Great Head North

Warning and disclaimer on the fixed protection: This is not a climbing gym, climb at your own risk. Please read the information about the in-situ protection on the safety page.

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Grant Farquhar and Jeff Achey on Typhoon Arete. Photo Andrew Burr.

The Great Head is easily the biggest and most impressive cliff on the island. It is in a very spectacular location gazing trans-atlantically east. The venue is set off by the guns of the battery above. Read the warning on the home page about Longtails and Cahows which do nest in many of the other cliffs in Bermuda but do not seem to favour this one. None of the routes described below have longtail nests on or them or in their vicinity. The nesting season is from April to October which are generally poor months for sports climbing anyway due to the high heat and humidity.

 

The routes are approached from the north end of the cliff and described right to left.


SEARCHLIGHT STATION WALL

Access ledges at the base from steps leading down to the old searchlight stations at the north end of the cliff. The wall is adjacent to the searchlight stations.

BAMBENGA 7m 5.7

Size isn’t everything or so I’m told. This mini-route scales the groove in the right side of the wall. Steep juggy climbing on perfect rock past 2 threads. Natural belays. Grant Farquhar & Davie Crawford 7 March 2010.


BAM DUSTERS 15m 5.10b

Tally ho chaps, I mean neds. If you are a bam, prepare to be dusted. From the lower of the two searchlight stations, walk along the ledges to gain a thread belay below and right of the appealing overhanging white wall. Synchronise watches and keep a stiff upper lip and jutting chin avoiding flak on the wall. Four threads, safe as f*ck. Belay off an in-situ thread and spikes above. Return to base and debrief. Grant Farquhar & Davie Crawford 21/11/9. Ah’m nae a bam, like! Second ascent John Langston 2010.
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The first ascent of Bam Dusters. Photo Dan Earle.

Nereid’s Wall

The impressive vertical wall at the north end of the cliff. Continue underneath Searchlight Station Wall past a bad step to gain large non-tidal ledges underneath the wall. The Nereids were fifty sea nymphs who were the patrons of sailors and fishermen. They came to the aid of men in distress and were also the caretakers of the sea’s rich bounty. Individually they represent various facets of the sea from salty brine to foam, sand, rocky shores, waves and currents. Together with the Tritons they form the retinue of Poseidon. The routes are described from right to left.

TYPHOON ARETE 30m 5.10a

The rightmost arete on this section of crag provides a very good, independent line parallel to the the groove taken by Xantho. Steep and juggy climbing leads to the sustained upper section. Eight in-situ threads.

Davie Crawford & Grant Farquhar, 6 November 2010. Second ascent Devin Page 18/12/10.

 

XANTHO 30m 5.9

 
The obvious groove right of centre gives a 3 star jugfest. Climb past 8 in-situ threads to bolt and fence belays at the top.
 
Eloise Pitts Crick & Grant Farquhar, 11th December 2008. Second ascent Davie Crawford, 2009. Threads replaced 25/4/14.

St David's - Bermuda Rock Climbing Topo
Devin Page receiving Transmissions from Uranus. Photo Grant Farquhar.

 


TRANSMISSIONS FROM URANUS 30m 5.10c

The golden streak between Xantho and Neptune gives very good climbing on excellent rock. Clip the first thread of Xantho then climb steeply on big holds past 4 threads to a ledge. Clip a thread to the right on Xantho then follow the yellow streak steeply past 2 more threads to the crucial exit onto the slab above. Thread belays (not in-situ).

Grant Farquhar & Davie Crawford 28/2/10. Second ascent John Langston, 2010. Fourth thread replaced 25/4/14.

The Great Head North - Bermuda Rock Climbing Topo
Jazmyne Watson on Transmissions from Uranus. Photo Andrew Burr.
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Jazmyne Watson on the crux of Transmissions from Uranus. Photo Andrew Burr.

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Davie Crawford on the first ascent of Neptune. Photo Grant Farquhar.


NEPTUNE 30m 5.10a

The central groove line gives top quality climbing throughout on very good rock. Start about 5m left of Xantho below the steep open groove with its recessed mid section. A juggy, vertical start gives a good warm up for the final steep, technical moves through the headwall in a superb position. Savour the amazing rock architecture on the way. 9 in- situ threads. Belay on drilled threads at the top (not in- situ, take 2 slings). Beware of in-situ sleeping barn owls which may defecate on your head and bite you if disturbed.

