Monday, October 31, 2011

Fame at last

From yesterday's Sunday Business Post.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bouldering in Ireland - finalist in Banff Mountain Book Competition

Last week I got the great news that the guide was choosen as a finalist in the Banff Mountain Book Competition. One of 23 finalists it was selected out of 106 entries from 11 countries.I never really thought it had a chance so am delighted. Its in the Guidebook category along with the amazing Peak bouldering guide and a Rockfax route guide.

See the rest of the entries here

Monday, October 17, 2011


Went to the Quarry today for the first time in years. It was sunny but very windy and the rain was on its way but I did a few easy routes. Diffs to be precise. I used to go to the Quarry loads when I started out climbing and had a good soloing circuit. Today I felt very unsure and cautious which is probably natural as I haven't done any of that sort of thing for a while and of all the strands of climbing soloing is the one that requires lots lots of practise doing it (rather than training for doing it). Vauge goal is to do all the routes up to HVS in the quarry. I have been on most of them before but it was a long time ago. Should be fun doing some of the choss/vegetable horrors.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Glendo yesterday

Went to Glendo yesterday with Tim. Was very mild. Stuggled on Big Jim warming up. It felt like a warm summer's day. Tried Afro Left. Its probably a decent problem from the undercut but I found it disappointing when Tim reached the top from the incut sidpull and the palm. The move from the lip is remarkably similar to Squamish.

There seems to have been alot of work done on the path, its now wide all the up to past the Uberhang whereas before it was narrow and winding. They have also built up the banks of the river. The easiest crossing point is now about 15m upstream of Big Jim, hopping across on 3 flat rocks. I think the stream is going to be very hard to cross if its any way high.

That there were five boulderers in the valley at a Thursay is all you need to know about the state of the country.

I'm bored of Glendo already. One visit this 'season'. Not good. I'm going to avoid it like the plague.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Went down to Kerry for a few days. The weather turned out horrible but still did a bit. Drove down on Sunday and stayed with Ped. Next morning went straight to Cronin's Yard. I haven't been down to Kerry for about a year but the roads have improved alot. It took me just under 4hours to Killarney in my yoke and not doing over 95kmph.

Set off in the sunshine to do Stumpa an TSaimh and along the ridge to Binn Chaorach and Corrán Tuathail. Got some nice shots on the walk in. It was warm in the sun. The direct line up Stumpa is around Diff and I had hoped I might find myself doing it. Once I got to the point of commitement I decided to go around the easy way. Just wasn't confident enough to press on into the void. Good call as it turned out as it started to rain a short while later.

Continued along the ridge encased in cloud. Took a good while to reach Bhinn Chaorach. Was nice easy scrambling on grippy rock. The ridge across to Corrán was nice. But by this point it had got very windy and I felt I shouldn't be there. So raced along it and descended down Brother O'Shea's Gully which is a horrible steep, stoney descent. Trudged back to the car, luckily the visibility wasn't too bad so I got some sense of the grandeur around me.

Went on a romantic walk around the smaller Killarney Lake that evening with Ped. Saw some crab apples growing wild which was the highpoint of the walk.

The next day went out to Dingle to try and find an old Frank Winder route on the sea cliffs at Ballydavid Head. The description was too vague to be sure what we found. We scrambled down a grassy gully and along a ridge but the rock wasn't great. Incredible place though.

 That afternoon we did the Faha Ridge is think clag and non-stop rain. We took a while to get our bearings when we reached the main ridge and where close to deciding to retrace our steps. It was quite miserable all in all.

The next day we drove for about 3 hours to check out a valley called Glanrastel on the Beara Penisula. I had found photos of the valley that showed lots of massive boulders. It was pissing rain when we got there and the rock was total choss, the worst sandstone I had ever seen, I really thought I was on to something. We ended up trudging around from one giant block to choss to another. Standing in rivers wondering where it all went wrong. I have offically given up searching for boulders of that old red sandstone, its quality is too variable.

I had 3 things for dinner that evening as a consolation.