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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wicklow Gap

Was wondering around Wicklow Gap this afternoon. Not sure what the goal was guidebook work, exploring or climbing. It was something a mix of them all as it turned out.

Conditions were excellent, lovely stong sunlight and a fresh breeze. Warmed up at The King's Boulder in Glendasan which is lovely. Then had a few goes on St. Kevin's Slab. Felt good on it but a bit fearful on the last move which I bailed from and ended up in a gorse bush. Perfect really great problem.

Drove further up the valley to where St Kevins's Way leaves the road and I spied a dark roof in the direction of Lough Nahangan about 500m from the road, its just left of an outcrop with two obvious trees growing out of it.

Turned out decent bit of an indistinct line but some nice holds, it looked like someone had already pulled a loose hold off the lip not so long ago, look familiar?

Back to car and on to Electric Mountain to check out an old problem of Ped's Neon Orange, really nice moves on a pinch couldn't do it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lough Bray boulder shots

Did this the other day just to see how it turned. It revealed a disdvantage of this approach in that its very hard without being very verbose to depict all the problems on the rounded boulders we tend to have. Works ok on long flat walls but not so good here.

Bouldering for beginners

Beginner wise Glendo is a good spot but I can't help feel that the presence of other boulderers and problems sometimes derails their efforts to try stuff of the right level. Most of the other areas in Wicklow aren't really suited to beginners, the only one that is I think is Carrigshouk, there are some nice, easy, low problems very close to the road. I climbed a few problems on the two white rocks right beside the parking and they are great. Plenty more like that. I think it might be worth giving a page or two to describe them, do you think people will bother to seek them out though or will they just head to glendo?

Alot of the posts are quite Wicklow-centric at the moment but thats just the way it is.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New fingerboard

Not really bouldering ireland related but anyway. Finished my new finger board, the patent is pending. Had to go with this approach rather than hang it from a pull up bar as the door lintels are weird. But I think this hanging design works well. Its stable, can be used on both sides, easily removable and is nice and high, in fact it would be possible to make a short campus board in this style. In the second phase I'm going to put more holds - slopey rungs of various degrees - on the back side but I want to get an idea for what works first.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Was out yesterday in the sunshine checking out Carrigshouk before the ferns took hold. Did some very nice easy problems right beside the road to warm up, might be potential for a good beginners circuit but I deal with this in another post. Got distracted by some boulders on the right hand side of the cliffs then once I got their I saw other boulders up the valley, then in the distance in amounst the clearcut I saw a boulder shining white - a sign of minto rock if Mall Hill is anything to go on - wasn't sure whether to walk to it, looked about height but it was hard to say, took a gamble. It didn't get bigger as I got closer but it did look a nice shape. When I was about 200m away I broke into a trot and then a sprint, it kept looking better and better, from around 50m it looked like this wildly overhanginfg flake and I though I had found something special and it was only when I was about 20m away that I saw that it wasn't that interesting. Very disappointing. One very slabby side one very featured side and one very blank side. Did the juggy arete for the sake of. Was glad I walked over though cause it could of been great. Oh well.

Rest of the day worked out better with some good discoveries.

Friday, May 14, 2010

First ascent details

Tim kindly lent me the Peak bouldering guide and a very nice guide it is too. In it they list the names of the first ascentist - where its known - beside the problem description.

I had a plan to place a top100/200 problems sorted by grade at the back of the book. I was planning to give the FA'ist there.

The problem with listing them in line are they (a) it might be a bit pointless if most aren't known (b) its a lot of work to establish who did what (c) can never but sure it will be correct.

What do people think is it important information?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lough Dan

Was in a very sunny Lough Dan yesterday with Dec and Mark. Dec did Tony's Arete pretty handy and made it look easy when it fact its not. Went by the Main Crag and discovered a pretty long roof problems - 12m of climbing maybe - hard to believe it hasn't been done or at least tried before. Will be hard, felt like 4 or 5 very steep 6b/6c problems in a row. Might also be pretty sheltered from the rain.