Tuesday, March 22, 2016

One of Dartmoor's Best Boulder Problems: Tropic Thunder

I've been racking up a fair number of first ascents here in England but I recently establish my best yet.  Tropic Thunder is a real gem of Dartmoor bouldering and good enough that it could be classic anywhere in the world.  In my opinion Tropic Thunder is second only to Devon Sent in the Dartmoor area but folks should get out and decide for themselves. 

Tropic Thunder climbs a prow/arete out the middle of a visor.  I would have brushed up this problem had I stumbled upon it anywhere.

A rarity for Dartmoor, Tropic Thunder it very steep and utilizes an array of heels and toe-hooks.
Here is Mikey sticking the first move.

Tropic Thunder also makes use of a couple xenoliths that are very uncommon around Dartmoor.  Here is Tom trying to make use of a toe-hook on one of the xenoliths.  

The problems climbs extremely well and it took two days to work out all the little subtleties.  The crux to Tropic Thunder was figuring out what to do once you got your hands on the slopey lip while your feet are way under the roof.  I found 3 different sequences but in the end it was the one that required doing a little bump and holding a massive swing that proved successful.  It's always nice when everything comes together.....

If you want to check out Tropic Thunder it is pretty easy to find as it is located on the slope along the north side of Beadon Brook.  Park off Beadon Lane just where it crosses the brook and either follow the brook for a bit until you see rock and scrabble up the slope or take the higher path (easier) and drop down when you see rock.  This area has a bit of rock with roughly 20 established problems and more potential if you're willing to brush.  Enjoy