|Date: 11th September 2008
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney
Pete, PJ, John, Helen (plus baby Leo) and myself went off to Mullaghmore on Saturday. A mis-communication issue during a Friday dinner date saw me turn around at Ballybofey to go back for Helen and John who were coming after all. Just when I was making great time. Finally got to Cliffony around 1pm when the day was brightening nicely.
Access to the climbing on the peninsula is via a lane which leads down to the beach just past the O'Donnell's pub, unless one wants to confront the shotgun-wielding tenant of Classiebawn Castle. You head north towards the castle along the beach which sweeps round to the west, the pounding surf a constant roar in your left ear.
The routes are on the north side of the headland, are pretty short in nature (12m) and the belay stance is on a tidal area which was quickly getting flooded as we arrived. Pete and PJ had got there first and scouted out a couple of VS routes, a VDiff and a Severe. The remaining, harder, routes were inacessible due to the rising tide.
As we discussed which routes to try first I leaned on the fence between myself and PJ, herself keeping smirkingly quiet about its electrified nature. One heavy jolt down through the left leg later I was full of expletives as Pete and PJ laughed aloud. B******s!. Anyway as Helen and John arrived we geared up quickly and I led them up the VDiff, the only trouble being John getting his finger well stuck in a deep crack. Cue much sniggering but it was painful enough to put him off the rest of the routes. Pete led PJ up the Severe, an initial overhanging move causing a little trouble. The exits were grassy and some undignified hauling and crawling was necessary to top out.
By now the tide was well in and the VS4c we'd looked at earlier was out of reach. It had an interesting dynamic move up through the overhang but it'd have to wait for another day. We all got a bit wet as Pete led the leftmost (and hence only accessible) route, a very nice leaning back VS 4b with a move round a significant bulge. It was pumpy but of course Pete made light work of it. The girls struggled a little bit but as it was Helen's first ever VS she got a round of applause. I had a second go at it, this time on a less tight rope (you know how Pete likes to haul you in!) and felt happier about mastering it.
Back at Tempo we dined and supped as only we can, baby Leo getting much coddling by the locals in McNally's bar. A post 6am bedtime was highlighted by a dance round PJ's kitchen with tea towel headgear and some well burnt poppadums.