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Culdaff Climbfest Prep

Date: 19/04/08
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney

Having engineered a lie-in on Saturday with the help of Mr Carlsberg and the Singularity team of developers I made my way to Brazil Rock to find George, Valli and Pete Cooper basking in the faint sunshine. They'd climbed Zanzibar and Bunratti Pillar both HVS(5a) and Pete was about to clean the face to the right of Broadbinn's Emporium. On a wee trip round to the back Valli led George up Expertise (HS) while I unpacked and found I'd left the climbing shoes in the apartment in Birmingham!

Not to be disappointed I figured I'd climb in big boots, sticking to the easier grades. Mike arrived and I encouraged him to lead Broadbinn's and then Expertise. We finally headed for Bunratti Pillar. I remembered shouting up to someone at the ClimbFest last year and could have sworn they said it was a Hard Severe. It wasn't until Mike had made the awkward traverse that George shouted up "You do know that's an HVS???". Mike confirmed the grade about 5 seconds later when he peeled off the final layback crack dramatically. It didn't take him long to get back on it though and he chalked up his first HVS lead by default.

Possibly with some remnants of the previous evening's courage in my veins I started up this route in the big boots only to almost come a cropper several times on the traverse. I finally gave up and with a lot of slack in the rope made my way up Alhambra. George later climbed up to remove the gear, after he, Pete and Valli had climbed some variation of Apex.

We headed over to Dunowen Wall and while Pete and Valli managed to simultaneously climb Glengad Girls (HS) and Blondes Have More Fun (VS), Mike and I settled for the more traditional "one rope one route" ascent of Grainas' Groove (HS). George was uninspired and retired for coffee back at Valli's van. We joined them and heard Valli's story about getting non-commercial ferry rates because she'd painted windows on the inside of her van. :) I headed on home for a hot date while the old marrieds went to Dunmore. Come the ClimbFest I'll be back on Bunratti in proper shoes.

Photo of Route