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Mid Season Report

Date: Various
Submitted by: rodders

Hi All,

Firstly good effort to the Panpatia crew looked like a fun trip.

Here’s a wee account of some of the stuff I've been doing this year so far.


Julie and myself started the year with an trip to Siurana for new year.

This is a brilliant sports climbing area which is about an hour and a half from Barcelona.

We stayed at Toni Arbonnes’s camp site in the heart of the village, which I would recommend and climbed some really good routes ranging between 4+ and 6a+.

A great place and I would thoroughly recommend it. In fact we might head back this winter so if anyone is keen then get in touch.  


Myself, julie and Julie and Al Millar went to the magic forest of fontainebleau in April for the 3rd time in as many years.

Loads of cool problems were done by all as we visited both established areas such as Bas Cuvier and L'Elephant.

We also visited some cool areas like Rocher Gussiet which are less established but have some brilliant problems.

Once again we stayed in the L'elephant gite in Larchant which is within walking distance of the brilliant L'elephant area.

Julie excelled herself with her new found climbing wall strength and a personal highlight for me was climbing an excellent 6c problem at L'elephant which I had failed to 'send' after the previous year, though not for want of effort!

The ascent summed up for me everything brilliant about bouldering - doing a move that previously felt impossible, on your hundredth go just when you felt your chance to climb it had passed for another year. C'est Magic!!

However don't get me wrong bouldering at font is not just about grades - Its about climbing brilliant problems in a fantastic setting. There’s something there for everyone - Slabs, roofs, traverses, highballs for adrenalin junkies and one move wonders for scaredies!

It’s also a great family location with areas with stuff for kids and It’s easy to get to from Paris too.      


After missing last years climbfest I was keen to get down this year. I had planned to camp but unfortunately Julie was sick with the flu. However I travelled down myself as I had arranged to meet my boss john who was keen to try climbing.

Unfortunately I arrived just as john was leaving due to the cold weather on saturday am.

However after he had left the weather picked up and I enjoyed a good days climbing with Chris mcdaid before heading back to derry.

Julie was feeling better by monday so we headed back down to dunmore head. I once again arranged to meet john who was keen to do some more climbing.

Myself and julie climbed through the usual array a nice climbs before Pete Cooper arrived followed by John.

Julie then headed of with Pete and I led john up Belfast Blitz boys, Orange Blossom and Diversion.

Julie led Ivy Slalom HS - A great effort as this was only her 2nd or 3rd lead.

To sum up it was disappointing not to camp down for the banter but it was good to catch up with some old faces and meet some of the newer climbers on the scene

Such as Chris and Michael and also climb again some of the little gems that culdaff has to offer such as - Pea Pod, Grecians Gift, Master of Puppets, Calamity Collins etc.

Well done to Alan and all involved for organising another great event.

Other Stuff

I've been spending a bit of time bouldering up at Murlough Bay, some times on my lonesome and on a few occasions with the London based

Polish powerhouse Michael Kuziorwicz , who’s an occasional Derry resident. This is a world class bouldering location, though not for beginners due to the serious nature on the landings.

So far the highlight for me has been climbing the brilliant Eat it Left 7a. I've also been close to doing the desperate Chubbs Patterson thought to be 7b by Mike who’s done it. 

Mike’s also been working on some hard new projects as well as racing me to bag the next ascent of the classic Carbide 7b! Mike’s also a real contender to climb the

Awesome James Pearson problem Homeward Bound 7b+/7c so good luck to him on that.

Routes wise not a lot to report; although I've managed to climb 2 of my long term goals recently - Subduction Zone E2 6a and Ruthless People E4 6b both at Culdaff.

The former is another quality line by the Great Al Millar, with a pretty tough crux. It’s really well protected and clean at the minute so people should get on it!

The latter was ascended with previous top roping knowledge, which I’m not proud off, But I had top roped it for training purposes in years gone past, never thinking I'd ever actually be able to lead it.  I'm definitely not an E4 climber however I'm still chuffed to climb this brilliant line - first ascended by legendary Derry man Grimer and closely followed by the equally legendary St Johnston man Mr Millar.

Julies managed to lead Orange Blossom HS and Pea pod VS and is really going well.   

Anyways that’s about it for now! Catch yous all at the crags!

Photo of Route