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Surprise first in Culdaff

Date: 19/04/2008
Submitted by: Michael Hassan

I was late on the road on Saturday in deciding to head to Culdaff. I met up with Pete C, George, Valli and Anthony at Brazil Rock. I was examining this mound of rock with a slighly different eye than I had one year ago - the last time I was there. Anthony was in boots, so that meant I was able to do the leading. I took in Broadbinn's Emporium S and Expertise HS. Both pretty straight forward.

Anthony then suggested another Hard Severe line, which I was up for. As I was climbing this, I was thinking it's a bit pumpy for a HS and I had spent ages trying to find some gear placement. This tired me a bit. I knew I had to get something in, because of the swing factor. I managed though to get a good cam placed on the crux and so started up a strenuous lay-backing move. I got my foot placed high and concentrated on my hands. Then, my foot slipped and down I went. I fell about two metres and the cam held superbly. Phew!It is interesting how much can go through your mind in that short instant. George shouted up, that at least I had taken a fall on a HVS, rather than a Hard Severe. "This is a HVS!?" was my response. Whoa. I managed to get the move on the second attempt, knowing where I had gone wrong before. The route turned out to be "Bunratti Pillar HVS,5a". An interesting first HVS lead for sure.

After that myself, George and Valli headed over to Dunmore, where George led Fluid Inclusions HVS, a route that he had recently cleaned. This is a nice climb, but you need to rely on friction for your feet and it isn't always the best. We finished off the day on Master of Puppets HVS, with me being clueless on it's crux move, until some direction from above.

Photo of Route