Mel Collie | Bouldering in Cornwall

Mel Collie | Bouldering in Cornwall

…living in a beautiful place means lots of great sunsets, walks, tourists, and when you have a bloke who loves climbing, it introduces you to bouldering, and looking at places you’ve seen and been too for many years, in a different way.

Recently, we’ve been to a beach the far west of Cornwall, with a beach full of huge rounded granite rocks, a place I’ve loved for many years, but now seeing it through a different perspective.

This is just one of the granite boulders on the beach…

Bouldering Monk in Cot Valley,Cornwall

Bouldering Monk in Cot Valley,Cornwall

The Bouldering Monk has many boulder routes in this area of Cornwall, we are setting up a separate blog with details of the routes in Cornwall.

Its not about the climbing, its about the beautiful places, respect for the environment, the shapes and the passion.

Its a great way to stay fit, training outdoors, seeing the places you live in, being outside all day, sleeping wild under the stars, meeting new people, being a part of the world you live in, a world you respect whilst you are here for a short time on the planet.

Mind, body, earth.





Mel Collie | Fear

Mel Collie | Fear

A couple of weeks ago,I listened to my fear.. I attempted an abseil down a 18 foot wall, which isnt easy when you are a few months away from being 50, never abseiled before, and when you are standing on the edge of that wall, you can add your height to that figure of 18 foot, as you are standing on the edge…you feel the fear…

Ready to abseil...

Ready to abseil…

I didnt do it first time, it too 3 days to get me over that edge…3 days of listening to gentle persuasion, confidence building words , and a lot of patience.

On the morning of the 3rd day, I backed out twice in the space of an hour…

….me, managing to be in the harness, roped up, standing on the edge of the wall, leaning back into the harness and unable to move my feet, unable to place the feet flat on the descent because I just couldnt lean back into it enough to allow to rope to be fed out…

You are in charge

You are in charge of not allowing the system to go slack, the rops remains taught between you and the belayer…that means sitting back into the harness, theres nothing behind you, just air, you are suspended in mid air, and its flaming well scary.

But, so they tell me, thats where the buzz is…

I think the words that helped my just do it, were that you are in control of you, its easy to fall into the trap of listening to your mind telling you this isnt safe, of course its telling you that, its your fight or flight response kicking in, and its strong, its just looking out for you and wants you to live. I was listening.

Once I could step back from that and understand that it was the fight flight response and the hardest bit was to lean back and move the feet.

But  when I did, the descent was so easy, I loved it..

However, a few days later I tried it again, a bit higher, on a rock on the beach, this was still scary, but I did it first time, and a second time too straight afterwards, but when I did it the second time, I climbed up to the top, and felt so scared again I cursed saying I wanted to do it again..but I did it, just didnt enjoy the feeling of the space around me.

So today, we went to as rock weve been to before, where Ive just done a little bit of scrambling about on the rocks. The abseil we were planning was less height, but was open, and a long way up, the height was in half of the whole abseil descent as theres a ledge to land on, so it didnt seem to bad. However….I could do it. I felt too …exposed..

Roche Rock Abseiling

I managed to get the harness on and even stand on the ledge, but couldnt lean back, I just could do it, we were up there for about 40 minutes, I tried again after a break, but still couldnt lean back and descent, it was so open, the wind was blowing and I was listening to my fear, and it won…this time.

Yes I was cross with myself and had a little tear as well, disappointed with the outcome, but looking back now, I was glad I attempted it. I tried. It hasn’t put me off, and I will try again, it will be tough,it isnt easy, it will only challenge you every time.

Heres to the next one then…maybe I need a drink..