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Dragon’s Lair


Simon Cox writes in 1996......... ‘many years ago, Al Mark and I were looking for new rock to climb on at Long Beach. Bashing our way through the stinging nettles, we came across an awesome tall block, that was eventually to yield the classic routes When the Fog Lifts, Married Alive and Instrument of Torture (among others). As we began to clean and bolt, we debated whether or not to clean down the scrub from the base of the cliff. I wanted to cut down a small lemonwood tree, to let the air into the crag to help it dry quicker, to free the area and to make it look more impressive. However Al, in his usual insistent manner, argued that the tree was a native and we should leave it be. So the tree stayed. Well, much time passed while sportclimbing came of age. The old bolts we had placed became rusty and very dangerous, and needed replacing. So a bit like little red hens we set about obtaining money for stainless steel bolts and hangers, and arranged for a work party with drills and generators. On the day of the work party, which incidentally only a few turned up for, I decided to rebolt the block.
By now the routes were very popular despite the awful bolts. Somehow or other I stuffed my abseil, and sailed into midair from the top of the block and plummeted downwards. Poetically, I ploughed into the lemonwood. The tree slowed my fall and saved my life.
Recently, I was out at the beach again, and went to attempt Married Alive to shake out some cobwebs and see whether or not I was totally past it. At the bottom of the route, I was disappointed to see that someone had broken down one half of the lemonwood tree, clearly making room at the bottom of the climb. The magic lemonwood tree, which had been saved from the destruction of rockclimbers and had mysteriously repayed the favour, now stands rather broken and sad. Although I’m not a superstitious person, I can’t help worrying just how mystical this tree may be. Is an accident imminent for the person responsible for its destruction ?’
Simon and Al might have ‘discovered’ the Lair , but Phil de Joux put up the first routes, commencing with the classic When the Fog Lifts. Watch out for stinging nettles.

Add Place Add Route


Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
Noodle 12 10m 4
Al Dente 18 15m 5
1 Married Alive 24 11m 4
2 Instrument of Torture 26 12m 4
3 Satan's Sidepull 29 11m 2
4 Now That the Love Has Gone 24 11m 1
5 When the Fog Lifts 18 10m 3
6 Arms Race 19 11m 2
7 Smug with Semen 22 9m 1

La Grande Bouffe, Bulimic's Picnic, and Teddy Bears Picnic have all been updated to reflect their current, rebolted status as sport climbs, with information supplied by Calum Hudson.

Fri, 04/01/2013 - 21:39 Permalink
Dave Brash