White Grunt Hole describes the area of rock extending from the east side of Clarence Cove to Deep Bay. It is visible directly across from the dock in Clarence Cove.
INTO THE LABYRINTH 5.10d 120m sea-level traverse
This route comes with a guarantee – I guarantee that you will be pumped at the end of it! It actually starts in Clarence Cove but the majority of the action takes place in White Grunt Hole. It follows the labyrinthine sea level traverse from Clarence Cove all the way to join the start of Grunt’s Traverse. The rock is variable in quality and previous experience of climbing on Bermuda rock is an advantage. The water depth also varies and it is safer at high tide. Start from the small beach on the east side of Clarence Cove. Start traversing the cramped overhanging eastern wall of Clarence Cove, initially above shallow water but soon getting deep. There is one short hard overhanging section above deep water. Continue around the arete of the mouth of the bay and follow the path of least resistance eastwards. Keep an eye out for the entrance to a narrow dry passageway that allows a crawl through (you can also traverse the outside of this buttress). There are now two deep caves to navigate. It is possible to climb around the inside of each cave, but the rock inside tends to be slimey in places. Alternatively swim across the mouth of each cave. With a bit of pre-planning this can be accomplished with a dry chalk bag. This leads to the base of Spicy Times, the overhanging white streak in the left arete of the largest cave. Traverse pumpily left at sea level at the base of the steep wall to achieve a no-hands rest on the ledge on the arete and junction with Grunt’s Traverse. It is possible to link this route with Grunt’s Traverse and then Full Fathom Five Ten to give a 200m+ sea-level traverse at 5.10 plus. Magical Mystery Tour eat your heart out! Grant Farquhar 6/April/09.
SPICY TIMES 5.13a R 15m
The brilliant leaning white arete on the right hand side of the wall. Exhilarating and dynamic climbing with a ‘spicy’ crux finish. Snappy and loose in places. A benchmark example of hard ‘Shallow Water Soloing’. On a 1.0 meter high tide, water depth is between 6 and 7 feet! Start from the large dry ledge on the left arete (as for Grunt’s Traverse). Traverse rightwards at sea-level to the white streak and arete. A worrying move high up leads to a detached hold, then finish with trepidation stepping onto the crumbling slopey ledge on the left. If successful proceed straight to the pub for celebratory beverages of the strong variety ;-). Bluepointed Tim Emmett 12/12/10. First ascent video courtesy of Katie Emmett.
Tim Emmett cranking the first ascent of Spicy Times. Photo Grant Farquhar.
Grant Farquhar on Spicy Times. Photo Devin Page.
ENEMA TERRITORY 5.11c 15m
The central line on the large overhanging wall is recommended only for lovers of loose overhanging weetabix, Crispin Waddy come on down! The rock is unbelievably friable. The water underneath is shallow and you definitely want high tide. Gain the base of the arete as for Grunt’s Traverse. From the ledge traverse right at sea level for 10 feet to underneath the severely bulging wall. Climb up the line of a thin vertical seam, stepping right and then up the line of another thin vertical seam to gain a bridging no-hands rest in a scoop. Continue directly up the overhanging wall for a few moves to gain a prominent horizontal break. Follow this leftwards until beneath the bonsai tree on the arete. Grab the tree and pull over onto the large ledge above. Follow the ledge up and rightwards to finish. Grant Farquhar 5/April/09.
BUTT PLUG 5.11c 15m
A harder and slightly pointless direct finish to Enema Territory. Only worthwhile if you have done the parent route and want to repeat it whilst making life hard for yourself. Suffice to say this route carries not so much a sting in the tail as a pain in the ass. Start up Enema Territory to the no-hands rest in the scoop and then the horizontal break above. Continue directly to the top. High tide is recommended. Grant Farquhar 29/8/09.
WHO SHAT IN MY PANTS? 5.11d 15m
The right hand finish to Enema Territory is the most entertaining variation. Start up Enema Territory to the no-hands rest in the scoop. Step right then climb diagonally rightwards to gain another scoop. Continue to the finishing ledge. Grant Farquhar 4/Nov/12.
Fabian Gysi venturing into Enema Territory. This is one for a high spring tide. Photo Grant Farquhar.
TRAMONTANA 5.11d 15m
Blows up the bulging arete left of Enema Territory. Start up the initial moves of Enema Territory. Make a tricky rising leftwards traverse on the lip of the bulge to gain the arete. Storm the arete on large but tempestuous holds to the finishing moves of Enema Territory. High tide only. Grant Farquhar 4/Sep/10.
GRUNT’S TRAVERSE 5.10a 50m
An interesting expedition which is pretty safe at high spring tide and links up with Full Fathom Five Ten (in Deep Bay) to give a long DWS traverse. Start from sea level at the foot of the left arete of the steep wall opposite the dock in Clarence Cove. This is the left arete in the photo above and can be gained by climbing (carefully) down the top part of ZigZag Arete and then the groove to the east. Alternatively swim across from the dock in Clarence Cove. Traverse leftwards (east) just above sea level on reasonable rock. Mostly above deep water at high spring tide but with the odd clearly visible submerged reef shelf to beware. Eventually gains a very deep rectangular sea cave. It looks entirely possible to traverse around the inside of this cave in its entirety and this awaits a complete ascent. Alternatively make the short swim to gain the opposite wall. Continue traversing leftwards on good rock to join Full Fathom Five Ten. Grunt Farquhar 23/3/09.
ZIGZAG ARETE 5.7 R 15m
Tackles the left arete of the steep wall by the easiest line. Initially climb a layback crack for 5m on the East side of the arete (serious- above a large ledge), until a foot traverse leads rightwards round the arete to access a short wall with some fragile holds (now safer above deep water). A few small trees give good handholds to pass this section. Continue up the arete to the top. Davie Crawford 21/6/09.
GRUNT FEST 5.8 R 15m
The bulging white wall between the rectangular cave and Zigzag Arete. Approach via Grunt’s Traverse. Climb the good white rock directly via the pink streak to the tree. Beware the ledges underneath. Grunt Farquhar 21/10/12.
Seb Grieve on the first ascent of Sea Saw. Photo Grant Farquhar.
SEA SAW 5.11c R 10m
On top rope! I’m Jerry Moffatt! F*ck! An excellent expedition making a right to left liptrip across the rectangular sea cave. Start from ledges right of the cave gained by Grunt’s Traverse or swimming. Climb the right arete and heel hook spectacularly along the lip to gain the left arete. Downclimb this to ledges. Beware of the reef underneath the right arete, high tide definitely required. Seb Grieve & Grant Farquhar 14/8/10.
MYNTENKAST 5.11b 13m
Takes the left arete of the cave traversed by Sea Saw. Start by downclimbing to sea-level as for Full Fathom Five Ten then reverse Grunt’s Traverse to the cave. Climb the left arete, pull the lip via a Seb Grieve knee manouvere and continue up the jungly headwall. Grant Farquhar 23/8/10.
White Grunt Hole topo by Grant Farquhar.