for DWS? With only a couple of t-shirts, a pair of pants and bar of soap to accompany you on your travels? Well here is some information you may find interesting!

Sporting luggage allowance and extra luggage allowance are separate things.  Sporting allowance is usually cheaper than paying for an extra luggage allowance, but currently climbing equipment is not classed as a sport on most airlines lists.
EasyJet offer an extra sporting bag allowance but only for certain listed sports. After reading this list and getting a lot of contradicting advice, we contact them to ask if they could add climbing equipment onto the list. They accept such items as sporting firearms as extra sporting hold luggage so why not climbing equipment.
The response from easyJet wasn’t very helpful.  When asked about adding climbing equipment to their sporting lists they didn’t really answer the question in full. They suggested that you should register for their easyJet e-mail updates on their website to keep up to date on any future changes. When asked about who to contact regarding getting climbing equipment onto their lists, they responded that regretfully there are no contact details which can be shared to their passengers to contact their head departments directly, and that suggestions as such are forwarded to their management internally.
So basically there are no means of contacting the relevant department!

EasyJet’s list of sports equipment can be found here  

So what can you take in your hand luggage?
It’s not really a case of what you can take; it’s more what you can’t take! Gatwick and Heathrow airport have security guidelines which include a whole selection of items that you cannot take on-board an aircraft. They mention items that could be used as potential weapons, and these could be interpreted as anything really.  The usual hand luggage restrictions are on the list which includes such items as no liquids, no sharp objects and no tools. Also listed are no blunt instruments, (which could be interpreted to be climbing equipment at the airlines discretion). They also mention that this is not an exhaustive list, and if in doubt please check with the airline you fly with.

(c) Tim Emmett

Heathrow Guidelines can be found here 
Gatwick Guidelines can be found here 

EasyJet now have new guidelines about hand luggage which may help with your clothing and bits and bobs of non climbing equipment. Guaranteed hand luggage to travel with you in the airline cabin is now a size of 50cm x 40cm x 20cm which shaves roughly 5cm off each dimension that they used to take as hand luggage i.e 56cm x  45cm x 25cm.

Climbing Equipment must go in the hold!
Checking with the airline easyJet, they responded that all the equipment used by climbers has to go in the hold as they can be used as a potential weapon on-board. EasyJet said that climbing equipment is a danger on-board and must go in the hold (ropes as well!).

What is classed as a weapon on board an aircraft?
What is exactly is classed as a weapon? Our smelly boots? Are they thinking that our ropes would be used to tie up the cabin crew and our trad gear used to knock them on the head? What about the bottles of wine you can buy in duty free, wouldn’t that be more harmful to knock someone out? 
Is it actual official procedure that all equipment is to be put in the hold?
There are many climbers who have taken their climbing equipment on the flight in their hand luggage and had no problems getting through security, but there are many others who have lost their expensive equipment too. So don't risk it. Put it in the hold!

EasyJet responded that the reason for not allowing the climbing equipment as hand luggage is because they can be used to harm others. Any item which has a sharp edge or can be used to harm any person or any property of the aircraft is classified as a weapon.
However they will be unable to comment on the other passengers who were allowed to take those items as hand luggage. This might be depended on the airport staff discretion.

EasyJet have an official policy for weapons which can be found here

So I need an extra bag, what are my options?

Paying for an extra bag which isn’t classed as sporting luggage allowance would be another option if
another bag is needed.

easyJet:

Extra luggage allowance: With easyJet you can currently pre-pay £7 per kg for extra luggage allowance which can work out quite expensive depending on the weight of your bag.

Sporting luggage allowance: You can also pay £27 for sports equipment allowance for 32kg. But climbing equipment is currently not on their list of items.

British Airways:

British Airways responded that only items that require special packing or handling or exceed the normal size limits are specified on ba.com as sporting equipment.

Sporting equipment that fits within the maximum dimensions for standard luggage is accepted without problems and can be booked as normal excess luggage.

Extra luggage allowance: Currently British Airways charge £34 for an extra 23kg bag. Which is actually quite a good deal compared to some other airlines that have been currently researched.

Ryan Air:

Excess luggage allowance fees vary.  A second bag (15kg) in low season will cost £40 and in high season £50. But do not get caught out! You need to pre-pay for these; otherwise you get charged an excess baggage fee of £20 per kg at the airport!