Davie Crawford & Grant Farquhar 20 February 2010. Second ascent John Langston 23 February 2010.

John on Neptune
John Langston and Dylan DeSilva on the second ascent of Neptune. Photo Davie Crawford.


WAITING FOR THE SIREN’S CALL 5.10c R 30m

The sirenesque grey streak between Neptune and Poseidon. Easy climbing leads past four threads to a ledge below the crucial bulge. Make steep blind moves past two more threads to the top. Careful belaying required due to the possibility of hitting the ledge below the crux.

Grant Farquhar & Josh Hill 4 March, 2010. Second ascent John Langston 2010.


SEA SERPENT 5.10a 30m

The Sea Serpent slithers up the gap between Waiting for the Siren’s Call and Poseidon. The snaking upper arete is gained via an easy, juggy start. She rears up and bites at the end! Good climbing. Seven threads. Take two slings to belay on drilled threads at the top.

Davie Crawford & Grant Farquhar 7 March 2010.

Sea Serpent
Grant Farquhar on the crux of the first ascent of Sea Serpent. Photo Davie Crawford.


POSEIDON 30m 5.8

The left-most groove on the vertical section of Nereids Wall gives a great route for all you sea nymphs. Start right of Succubitten. Juggy moves passing a Bonsai tree lead to the eye- catching upper groove, with interesting climbing all the way. Take 2 slings to belay on natural and drilled threads at the top.

Davie Crawford & Grant Farquhar 17/1/09.

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Grant Farquhar on Succubitten. Photo Andrew Burr.

SUCCUBITTEN 30m 5.10a

The right hand arete of the Nymphetamine buttress is harder than it looks. Climb steeply past three threads to the ledge. Step right and follow the ramp past two more threads to the belay above Poseidon.

Grant Farquhar & Davie Crawford 28/2/10. Second ascent Devin Page 2010.
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The Great Head North - Bermuda Rock Climbing Topo
Jazmyne Watson on Succubitten. Photo Andrew Burr.


NYMPHETAMINE 30m 5.10d

 
Cold was my soul, untold was the pain, I faced, when you left me a rose in the rain. Thirty metres high is the groove-like incision in the steep buttress of good rock above that barless prison, the bad step in the sea level platform. Ascend past 4 threads through the bulge to a ledge. Sick and weak from your condition, in your heart this vampiric climbing addiction. Discolour all with tunnel vision, to the stone alone in full submission.
 
Take the final buttress directly past 2 threads in the forest where whispers persuade to a thread belay in the burning hay. Scramble off rightwards and dance out to the moon as we did in those golden days, sunsetter, my nymphetamine girl.
 
Grant Farquhar & Davie Crawford 14/2/09. Second ascent John Langston Nov 2010. The threads on this route are made from dynamic rope, have been in-situ since the first ascent and are overdue for replacement.
 
 
 

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Nymphetamine
Grant Farquhar on the first ascent of Nymphetamine. Photo Julie Crawford.


WITCH SLAP 30m 5.10d

Clip the first two threads of Nymphetamine. Exit the bulge on the right to slap diagonally rightwards to the third thread of Succubitten. Finish up this.

Grant Farquhar & Marc Burgess 21/1/12.


HAGRIDDEN 30m 5.11a

Spectacular climbing up the flying arete left of Nymphetamine. Clip the first thread of Nymphetamine then ride the arete directly via long moves between good holds on perfect rock past 2 marine grade stainless steel glue-in bolts and a thread to the ledge. Continue past 2 more threads trending right to the thread belay atop Nymphetamine.

Grant Farquhar & Davie Crawford 20/2/10


HAGRIDDEN2 30m 5.10d

A variation on the above route utilizing the same in-situ protection but a different sequence of holds at the bottom. Slightly easier but not as spectacular. Bridge up the groove left of the arete to eventually gain a projecting jug on the lip. Step right to the thread above the arete and continue to the ledge. Finish as for Hagridden.

Grant Farquhar & Davie Crawford 20/2/10.

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Nereid’s Wall topo. Photo Grant Farquhar.