Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Guide nearly finished

The guide is nearly finished just another week or two. So if anyone has any last minute information or photos now is the time to send it on....

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Finally made it up to the Head. Paul and I got the full tour of Murlough and Rathlin Wall area from Rob Hunter. Saw a lot of steep crimpy rock. Wasn't really my cup of tea but the wads obviously love it. Where going to camp but decided to stay in the hostel. Next morning went around Murlough and tried to draw a map, its more on a conceptual level than cartography but anyway. It started to snow as we where leaving.

There is a place in Ballycastle, a Chinese restaurant, they do the standard buffet thing but you can also for £4 get a plastic contained and you fill it with whatever you want from the buffet once you can close the lid you are golden. I targeted meat - no pointless carbs for me - and was unable to finish mine. So worth checking out. No photos sorry forgot.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fireworks Boulder in Doolin

Does anyone have any photos of the Fireworks boulder in Doolin?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lough Bray/Stonecutters/Sad and Lonely/Glendo

Got an early start and took some self portaits on Away from the numbers. They turned out shit as the arete was in shade and the background was bright. Lesson learnt. Better on a more overcast day. Similar problems in Stonecutters. Was very boggy around Sad and Lonely Boulder. Got to Glendo and it was getting cloudy. There was a good few people around - over a dozen I'd say. Did a few problems on Big Jim and it started raining so I headed on.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


When on a photo mission. The goal was living the dream but we decided it would be too wet under the trees. So decided to head for the southside of Glendasan to catch the last bit of sun which we did just. It moved up the hillside at walking pace. We where all perloxed by the problem to the right of Ped's Dyno "so it goes". Tried 'behind the lines' not a bad problem really and then tried Ahad in the darkening. Ahab is hard. 6b my bollox. Go one or two shots so not a total disaster but the lesson is that you need to get out early in Wicklow in winter to get good light.

Paul on Behind the lines and Diarmuid on Ahab.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Went to Glenmac yesterday, nice and early so managed to get the best of the day. I managed to get a few shots before the cloud rolled in. Explored all the way up the valley to the cliffs at the top. The boulders just below the crag aren't up to much. There are some problems to be done but the rock isn't great. The 'room' beside Lucky Me has some impressive - but very hard and blank - aretes and one more doable problem. The ground was very very damp. There was a huge wet streak on the Wow Prow steep end. The problem to the right of the Wow Prow ie. to the left of John's Problem looks great. I think Ped did, at least tried the jump start ie. jump to the slopey bulge and mantle. The sit start looks incredible. Hard but possible. Pure compression moves on slopey holds. Probably a much nicer problem than the Wow Prow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mall Hill

Spent 2 days in Mall Hill this week. Was good.

Doolin/Toit le Cul de Clare

Was in Doolin for a few days, weather was woeful, very windy and rainy. The climbing was soaked. It wasn't really possible to get down to the ledges even at low tide as there was a big sea running.

On the way home we called into Toit le Cul de Clare in east Clare. It was soaking as well. Didn't have high hopes, it didn't look too bad I suppose. Not great though. Have to wonder how Pierre found the place, it really is in the middle of nowhere. Anyone ever been?


Headed up on a solo mission to Donegal. With the ambitious plan of visiting every area in the county (bar Polldoo). I fell at the last hurdle as I wasn't able to find Rubinoid Point. The directions in the guide are woeful, you would be very lucky to find them using it. Those directions have been around for 5 years, just goes to show either that no one tries to go there. After wasting time searching for a while I head to Dunaff Bay on the other side of Inishowen, its a really nice spot. Lovely wave washed granite that is smooth but still has some bite. Loads to do there. I was very pleasantly surprised. Didn't have time to go to Fanad Head which is a few km across the water but a massive drive away.

Had curry chips in the Chineser in Bunbeg - best I have ever had.

Spent all of the next day wandering around in the pissing rain looking at wet rock. Then in the evening did the long drive to Malin Beg. Drove over Glengesh Pass on what must be the steepest road in Ireland. After a diversion causeed by a landslide I arrived in Malin Beg. It felt like the end of the world. The hostel owner said it would take over 3 hours to drive from Malin Beg in the south west to Culdaff in the north east.