Sporting luggage allowance: Ryan Air charge £50 (pre-paid) for sporting equipment but they do not have climbing on their list of sporting equipment either.

Comparing 3 popular airlines:

•    EasyJet extra luggage fees for an extra 20kg bag would cost £140
•    BA extra luggage fees for an extra 23kg bag would cost £34
•    Ryan Air luggage fees for an extra 15kg would cost £40 in low season

(Please note that prices may change over time; always check with your airline)

Between these three airlines BA is better value if you need an extra bag. It does not matter if it is sporting equipment or not, as long as it meets the size limit and is no more than 23kg. Once easyJet class climbing gear as sporting equipment, then their sporting allowance will be the best option.   There is a big risk that climbing gear such as ropes and quickdraws in your hand luggage will be taken off you if you come across a security officer having a bad day. Even if in the past you have taken climbing equipment through with no problems, it doesn’t mean to say that they will let you again next time.  So a suggestion is to put all of your climbing gear in your hold luggage just to be safe!



Thursday, 27 June 2013

Deep Water Soloing Competitons arrive in the USA! Chris Sharma announces Psico Bloc Masters 2013

© Walltopoia / Psicocomp
By Emma Harrington

Deep Water Soloing Competitions arrive in the USA with the Psicobloc Masters Competition taking place on 1st and 2nd August 2013 in Park City, Utah.

Chris Sharma talks DWS. The purest form of climbing, bringing two worlds together, climbing and the ocean. Being able to free solo at your limit is a unique and amazing experience.

For years Chris Sharma has been talking about bringing deep water soloing competitions to the USA. It’s a way to bringing climbing to the mainstream and to blow people’s minds. There are lot of subtleties that are hard to share with the general public about climbing, and one thing they do get is that when you fall off, you pay the price. When they see climbers climbing at their limits and falling 50 foot over water it makes DWS a fantastic spectator friendly sport, taking our sport forward and sharing with a wider audience.

More information can be found on the Psicocomp website

Dates:
•  August 1 Semi-finals, Utah Olympic Park (Park City)
•  August 2 Finals, Utah Olympic Park (Park City)

Friday, 7 June 2013

Neil Gresham - Unrepeated lines

Neil Gresham has recently pointed out on his Facebook page that there are still five deep water solo’s grade F8a and above that are awaiting a second ascent on the sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire, UK.
A repeat of these iconic test pieces are an important part of confirming the grades. If you're someone that fancies ago then the following information has been provided by Neil Gresham himself to help you on your way.

The Wizard: F8a - S1 

The Wizard - Photo: Mike Robertson ©
Britain’s first 8a DWS to be climbed ground-up, in 10 attempts spread over 3 days in 2004.
  • Climbing style: Continuously overhanging (35 degrees) power endurance. Burly lay-backing. Low in the grade.
  • Location: Penally (see Pembroke guide)
  • Height: Approx 50 feet at Spring high tide.
  • Tides: High Springs preferable but high neaps are ok.
  • Access: Abseil down the line of ‘Rusty Dog’ just to the right (facing the cliff from the sea) to a ledge and traverse in, leftwards. No dry-bag needed.
  • Getting out of the water: Swim across the small zawn to the left and an easy scramble out.
  • Firing restrictions: Yes
  • Drying conditions: I can’t remember the optimum time of day but the rumours that Wizard rarely dries out aren’t true. 1 or 2 pockets seep permanently around the crux section near the top, but these weren’t used to climb the route.

Hydrotherapy: 8a+ - S2

Hydrotherapy- Photo: Liam Cook ©

Climbed in 2011 and at the time, probably the hardest DWS in the UK due to a combination of difficulty and logistics. The cave has incredible atmosphere.

  • Climbing style: Easy first traverse (F6a) leads to continuous overhanging (50 degrees) power- endurance, with 2 distinct cruxes (V7 then V6) followed by an easy exit chimney. Pre-practiced on abseil for 1st ascent.
  • Location: Hollow Caves Bay
  • Height: Approx 60 feet at high Spring tide to the end of the hard climbing / 90 feet to the top.
  • Tides: High Springs only
  • Access: Tricky. Abseil down the East flank of the cave and swim or dingy in with a dry-bag. Or rig a tyrolean traverse at low tide from the start of the route to the ledge on the Western flank.
  • Getting out of the water: A VS Solo out up the abseil line on the Eastern flank (not above deep water), or jumar out, or go back out up the tryrolean using a jumar.
  • Firing restrictions: Yes
  • Drying conditions: Dry in evenings only. Sun or on-shore breeze required.

