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Editor: Malin Head (Sea Area Malin)

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Crag Profile: Malin Head (Sea Area Malin)

Details of the crag can be reviewed below. Editing links are present on all routes and inter-route notes

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Sea Area Malin, Far West - 1. Duffer’s Diff. 2.Gannet. 3.Above the Weir. 4. Phaorah’s Pyramid. 5. Girly Craic. 6.Wan Move Wander. 7.Early Primrose. 8.Raging Decrepitude . 9. Help the Aged. 10.Step it Up. 11. Voluntary Euthanasia. 12.The Gulls, The Gulls! 13.Forth Route. 14.Census. 15.Olympiad. 16.Trendy Right A. 17. Trendy Left A. 18. Shinty Pad.

Directions: Travelling on the loop road around the head in an anti clockwise, or Westerly direction, take the right turn just after the road up to Bamba's Crown (the prominent tower which marks Ireland' most northerly point), follow this track to park before the boundry fence, before the first house.  Walk directly north to the clifftop* The climbs are on slabs to the west below. Best access is via a descent path down leftwards, then the follow cairn-markers to a short scramble or access via abseil. Routes are described from West to East. * November 2015 the new owners erected 'Keep out' signs, applying presumably to both tourists and climbers.

OS Grid Reference: C383592

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Descending over spiky rock on the West end, there is a trough with a smooth slab dropping into it, split by a couple of very thin cracks, the first routes are here.
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01 - Duffers Diff
*
D
Length: 15m
D Ryan J Frazer June 05

The following routes are West of the descent gully and are described starting from the Western tip of the slabs, where they are lowest. Duffers Diff starts at right side of the water trough right of Above the Weir Move up left trending steps to ledge an dup corner to top.


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02 - Gannet
VD 3c
Length: 15m
Alan & Margaret Tees 3/07/06
2.5 metres right (West) of "Above the Weir" is a thin crack rising out of the trough. Climb this and flakes to the right to join " Duffers Diff" for the arete.
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03 - Above the weir
*
HS 4b
Length: 15m
J. Frazer D Ryan June 05

Right of Girly crack is an obvious trough of water. goes up the thin crack rising from the water on the left side. make nice moves over overhang to ledege then left and carefully up obvious corner above.


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04 - Pharoahs Pyramid
VD -
Length: 10m
Alfie Conn and Trevor Hartley 12/5/12
Just right of "Girly Craic" is an inverted V shaped pedestal of rock a few metres high. Start at the base of this below the apex and climb to a shallow recess in the wall. This proves to have more holds than initial looks suggest. Follow them to the midheight ledge and then take the double right trending cracks to the top. A mini gem
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05 - Girly Craic
*
VS 4c
Length: 15m
D. Ryan R Brennan June 05

Some m left of "Above The Weir", the crag becomes split by a ledge at half height. On left side of wall an obvious rightward trending crack leads past a few fine moves in the middle to ledge. Climb groove above veering right or alternately go straight up wall over overlap.


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06 - Wan Move Wander
VD 3c
Length: 8m
Alan & Margaret Tees 3/07/06
Climb the arete on the West edge of the wall containing "Help the Aged" etc. There is a corner crack (Mod) beyond.
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07 - Early Primrose
*
S 4a
Length: 8m
Alan Tees & Bill Magowan.June 05
Going west from the descent route and towards the extreme west end of the north facing slabs, where they are much lower, is a prominent deep crack (Help the Aged) a fine V.Diff. Three metres right of this is a thin rightward facing overlap, about 3M up. Gain this, climb it and the leftward trending 'V' ramp above.
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08 - Raging Decrepitude
E1 5b
Length: 15m
P.Cooper & B.Wingham 11/06/06

Climbs the face right of the 'Help the Aged'. Start where face tapers to a point. Go up bearing slightly left, through thin climbing and thin gear, to meet overlap(1.5M R. of 'Help..' crackline). Step up through overlap and finish direct.


