Thursday, March 22, 2012

Raven's Glen/Tonduff/O'Tooles Rocks

Yesterday Dave Ayton put up a photo of a boulder on his blog. I recognised the boulder immediately having climbed on it many times. It's in Raven's Glen on the side of Tonduff mountain in Wicklow. The valley is about 15mins from Crone carpark.

Starting in the summer of 1999 some friends and I visited and climbed about ten routes on the cliffs. We also did some bouldering. We spent many weekends camping up there and messing about, we abseiled down the waterfalls, slide down the large slab where the stream runs in an inflatable boat. Pure fuckology. Most of the routes where a little scrappy some were decent. Soon after that bouldering took 100% of my focus.

I went back a few times over the years as my memory of the place faded and I felt there must be some good bouldering there. Plus it's not far from Dublin and the walk in is easy. There is a decent looking boulder close to the track. There is a good line up the middle of the front  face and a nice right arete. Used to try them every time we walked by. I even went last summer and got eated by midge and the sharp granite.

Raven's Glen from Dave Ayton on Vimeo

So when Dave posted up his photo and video - see above - I wondered all over again had I missed something. He emailed me and I gave him a rundown of the history of the place.

We met up this morning and had a wander around. We tried the lines on the boulder but I was defeated as much by the sharpness of the rock as anything. We moved up and looked at the roof, which was a lot wetter than earlier in the week. This is Dave's project which he's hoping to do when it dries.

Dave had to rush off and I wandered up the higher tier and indulged in some nostalgia. It's a wonderful little valley especially near the top of the water slide. It looks like it has become more popular as a walking route in recent years as the tracks are well trod.

Funnily enough I had planned to come back and repeat some of the routes we did years ago. So I think I will still do that. On balance I found the rock a bit too sharp and dirty for quality bouldering through if it had enough traffic and was cleaned really well something could be made of the place.

Dave's Project tackles the RHS of the roof.
I believe a few people are heading out on Saturday for a look, I would be keen to hear what they think of the place.

After having complained recently about retroclaims, I think I should go and write up the routes we did on the wiki. I put the detail up on this website a long time ago but I don't think anyone read it then.

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