Saturday, February 20, 2010

Portrane - you don't have to be mad to climb their but it helps

Only messing. Was in Portrane today for the first time in years. Weather looked dodge on the way but it brightened up soon after we arrived. We arrived about 1.5 hours after low tide. The Arch was very wet with seepage, the Alley was damp but was drying fast, Pirates Cove was dry in places very wet from seepage in other and Ground Zero and the Pit were bone dry. Considering we have have had a reasonably wet winter this kind of flies in the face of the theory that Portrane is a summer only venue.

I went through some of the descriptions of the problems in the guide and to be honest some are worse than useless. Due to the nature of the rock the lines are often dictated by holds rather than features this can make problem descriptions vague and tiresome "get the undercut with the left and slap up to the edge for the right from there reach the jug". Which begs the question is it worth detailing all of these problems? For example the Arch seems to be a choc a bloc with loads of traverses link ups and variations, who wants/needs these? The grades aren't very accurate and would depend on the exact line taken, are the names used?

Some of our party were quite impressed with Portrane having never been to some of the areas before. It definitely has something to offer, its an interesting physical style in contrast to the more friction dependent granite to the north and south. Surely its worth more than one page, maybe loose alot of the link ups and variations?

But how much details should it get?
Should problems be detailed in Ground Zero?
Are the Pigeon Holes worth including?

1 comment:

  1. In my humble opinion, the best areas are the Alley and the Pit because they are the only spots combining good problems and solid reliable rock.

    Pigeon holes, and Vault are crap, Pirate's cove doesn't have enough, and some of the holds at the Arch are crumbling (not mentionning polish climbers actually making up new holds...) Ground Zero is basically all eliminate and overpolished.

    In terms of true lines, I totally agree, they are very few, but some are still very obvious. It's not to defend Kev's stuff, but problems like X-men are pretty much the essence of bouldering; I mean the roof mantel is there and there's no rule as to how to climb it.
    The same applies to:
    - the Arch itself (although still a project)
    - Kev's roof and Dark Matter at Ground Zero
    - the Ramp and the clit in the Alley
    - Gráinne Ni Mháille, The Dread Pirate Roberts and the buldge mantel(can't remember its name)in the Pirates cove,
    - the Low traverse, Mr Topsy Turvy SS, Mr Silly and Mr Happy in the Pit.

    That's 13 problems worth mentionning but they're not even together... If I had to keep only one area, it'd be the Pit, but that's just me.

    Again, just like Dalkey, Portrane isn't a destination anyway. Maybe a few lines in your introduction...