Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Glanekeera video

The new problem. Haven't come up with a name yet.

Glanekeera part 4

Got back to Glanekeera today. The ground was pretty dry got away with the runners. Climbed the arete on the first boulder as you walk in. Bit vegatated by nice.

As I walked to the Tyre boulder it started to spit but it held off for the rest of the day. Had about 15 million goes of the slab, couldn't get the first move. Probably wasn't a great day for smearing anyway. Must get back to this when it's a little colder. Really want to do it.

Then strolled down to the vertical wall I has spied when here with Michael. Amazing line of undercuts/sidepulls on a vertical wall. Gave it a quick brush and got it a few tentative tries. Brilliant problem. Midge came out otherwise I would of given it a proper clean as it's a classic. Nice heather top out as well. I took a video of it.

This is a very beautiful but sadly impossible slab. About 16 feet high with not a hold. On the right is a discontinous crack but it ends about 5 feet from the top. May go though.

 Nice boulder with an excellent SS on the LHS that I will go back for.

Loads of rock. This valley has large potential. There are a huge number of low route/highball outcrops. The rock is nice but needs a bit of a clean.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Times article about Carrot Ridge

I wrote a piece about Carrot Ridge for the Sunday Times.

Friday, May 25, 2012

3rock evening

Trish and I headed up Three Rock last night. Left the car after seven and got back just before the gate was due to close at ten. It's was Trish's first time so we started at the furthest boulder and she dispatched everything with ease. Even the hard mantle that probably isn't that hard. Especially now that a girl has done it. I felt like a bit of show pony, I have been bouldering up on Three Rock for a long time and while the flesh is weak the mind is strong and I have a lot of muscle memory. Brendan and James arrived just as I was demoing the dyno. Managed not to get it for the camera though.

Headed over to the second rock and went to work on the middle line. Great problem I haven't done it for ages and it felt pretty ok so I must be doing something right. It's pretty tricky, the secret being this funny pinch using the side of your thumb. After a few burns on the traverse we went to work on the great unclimbed line, to the right of the steep face is a short vertical wall. We all has a few goes but without progress.

I took some shots but my companions were dressed entirely in garnite-hued clothing (though someone forgot their undercrackers) so it was virtually pointless. Just like bouldering.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Great Gully Ridge

Did Great Gully Ridge in Glenmalure today with James. Have wanted to do it for a good while and James suggested it instead of bouldering. Was cloudy and a bit dodgey looking on the drive down but it stayed dry, I even got a little sunburnt on my recedding hairline.

Walk in wasn't too bad a bit rough at the end but not long enough to tire badly on. James has done the route loads of times so he kindly left the choice bits for me.

The route is HS (4a,3c,4b,4a) 140m on the wiki. Which sounds about right to me. We did it in 5 pitches partly as we used a thin rope doubled so could only do 30m pitches and partly so I got the cruxes.

The first crux is the corner at the very start of the route, only really one move, then there is a good bit of easy ground to the middle crux which is a nice groove on a slab, followed by more scrambling to the third crux which is a steep pull up the corner with the peg.

(on the third crux is the groove with the old peg the standard way? There was a groove to the left that looked easier, it had a stuck cam on a white/grey sling at its base).

None of the cruxes where that hard usually just a few smeary steps with good handholds. All where very well protected.

We ambled up, not in a rush and abbed down.

It's a very nice route. Quite manageable, good fun. There is loads of tat and stuck gear on it, I suspect people are forced to back off it qutie often due to weather.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Scalp

Went to The Scalp figured our Casbah but didn't commit to the rockover. Will come back with a spotter. Cleaned a problem, bit lowball, but like a 6b version of a Michael Duffy problem. All body tension, bicycles and slopers. That makes it sound much better than it is though. Did Dark Angle, felt ok, I hadn't got it for ages, was starting to wonder if I had ever done it. There were a decent amount of midge out. So it begins.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Went to check out this arete I've been trying for a while on and off. Made progress but would of liked to do it today. Nice and highball.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New Scalp problem - Every given Sunday

Nipped out this morning with Ped and did the slab in the Scalp. Built up the landing with a few more branches. Get to the lip a few times and jumped off before just commiting to it. Probably easier to go for it than have loads of goes feeling it out, especially as I knew the moves from last time. Ped said I shook my way up the last moves but I was deep in the zone at that stage, even Ped's nonsensical encouragment ("go on, it's a nice day to do it") couldn't pierce the bubble. Let out a good roar once I got the good hold and let the adrenaline wash over me.

