Crag Number: 44

Poisoned Glen (Ballaghageeha Buttress)

Photo of crag from the photo gallery
Ballaghgeeha Buttress - 12. Unnamed Route,
13. Route Two,
14. Diagonal,
15. Berserker Wall,
16. Anachronism,
17. Dexterity,
18. Kongen.


A steep clean crag standing on the right (south west) flank of the Ballaghgeeha Gap and facing north west down the glen. Most easily approached from the OwenreetBarra Valley; Park just south-west of the head of Glenveagh in a large car park (G R B967155). From here the top of the crag can be seen on the sky line, just left of the gap. About 30-40 minutes walk.

The alternative approach is up the glen - about 1.5 hours of heavy going.

The crag is up to 60m in height and split into two distinct sections by the deep overhung groove taken by Dexterity and marked by the large grassy ledge about 10m from the ground. To the left of this, the rock is open and inviting, easy angled to start but gradually steepening towards the middle; to the right the crag is steeper and more forbidding.

There is undoubtedly much room for development at a high standard with little prior cleaning.

OS Grid Reference:

ND-PGL-44/1 Pebbles
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Photo of route VS 4b
Length: 55m
K Mc Gee, P Tinney, G Scott. (04/09)
Climb steep wall 3m left of Unnamed route to a small ledge. Continue straight up (easier crack option on left) to a big platform. Move left and climb thin crack in the middle of the wall, climb the next even thinner crack to another platform. Climb the vein(unnamed route??) on the big slab to another ledge. Place gear and continue along the vein for another few metres. Trend right over easy ground to small corner. Move right and step onto slab and climb on small holds to a large break.Traverse right to vertical wall and climb crack on to large platform. Care is needed exiting this belay ledge, particularly in the wet.
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ND-PGL-44/2 Un-Named Route
S -
Length: 35m
P Kenny, M Laracy, R Dolan
Start: 10m from the left edge of the buttress is a 10m high flat topped pillar, separated from the crag by a deep crack. Start at the foot of this. Up the crack to the top of the pillar. Continue up the obvious crack above and then trend left up the line of weakness in the slab.
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ND-PGL-44/3 RouteTwo
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Photo of route S -
Length: 40m
F Winder, E Healy (8/55)
Start: As for Un-named Route. Up the crack to the top of the pillar. Continue up crack as for Un-named Route to a ledge at 6m. Move up and right to small flake. Up past this to large flake and then left to belay or continue up the deep sloping chimney crack above to the top.
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ND-PGL-44/4 Diagonal
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Photo of route VD -
Length: 60m
H Drasdo, P McMahon, N Masterson (8/55)
Start: As for Un-named Route. Excellent route on clean rock.
  1. 20m Up the crack for about a metre and step right onto the wall. Follow a line of ledges up and right to reach a good crackline. Climb this until the broad clean platform on the right is reached and belay.
  2. 20m From the belay climb the steep crack above 4m and then move right to join another crack. Up this to the'cave' and stance above.
  3. 20m Follow crack, initially in the corner and then out onto the face. Step right at the small overhang and up to the top.

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ND-PGL-44/5 Summer of My Dreams
VS 4c
Length: 40m
G. Murray and M. McNaught June 1992
1) 15M Climb Cracks straight to spike and ledge.2) 15M Step left and slightly down to groove with peg. Up groove to ledge and follow groove above to grass and large blocks.3) 10M Up obvious crack on the right to top.(Description copied verbatim from Rock Climber Magazine April 1994.)
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ND-PGL-44/6 Patagonian Summer
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Photo of route HVS 5a
Length: 50m
K Mc Gee, P Tinney. (19/)07/08)
A few metres to the right of Diagonal there is an obvious crack. The start is slightly overhanging but the angle eases quickly and the holds are good. After the crack, climb a short slab to a good belay at c12m.From the belay climb up for about 2m and step right on ledge. Climb the thin crack with the old peg(crux) for a few metres to a ledge and a corner crack. Climb this and bypass the grass at the top on either the right or left. Move up over a large block to the right of the overhangs to gain the final crack. Climb this and continue over a small bulge to gain the top and some rather suspect boulders.
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ND-PGL-44/7 Emmigrants Eyes
HVS 5a
Length: 36m
G. Murray and M. McNaught June 1992
Start 5M right of Diagonal at little black V and obvious flakes.1) 16M Climb up on large flat holds, move left into groove. Up grooves to grass sod and ledge. Step 2M right and mantleshelf onto ledge. Move left to belay.2) 20M Traverse right along ledge, move up and using holds on the right to obvious groove. Climb groove moving slightly right and then follow quartz groove to belay.(Copied verbatim from Rock Climber Magazine April 1994.)
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ND-PGL-44/8 The Mistress
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Photo of route E1 5b
Length: 52m
K Mc Gee, P Tinney. (27/06/09)

 1: 30m Start about 4m left of the v-chimney on Berserker Wall. Climb directly up the wall to a stance on the ramp below the bottom of a crack system (BD1). Climb the steep and strenuous wall on small holds for about 2m to a jug and solid nut placement. Follow the natural rightward curve(Friends 3+2) on better holds to a good stance in a corner below a small bulge. A BD0.5 can be placed in the vertical crack just over the lip of the bulge. Climb directly over this and up the face for c3m. Traverse left to gain the corner crack. Climb this to the top and then follow it to the right across the slab. Downclimb from the spike onto the grassy ledge and belay.
 2: 22m Climb the steep corner crack

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ND-PGL-44/9 Berserker Wall
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HVS 5b
Length: 48m
H Drasdo, N Drasdo (Alt leads) 26/8/56)
HVS.4c, 5a/5b Start: At the foot of the rock gangway which cuts across the buttress from left to right, leading to corner below grassy ramp.
  1. 24m Follow gangway to below V-chimney, which is about 10m left of the black corner and big grassy ledge. Climb wall to foot of the chimney. Traverse left to thin flake, climb up and back right to good ledge.
  2. 24m Climb corner to ledge. Pass perched block and climb thin crack past old peg. Step left into niche and up easily to the top.

