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Climbfest 2006. What I Saw.

Date: 29th April 2006
Submitted by: Pete Smith

After last year's record attendance, we were expecting a few extra people at the 2006 Climbfest. However, we didn't bargain for the huge increase in numbers and were amazed at the sight of 60 tents pitched at Bunagee.  It's a tribute to Alan Tees and his unending energy that this event has become so popular in only its second year.

Arriving at the campsite on Saturday, I was a comparative straggler because there were already 30-odd tents and the occupants had been climbing since they woke at sunrise. Every rock in view was crawling with people.

I took a few photos of George and Peter on Himalayan Dream and then went to Dunmore Head where the biggest crowd was. It was great to see the left crag getting almost as much traffic as the right-hand one. February Freeze-up and Ivy Slalom were popular lines over here, while all the routes on the right crag were climbed repeatedly by dozens of people. Columba and Marty McGuigan (among others) were unselfishly top-roping many beginners and children up the easier lines.

Saturday night's bonfire was big and beautiful and there were several guitar and banjo players to accompany some excellent singing. Late arrivals here had, it turned out, enjoyed a good concert in McGrory's prior to returning for more music and craic.

Sunday morning's slideshow by Paul Dunlop was well attended in McGrory's. No one regretted going - Paul's photos were superb and his story of his Broad Peak/K2 expedition was inspiring.

Unfortunately, it rained on Sunday afternoon. This didn't stop a hardy bunch at Kinnego Bay. Forked Lightning saw several ascents and Peter McConnell made an amazing lead of Red Duster. This E1 is too tough for many a seasoned climber, so leading it only 6 months after your first V Diff is quite an achievement. There's a photo of him doing it in the photo gallery.

That was it for me. I'm sure many people stayed till Monday and I expect their reports will appear here soon. 

Photo of Route