It's a cool problem, the moves are around 5+ but dicey for it, the landing isn't bad but all in all it feels pretty highball. Would feel a lot harder ground up.

Then went over to The Casbah which has cleaned up nicely. Ped got it pretty quick, so that makes it either 6a or 7c+, not sure which. Just watched Ayton's video and Banana Fingers rocked up onto his heel must try that. Great problem. Ped than failed to lank Alison Curtis.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Viva Patagonia - First Ascent

May bank holiday weekend - part 2

Ped testing some very dodge blue rope anchors we found along the cliff top.
Forecast wasn't great but it turned out pretty perfect. It only rained for a few hours on Sunday night the rest of the time it was sunny and windy.

I had done a decent bit of research for the trip but wasn't sure if we would get anything done. In the end we did one of the 3 routes. And it was probably the best one to have done.

We cycled to the Black Fort and walked west to the famous 'roof' which is cool but smaller than it looks in the photos.
Would you hang your coat off this?

We descend down the corners just east of it, called Fisherman's Route (Severe apparently). Ped happy in his runners, me fixing a rope. There is one vertical section that non-wads wouldn't down climb. We abbed this and pulled the rope behind us. Comitted now.

We walked east along the edges, admiring the very very steep cliffs. Steepest I've seen. There are a few routes including one horrible/brilliant looking bridging chimney. A creation of Big George Smith.

Around the corner was Poll Gorm where the ledges ran on and we were reduced to crawling for around 20m through a horizontal chimney, quite safe but painful and hard work. Our exit, a severe called The Big Easy was on the other side of the Poll. Initally we thought it might be 2 pitches but once we got prespective it was obvious it was only one (the wiki saids 55m but its more like 40m). Diarmuid was to do the first pitch but I waved him on and he topped out. The crux is in the corner at the very end. Maybe a hard for severe. Sea cliff climbing is funny in that once you top out your route you are done. The very reverse of CR the day before.


A great day's adventure, to be recommened to any climber who's on the island. We where blessed with a very calm sea, it wouldn't be possible on a rough day.

The top of Big Easy.

Poll Gorm.

Starting the crawling section.

Diarmuid abbing down the vertical section.

Fisherman's Route goes down the ledges.

May bank holiday weekend - part 1

Got up early on Friday and hit the road with Diarmuid with the goal of doing Carrot Ridge and then catching the evening ferry to Inishmore. The drive was quick and we parked up at the end of the road and hot footed it. The walk is steep but wasn't as bad as last time - no hangover. Just as Diarmuid racked up it started to drizzle but it was never an issue and we were in and out of the cloud all day. D strung the first two pitches together, its a good long pitch but pretty easy, not sure it's even vdiff. Runout though. I swung one quick lead to the foot of p3 which has a steep start and then slabby to the base of the chimney. From the top of the chimney it's pretty easy but we moved together up the second step and then put the rope away. I dropped the nut key and had to go back down to get it. Second week in a row I have dropped something, last time it was my helmet.

Descend was tricky, quite steep and very loose scree. Have to avoid a few cliffs but very ok if you are patient and take your time. Where quicker than last time.  Diarmuid can you remember the times? Took 1hr40 including photos shoots the diversion to get the nut key. Could be soloed in 40mins quite easily I would think.

Had plenty of time to sleep in the car park in Rossaveal and saw two very nice - "stop the car" - granite problems in a road cutting on the way.