Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Climb : Up above St. Catherines

Another ambition finally realised - I've always wanted to clamber about on the headland at Verclut, St. Catherine's Bay (aerial pic/map).... although I must say once in a lifetime is probably enough! It was one of my trickiest explorations so far, and only possible at this time of year when the bracken/weeds undergrowth is seasonably dead and withered. If you're tempted to have a go, do check whether it's public land and not privately owned as a 'back garden' to the cafe... :)

It all starts reasonably enough, a little bit of steep climb then it's just sloping ground with enough open areas to get about...




... easy to get to look down onto the bunker tunnels entrance.

But then there's no way up, the undergrowth is too dense. So we head the other way...







.. towards the back of the cafe...






.. and closer...







.. it's fairly easy to reach.







Up a bit higher... yippee, a german occupation gun position.







With a view over Flicquet, it still seemed too tricky to proceed...







.. until we decided to have a go at what looked like a path around a narrow open bunker tunnel of sorts. Here we are looking back at the other end of the small tunnel, having made it around. This stretch is near the edge with a good drop, walking on spongy undergrowth with hidden holes. Dodgy!




Up a smally rocky slope and we reach the summit, an open flat area where the cafe's old aerial mast lies felled and abandoned.






View to the end of the breakwater...







.. closer.







There isn't much evidence of anything else manmade up there, save for this concrete in a ditch.







Nice views of Flicquet from up here...








.. closer, the old Jersey Round Tower...






.. with the top lopped off by the occupying forces for a gun position now capped off and plugged with a concrete blob.







The easiest way around now is by heading away from Flicquet, reaching an area overlooking the sailing clubhouse...








.. closer.






Distant views are wonderful...

.. over to Archirondel and the other breakwater 'harbour arm' that was never completed...




.. Seymour Tower out at sea in the distance, and the Anne Port side of Gorey Castle...







.. closer.







It's not so bad up on top, mainly gorse, some brambles, new bracken shoots emerging for the spring, rabbit droppings aplenty...






.. but enough open spaces to move about in...







.. to reach the vertigo views like this :)








Farther around...







.. and over the gorge created when rock was quarried out of the previously uninterrupted headland for the construction of the 1847 breakwater.








One final traipse over springy undergrowth and...







.. there's that abseiling cliff I must have a go at one day.

Now to head back before the sun sets completely.......

4 comments:

wobblybean said...

What an intrepid explorer you are! Thank you for your expedition which was certainly well worth the effort, the views are just fantastic. Just take care, we don't what you to have an accident as we will miss your interesting pics and the comments you put with them.

crapaudmatic said...

Many thanks wb :)
I'll try not to break myself!

DottieBean said...

Absolutely brilliant set of photos! I reallyenjoyed them, and like wobblybean sez - take care!

crapaudmatic said...

Thanks D!