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ND-PGL-44/10 Anachronism
E2 5c
Length: 55m
D Stelfox, A McFarlane (Alt leads) (17/11/88)
E2.5a, 5c Start: 5m right of Berserker Wall.
  1. 20m Grapple up the steep wall to a ledge at 8m. Go up the wall above to a meeting with Berserker Wall and then traverse back right along a ledge system to a grassy belay ledge.
  2. 35m Move back left from the belay for 4m and then go up the wall to a large sloping ledge. Follow this up for 3m to an overhanging wall. Climb this moving left to gain the perched block on Berserker Wall. Follow this for 5m, past an old peg, but climb straight up to a large ramp. Continue up this ramp to a quartz vein, and strike up this to the top.

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ND-PGL-44/ Tooth Fairy
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Photo of route E2 5c
Length: 65m
K McGee, P Tinney. 14/07/12
Start slighty to the right of Anachronism on the highest outcrop of grass. Climb up the wall to gain the ramp. Move right to the quartz vein, climb the left side of this to the next ledge. Move left and follow a series of small holds and mantle on to the wide ledge. Traverse right to the corner of the grassy ledge and climb up the steep crack, go right when it splits and move back left after a few metres to a stance and small nut placement. Make a long reach up to the right to a good hold and follow the cracks and holds to the same belay point as Kongen below the left edge of the overhang. Climb straight up the corner above.
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ND-PGL-44/11 Dexterity
VS -
Length: 30m
N Drasdo, H Drasdo (10/8/59)
Start: Route takes the big central corner right of Berserker Wall. The climbing starts from the grassy ledge at the foot of the corner which is reached by either scrambling in from the right or Pitch 1 of Kongen. Climb the overhang capped V-corner groove until a step can be made onto the arete. Traverse left for 2m and ascend slabs to easier ground.
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ND-PGL-44/12 Kongen
HVS 5a
Length: 63m
P Redmond, D Walsh (15/8/74)
HVS.4b,4c(1 aid pt) 5a (2 aid pts) Start: About 3m right of the wet corner at the end of the ramp leading up to the large grassy ledge below Dexterity, there is a short wall leading to a grass terrace.
  1. 15m Climb the wall passing on the left a small grass terrace and surmount the detached bracket above. Scramble up grass and belay at the foot of the crack in the wall above.
  2. 24m Climb the steep wall above to the right of the crack, joining the crack at 5m. Climb the crack with 1 aid point to just beneath the bulge above. Surmount this on good holds to a jug above. Climb the wall above to a small sloping ledge and airy belay at the foot of the corner.
  3. 24m Traverse left to where a vague pink quartz vein runs upwards. Gain a small sloping shelf above (2 aid points). Continue up the vague groove to the mantleshelf (crux), and continue up easier ground above to block belay.

'To the right of Kongen is a wide dirty chimney which was climbed by P. McDermott and E. Goulding in May 68. It is not recommended' (1985 guide).

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ND-PGL-44/ Grasshopper
VS 4c
No length recorded
K McGee, P Tinney. 21/07/12
Start a few metres right of Kongen. Climb straight up the wall passing a grassy ledge on the right and continue up the crack(frequently wet)  behind this to the grassy terrace. Scramble up the grass that leads to Dexterity and step right on to a sloping ledge at the bottom of the arete to belay. Climb the wall on the right edge of the arete. Gently jam past the perched block and then swing back on to the right edge of the arete and climb this to the top. 
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ND-PGL-44/DV2/1 Adamantium
E1 5a
Length: 60m
Patrick Tinney & Kevin McGee 8 June 2013
Start about 2 metres left of Chasing the Dragon.Pitch 1: 35m (5a) Climb up on good holds for 4metres and go left to ledge and old wedged hex. From ledge move out right and up to the large grass ledge. Move right and climb up left facing corner crack and then up easier angled rock to small grass ledge. From here move out right to steeper rock and small ledge and belay.Pitch 2: 25m (5a) Climb the steep face directly above on good jugs to a small triangle shaped alcove with small roof. Leave the alcove via crack on left and gain large ledge. Traverse right along ledge for a couple of metres to large crack. Finish up the large crack to good belay ledge.
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ND-PGL-44/13 Jaundiced Eyes
HVS 5a
Length: 20m
D Stelfox. M Stelfox (7/91)
This route is found at the far right-hand side of the crag just before the gully. Climb up the wall into an overhanging corner. Climb this strenuously and then easily up the wall to the top.
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ND-PGL-44/14 Chasing the Dragon
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E3 5c
Length: 60m
P Dunlop, K Gallagher (May 1993)
E3.5c, 5c A very clean route which starts on the short steep wall at the right hand side of the crag. Take note it's a bit bold.
  1. 40m Climb the steep wall boldly, just left of the large white circle of lichen to join a short crack which forms at the top of the wall. Pull onto the ledge and climb the cracks directly behind, at the top move right to heather ledge. Belay on the pillar.
  2. 20m Step right and climb the main line passing the ledge and small overhang on the right side. Climb cracks to top.

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