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Chaos, Bedlam and Pandemonium

Date: 10th March 2007
Submitted by: Columba McLaughlin

Saturday 10th March 2007 – Ballyharry Wall, Bunagee

Alan had spied three new climbs on the Ballyharry wall and he wanted external opinions. It would be good practice for Scotland he said. So I was roped in. Also, I heard that PJ was coming down in the evening session. So away we went. It being the first rock climb of the year for me, I was looking forward to something easy. However, I have never ever found a Tees route anywhere near easy in my life but I kept my hopes up You see there are severe climbs and then there are Alan Tees severe climbs. These tend to have something, not usually straight forward, about them.

The first up was Chaos, Alan led and I seconded. In my humble opinion, it was a very interesting HS or thereaboutish. There were some loose bits so I carefully knocked these down without altering the original climb. After this we went over to Brazil Rock for a wee looksee. Yep, everything was still there so we went to Margaret for a lovely dinner and to cheer Ireland on. I must report that Scotland did not make it easy for them. Ireland won but not in any way convincingly. Then, Alan, Margaret, me, and PJ in her finest and very fashionable climbing gear, not a hair out of place, jewellery on, headed back to the crag.

To my shame, I was not up to leading Bedlam and I am glad that I didn’t. However, Alan ably led it, PJ followed and I went next. What an awkward exit at the top. It looked so simple from below. I don’t know how Alan go around it – but he did. I had a very grovelling exit at the top. Again, it was graded at HS or roundaboutish. We all knew that the final climb was to be the main event and it was. He called it Pandemonium and he settled for an overall grading of VS4c. Hats off to Alan for a brilliant lead through two very severe crux’s. PJ went 2nd and I learned from both their mistakes. The lower crux takes delicate working out. The middle bit is straight forward. However, the crux at the top is a chimney and it has to be bridged up. Getting out of the chimney and onto the wall will test your thinking. The pints in McGrory’s were worth the wait. An excellent day.


Columba McLaughlin

Photo of Route