Ive been sat indoors all day doing naff all while i try to recover from the man-flu (its been 4 weeks suffering now, and as i havent taken a day off i am now trying forced rest!) ... i dont do bored very well and my mind has wandered to some memories that i havent visited in a while ... they make me smile so i thought id share them is it possible to delete your own thread if it turns out to be pump?! A few years ago a friend and i took the opportunity of climbing down at Three Cliffs on Gower, the day was hot and long and we climbed pretty much from one end of the cliff to the other. Taking in the easier climbs to the left, we progressed rightwards and harder until we reached the edge of our comfort zone at VS grade. As the light started to fail my friend decided that we really HAD to tackle Scavenger (a VS 4b climb that is marked as a classic in the guidebook) before we quit for the day. Scavenger takes an awkward line up the right hand side of the arch and is now very polished ... classic but not the best rock i have climbed! I started the lead, placing gear as i moved higher, skittering over the highly polished holds. As i moved higher i became aware of the crowds leaving the beach and, more alarmingly, the climbs. Feeling a bit daft at being the only climbers left as the crowds cleared the last pieces of sand and rock i glanced over my shoulder to see the tide getting slickly closer. I bottled it - it was a great partnership, my buddy always pushes our abilities while i am far more cautious and so far ensure we survive! My mate wasn't so easily put off and determined to take the lead. Ever the gent, i gave in to him. For any non-climbers out there - there is perhaps nothing so tranquil ... or in this case so lonely ... as belaying (holding the rope for) the lead climber. I let the rope move through my fingers, slowly paying it out as he moved steadily higher up the warm rock. Swiftly we could no longer hear each other, and gradually even the tinkling sound of the metal gear on his harness knocking against the rock faded away. As i drifted off into my own little world, gazing out at the light falling behind the sea cliffs i suddenly realised how close the tide had come in - now this is an important point that i have not forgotten since ... the tide comes in FAST on flat, sandy beaches! I called up to T$% and tried to tell him to hurry up, but he couldnt hear me. i took coils of rope in my arms and moved from the sand onto a little rock pedestal at the base of the climb - looking across the arch i noted how wise we were to put the rest of our kit (including my car keys and SLR camera) up on a rock ledge 4 feet from the ground. The rope continued to snake through my hands as he moved higher, but the tide was now racing it ... and the tide was winning. i shouted up again but my voice was obviously obliterated in the wind as i faintly heard T&* call back 'sweet' ... at this point the tide was swriling around the edge of my rocky perch and my boots were getting wet. Shouting pointlessly upwards i bundled the loose coils of rope over my shoulders and started to climb. This was it - the epic of our climbing career thus far - we were now simultaneously climbing the hardest grade that we were capable of ... our 'fear factor' if you will. Now i would like to think that i had the hardest part, despite following T^& up as he at least did not realise neither of us were protected. As i moved higher, weighted down by ropes as i shinned up slippery smooth holds, i became alarmingly conscious of the water reaching cheekily up towards our kit on the ledge ... shouting up to T(* it became apparent that he now realised the situation and he broke off to the side, and finished on a variation to the route. as i followed him through i remember him having the smug cheek to call 'Im safe, you can take me off belay' - i suppose at least one of us had made it! Quickly we rigged an abseil and descended to claim our kit before the tide did, which led us to my longest memory ... being sat at the top of the cliff, between two of the three peaks, shaking with adrenaline and relief, watching the tide coming in and (without a word being spoken) both tying back into the rope for the simple traverse of the peaks back onto safe ground. I dont think i slept at all that night ... and i certainly had a lesser respect for my friends persuasive bravado! Maybe next time I'll tell about getting my Rover stuck while offroad with my REME mate ... or when i sent a student down an abseil to find i'd misjudged the height and stopped the safety rope (not the abseil line) 2 ft short ... or Im happy for the MODs to delete this thread if the only person i have amused is myself!