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Beaten by Bunratti

Date: 26th April 2008
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney

I met Pete and PJ at the Bunagee campsite on Sunday morning after they camped over the evening before. Apparently Marty and Pete Cooper were there the previous evening too and PJ filled me on a new E1 put up by Mr C. This unnamed route has already seen a quare bit of action with Pete peeling off it, ripping out 2 pieces of gear, to come to an abrupt halt 2 feet off the deck next to a shocked PJ. And all this before breakfast!

They'd set up a top rope on it for another go but I found myself minus rock shoes again. This time though they were only back at the car and not several hundred miles away in Birmingham. The day was warming up nicely with only the "doof doof" music from the camping teenagers spoiling the atmosphere. In thoroughly high spirits I had a go at the route too. With its short height and Pete's usual tight rope it was more like an interesting bouldering problem, pretty technical and lots of forearm strain. Note to others: use the 3rd crack when at half height.

Since we were in the area and now thoroughly warmed up I decided an assault on Bunratti Pillar, the previous week's big boots HVS, was in order. This time I made the traverse but couldn't get up for the final layback move. Eventually I had to be lowered off exhausted and got ready to belay Pete up it. PJ had scooted off to stare at the ocean because she couldn't bear watch her man take yet another fall and there was every likelihood he would. Pete got as far as the crux but for the second week in a row I found myself watching a climber tumbling headlong towards me. I even think it was the same blue cam that held the fall! 2 falls in one day were enough for the big guy and he scarpered to the right to finish.

I was still a bit trembly-limbed from earlier but seconded the route and this time made it to the layback properly. Lesson learned there for when I eventually lead the bugger. The last move isn't too bad but you have to get the left foot as high as possible to smear because when you eventually pull up on the flake if the foot is too low you'll just skite off, as Mike and Pete have both learned. We decided to stick to easier things then so Pete lead Broadbinn's Emporium (HS 4a) and I lead The Hustler (HS 4b) which the guide perfectly describes as "technical".

Back to the campsite for tea and sarnies and then back to Dunowen Wall for Glengad Girls (HS 4b). Might have just been the tired limbs but it felt a wee bit harder than HS. There's a section in the middle where I just couldn't find any gear so ended up with a 20 foot runout. 8 feet above the last bit of gear was the "delicate step left" onto a small edge on the face and no time for the nerves to get the better of you! The holds are all there though so you just keep going. Eventually you reach a cracking hole on the rock, perfect to thread a sling through and from then on it's easy peasy. It was great watching Pete and PJ's facial expressions from above as they contemplated the step left though. We were all agreed that it was the best route of the day.

Photo of Route