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09 - Help the Aged
*
VD
Length: 8m
Pete Smith, Peter Cooper. April 05
The abovementioned prominent crack. Good value, if a bit short.
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10 - Step it Up
*
E1 5b
Length: 12m
Peter Cooper, Pete Smith
Goes up through the overlaps a couple of metres left of "Help the Aged".
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10a - Voluntary Euthanasia
HS 4a
Length: 10m
Alan Tees, Bill Magowan 5/08/12
At the LH edge of the recessed slab containing 'Help the Aged' is a deep left to right crack.  Climb this and overcome the overlap above on good holds but aware that a fall here will mean a deck out and mebbe checkout!  Finishes just beside the similarly unprotected 'The Gulls'.
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11 - The Gulls! The Gulls!
VS 4a
Length: 10m
Alfie Conn and Trevor Hartley 24 July 2011
About 10m East of "Help The Aged" is a large inset V. On the right hand side of this is a slab. A thin vertical crack runs towards the left  of this slab with a ramp that trends right coming from it after a few metres. Follow the vertical crack to the top. The protection is poor/non existant
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12 - Forth Route
S 4a
Length: 8m
Alfie Conn and John Niven 17/6/2012
Just right of "Census" and at mid height is a left facing shelf/corner. Start just below this and a couple of thin bouldery moves leads you to a spot you can put in some protection. Go straight up the wall
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13 - Census
D -
Length: 6m
Alfie Conn and Trevor Hartley 27/3/2011
A metre right of "Trendy Right A" is a shallow corner. This takes a line up the short wall just to the right of the corner using the jug flakes. Thin on protection but easy climbing and a bouldering mat would just get wet!
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14 - Olympiad
D -
Length: 7m
Alfie Conn and John Niven 17/6/2012
A metre right of "Trendy Right A" is a shallow corner. Go up to the left of this aiming for what looks like broken rock (it isnt) and thence the top.
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15 - Trendy Right A
D -
Length: 7m
Trevor Hartley and Alfie Conn 27/3/2011
16 - Trendy Left-A
D -
Length: 8m
Alan Tees, Pamela Jane Monaghan 19/06/06
Left of "Help the Aged" are two very prominent deep cracks, which form an inverted "V" or "A"without the crossbar! This takes the left crack.
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17 - Shinty Pad
VD -
Length: 7m
Alfie Conn and Trevor Hartley 24 July 2011
The N in the name is silent                                  Starting as for "Trendy Left A" but after a metre or so trend left to follow the blind left curving and facing corner. This route has a lack of protection and is of such high quality that I suggest chewing razor blades would be  more fun.
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17a - Bolder
VD 4c
Length: 6m
Alfie Conn and Damien Connolly 30/5/15
It's a boulder problem rather than a route, especially since the only protection is after the moves. Just left, of the way down, is a free standing pedestal. Start by it and go up the short wall
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18 - The Holy Gull
*
HS 4b
Length: 12m
A Millar D Ryan

50m or so Right (looking from the sea) of Silligan Suzi where the lower small tier begins is a small protruding buttress. On its right side is a short layback crack leading to ledge at half height. Climb this then from right side of ledge move up wall and slightly right to reach top.