The weather was better in the morning, checked out Malin Beg, thought it was pretty limited to be honest. Then went on to Muckros Head which was wet and wavy, checked out some of the bouldering that had been previously documented, I thought it looked shite. Rock was sharp I suppose the lines where ok. Miles of this sort of thing on Inishmore. Maybe some of the stuff under the cliff proper is better.

Monday, October 11, 2010

White Bog

John and I hit the White Bog in the Cooleys last Saturday. We expected sun but got mist and very strong winds instead. John got stuck into the harder problems while I got stuck into some Turkish Delight. I found the lines good but the rock is very sharp. Too sharp for me. Legged it up to Windy Gap (it wasn't) to take a few shots only for my camera to run out of juice. Met two mates of John's from Belfast up there.

Some pretty heavily brushed rock. Really shows up on the dark gabbro.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Google Street view - stop the car

Google street view Ireland went live yesterday and its incredible. I assumed it would only cover main roads in cities but that is defintely not the case, its seems like almost every little boreen in the country is covered. This is going to make finding new boulders a hell of a lot easier. Stop the car!

Check this for starters. Comment if you find any nice looking rocks.

Wet day in Wicklow

Forecast was too dodge to drive to any of the place I need to go so I went down to Wicklow. Wandered around Annalecka in the pissing rain wondering where it all went wrong. Looked at the two white boulders visible from the parking spot. 6 foot high. Wandered around on the Brockagh Ridge cause it was too early to go home and i hadn't never really been up there and that means that there is a huge boulder field up there - at least thats now it is in my head. There isn't. There are a few boulders but they were far away. Some day. Took a nice panorame of th Glendasan bouldering. Would be a shot worth taking on a sunny day. Which mean I have to go back.

Slieve Binnian

Last week braved the walk in finally. Was a good forecast and it turned out very nice. Still windy though but its pretty exposed up there.
Did the loop from Carrick Little to South Tor to North Tor. Advantage of this is that it gets the uphill out of the way in one sharp shock. Took us 1 hour 20 mins. Not racing but not spacing either. South Tor is good has a few really nice problems. North Tor is great there is loads. We didn't even get time to try everything we wanted. In fact there was whole boulders we didn't even get a chance to check out. The rock is nice. Not Mall Hill nice but good rough granite. Has a good few pockets, its an big coarse grain. There is an ad on UTV starring Ricky and Craig on North Tor doing real climbing. They got a helicopter up the lazy cunts.

There will be loads of info in the guide about the Mournes bouldering. Yes the walkins are tough but its worth it.

Historic information

Should the info that i have about who did what when be in the introduction to the relevent area or should it all be one chunk in a history section at the start or finish?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Glendo - new river

The river has seriously changed course recently. The flat grass between the trace and Big Jim is awash with stones.

The child came too. She mostly tried slabs.


Went on a solo mission on Saturday to check a few areas in Waterford. One was OK but the other, to my suprise and pleasure, was great. Lovely slopey rock. At least 20 problems with potential for a lot of variations and linkups.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Grit

Back up again last Saturday to check out more of the grit this time got a tour with some of the locals - who have been bouldering up there for the last 13 years! We visited some of the more roadside venues in on off rain and were impressed. A few boulders and two very impressive walls of minto grit. I will be back to get more photos and to climb some of the amazing looking problems.

Cuilcagh Mountain

Went up on Saturday before last to check out the famous Cuilcagh gritstone boulders. Driving up in the rain it didn't look good but it was dry in the carpark but once we reached the boulders - a mere 80 minute walk up the hill - they were shrouded in mist, it wasn't raining but the thick damp mist meant the boulders were never going to dry.

Still we were impressed, beautiful rock and a lot of it. We only explorered the first two boulder fields, there are at least two more. The big boulder is big. Home to some incredible lines. One of the most impressive boulders around.

