Category Archives: Logbook

An entry in the CC logbook

Poisoned Glen

Kevin McGee, Geoff, George and myself met at the car park at the upper end of Glenveigh for some climbing at Ballaghageeha Buttress on Sunday.

With three of us having never climbed there before, Kevin assumed the role of local guide and crag expert.

Although the sun was making a good attempt to stay out, the crag was in the shade and the wind was blowing, making things pretty chilly…

Fittingly, George started with Patagonian Summer (HVS 5a), cruising it despite the frozen fingers. Meanwhile Kevin led The Mistress (currently HVS 5a), seconded by Geoff.

Myself and Geoff then both led Pebbles (HS), a decent route but without much gear and some serious run-outs… As someone later said ‘the gear is only there to stop your corpse from rolling down the face’.

The sun finally made it around to the front of the crag as George reached the top of The Mistress, followed with difficulty by myself. A cracking route, the difficult sections are interspersed with only marginally less difficult sections. In my opinion the route should be upgraded to E1 5b, as the difficulty is a step up from any HVS 5a I have climbed recently.

Kevin was on Tooth Fairy at this point, which appeared harder than anything else climbed that day, but still graded HVS(?). While the rest of us stood around in the sun taking pictures, Patrick and Adam Tinney arrived, fresh from attempting some other hard routes in a nearby gully. When Kevin reached the belay, we realised that someone needed to second him… Geoff wasn’t feeling keen, so George took up the challenge.

The Tinneys were starting on Patagonian Summer and George was making Tooth Fairy look easy as I left for the trip back to Belfast.

A good day’s climbing on a great crag that doesn’t see much traffic.

Andy

Culdaff International Climbfest.

 

Culdaff International Climbfest.

 

Well, that what it was.  We had citizens of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Iran, Wales, England, Scotland, (and probably a few I have forgotten) with a much higher proportion female than ever before.

 

The beginners’ session at Dunmore started late due to morning rain, but was well supported with 40-50 at the crag.  It was getting mobbed, so I took a group of 12 who arrived from IMC around to Finbarr wall, which was sheltered and sunny.  There were other groups at Brasil Rock etc at the same time.

 

The top ropes at Dunowen were a great success, maybe we could setup more next year?

 

It stayed dry for the barby for a change.

 

Sunday also started wet, but cleared after 9.00, and Pinnacle bay and Brazil got a lot of traffic, before the forcasted rain arrived about 3.00.  People were pretty climbed out, so some packed up and went home, while others went to McGrorys for a bite.

 

Just a few climbed (plus a couple of late arrivals) on Monday, which was bright and blowy with a few short sharp showers,  before the site was cleared.

 

We are missing two kiddies body harnesses, possibly a DMM harness of Anthony’s, a pair of green rock shoes belonging to Valli, a screwgate belonging to Gerard, and I have a couple of harnesses I don’t recognise in the kit bag + a 9mm rope possibly Geoffs.   Let me know if you have some of this, or are missing anything.

 

A concern was people not wearing helmets, particularly belayers.  Whilst the routes had been mostly checked for loose rock, you can never be sure, and particularly so when the climber strays off route.

 

Thanks to everybody who turned up and helped, the feedback I got from all our visitors was great, they all loved it.

 

Finding Climbfest

For those that haven’t visited Climbfest before here is a little guide of how to find the campsite and most of the top ropes.

Bunagee pier can be found by taking the R238 right through the village then turning right over the bridge towards the filling station. Carry on along this road for a mile or so then turn right at a sign for the pier. A further mile brings you to the pier. Please remember to park tidily as this is a still a working fishing pier.

The Saturday morning session is at the main crag at Dunmore Head. This can be found by following the shore road from the village.

Dalkey Dash

With the forecasted rain/sleet failing to materialise in Dublin on Saturday, and Sunday morning still being dry, Sarah and I shook off our hangovers and headed out to Dalkey Quarry for a couple of routes on Sunday afternoon (as we happened to be the neighbourhood..).

We started off with Yorkshire Pudding (HS 4b), to clear out the cobwebs. We were then joined by some former UCD Mountaineering Club pals, Aoife, Dermot and John.

It was chilly enough with a stiff breeze blowing off the sea, so belay jackets were staying firmly on for climbing. Sarah and myself then did Fang** (HVS 5a), while Dermot led Oggie (S 4a).

After realising that the other side of the valley was in the sun, and would be sheltered from the wind, we headed across, and both parties led Street Fighter** (VS 4c) in much more pleasant conditions. After the UCD contingent did something else on the Eliminates Wall we decided that was enough excitement, and retired to Glasthule for coffee.

A fortuitous afternoon’s climbing considering the horrendous forecast for the weekend! Dalkey is a great spot, definitely worth a trip down the road for those located in Belfast, especially since you can escape easily to any number of climbing walls, gear shops or pubs if you get rained off!

Andy

Sunny Spain

After a winter indoors the flying four of Gerard, Seamus, Kevin and Geoff set off to enjoy the delights sunny Spain. Or at least that was the plan.  The weather had other ideas. An atrocious forecast for the Siurana area saw us heading south to Alicante. A last minute phone call from the Ryanair check-in queue and Gerard had found great accommodation in Finestrat. Our plan was to stay in that area for a few days then head for the hills but the weather changed our plans once again and so we stayed where we were.
The climbing was always great and we did sometimes see the sun. We visited a different crag every day with styles ranging from the steep pockets of Gandia to the slabbier Sella.

Spain 18

Other attractions were Alcalali, Guadalest, Reconco and Olta. Gerard and Kevin romped up loads of 6b+s and Seamus and I managed many 6a s. Altogether a great week -same time next year lads?

