Coasteering Training Meet Up 2017 – Cornwall



Blow hole while coasteeringGo Coasteering Staff Meet Up 2017

Locations – Gurnards Head – West Cornwall, Rinsey Head, Cadgwith Cove, Mevagissey.

This years staff training was based out of the BF Adventure site near Falmouth. A big thanks to the team at BF Adventure for having us. This years coasteering training plan was to focus on having a good time in the swell. Yes we covered equipment, new safety points and techniques but the aim was to push ourselves as a team and get stuck into some chunky seas.  The venues on the Lizard and around West Cornwall did not disappoint.

hiding from the swell

Photo by Mick Burke – Soggylemming.com

Day 1 – Mevagissey

The conditions were very flat on the Friday so we decided to visit South Cornwall on our way west to get some decent size jumps in. The route is short and towards mid tide you lose some of the features but it also means the jumps are about as big as they get before they lose depth. After some warm ups we concentrated on a 14m jump above a deep spooky cave entrance. The take off is fantastic, a big clean ledge overhanging the landing zone. We spent a while here looking at techniques and landing strategies.

The big jump

Day 2 – Gurnards Head and Rinsey Head.

The challenge on day 2 was finding some swell that wouldn’t break us. With forecasts of 7-10ft this was quite difficult. We decided to hide behind Gurnards Head which blocked a fair amount of the raging sea but definitely not all of it. You know it’s good training when you get 10 experienced guides weighing up whether to get in or not. The sets were huge but predictable and we discussed strategies for a while before deciding to go for it. Once we were in in it was extremely fun, route finding and timing exit’s between the big rolling sets. The location has plenty of features to play in, my favorite was a loud and angry blow hole. We also found some gullies in which to do some circuits in , practising judgment and swimming techniques as well as getting sea battered every now again.

We decided to head to Rinsey Head in the afternoon. Rinsey was in a direct line to the incoming swell so getting in was unlikely but seeing the effects of the waves crashing through the gullies and over the rocks was well worth it. It also gave us an excuse to try a few local pubs before heading back to the accommodation.

You can read both guides in my guidebook – Southwest Coasteering – available from Amazon or direct though gocoasteering.com

 

Day 3 – Cadgwith Cove

Everyone was pretty tired and with the swell increasing we decided to do a trip near Cadgwith Cove on the Lizard. We were met with hugh rolling swell and very little shelter but decided, after a walk along the cliffs and a scramble down that it was a go. The scramble down is probably the most dangerous part but it ends in a good 5m warm up jump. The big cave is only a short swim away but we couldn’t get too far in because of the crashing waves. We spent a lot of time in “the gully of doom” as it was named thereafter. The shallow channel and boulder chokes create some dangerous but fantastic features and it was an ideal spot to get some ropes out.

Again this trip is in my guidebook – Southwest Coasteering – available from Amazon or direct though gocoasteering.com

 

Overall we had a great time and the challenging conditions highlighted any weak areas in our skills and knowledge. It also highlighted the need for coasteering guides to get together and push themselves in the environment they work in.

 

Thanks for reading

Keith

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