A winter day on Muckish
|Date: 30th March 2013
Submitted by: Columba McLaughlin
It was Easter Saturday and myself and Marty headed off for Muckish with Alan in hot pursuit. We all arrived at the Base of the Miner's Path on schedule. From the road Marty spied 'The Funnel' and made his mind up that was the climb for him. Both Alan and me wanted the 'Gully of the Gods' so we agreed on both. Off we went and found that the Stream was still somewhat frozen. So to warm up we all had a play on the Ice covered rocks. Frozen water Ice is definitely not the same as the ice made from the cycle of Freeze - Thaw - Refreeze which gives a nice sticky toffee texture. This ice was hard and shattered in places. Nonetheless, it provided great sport for each of us.
We detoured towards the 'Gully of the Gods' (Grade I) the snow conditions were soft but the turf was well frozen. This is a superb climb with a big atmosphere all round. As it was given a Grade I, we decided to do it unroped. However, there is a sting in the tail that is more suiting to a Grade II and the exit to the slope below the summit is well guarded. In my opinion, the crux on this climb is as hard as any Scottish Grade II that I've climbed. The upper slope was steep with a nice exit. Check out the Youtube video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq_IonFVtfU
After some refreshments we traversed in from the Miner's Path towards the base of 'The Funnel'. Marty was in his element and he led it in style. The 1st crux is a test piece and involved mixed climbing. For Marty it required 'Líathrodí as still'. Alan led the 2nd pitch to just below the 2nd Crux. With the lack of ice this 2nd crux was difficult today but Marty managed to surmount it in fine style. Alan and I managed the crux with less finesse. Alan, then unroped and carried on up the gully with me behind. This section above the 2nd crux was a joy to climb with good ice and frozen turf. All too soon it opened out on to a snow slope below the summit. A superb climb in difficult conditions today. Check out the Video on Youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brzjHes42AY
As we descended to the Miner's Quarry we spied a possible new route. There were no footprints on it and each of us climbed it unroped. It was a steep solid Grade I with a short wall at mid section. Route description and photo to follow.
02 Apr 2013
Hi Guys - we though we heard a call "Marty", sorry we missed you now, It was myself and Shane on the other routes in the Y Gully.
03 Apr 2013
Yeah, we wondered who else was mad enough to be up there! The third route looks like a new one. 'Easter Rising 2013', Gr 1+. Agree with Columba that Gully of the Gods is pushing grade 2, as it has a vertical step (unless banked out of course). Think the Funnel is better though.