The West Penwith area in Cornwall is full of solid (mostly!) granite climbing and outstanding scenery. This place is not only packed with top class rock but also beautiful beaches and moorland coastline, making it accessible for families as well as groups of friends and couples. Bosigran has a great reputation for long low and mid-grade climbing and we were not disappointed….
Classic multi-pitch routes and incredible views. Sunny afternoon climbing- The main cliff gets the afternoon sun and dries quickly after rain. It is also useful for viewing Commando ridge (aka Bosigran ridge) which is opposite the main cliff.
What I like the most…
The views from climbing on the sea cliffs are spectacular. The crag juts out into the sea above a secluded cove with the turquoise blue ocean lapping up around rock protrusions. The quality of the rock was fantastic and solid. Many classics are on offer with 42 routes in total, spread evenly throughout the grades from Diff to E5 and 12 routes being in the 3 star to top 50 in the Rockfax guide.
Accessibility is also a winner. The parking is in a lay by around 20 minutes (casual pace) romping across well marked paths to the coastline.
This crag is also non-tidal and can be accessed any time of the day. The lower cliff can however become sea washed if the seas are heavy.
What could be better….
We really can’t think of anything, this was a perfect crag- The fact that it was sunny helped! We have read however that after lots of rainfall there can be some seepage and the rock can be a bit greasy before the sun creeps over. It might be worth waiting for an afternoon climb after a very wet previous day.
A full trad rack. Take a full rack of of nuts as the cracks are in abundance. Cams were also used a lot (and hexes if these float your boat). Slings were not only used for belay anchors but for pro and extenders so bring a few extra for this.
Best routes at Bosigran
For the low-grade climber there is an outstanding amount of great climbing here. The classic Rockfax Top 50 “Alison Rib” (Diff) is a 3 pitch wonder up an arete. Other great low grade climbs are Ledge Climb (HVD Top 50) and Doopost (HS Top 50). There are many 2 starred severe routes and in terms of mid Grade climbing Anvil Chorus (VS 4c 3*), Little Brown Jug (VS 5a 3*) and Nameless (VS 4c 3*) are all superb. If you are climbing at a higher grade other classics include Paragon (HVS 5a 2* ), (Suicide Wall (E1 5c, Top 50), and Kafoozalem (E3 6a Top 50).
Access and parking….
There is roadside parking on the B3306 on the right about 1km after Porthmeor when coming from St Ives direction. Carn Galver, an old mine ruin by the side of the car park so you can’t miss it. There is also Count House, the climbers club hut here. Very easy to get to the main cliff, just follow the path that head towards the cost through shrubs and trees and then a field and stiles. When you reach the remains of an old building there are various options for getting to the area you want, at this point consult your guidebook!
The Gurnards Head Inn is the closest and also serves food. Other pubs also servcing food include The Tinner’s Arms at Zennor and The Queens Arms at Bottalack.
West Country Climbs – Rockfax
The Climbers’ Club West Cornwall guidebook (2000)