Anyone else been?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Web guide has been taken offline

I have taken the web guide offlline. If you really really really need a copy I will email one out to you. Post up a comment here to request.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Went to check out the flake near Foxford, Rooskey, Lough Easkey, Aughris and some grit over the weekend. The flake near Foxford isn't that exciting, there are a few steep problems and its an usual piece of rock. Rooskey wasn't too bad there are a few nice problems on rough granite. I'm not really a fan of Lough Easkey, the rock is a bit too rough - very similar to Derryrush - but there are a good few problems there. Aughris was brilliant. We arrived as the high tide was going out and had a great session. The cave on the right facing out was as dry as I have seen it and the sand was about 4 feet lower than when I was last there. There are some incredible sloper problems there. The grit was amazing, the rock quality is as good as the Peak, unfortunantly we were rained off before we had a chance to play on the most impressive looking of the boulders. Will be back though.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Glenmalure again

 On Saturday went up Glenmalure with Tim and Quigs. Walked up to Foxburrow from Ballinafushogue, took 1.5 hours, bit of a slog in the heat. I had hopes that there was more easy problems to do here but it didn't work out all the boulders are just a bit too small to be worthwhile - especially considering the walk in. We tried to trundle a huge block but no dice. Checked out the leaning block with the splitter crack on the hillside above Art's Lough, its no good. Too high, steep landing, rock is a bit chossy and very dirty. Walked down to Fraughan Rock and Tim repeated Teanga Ghorm in fine style. While Quigs and I ate Fraughans.
 On the way back to the car I spotted and caught a lizard.
We also spotted some mysterious boulderers. Well we assumed they were boulderers as they seemed to be hanging around some steep rocks high up the hillside, was it you?


Was planning to head to Portrane yesterday but the morning was a bit dank so we missed the tide window. Went to Cloghoge in the afternoon. Was very sunny with a strong breeze so quite pleasant summer bouldering conditions. I haven't been climbing much lately but I found everything much harder than usual and some of the grades in the latest version of the guide are severe sandbags - I think.

Lotto - the left corner of the Hobbition wall is nails. Anyone done it?
The SS problem on the LHS of the left of the Two Towers problems
The right handcrack line on the right of the Two Towers problem. So scary crux right at the top.
The problem left of Exfoliator is impossible, I could of sworn I did this before but couldn't get close yesterday. Any one have any beta for these problems?

Its a very nice spot though. Had a swim in one of the pools. September would be the prefect time for a visit. Warm water, no ferns, nuts.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Showing number of problems in each grade range

Alot of other guidebooks seem to detail how many problems in each grade range are in each area. I have tried this. Yellow would be up to 4+, Blue 5 to 5+, Red 6a to 6c+, Black 7a onwards. Is this worth doing?

Note the spelling of Cloghoge I presonally prefer Cloghogue but will go with the OS on this one.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guide preview - Glenmalure

I have uploaded a 4 page preview of the Glenmalure section of the guide. Two reasons. To give people a chance to comment on how it looks and to encourage people to check out the bouldering in Glenmalure. If anyone does get out there and does anything new or gets any good photos I would be very eager for them to get in touch.

glenmalure.pdf 1.2MB

NOTE: The above is 90% finished, I plan on retaking some of the photos (Ballinafunshogue, Sé's Boulder and the one of Diarmuid).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fraughan Glen and Art's Lough

Went to Glenmalure yesterday to meet Lee from Betaguides and his wife. On the drive down there was a few showers but the day turned out to be perfect summer bouldering conditions, sunny, very windy and dry. We first checkout Fraughan Rock. Lee repeated John's problem on the backside. Looks great slopey moves. (John did you submit this to the database?), Lee reckoned around 6b manteling the leftside of the dish. We then spent a good while working out the moves on a line just to the right of Cavailer Attitude. Lee dispatched this as well. Brilliant move from a sitstart on undercuts to the big just then up the slab using the sidepulls. Very technical and sequency, 6b/6c?
There was millions of massive Fraughan Berries around, I have never see so many.

