CARN GOWLA


The massive cliffs that fringe the bleak St Agnes Head south of the tranquil fishing village of St Agnes, are some of the most impressive but least ventured upon in the West Country. The various buttresses and walls collectively known as Carn Gowla reach their highest around the headland, and are serious cliffs that drop straight into the relentless Atlantic swell. The climbs described here are some of the better travelled at Carn Gowla, although it is rare to see another party on the cliffs. The approaches to, and the abseils themselves need to be carefully executed with due regard to the prevailing sea conditions. These considerations combined with the isolated ambience and at times unsettling rock quality means that Carn Gowla will not appeal to all. However for climbers looking for adventure on a grand scale this is a cliff that is unlikely to disappoint, and if caught on a calm summers' afternoon or a wild spring day will be a spot not to be forgotten.

Routes

14 trad routes (S...E6)
Graded List of Routes
List of First Ascents
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Buttress (click for routes) No. of Routes Route Type Sunshine
or shade
Approach walk Other Page
America Buttress
One of the most intimidating cliffs in the West Country, the America Buttress peers out northwards...
3
Trad
No sun
 
Abseil
Tidal
178
The Black Walls
A series of shorter, but still very steep walls and buttresses that extend towards St Agnes Head...
3
Trad
No sun
 
Abseil
179
The Vault Wall
A huge hulk of a cliff that leans out seaward and is flanked on the left by some equally large...
1
Trad
Evening sun
Level

2 mins

Abseil
Tidal
Seepage
180
Mercury Area
An enormous, intimidating cliff on which is one of the West Country's greatest lines. The rock is...
1
Trad
Afternoon sun
Level

2 mins

Abseil
Tidal
181
Triple Buttress
A series of shallow buttresses (named A, B and C buttress) and corners make up this unusual section...
4
Trad
Afternoon sun
Downhill

5 mins

Abseil
Tidal
182
Indian Buttress
At the southern end of the Carn Gowla crags is this buttress of good rock with one very good corner...
2
Trad
Evening sun
Downhill

5 mins

Abseil
Tidal
183
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  • Latest Comments

    For CARN GOWLA

    Mercury Direct
    "Surprised to find that this was a choss route in exactly the same vein as Gogart..." 04/Jul top50

    Journey to Ixtlan
    "I couldn't find the stake belay - I spent so long wandering around the slope loo..." 04/May

    Guernica
    "Pitch 2 is serious, with little protection. Pitch 3 has good protection where it..." 21/Aug

    Mercury Direct
    "A stunning adventure and one of the finest routes I've ever done. We had a 100 m..." 21/Aug top50

    Journey to Ixtlan
    "How long has the stake belay been there? I had to resort to a very unconventiona..." 09/Jul

    Mercury Direct
    "x2 number 4 cams and x1 number 5 would make the first pitch an easier undertakin..." 29/Apr top50

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