Polinator: 8a - S1/2
Polinator

  • Climbing Style: Continuously overhanging (30 degrees). Direct finish to Gav Symonds’ ‘Imposter Bee’ 7c+. Up this route – F7a juggy groove to a good rest then a tricky V5ish section to the break. Swing slightly right to a V6 boulder crux and easier finish.
  • Location: Forbidden Head (2 min approach) See Pembroke guide.
  • Height: Approx 60 feet at high spring tide.
  • Tides: High Springs. Note the landing zone is clear of the ominous boulder in the water.
  • Access: Abseil down the corner to the right of the route (facing the route). Swing in using in-situ threads.
  • Getting out of the water: Jumar
  • Firing restrictions: No
  • Drying conditions: Mornings are best but evenings are possible with an on-shore breeze required.

Occams Razor: 7c+/8a - S1

Occams Razor - Photo: Liam Cook ©
A photogenic ‘battleship’ arete, which appeared on the cover of Climber (UK). I thought hard 7c+ but a few others who looked have said soft 8a. Pre-practiced on abseil for 1st ascent.
  • Climbing style: Continuously overhanging (35 degrees) power endurance. Escapable at several points around half height. The last 10 feet are easy.
  • Location: Forbidden Head (2 min approach) See Pembroke guide.
  • Height: Approx 60 feet at high Spring tide.
  • Tides: High Springs preferable, high neaps just about ok.
  • Access: Abseil down to the left (facing the cliff from the sea) and traverse in.
  • Getting out of the water: Jumar
  • Firing restrictions: No
  • Drying conditions: Dries very quickly at most times of the day.

Olympiad: 8b - S1

Continuously overhanging (40 degrees) power endurance, with an easy last 10 ft. Britain's hardest. Often dry.
  • Location: Forbidden Head (2 min approach) See Pembroke guide.
  • Height: Approx 50 feet at high neap tide.
  • Tides: High mid/late morning neap tides or climb mid-morning after an early high Spring tide. The bottom traverse will be wet at high Spring tides unless the sea is very calm.
  • Access: Abseil into a dingy or dry-bag swim to the cave to the right of the route (facing the cliff). The cave is only accessible in calm sea conditions. There are flat ledges for standing and drying off.
  • Getting out of the water: Jumar
  • Firing restrictions: No
  • Drying conditions: Mornings only. Either sun or an on-shore breeze are preferable.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Cala Barques DWS Mallorca - Ban

A number of issues have been raised regarding the Mallorca DWS venue of Cala Barques.


There have been a number of individuals from the general public who have recklessly been jumping from the top of the Cova area and badly injuring themselves.  In 2012 a no jumping sign was erected at the top of the cove but unfortunately was ignored.


For the full story go to the: 
ROCKFAX ACCESS BLOG  

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Coastal Path Collapses between Durdle Door and Lulworth

By Emma Harrington

Photo: Martime & Coastguard Agency
A large section of coastal path along the Jurassic Coast has collapsed at St Oswald’s Bay between Durdle Door and Lulworth.  There have been no reports of anyone hurt as it happened early in the morning. It is said that if it had been a busy weekend with walkers, then it may have been a different story as it is very difficult to predict where and when these landslides are going to happen.


It has thought that wet weather over the past year has affected the stability of the cliff followed by the dry weather.  It was the coast guards who raised the alarm, and Dorset County Council which manages the coastal path has put closure notices up and put a diversion in place.

Photo: BBC News
It is not the first time a cliff fall has happened along this coast. Only last July there was a landslide which killed a young woman and also a section of cliff came down on Swanage beach in December.

 If you are planning on climbing or walking in the area please take notice of the closure signs as the cliff edge may still be unstable.



Photo: Martime & Coastguard Agency


BBC News Story:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-22355538

News stories relating to other cliff falls in area:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-22040291


News stories relating to other cliff falls in area:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-22062106