We then headed up to Art's Lough. The walk looks worse than it is, it only takes around 15mins. We worked the moves on the steep problem on the lakesend of Ciaran's Boulder which Lee dispatched in short order. 6c+ maybe with quite a fingery crux at the start. Landing is a bit awkward but not too dangerous. Lastly we went up to the high plateau above (which is called Foxburrow in the brilliant EastWest map). Lee flashed the slopey arete and the slab we tried last time and was very impressed by the large rock which I think we will call White Elelephant. There is a lot more quality bouldering to be done in this area if you are prepared to walk.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ayton's Cave update

John Howard has cleaned up some of the projects in the Cave, he posted details on the new problem database - thanks John.

Seeing as pretty much every problem/link goes through Caroline's Traverse and Loco Total would people care to comment on their grades. The original grades given by Dave and Caroline were V4/5 and V8 which translates to 6b/6c and 7b (Dave has it at 7c at The problems are the cave are very different from granite cliimbing and very stamina dependant so its not easy to say but I would think CT is about 6b and LT around 7a/7a+? What do people think?
Delirium7BDublinHowthAyton's CaveSit start at the obvious chalked right hand sidepull at the back of the cave, squeeze and heelhook your way along the hanging tufa to reach the start of loco (-destroyer extension ~6c/7a), and finish as for loco totalJohn HowardJune 2010
Solstice7BDublinHowthAyton's CaveClimb loco total to the obvious halfway jug before heading directly through the blank looking roof to the crack, finishing at the lip. A beautiful series of moves involving an undercling, incut crimps and intricate footworkJohn HowardJune 2010
Eon7B+DublinHowthAyton's CaveThe link-up of the destroyer extension into solstice, amazing, get on it!John HowardJuly 2010
Eclipse7A+DublinHowthAyton's CaveA variant to solstice moving left from the jug to a right-hand sidepull/pinch before making a long move to a deep juggy slot(often wet), the roof crack can be gained from this, finish at the lipJohn HowardJuly 2010

Holiday Boulders, Glendo

Was up at the Holiday Boulders in Glendo yesterday. Very nice up there and a good option to potentially escape the midge. I hadn't been up there for years but the groove on the holiday boulder had stuck in my mind. Its very impressive looks like it will be hard and super technical. Hugh looked a bit lowball but with nice holds. The problem to the left and right of the groove are pretty decent. The groove is the main event though. Has anyone been up there and repeated any of the problems?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Overview Maps

Which is better?
EDIT I have added a third image that combines elements of both the other two.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ayton's Cave

Finally paid a visit to the cave on Friday. Arrived at 10.30, low tide was at 10 according to Howth Yacht Club. Tim and I were cave virgins and Barry was our guide being a veteran of 4 visits. When we arrived Barry pronounced it drier than he has seen it before, the key probably was that the wind was blowing directly into the cave. We quickly got our shoes on and got climbing. The cave is everything I hoped it would be. Super steep, burely, technical, sequency climbing. Full body workout.

There are some easier more veritcal problems to be done on the cove passed on the walk in. There was chalk on the overhanging side of the little stack as well. Looked like a nice little traverse.

The walk in felt longer than I expected, apparently some people approached from the other direction, is that quicker?

The walk in down the steps is very straight forward. The climb that is nessacary if you stay til the tide has blocked the return by the steps is ok. I was a bit worried about loose rock and I wouldn't face it in high wind with a large pad. Would it be an idea to put in a stake and a heavy rope to batman down the slabby wall of choss? Would be discrete and we could stash the rope over the wall.

It would be great if people could report on the new problem database if they have done any new problems/links in the cave?

A large tarp would be very handy to keep your shoes sand free. Also a tea towel for drying holds.

Also Barry mentioned that his Da knew some myth about a cave in the area. Did you ask him about it Barry?

Monday, June 28, 2010


Was in Derryrush today. Got some photos with the timer. My trousers got very wet on the walk in so I had a few goes without them. Then I just decided everything else had to go - except the chalk bag natch. Felt quite nice though you wouldn't want to do a chinmey in the buff.

Did the first 2/3rds of Highawatta about 5 times up and down for the camera, was so pumped that I had no energy for last move when I went for it after the photos were done. Have done it before think I just pulled harder and reached for the top. Its quite high. What grade is it? 5/5+?

