Tuesday 13th August pm – Climbing Blackingstone Rock
Tom had spotted this out crewing the horse with Carol and further inspection revealed it was in the guide book. Two V diff routes follow either side of the main [northwards facing] face about 100ft long. We arrived and walked up to the face kitting out on the rightwards trending side. H quickly kitted up and was keen to surmount the initial harder section; he moved up over the difficult start and waited for me on the ledge. I arrived with lead gear, set up a belay, flaked out the ropes [with bottom ends buried] and headed off up the pitch.
I hadn’t climbed for a while and had forgotten how rounded granite can be. There seemed a lack of nut placements and very soon I had used up all of my cams. The hand holes were few and far between but it was grippy rock and the angle was slab like. Eventually I got to the top overhang and as suggested moved right around into the gully, this was largely unprotected. The crowds had increased and the noise levels with them so I couldn’t hear H below. I shouted ‘safe’ and took in the ropes unbeknown that H had not tied on. I traversed around the back of the block and up onto the summit whilst below me H was soloing up to the first bits of gear where the ropes had snagged. Needless to say his mind was a little confused once he began to climb and didn’t enjoy the climb as he might.
Wednesday 14th August – Dartmeet and Princetown
Keen to get up on the moor we headed to Ashburton and drove in a longer way to Dartmeet. It was wet but we had planned a walk up beside the river crossing at the clapper bridge we walked up the right bank keeping low towards Babeny returning on the west side up the bridleway.
This was a lovely beckside walk which captured the charm of Dartmoor nicely.
Crossing at the bridge we counted field boundaries before climbing back up gradually to the farm. We cut back down to the river bank and crossed the beck again before some tea in Badgers Halt. you could easily cross the road to return via fields rather than walk back down the B road.
Thursday 15th August – Exeter and Exwick Weir
We had an explore of Exeter and then visited the automated sluices which divert water into a spill way . I’ve made a powerpoint of this for teachers which I will upload to Slideshare at some point.
Friday 16th August
Had a wander over Tom’s land looking at quarries.
Saturday 17th August – Haldon Hill Red Loop Tom
The boys led Tom around the Red loop at Haldon hill, we had talked about doing this with the blue and Tom had not done red before. The weather was wet but we all rode well, made mistakes and to run blue straight afterwards made a great little outing.
Sunday 18th August – Exe Estuary Ride
We parked up at Starcross, taking the ferry across to Exmouth and the rode up the left [north] bank of the river on the recently commissioned cycle path. This utilises unclassified roads but also a lot of board walk and purpose built paths and is superb. Near Topsham a new bridge is being built and yo are diverted up to Dart farm but above this the path diverts alongside main roads and through housing estates losing its charm.
We crossed at the swing bridge, shifting onto tarmaced track beside the canal and cycled down to the Turf Lock for a beer and a hot dog. Below this a bank top ride competes with walkers but this is due to be upgraded soon. Eventually you return to a metalled section around the foot of Powderham Castle and Starcross is around the corner. A lovely little loop but save the best bit till last.