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19 - Zaphod Beeblebrox and the Total Perspective Vortex
VD -
Length: 8m
Alfie Conn and Trevor Hartley 24/7/2011
A route with more syllables than metres.                        A few metres right of Heart of Gold is a deeper and darker crack that has a slab at the top. Start on the wall just to the left of this and follow it until a step can be made right onto the higher slab and hence to the top
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20 - Stonefish
S 3c
Length: 8m
Trevor Hartley and Alfie Conn 24/7/2011
Start as for "Zaphod etc". Rather than stepping right, trend up and left and finish to the left of the small overhang
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21 - Improbability Drive
S 3c
Length: 7m
Alfie Conn and Trevor Hartley
Right again are two parallel but sloping right cracks. Start straight up between them, crossing the left one near the top
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22 - Heart Of Gold
HS 4a
Length: 7m
Trevor Hartly and Alfie Conn 24/7/2011
A few metres right of "Fishure" is a protruding slab. A crack runs up its left side. Up this to the top.
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23 - Fishure
S 4a
Length: 10m
Alan & Margaret Tees 3/07/06
East of The Holy Gull, and just West of the descent gully, is a deep crack, rising to the top of a wall, recessed behind a "V". Climb it.
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24 - Wills and Kate
VD -
Length: 10m
Trevor Hartley and Alfie Conn (Climbfest 29/4/11)
Just to the West of the descent route are two craks about 5 feet apart. Climb the left hand to a ledge and then climb the twin craks above. The right hand crack gives a VS 4c start. No route should be divided them 
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25 - Festival Slab
S 3c
Length: 10m
Alfie Conn and Trevor Hartley (Climbfest 29/4/11)
Start ust to the right of Festival crack and slightly higher up the descent route. Ascend a line following a left facing overlap that becomes a right facing overlap after 2m. Finish to the left of a rather limp looking willy. A bit short of protection
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26 - Festival Crack
D -
Length: 12m
Trevor Hartley and Alfie Conn
At the base of the descent route a crack splits the slab on the East. Climb the crack
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Beyond this, is a big slab, steep at the bottom, easing higher up, but with thinning protection and with encroaching vegetation!
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27 - Birthday Party
HVS 4c
Length: 15m
P.Cooper & N.Machon 07/08/2006
To the right of 'Sillygan Susan' is a short slab, route goes from base to apex. It's not easy to grade as whilst the lower climbing is probably 4a there's very little gear, the upper section gets thinner on pro and a crux move at maybe 5a. Neil prompted me to grade this at HVS. I'm happy to receive comments on the grade to get consensus.
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28 - German Bite
S 4a
Length: 20m
Alan Tees, Pamela Jane Monaghan 19/06/06
Start as for "Sillygan Suzy" only follow the main (upper of two parrallel) crack rightwards, then left to reach the terrace and belay. Care is required up the grassy terrace above.
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29 - Blue sky Silhouette
S 3c
Length: 20m
P Hutchinon, D Smiley 4/5/08
Possibly to be included as a warning to other tired climbers: The rock just above the grassy ramp/ belay for silly gawn suzie was climbed (in error) by Paul Hutchinson at the end of a fabulous day at Climbfest 2008. - ending in a 6m fall when loose foothold (the size of his torso) fell off and 2 runners in crap rock pinged PLEASE READ THE RETREAT DETAILS AND AVOID THIS WALL- Leave an ab rope in situ or walk up gullyRoute was eventually seconded by a shakey Belayer - 'Drew Smiley
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30 - Sillygan Suzy
S 4a
Length: 20m
Bill Magowan & Alan Tees.June 05
The first slab east of the descent route is divided by a terrace descending from left to right. Where the terrace reaches the base, climb the corner and thin crack above, which go straight up the slab, petering out about two thirds way up. Thinish climbing on easier angled rock to the grass and belay.
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31 - Inishowen
* *
VS 4b
Length: 45m
P.Cooper & G.Thomas 29/05/06
Left of Sillygan Suzy, start at 1st small crack up terrace to access toe of buttress. Climbs the full length of the face using the horizontal breaks for gear, in a general leftward trending line up to a very shallow corner where the angle eases. Worth having an abseil rope to belay on and to escape up final grassy/chossy terrace to top.
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32 - Crease Climb
*
VS 4c
Length: 10m
P.Cooper & G.Thomas 29/05/06
The 1st route at the right hand end of the 'Slabby Wall' beneath the terrace (Inishowen and Sillygan Suzy) and right of Swedish Slab. Approx 3M in from r.hand end of the Slabby Face climb up to meet a leftward trending crease. Belay from terrace (drinks optional). Thin-ish but all there.
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33 - Shark Bait
*
E2 5c
Length: 10m
P.Cooper & B.Wingham 11/06/06

2.5M left of 'Crease Climb' is a faint line which goes up through a broken-face, strenous but eases in final 3rd.

