feeling the strain on the runout crux of Black Magic (E5 6a, 5c; 5.11c).
On Cornwall’s Atlantic coast is an enormous sweep of jet-black pillow lava forming the mighty Pentire Head. In the mornings, the rock is often coated in a treacherous film, but on late-summer evenings when the moisture has lifted, it’s a charming place. No section on Black
Magic is desperate, but there is no rest for those tiring feet either as you augur in on dime edges to place tiny wires. I will never forgot the day I abseiled in to take photos. British Mountaineering Council’s Dave Turnbull was hosting an international climbers’ meet, and it wasn’t till he was halfway up the first pitch that he wished for stiffer boots. It didn’t help either that the adjacent climber on the equally committing Darkinbad the Brightdayler had crossed his ropes over Dave’s!