One of the main reasons that I came back from Europe this year was that I had been dreaming that I was at Lulworth. Every morning I would wake up with the fuzzy memory of hanging one handed from the "Horny lil' Devil" jug above a glittering blue sea, smiling and looking over to my friends. To the Dorset DWS'er the pull of Lulworth is strong, so like moths to a flame we flock ready to absolutely have it, and with not a rope in sight.
No ropes, No Problem. That famous rest on "Horny lil' Devil" 7a.
I had tried "Andrenochrome" a bit last year and as I had already done all the other existing lines it was one of the first things I got on this year. The route is amazing. I think I can safely say you've never done a route like it. You start by traversing the first half of "Horny lil' Devil" a 3 star 7a, until you are right in the middle of this steep 30 degree leaning face. You pause on a jug for a moment, look up at the challenge that awaits you, look down at the sea shimmering below you, marvel at how light you feel without all the faff of ropes and quickdraws, take a deep breath and GO! Straight into a big committing dyno to a massive jug, catch this then ninja kick the wall to stop the swing, then more big burly dynamic moves all on good holds lead you to the crux at half height; a powerful and tricky sequence on smaller holds. Then after the crux it's not so bad to the top; still steep but on good holds and not so far apart, that is until the very last move round the lip!
Falling of the crux of "Andrenochrome".
Ouch thats gotta hurt, falling/bellyfloping of the dyno of "Andrenochrome"
It had been a good day at Lulworth, the sun was shining, there where friends around me, we'd done the usual circuit of the classics, I'd made some good progress on "Adrenochrome". The shadows where just starting to get long and the others where packing up to leave, but typically I decided I would like to have another go- after all I still had one dry chalk bag! The tide was starting to get a bit too low really to be trying one of the "up" routes in the east cave but I thought to my self "Ah, I'm feeling quite tired - I probably won't even make it through the first dyno, it'll be alright". Gav decided to come round with me to watch so the two of us headed round together. We got there and I was feeling quite nervous because the tide was pretty low, I had learned the cost of underestimating the water you need on this wall last year when I fell from the top of "Mark of the Beast" at low tide and busted my ankle; an injury I still have now.
"Mark of the Beast" 7c, Shortly before falling off the lip into shallow water and busting my ankle in 2008.
But still I clearly hadn't learned the lesson well enough because I set off anyway. As predicted I felt really tired across the traverse and very nearly fell of the dyno but somehow managed to get to my previous highpoint of the second to last move of the crux. Inspired by some new beta from Gav (who made the first ground-up ascent two years previously) I tried a new hold that I had not noticed before (I was trying it ground up and, at the time, no one else was trying it, so I had many falls gradually taking my chalk trail higher trying to find the holds) and with a power scream found myself through the crux!
Sticking the dyno on "Adrenochrome".
Doing the ninja kick to hold the swing on the dyno of "Adrenochrome".
I hung there, shaking out at a little over 2/3rds height, for quite a long time contemplating my position. Do I play it safe and jump off now or do I risk broken ankles and push on and try for the top out and the send? Needless to say I went for glory! Topping out was brilliant, I climbed with pinpoint focused power and hit every hold perfectly, despite never being up there before or having any chalk to guide me. Amid Gav's cheers, my whoops of delight and the seagulls squawking as they dive bombed me I pulled the lip and stood in sun victorious!
Watch Neil Gresham climbing "Adrenochrome" at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaMxHv6x_u8