It takes gear but hanging on thin edges to place it proves tough. I took 2 falls low down (re-starting each time) before it finally went. Possibly the final route of The Slabby Face?


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34 - Gale Warning
E1 5b
Length: 10m
P.Cooper & D.Ryan 07/06/06

On The Slabby Face. Right of 'And A Bang On The Ear' and left of 'Shark Bait' is fine crackline. It's about HVS/E1. Leaders comments welcome (comments are necessary to establish the correct grades, but I'm also doing this to wind-up that day's belay-B. ....hello Donna; a good second by the way!)


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35 - And A Bang On The Ear
* *
E1 5b
Length: 10m
P.Cooper & D.Ryan 04/06/06
In approx the middle of The Slabby Face at about mid-height are 2 slots/holds, start on left below these and aim for them (crux area); with a finish directly above. Belay on the terrace. Gear is small and awkward to place, approx Friend2 at slot.
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36 - Optimists Crack
E1 5a
Length: 10m
P.Cooper & G.Thomas 29/05/06
4M in from left hand end of the 'Slabby Face' is a crackline. Belay on terrace. Led on-sight, looked better for gear than it is: NOTE GEAR RUNS OUT BELOW MID-WAY! Requires confidence at the grade.
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37 - Germaine's Bite
HVS 5b
Length: 10m
P.Cooper & D.Ryan 07/06/06

At the left hand end of The Slabby Face between Donna's Severe and 'Optimists Crack' is a faint line, with protection, up this it goes. It's 5a/b. Leaders comments welcome.


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38 - Yer Haverin'
*
E1 5a
Length: 25m
C. McDaid, I. Miller 04/05/08
A good pitch to use as a continuation to any of the routes on the Short Slabby Wall. Belay at the block on grassy terrace. Stand on block and pull onto slab, relax and climb to next horizontal break. (bold) Continue direct to top of slab.
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39 - Delectable Dyke
VD
Length: 20m
Donna Ryan and Rosie Brennan
Start at the left end of 'Slabby Face' where an obvious brown dyke leans, but is seperated from the slab by a large crack. Climb the dyke on its left edge to the top enjoying fine positions.
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40 - A Bald Proposition
E1 5a
Length: 50m
I. Miller, C. McDaid 04/05/08
Pitch 1, 4a, 25mtr. Climb "Nor Wee Gin" and belay on grassy ledge.Pitch 2, 5a, 25mtr. Climb direct to stand on flake, and continue direct through a small overlap to final vertical wall. Mantle, crimp and worry to top.
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41 - Nor Wee Gin
S 4a
Length: 30m
Alan Tees & Bill Magowan.June 05
The next slab left of Sillygan is less recessed and is known as "Swedish Slab". Towards the right hand side of 'Swedish slab', climb about 3m to reach a leftward trending ledge. At its highest point gain an eroded crack, which leads to the top of the slab. Follow the 'Gaels & Swedes' arête etc to the top.
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42 - Fred Astaire
*
E2 5a
No length recorded
P Cooper & D Ryan 04/06/06

Start is just left of centre of Swedes & Gaels Wall, it follows shallow overlap up the face and finishes r. of top left corner of the wall. Was cleaned prior to ascent.