Crag Cleaning at Dunowen

Got a good crowd on Sunday.  Access paths cleared, Bogged til the Oxters, cleaned by Damien, Jericho, Thessalonians, Utmost Good Faith and Aries cleaned by Jim, Andy, Yours truly and Frank. The crabs Claw climbed by Margaret etc plus ascents of a number of routes.  Plenty of sunshine on top, alas in the shade below.

Scottish Winter Meets 2016, Onich(MI), and Ullapool (CCC)

 

Scottish Winter Meets 2016, Onich(MI), and Ullapool (CCC)

 

I pretty much missed the first one, having arrived in Onich,( fresh from a fine traverse of Ben Cruachan), on Friday, the last night of the MI meet.   Also almost managed to miss Keith, Billy and Alex on Ben Cruachan, over a combination of changes of plan, and lack of a phone signal.  I caught up with them on the way down.   Weather was fine but the snow was soft and tiring.

 

We had a sociable night in the Inchcree centre, joined by Sandra and Dave and the remaining MI contingent.  I was pretty bushed, so decided not to join the other 8 on the ring of Steall on Saturday, which I thought was a bit ambitious anyway, given the conditions.  Went to climb Buachaille Etive Beg, my last remaining Munroe in Glencoe, only to realise when I got there, that I climbed it last year.  Plan B was to hire a mountain bike at Aonach Mor ( there were none), so it was plan C, coffee and the rugby.  Alas!  Still, the others were soon blown back to Fort William and a congenial evening had by all.

 

I thought we had a plan to do Ledge Route on Sunday, but my lack of a deodorant must have kicked in, with most preferring to go somewhere else or stay in bed.  Mercifully Sandra took pity on this Johnny no friends, and we had a great day out on this easy*** classic route.  Co-incidentally this was the day the young couple disappeared from their tent behind the CIC hut, but we were unaware of the tragedy about to unfold.  An added bonus was the lift we got from the top car park back to the Hobbit.

 

 I went on to meet up with eldest son Chris in Aviemore,  in the morning, picking up the line manager at Inverness Airport, and staying with my brother Jimmy and Mairi.  Had an afternoon walk on the Cat’s Back’ a local hill, and the next day we were joined by Chris, in the aptly named Dufftown, to climb an easy Corbett called Ben Riness.  Easy my ****!  We had to abandon it in the most extreme wind I have ever experienced .The zip pocket in the top of my rucsac blew open twice, with the contents taking off over the Cairngorms so fast I didn’t see them go.  Two hats, goggles, gloves, an iphone bag are missing, presumed lost, (sofar).  We crawled off.

 

Having been entertained to another fine dinner by Mairi, we left for Ullapool and Finbarr.

 

Wednesday dawned wet, but cleared nicely in the afternoon, so Margaret, Finbarr and self had a trip up Stac Polly in lovely conditions, then we moved around the coast to Gruinard Bay for an early start for Ben Dearg Beg.  This is a remote and dramatic peak in Fisherfield with a 3 to 3.5 hour walk in to the base.  We left at 8.00 on Thursday, and did the traverse over the 3 summits dropping to the col at the far side by 2.45.  It took us to 8.00 PM to get out to the road, with the last two and a half hours in darkness. Epic or what?  A great mountain though.

 

Our late arrival caused some consternation amongst the gathered hoardes of Colmcillers who had arrived at the rented house in Ullapool, as apparently some elderly people were reported on Scottish radio to have got into trouble. I don’t know what all the fuss was about as It couldn’t have been us, as we are not old.

 

Keith was back, this time with Sam, and at the house, Sandra, Dave, Les, Ivan, Gerry, PJ and Anthony.  The weather forecast alas was dire, so while we exhausted young folk took a rest, the others tacked Stac Polly in fairly challenging conditions.

 

Saturday’s forecast was no better, but a party of six trogged up the valley and climbed a gully in Ben Dearg with chest deep spindrift.  There was some discussion as to whether it was Orangeman’s gully or Papist’s Passage, before someone lodged a’ Petition of concern’  a decision could not be made, and the matter was put in abeyance.

 

The other six, ably led by ‘Keith the snowplough’, conquered another Corbett called something beginning with E. 

 

The weather, being no better on Sunday, I headed South towards home.

 

The hostel and the Hobbit

Despite a number of cryoffs there will still 7 hardy souls in the Old Monastry Hostel in Letterfrack.  It is rustic but lovely, full of character, warm and cheap.  On Saturday we climbed the Glencullin Ridge on Ben Bury, in deteriorating conditions, getting down safely, saturated and somewhat humbled.  Meal out in the Bards Den.  Sunday was supposed to be worse, so the wimps went home, I had a dry walk by L.Inagh, Valli had a very wet Canoe/swim, and Denis was going for a walk along the Killary track.  Finbarr arrived just in time for the weather to get even worse overnight.  We pulled the wagons into a circle for protection but had to evacuate the area in the morneng just before floods closed the Westport road.  Good call as the sun was out in Sligo and we had a good scramble around Eagle Rock.  I stayed outside Valli’s but another storm ensured little sleep, so I headed up more flooded roads early morning home, Must get more buoyancy fitted to the Hobbit.

All Hallows Day

Chris and I went to Malin Head today. Having looked at the weather forecast for the last couple of days I thought Nobble Amphitheatre was our best bet.

It was soaking. So we did the bad weather default and did the top pitch of Cutting Edge instead. Quite impressive in the Cauldron with waves halfway up Stelfox slab.

The unbelieveable bit is that, for the first time this year, I was too warm!