Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Glanekeera part 2

Went back to Glanekeera today with Michael Duffy. I wanted to check out some of the stuff I had seen from a distance last time I was there. Approached differently from last time and struck gold first boulder. I had seen it form a distance and wasn't sure if it was going to be big enough but it certainly was. I did one easy problem. And flailed on the warm up that was trickier than it looked. There are six execellent lines to be done on it. Haven't given the boulder a name but it must reference the massive truck tire that lies beside it,.

Next up we found a nice square cut block with 3 more problem to be done on it.

Showed Micheal the big bastard that I found last time. It's a huge block - contender for biggest in Wicklow - but the steepest line is short a hold or two. There is a great line or two to be done on the LHS and maybe a nice route up the middle. Would love to lash a few pegs into it.

Next up was a lovely blank wall just less than vertical with two parallel lines of flakes on it. Not much for the feet for the crux start. Great line. Looks like it might start seeping soon.

Had a quick go on the Glanekeera Roof itself, felt as dodge as usual.

On the way back to the car we came across this boulder. Not that tall but with potential for 4 nice problems. It merits a return visit.

Lastly after 6 hours of walking Micheal pointed out one last boulder. Right beside the carpark in Wicklow Gap is that nice wall. Very juggy, an excellent spot to warm up. It may well have been climbed before. But I'm going to claim it anyway.

So very successful day. Found about 18 great lines.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Cave

Intrigued by the traffic that The Cave seems to be getting I paid it a visit today. Cycled to the Dart and then cycled/pushed bike to The Cave. Took 1hr30 on the way there and 1hr05 on the way back which isn't too bad. Though Tim said you can drive it in 20mins or cycle in an hour.

I got there 2hours before low tide and had to wade around the corner to get in but the cave is in perfect nick, bone dry. So much drier since I was last there in July last year. My patience for fighting the damp is low at the moment due to the time spent in Wicklow Coast - though this is very dry at the moment as well.

The place is covered in chalk holds, it's really impressive to see the density of the problem in the space. Impressive and confusing.

I spent my time on Caroline's Traverse and Loco Total. Got the Good pinch jug on CT but didn't rock it out.  Took a while to get the jist of LT but it all started to come back to after a while. I hadn't expected company, low tide was at 14.00, but Kev and John showed up after a while. Such is Ireland 2011 I suppose.

Kev topped up his Vit D and John did a new link up. Starting back left past a bit of LT and finish up can't remember. Last move was a cool foot cross though into a heel toe jam. Long problem. 40 moves maybe?

The Cave is great and I envy John being so close to it. Its in great nick at the moment so if you haven't been nows the time to check it out.

We are going to organise a BBQ one evening in early/mid September when the tides are right. Should be good.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Exploring the rain forest

Got it into my head that I wanted to check out a bit of hillside. I won't say where it is as it's very private land. Diarmuid and I wandered around, did some serious bushwacking, we say tons of rock, some decent size crags and a few problems. Nothing great, probably wouldn't go back. The rock was unusual, sometime like the Scalp other times fine grained almost like sandstone. A lot was dirty and a bit chossy.

A snotted myself rather nicely and got muddy then the flies got really bad. We ended up only checking out about half the hillside so I will have to go back. Hopefully on a drier less humid day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wicklow coast

Guppy Travers
This was written on Saturday.

Took Paul Brennan on a secret preview tour of the bouldering I have been doing near Wicklow Town. I knew Paul would be particuarly keen to see it as he works in the Town. We went to the coves at Black Castle which is maybe the most tidal venue and also the shortest walk in. We arrived just as the tide was at its lowest. I hadn't been for a few weeks so I wasn't sure what the seepage would be like. Turned out the rock was as dry as I have seen it and the sand level were still very high.

We got down to business and warmed up on a nice traverse that had repelled me on previous occasions. Probably not the best thing to warm up on as its very pumpy. Did it after a few goes using a heel hook. I had originally thought it would go without needing a heel but alas no. Guppy Traverse 6a+.

Paul on the bump on his problem

We then moved on to the problem to the right. A nice lowball slap from a slopey ledge to small incut edges. Paul figured out a good - and quite cool - sequence which invovled going with the left and bumping again.

We flailed around a bit more doing a high start to the problem I call Bulk Purchase which wasn't half as hard as I thought it would be, very cool feature thought. We then tried to get into the bowl and rotate.

Paul putting his caving skills to use

Biker Cove line

Then nipped over to the next cove south which is Biker Cove. We tried the nice line up the overhanding wall, I had been starting from a set of nice incut edges and deadpointing up to the incut pocket with my right, Paul had more success with his left, we then tried to work out a sequence from the slopey ledge which is the obvious start point. We did a few of the moves and it will make a great problem when linked up.

Ever seen someone twistlock cross through on hand jams?

The slap move on the middle line
At this stage the tide was lapping the rocks and we went to check out the nice cave I call the room. There is a great diagonal break slashing its way across the roof which Paul got excited about hand jamming. There is a start on the left hand side and a start in the middle that slaps from a really nice slopey slot to the break. The left start is ok, a bit damp and awkward. Paul contrated on the middle start, which I could barely get off the ground on. To my surprise he got it after a few goes and then started to figure out the rest. He will get it linked next time, I though it would be a lot hard maybe 7b but it might come in around 6c+.

It was a good session and I think Paul liked the place. Going to sit on this post til I let the cat out of the bag.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New(ish) Area - Wicklow Coast

Over the summer I've been climbing a good bit on the cliffs south of Wicklow Town. The cliffs stretch from just south of the Town past the lighthouse to Brittas Bay. The rock is schist I think and varies from very nice smooth rock at the bottom of the coves to horrible sharp choss at the top of the cliffs.

The area is similar in style to Portrane but not as extensive. At the moment anyway.

Its tidal and prone to seepage so it can be hard to predict when it is in very dry condition.

I'm definitely not the first to climb here but the bouldering has never been documented before. The guide contains about 40 problems a lot of which haven't yet been climbed - as far as I know, this is a bit unusual, normally areas only get documented when they are climbed out. But rather than keep it secret until I had climbed everything I could - which could take years - I thought it would be better to put it out there so anyone could fill in the gaps. The summer is the season for bouldering and it's nearly over so if I left it much later it would be no good to anyone til next year.

All I ask is that people let me know if they do new stuff so I can keep the guide up to date.

Download it here

Updated Cave topo

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gravity Climbing Centre

Who's excited about Gravity?
Seeing as I haven't climbing indoors for a few years and its miles from my house I'm not particularly. Having said this I think it will probably have a profound impact on the irish bouldering scene, probably serving as a HQ of sorts. The impact of the co-ops is plain to see. Plenty of people getting out regularly, all friends. At least it seems to be, I spend most of my climbing time solo.

Will there be a defection from the co-ops to Gravity? Will Gravity kill the co-ops? It would be a pity if it did but its probably an inevitable step. Maybe the pity is that the co-ops didn't spring up 10 years ago.

I just looked through their website and I noticed that they haven't explicitly said that it will be a bouldering wall - as opposed to a roped wall. I'm assuming it is bouldering only. I wonder how this will go down with the non-climbing masses?

I look forward to checking it out. I hope that they will host a round of the IBL. Be interested to hear the prices.