Anyway Highawatta is a brilliant problem and the Chief is a great boulder. In general I find the rock in Derryrush very rough. A world away from the granite of Mall Hill.

Did a bit of exploring, found on quite large boulder but it didn't seem to have much potential on it. The large roof on the left started at around 6 feet. Its here off the road to Rossaveal. There is loads of rock in the area tons but I'm not sure how many decent boulderers there is. If anyone had a spare week to walk around a bog I'm sure they would find some good stuff.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I think everyone is agreed that the first ascentist of a problems has earned the right to name the problem. Even if sometimes the names are shit and irksome and painful to say out loud.

Boulder are often named sometimes after a problem on them or the area they are in or sometimes its something quite random - like Big Jim.

But what about areas who gets to name them? If the whole point of naming is too identify the place then there is usually a suitable name already in existance. If you think of any bouldering area in Ireland this is the case.So its usually just a matter of picking the right one.

Cloghogue/Ben's Font in Wicklow was nearly/still is an exception to this. There is a thread about this on the message board but I don't think there is any point rediscussing it.

Obviously Ayton's Cave got me thinking about this issue. What do people think about the issue in general and in specific, please post up.


Was checking out around Gurteen near Roundstone in Galway today. Very sunny and nice. Only did a small bit of bouldering as the child started complaining. Found one very nice but low roof that I hadn't seen on previous visits. The holds were lovely on it. Some powerful low starts, slaps to the slopey lip and tricky mantles.

There isn't much bouldering here but there is some good soloing and traversing above the water. Plus its a very nice spot.

These 2 boulders aren't really of height but they are climbable with very nice rock so you might be tempted. Nice setting as well.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Delph Valley

Was checking out Delphi Valley on last Saturday (12th). I only got to go to the River Boulder which is only a minute or two from the Center but the lads got to Third Rock from the Bog which looks great and well worth a visit. The rock- incredably solid cobble sandstone - in the valley is brilliant and its another place that would be well worth an exlore...

North Connemara

Went to check out the Leenane Boulders, Prehistoric Boulder and Jim's Nook yesterday. Leenane is ok, some really nice rock but not many problems. There is however some boulders/outcrops further up the hillside that might be worth a look.

 Beside the river near Jim's Nook are some outcrops, some of which have been bouldered already, I took this photo on the way out, would of liked to check out the very steep walls in the middle. They are definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another ball dropped

The good news is Dave Ayton has found a rather nice looking bouldering cave in Howth.
The bad news is I checked it out in the winter of 2003 when exploring around Howth and never went back.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Last time was Stonecutter's Glen.

There is loads of info on Dave's blog including directions and a topo. Dublin has badly needed an equivelent of Parisella's Cave in North Wales ie. somewhere steep, with lots of problems and linkups, that stays pretty dry in wet weather. On the last point I'm not sure how condition dependant this cave is when I visited, granted it was January, the cove was pretty damp with seepage.

The weird thing is that last night, for the first time in years, I looked at the Howth photos I took on that trip.

Anyway fair play to Dave, it looks like a great spot.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Carrigshouk Revisted

Went back to Carrigshouk with Diarmuid and Mark. Warmed up on the white boulders beside the parking then walked down the road to check out more of the easy circuit. Almost immediatly we stumbled across a cluster of 3 boulders - new to me anyway - which had 6 nice problems between them. The highlight was the middle boulder which has a nice face and an arete on each side some are definitly too hard for a beginner circuit but worthwhile documenting somewhere.

We did a few more road side problems and then headed off to the secret place. I had discovered it during the week and was eager to get back with a rope and all the cleaning implements that the modern climber needs.

After a stumble throught the forest, we came upon the boulder and set to work cleaning. There is one pretty good line using the very slopey ledge, the top will be hard and a bit scary though the landing could be worked up so it would meet health and safety regulations.

We then cleaned another nice problem. A slap from a quartz rail to a good hold on the lip to a slap to another sloper and then a very blank topout. We used some very dodgey ropework and shifted a few ton or earth, got eaten by midge and then went home.