Sunday, 3 January 2010
A trip home to Somerset would never be complete without a few attempts to go bouldering on the lost and forgotten esoterica of Somerset. I normally try a few different crags before remembering that they're all pretty crap for one reason or another: Croscombe and Bourton Combe are dank, dark and green; at this time of year Cheddar is freezing and gloomy; the Toll Road Crags are limited, inaccessable at high tide and the one decent problem there is sopping wet unless there's a drought. After a few hopeful visits optimism gives way to frustration and I either give up and go home to mum's amazing cooking, use most of a tank of petrol and all my skin to go to Dartmoor or go to the wall in Bristol. However, this time round I think I've cracked it.
The answer: Brean Down.
"Where?" I hear you cry.
It's so obvious. Brean Down. A south facing beach-side crag, home to a selection of 1980s 'adventure' trad routes, a handful of quasi-classic sport routes and now Somerset's premier winter bouldering. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I have to say, even I'm fairly impressed with the wee cove I just found. From now on, whenever I'm visiting the folks, this is where I'll be headed for an afternoon of pulling down.