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43 - Inflatables
HVS 4c
No length recorded
P Cooper & G Thomas 09/09/07
The l. hand arete of the Swedes & Gaels wall, climbed on it's face (not the l.hand dyke) . Climbing is nice enough, gear is a bit fiddly. Led on-sight, hence 1 crumbly foothold no longer in-situ; which was alarming at the time.
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44 - Swedes & Gaels
*
S 4a
Length: 30m
Alan Tees & Martin McGuigan.Jan.05
Right of Centipede Slabs is a steeper slab/wall (Swedish Slab). This takes the left hand edge to its apex, following an arete and wall to the top. Alpine (ie loose) rock, but good situations.
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45 - Centipede Slabs
*
VS 4c
Length: 30m
Alan Tees & Pete Smith 16/04/05.
The next, and more recessed slab, a prominent left to right crack splits the slab. Climb this, and traverse a couple of metres right on vegetation around the lowest point of the upper slab, to gain wet crack. Move up this for a couple of moves (gear can be placed higher to protect slab) step left and climb slab on thin holds and protection to easier ground. Continue up left into corner, climb it and up slab to the top.
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46 - Skylark
*
HVS 5a
Length: 30m
Martin McGuigan, Alan Tees 6/11/05.
Between Centipath Corner and Centipede Slabs locate a groove running up the slab from left to right. Gain the groove (thin) and continue up to base of vertical corner. Strenuously gain the corner (crux), and climb it to ledge, which is traversed left to join Centipath.
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47 - Centipath Corner
*
VS 4c
Length: 30m
Alan Tees & Pete Smith 16/04/2005.
Start at the left hand edge of the recessed slab left of Swedish Slab. Climb a short corner and continue up, laybacking easily, using the lip of the impending left wall to reach a two tier corner on the left. Climb it using a number 4 Friend (and anything else to hand). Move left and up a short step, left again into diedre to the top.
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48 - South Utsire
* *
HVS 4c
Length: 40m
Alan Tees & Bill Magowan 7/05/06
One metre left of "North Utsire" climb the chimney, and using the corner and left hand wall, gain the top of a pinnacle. Traverse left to a small foothold at the base of a shallow corner, and continue upward on small friable holds with no protection whatsoever (knots used on abseil rope as two runners on first ascent). Exit onto grass for a few metres,and climb last rock wall to finish.
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49 - North Utsire
HS 4b
Length: 40m
Alan Tees, Bill Magowan 12/09/05
On the West side of the next recess is an obvious vertical dyke or plate edge. Climb this, and step left to bridge up under a prominent”V” groove, with some dubious flakes below it. Climb the groove, and continue up over pinnacle and upper slab ) good holds, no protection). Scramble up grass and top wall to finish.
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50 - Viking 7.10
*
HVS 5a
Length: 25m
Alan Tees, Bill Magowan7/06/06
Between "South Utsire" and "Sweet Rock-All" is a leftward trending overlap. Climb it to overhang, which is lay-backed left, and up corner to ledge below overhang. There is no obvious belay, so a loop on an abseil rope was used on first ascent. An option is to make an exposed and unprotected traverse right to join the top of "South Utsire".
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51 - Sweet Rock-All
*
VS 4b
Length: 40m
Alan Tees, Bill Magowan 12/09/05
Across the alcove, this takes the attractive groove one metre right of yhe obvious ramp of Finis-Stair. Start down in the gully and climb right hand groove to ledge, move right and up right hand upper groove (about Sev.) to crux moves at the top. Protection for these can be had on Finis-Stair.
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52 - Finis-Stair
D
Length: 40m
.Alan & Margaret Tees 3/09/05.
A ramp forms the right hand edge of this wall, and this takes the central diedre of the ramp. Start in the gully down at sea level (tide permitting) and take the more defined left groove to ledge, move right and follow the abovementioned diedre to the grass, and Irelands only dead man runner. Thread belay on right, or continue to the top.
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53 - Bill's Bailey
S 3c
Length: 40m
Bill Magowan , Alan Tees 12/09/05
Takes the groove/edge one metre left of Finis-Stair.
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54 - Doggerbank
* *
S 4a
Length: 40m
Alan Tees, Bill Magowan 9/05/06

This climbs the rounded arete which snakes up the wall a couple of metres right of "Crayfish Crack" Protection improves further up, and continue up slab to vertical step, which is taken on the left on good holds. Continue up to grassy arete, and scramble to the top.

Good Severe!


