Looking back on a great climb the Devils Slide on Lundy.

It seems years ago but I was looking back to some photos of a trip to Lundy Island to climb the Devils Slide Lundy with a great pal Dan Carrol. Where is Lundy Island? North Devon Lundy lies off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic ocean meets the Bristol Channel with nothing between it and America, a granite outcrop, three miles long and half a mile wide. In the hubbub of the modern world it is a place apart, peaceful and unspoiled.

How do I get there. Only sensible way to get to Lundy island. The MS Oldenburg sails to Lundy island from Bideford or Ilfracombe three or four times per week, and is the only sensible way to get there. The trip takes about two hours each way, and you can buy drinks and food on board. Or if you are with the RAF Mountain Rescue Service a helicopter may want to train on the Island and maybe you could get a lift?

The Famous book – Classic Rock – Ken Wilson

Classic Rock

From the Guide – The Devils Slide – Severe 350 feet West Coast of Lundy first ascent K Lawder and J. Logan June 1961 “A sheet of flawless granite sweeping to the sea “. K. Lawder was an Admiral and had noticed the great cliffs from the sea. What a find.

The Devils Slide from Classic Rock

Well thanks to my friend Dan, I managed to get the climbs done in the Isle of Lundy and a final climb in Cornwall. It was a superb trip, a huge amount of travelling and I we finished in North Wales with a pal Rusty , Nerys and family.

The classic view

Lundy is a wonderful Island and we were there for 3 days. The trip out takes about 2 hours by boat and we were blessed with great weather. It felt like going to another world .I was not feeling great at the time it just before I was pretty ill yet I managed to climb the Devils Slide and the 350 foot slab of granite which starts at the sea. It is a classic route, a marvelous situation and incredible views. The weather held with just some rain near the final traverse, which made it hugely interesting on the crumbling granite at the end of the climb.

Abseil in

The climb starts with a great walk from the campsite along the 3 mile island Dan had done the climb before and used it as helicopter training getting dropped off. This time he was just back from off shore and pretty tired after his long drive from the North of Scotland. I was down visiting my grandaughter in Henley and Dan picked me up. We were soon away and on the motorway to our climb. I love a boat trip to an Island it’s so calming yet I had forgot my tent. I was helped by a local who lent me one. Next day we were off to find the start then an abseil down to the wave washed boulders and the sea. The cliff looks superb and as you abseil down you see most of the route. It’s a stunning place to be with the seals and the sea crashing about. It was a great climb on the immaculate granite where it climbs the line of least resistance. The belays are fine, the situation is magnificent and it is a climb to savour. Dan and me had a superb laugh on the route and the last pitch on crumbling granite keeps the mind alert.

I had been waiting the do this climb for over 30 years, I was so glad there was no one else climbing so it made it all the better. We had the cliff to ourselves and we spent the next days on the island as it was very misty and raining exploring this great place. I even got a boat trip round the Island and saw the Slide from a different view! I met some lovely people including “Shaun the man” who lent us a tent and made me a wonderful engraving of a rock for Lexi my granddaughter from Lundy. He told us so of the Island and its history.

Looking back there is so much to see on the Island and we only touched a bit of it. There are 3 aircraft wrecks, 2 Heinkel and a British aircraft. From the air the Island looks like an aircraft carrier and you can see why planes crashed here during the war. It’s a place full of mystery and history.

Lundy Goats

There are also the incredible flowers,wildlife, birds,goats, deer are everywhere. There is so much to see it’s a great place with a pub as well,

The view from the sea.

The history of the Island is rich in the sea and ship wrecks abound the coast. In all a magic 3 days in a unique environment, what a privileged to have been to Lundy at last. Thanks to Dan Carrol for a great day out after that we drove to Cornwall and I finished my Classic Rock on Demo route early in the morning then drove to Wales. A busy few days but classic.

The scary traverse
Tip toe

Memories of 80 Classic Rock Routes in Ken Wilson wonderful book – Classic Rock

There are many other routes on Lundy what is your favourite?

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Articles, Books, Mountaineering, Recomended books and Guides, Rock Climbing, Views Political?, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.