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Epic climbing on the isolated granite island of Lundy
The Club is returning to the unique island of Lundy this year.
There are 14 spaces available in pre-booked accommodation for this meet. If these sell out, members may book camping accommodation directly through the Landmark Trust website.
Please read all information below carefully before booking onto this meet to ensure it is suitable for you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the committee on firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet leads: Colette O’Neill and Jo Payne
The initial deposit for this meet will be £50. This is non-refundable but may be transferred to another club member if the meet is fully booked. The balance will be due 2 months before the meet – Tuesday 5th July.
This meet will cost in the region of £130 per person, for accommodation for the week. This includes a bed in the Barn from Tuesday 30th August – Tuesday 6th September. The Club has booked this already.
Attendees will also need to book passage themselves to and from the island. This costs £85 on the MS Oldenburgh which sails from Bideford or Ilfracombe depending on the tides.
Attendees will also need to organise travel to and from Bideford / Ilfracombe.
Please note – when booking a place on this meet you are committing to attending. We cannot offer refunds for meets where the Club has booked accommodation in advance as this leaves us out of pocket. If, after booking, you cannot attend for any reason you are able to recoup the cost if you can find another SCC member to ‘sell’ your space to.
The Barn is very comfortable with single beds, a well equipped kitchen and communal area with a fire and toilets / showers. Bedding is provided.
Information for the barn can be found here.
Lundy is a granite island, only 3 miles long and half a mile wide off the north coast of Devon, in the Bristol channel. This gives it a very secluded feel as everything that comes to the island must come via boat, or sometimes helicopter.
It is well known for the variety of wildlife that is not seen elsewhere in the UK. People come to the island to enjoy the raw nature and isolation, and of course, the climbing.
The whole island is granite, so very similar to crags such as Sennen or Bosigran in Cornwall. The main difference is that almost all of the crags require abseil to access, so this is an essential skill for the trip. Knowledge of how to safely rig an abseil, as well as how to ascend a rope if required are also desirable.
Being in the Bristol channel the island is also very open to the weather. It is almost always windy and weather systems can blow in quickly. In the past the club have camped so it will be a nice change to be sleeping in a cosy building.
As well as accommodation the island has a pub, a church and a small shop with variable opening hours. For those feeling very organised orders can be sent to the shop in advance and delivered to the Barn for the time we are staying there. The pub does decent food but has a somewhat limited menu.
Things to bring:
- Climbing stuff – Harness, rock shoes, belay device, helmet, prussik, sling and carabiner. Spare prusik and belay device are handy.
- Clothing – Warm clothes, and spare ones if they get wet. Windproof clothes that are warm enough for hanging around on a belay for a while.
- Weather gear – Waterproofs and a good pair of boots or shoes. Suncream.
- Personal – stuff for showering including a towel! First aid kit.
- Water bottle – at least one for use when out and about
Desirable (bring if you have these):
- Trad rack, half ropes, single rope
- Abseil rope
- Approach shoes
- Guide book
The Club has a stock of guidebooks which are kept at Bouldershack. This can be accessed by asking at the front desk for the key to the SCC library. Members are welcome to borrow guidebooks for the meet but please sign then out and return them promptly.
Members are also able to borrow gear from the club. This can be done by filling out an equipment request form. Details can be found here.
Food and drink:
The Barn has a fully equipped kitchen including a fridge. The shop is small but generally has a good range of items, although things like vegetables can go out of stock quickly. Because of the opening hours, it can be difficult to get to the shop as we will likely be making use of the daylight / weather window / tide window to climb so it is worth planning ahead.
The pub does good food if a somewhat limited menu. The shop and pub will allow you to set up (separate) tabs for the stay which are paid at the end.
The local environment:
Lundy is a unique place and deserves respect. The only vehicles on the island are Landmark Trust ones used for specific purposes. The island is only about 3 miles long so all the crags are accessed by foot.
There are obvious footpaths – please keep to these where possible and try to avoid trampling vegetation needlessly. Some of the crags are quite green and will require some gardening but don’t get over zealous.
There are seals that reside in the zawns so be aware when abseiling into them. If you are lucky they may swim near when you’re at a crag to say hello.
Lundy has a rather complicated bird ban in place which has changed a few times in recent years. Details can be found on the BMC RAD but it is worth checking with the warden when arriving on the island.
Getting to and from the island is half of the experience of the trip.
Importantly, call 01271 863636 after 8pm the evening before departure (29th August) to check sailing times. If there is particularly poor weather sailing may be delayed or times changed.
The 2022 sailing timetable indicates the MS Oldenburgh will sail from Bideford on Tues 30th August, and return to Ilfracombe on Tues 6th Sept. There will be a coach that will take people from Ilfracombe back to Bideford which takes about an hour.
Car sharing is a good idea and vehicles will need to be left in Bideford for a week in a safe place such as a long stay car park. Sailing is at 08:00 on Tues 30th and you will need to be there an hour before. This will entail a very early start to get to Devon for that time, or accommodation locally for Monday night. The MS Oldenburgh is due to return to Ilfracombe at 18:00.
MS Oldenburgh sails from Bideford Quay and check in is at the Lundy Shore Office. If you are quick you will be able to drop luggage off at the office (with someone to watch it) but you technically cannot stop there. There is a long stay car park further down the quay which costs £16 for 7 days at the time of writing.
All luggage should be packed in waterproof bags as they will be stored in wooden boxes or even large nets on the boat. A large waterproof holdall is ideal. There is technically a weight limit of 20KG per person although the luggage does not appear to get weighed.
Pack all items that will go to the Barn (changes of clothes etc) in this holdall – it will be transported there once the MS Oldenburgh is unloaded on Lundy. Have a climbing bag packed will things for a day of climbing with you too – this will be unloaded first off the boat allowing you to enjoy a day of climbing without waiting around for your bag.
This trip is a little different compared to other Club trips due to the nature and accessibility of the climbing as well as the exposure. As mentioned previously, almost all the crags require an abseil rope to be set up and used. This means you should at least have some experience in doing this safely, and with confidence.
The climbing on Lundy also tends to be in the higher grades. Some of the best climbing is VS and above, but there are quality climbs worth seeking out at lower grades. Instead of being able to rock up and quickly do lots of climbs as you would at a crag like Sennen, the combination of weather, tides, the walk in and accessibility usually means you will locate one crag during a day and do a couple of climbs.
As such you should be happy to help carry gear, assist with abseil set up, abseil into the crag, make yourself safe at the bottom if required, belay competently with half ropes, second up to around VS and be comfortable to back off a route which may require leaving gear behind.
Experience of multi pitch trad climbing is also very useful i.e. being able to make yourself safe at belays, assist with rope management and being comfortable belaying in awkward
positions such as hanging belays. Obviously if you are happy leading trad especially into the E grades this is a bonus to everyone on the trip as we will need a good number of competent leaders.
If you currently do not have all these skills don’t panic. There are plenty of meets between now and August to help refine your climbing skills. Don’t be scared to ask more experienced club members for advice, or to show you how they are doing something such as setting up and ab rope. There are also good articles online from places such as UKC and the BMC. The Club will also be running training and workshops throughout the year.