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Massive (26) turn out for King's Mintiagh

Date: 04/11/07
Submitted by: Cooper & Thomas

Geoff Thomas and myself drove out to the King Mintiagh, Inishowen, for a wee climb. Geoff had put out an e-mail, re:climbing here, and got no responses; so we didn't expect to see anyone else.

Being in my 'better-half's' beast of an old Land Rover we were able to drive up the old bog-track and park within a very civilised jaunt of the crag's rear. It's a good approach but you need resonable ground clearance and 4-wheel drive to get properly up the track and stay parked out of the way of local farmer and local turf cutters.

Upon arriving at the foot of the rear crag, Geoff promptly opted out of the 2nd ascent of 'Monkey Nuts':due to dampness in the upper/crux section. So we went on a wee scout of the crag and to look for other life forms; incase the e-mail had inspired anyone. We didn't find any craggers: but a party of 24 Buncrana Ramblers were taking tea and sandwiches in the shelter of the top's east-side. I'd never seen so many people on any top out here, so this was a big deal!; so we said hello and exchanged pleasantries. This also meant we wouldn't be queing for routes! I wonder if that's ever happened at this crag?

Geoff and myself climbed 'Crazy Paving', Geoff found it a nice line with good friction. We then had some sport: doing not particularly good ascents of 'Aeolius'. It left us both doing a bit of 'puffing and panting', 'Aeolius' proving itself to be a physical bit of climbing for what could be described as a micro-route. Geoff added that it's probably HVS even with the very good gear. Next, and alas finally, I got to lead 'Sabre Ratller' which I found to be an even better challenge than when I 1st climbed it, Geoff noted he was glad he hadn't led it, on this occassion, finding it "offerred a lot for such a little line". You definitely need RPs for this route, unless you like exposure and an occassional ground-fall.

Being winter that was our wee-day over with but we we're happy to have got out to a minor mountain crag in Novemeber.

Photo of Route