Today I did what any self-respecting Devon climber should do on the first sunny day in August – I went Deep Water Soloing. I’m very much a beginner at the whole DWS thing, I’ve only been twice and haven’t even fallen off...until today. But John suggested Rainbow Bridge (one of the finest DWS traverses in the world?) and I had no excuses: the sun was out, the tide was high and the bird bans were but a distant memory.
We made the obligatory phone call to the Coastguard to say we were deep water soloing as onlookers have the tendency to phone in. I would have thought the difference between someone having fun by the sea and someone in danger are quite obvious, for example when deep water soloing I climb, fall off and swim to the next bit of rock whereas if I was in dire need of rescue I would scream, wave my arms or just look dead. But who can tell what goes through the mind of non-climbers!
I swam to the ledges at the end of Rainbow Bridge and tried to recover some strength, I was amazed at how tiring I found the traverse being unaccustomed to continuous climbing for over an hour (possibly the last two days of training and plugging away at Cider Soak didn’t help).
Oz Wall Traverse
We carried on with the next part, Oz Wall Traverse, before escaping up the hillside with aching arms. At the top we met a woman who had seen us climbing and was going to call the coastguard... WHY?!
Back at the bags we relaxed in the sun before John suggested Magical Mystery Tour and we were off again.
Magical Mystery Tour
At the end of the traverse we scrambled up the hill to relax at the top in the sun having completed around 750m of climbing/swimming, not bad for a mornings work.
|Ken Palmer on his Barrel Traverse (F7C)|
© Kafoozalem (UKC)
For now I can relax and enjoy one of the many reasons I got into climbing; the feeling of a tired body and battered arms after a good day’s climbing.