Astral Stroll

3 Stars
 E1 5b

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Astounding positions and superb climbing combine to give one of the region's great climbs. The route follows a severely overhung diagonal line across the cliff, starting at sea level on the tip of the headland. The positions are serious for both leader and second and in anything but good, dry conditions the climbing on the third pitch can feel insecure. Calm sea conditions are essential if the route is attempted at high tide. Start on a sea-level ledge at the tip of the headland.
1) 4b, 20m. Climb around the headland onto the west face just above the high-tide mark. Move up a small slab before moving right below a little overhang and up again to a stance on a slab at the base of a left-leaning corner.
1a) 4c, 20m. An alternative first pitch, if the tide is very high, is to climb up and then traverse a steep pocketed wall right to a good ledge on the edge of the west face, before traversing down and right to the stance.
2) 5b, 10m. Move right and down via a difficult move (back rope for second) and traverse right, either high or low, to a stance at a wide crack in the corner.
2a) 5b, 20m. An alternative high-level version of the previous pitch is possible, for conditions when the sea is a bit choppy.
3) 5b, 20m. A wild pitch. Move up to the roof and then move down slightly before heading out across the steep wall and up to regain the roof. Continue right beneath the roof, passing a protruding fin of rock, to gain a steep hanging slab. Cross this, and a small corner, before making a steep move up to better holds, small spike. Move right and swing down to a stance on a projecting foot ledge.
4) 5a, 18m. Pull through the small overhang to the base of the large right-trending corner and move out right and up onto the wall to a small ledge. Finish up the wall. Belay well back. A scramble up the cracks on the left regains the ridge.
FA. Rowland Edwards, Charlie Bryan 31.3.80


I've done this route 3 times now (UKC profile picture was the first) but I still find it hard to get the line of pitch 1 right ! The temptation is to get pulled too high. The key is to remember the belay isn't that high up and to look for the tat marking the point where pitch 2 steps down.
GrahamD - 22/Apr/14

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  • Route Grade Votings

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