Harald Swen on Immaculate Arete© Mark Glaister – Assistant Editor, May 2010Last week saw the latest of the bi-annual BMC international rock climbing meets take place. The meet hosts visitors from all over the globe with the express aim of giving them a taste of the best of British cragging.This year's venue was a new departure based around the wild sea cliffs of West Cornwall. The hosts and visitors were put up in and around the magnificently positioned Climbers' Club hut at Bosigran from where each morning the enthusiastic teams hurriedly finished breakfast and made for what are some of the UK's finest climbs, and in what was luckily some great weather. The guests made up a diverse group of men and women coming from as far away as South Africa, the USA and Japan although the majority hailed from Europe. The level of experience and ability was wide and ranged from those who were making their first steps into the world of trad climbing to one of the world's most accomplished head-pointers. The BMC hosts were headed up by Pat Littlejohn and Frank Cannings two of the regions most prolific new routers, along with a band of volunteers tasked with keeping the guests supplied with the very best routes to be had on not only the peninsulas famous granite cliffs but the greenstone and killas cliffs that add so much to the areas cache. The meet was an extremely friendly caper, the absence of internet, bar and towns lending an isolated and intimate atmosphere to the proceedings with few distractions to get in the way of conversation and for most a good nights sleep after long days of mostly dry and sunny if cool weather. The climbing pace was impressive with an unprecedented tally of the areas climbs ticked during the week. Many of the 70's, 80's and 90's Littlejohn, Cannings and Edwards classics such as Dream (E3), West Face (E5), Immaculate Arete (E4), Astral Stroll (E2) and the Baldest (E5) received lots of action and a healthy number of not so well-known lines also saw plenty of interest such as those at the jet black Robins Rocks. However it was not just the higher grades that bought smiles to the faces as the all-time favourites at Bosigran, Sennen and Chairladder were continually occupied. Of significance on the new route front were offerings at the Lizard, Hella Point and Cribba Head ? a truly egalitarian haul which spanned the grades from Diff to E8. The venue and organisation were superb and I suspect that the event will return to this very special sea-cliff climbing environment in the hopefully not too distant future. Photo Gallery – BMC International Meet 2010:
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