|Date: 5th April 2009
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney
I was steeped in Irish mythology this Sunday, gaining knowledge from the newly retired Alan about why Brazil Rock is thus named. Not to be outdone by those European types and their Atlantis, the Irish had their own mythical island somewhere off the west coast named Hy-Brasil. Has Alan now got too much time on his hands?
I'd promised Margaret some help with her PC and Alan had sent an intriguing text about 2 possible new routes near Brazil Rock on Sunday morning. So despite having been steeped in Tequila the night before Sean and I shook off the foggy heads and excitedly headed for Culdaff around noon with Eoin tagging along.
Some tinkering later the PC was in slightly better shape than when I arrived (not always the case!) and we arranged for Eoin to stay with Margaret and a huge box of Lego. Alan, Sean and I tramped round to the wall where Columba's Turin Shroud route goes up the middle. Alan had cleaned 2 new lines, possibly of HS grade, and he and I roped up for the first. Sean was assigned camera duty and promptly forgot to take any of Alan leading.
The line starts a few metres left of Turin Shroud, a bit of a dynamic move up the first wee face, up through some blocky stuff, finishing on the face of the highest point directly above. From below I thought "Wee buns" but it turned out slightly harder especially at the top where the crux leans out ever so slightly. The rock at the bottom looks well cracked but it was solid enough despite Alan kicking down a head sized chunk as he led. It was better at the top, but still there were good horizontal edges all the way up and the route fit snugly into the HS 4a range. Alan plans to call it Hy-Brasil, thus the mythology lesson above.
We abbed off the top going down the 2nd line that Alan generously proposed I lead, even though he'd put in the cleaning time. There's a conspicuous blank section at 2/3 height and I paused a while here scouting for (and not finding) gear placements.
The route starts about 1m right of Tridentine and was reasonably easy to begin with but then there's a delicate step to the right after 5m. It had me gingerly tiptoeing out with my nose pressed to the rock acutely aware of my balance. Some easier blocks gets you just below the blank corner and careful mantling gains the tight little ledge within it. It was another balancing act here, both my arms outstretched in a crucifix stylee, feeling around for the slighest edge to make a difference to my precarious position. (Sean peeled from this stage when he followed Alan up). My last (pretty bomber) nut was now well below me and I was relieved to get a friend in by leaning out left slightly, guided by Alan below. After that it finished on more positive stuff on the same exit as Tridentine. We graded it VS 4b and called it Furious Garda.
The plan was to keep with an Italian theme after Turin and Tridentine so Garda is actually Lake Garda and not some heavily booted Irish policeman. Furious is the cocktail bar we frequented most often on holiday there last year. :)
We nipped back to pick up Margaret and Eoin, quaffed a tinnie whilst explaining why white ink doesn't show up on a white background in Photoshop, then headed to McGrory's for scampi and burgers. No sign of Da. Bah!