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55 - Crayfish Crack
*
S 4a
Length: 15m
Alan Tees, Bill Magowan, 18/06/05
The thin crack less than a metre right of Crayfish Arete.
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56 - Crayfish Arete
*
HVS 5b
Length: 15m
Alan Tees & Peter Cooper 18/06/05 (Previously top roped by Andy Tees, same date).
About 50m left of Centipede Slabs is Crayfish Wall, which can be identified by a thin crack up its middle, and a piece missing out of its right hand side.This route laybacks around the roof caused by the 'Missing Bit' and continues easily up the arête to the top of the slab.
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57 - Cromarty Crack
* *
VS 4c
Length: 15m
Alan Tees, Martin McGuigan, Peter Cooper.
Takes the central groove approx.5M left of the arête/crack, going right of the overhang above on good holds. Crux 1/3 way up.
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58 - King Conger
*
HS 4a
Length: 15m
Andy Tees, Bill Magowan, Alan Tees 18/06/05
The area left of the Crayfish Crag is grassy, but left again is a slab split by two or three obvious cracks, the first (west) one being the most attractive. This is the west crack, which climbs from right to left, through a break, to the top of the slab.
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59 - Moray Foray
S 4a
Length: 15m
Alan Tees, Andy Tees, Bill Magowan 18/06/05
Takes the central crack, following a thinner, more direct, alternative from about half way up.
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60 - Laurentic
*
S 4a
Length: 35m
Alan Tees,Martin McGuigan, 14/07/12
About 100 m East of 'Moray Foray' there is a trough separated from the sea by a fin of rock.  At the East side of this the slab becomes much steeper and is split by a prominent wide crack. Gain the crack over minor overhangs on the left and climb up the fissure with good holds and protection.  At the top there is an awkward mantle onto a bulge, and avoid the one above on the right. There are no belays, so bring a stake and hammer (or rock), in which case its probably easier to ab down, if you can figure out the right place!
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61 - Skua
*
VS 4b
Length: 35m
Martin McGuigan, Alan Tees, 14/07/12
Start about 4-5m right (West) of Laurentic, surmount initial overhangs, and continue directly up steep face to rightward facing shallow corner, which joins with 'Laurentic' towards the top to avoid more messy exits.
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62 - Wolfepak
*
VS 4b
Length: 35m
Alan Tees, Trevor Hartley, Alfie Conn. 15/07/12
Start up 'Skua' but rather than heading for the shallow corner, veer left into the line of weakness up the steep wall just right of 'Laurentic'.  Small holds and good wires.  Wolfepak U-80 just misses 'Laurentic' (which it didnt in 1917, and the wreck lies in the mouth of the Swilly).
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63 - Rum Ration
*
VS 4b
Length: 35m
Alan Tees, Martin McGuigan, 14/07/12
East of 'Laurentic' is another prow of rock, which can be accessed either by a 30-40 metre coastal traverse, or by abseil from above if you know the right spot and have ab stakes.  This route takes the left (and easier) of two corners.  Climb shallow diedre and step left onto ramp using eroded black groove for handholds and protection.  At the ramp top, a committing swing right on a big fin of rock* leads to a higher corner, and then to another ramp to a grassy ledge.  Climb the slab above on nil protection (you can use the ab rope) to safety on top.* Apparently the fin is dubious- maybe check it out on Abseil? Lovely climbing though.
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59a - Navigatourists.
D -
Length: 35m
A.Tees, G. Thomas (solo). 15/03/15
 

Right ( West) of Laurentic is a big overlap of rock ,with a slab beyond.  This starts about half way along the slab, climbing directly up on big jugs to join a terrace, which is followed left to the top.


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59b - Audacious*.
S 4a
Length: 35m
A.Tees, G.Thomas. 15/03/15

Start below and left of the overlap.  Ascend to, and up the corner of the overlap to gain a two tier ledge/ corner giving access rightwards to the overlap edge.  Follow this to the top.

 
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59c - Ajax.
S 4a
Length: 35m
A.Tees, G.Thomas . 15/03/15

Directly below the base of the overlap, a dynamic move or two leads to a rightwards corner, and onto the slab on the right of the overlap.   Climb the slab on the right of the edge to the top.

 
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