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Boys: fingers and dykes?

Date: 31/08/08
Submitted by: Peter Cooper & Geoff Thomas

Geoff made a dash north to Inishowen, to hide from the omni-bloody-present rain and to enjoy some of the finest cragging companionship available to man or beast. However, Alan Tees was away on MCI Presidential-business and so he had to put up with me instead.

Drizzle was still falling when we got to Malin head and so we went out on a scout of some possible bouldering territory on the east side of Breasty Bay. What we found far exceeded what we dared hope for, saying that we wouldn't tell you travel over 20 miles for it. I certainly wouldn't be bothered to name anything or produce a topo, I'd just have fun climbing the problems. There's lots of short (up to 4M+), steep and overhanging walls often above pebble landings, you could easily get a couple of hours out of the place.

The drizzle moved-off and a bright hot sun made its' first appearance in such a long long time. Time to climb.

On our way out to western zawns we came across a lizard (yes we have them, just no snakes), theyr'e not seen very often and so this was an exceptional surprise.

We went over to the Tyrolean Zawn, where I knew there was some really solid, stable, and safe rock. This is just next to the area where one climb is named 'Car Door' after the sheet of rock - of that size- that peeled off, next to me, whilst I was abseiling a few years ago. I abbed down one possible new line and after, a small car's weight of rock had been far too easily prized-off I decided to back-off; but not before it had chopped my abb rope in half! One is now the proud owner of 2 short abb ropes.

"But what of the strenuous fun we had with the Tyrolean Dyke?" I hear you cry. Well having viewed this line for some 4 years and I had dismissed it as looking a bit too easy and not offerring much steepness "maybe HS", I've have had to eat not only my words but a fair portion of humble pie. Geoff had a date with the fair lady Helen and therefore time was tight. Following a quick check for any grossly loose-stuff on abseil the line was climbed on-sight. I found the line to be vertical, a touch thin and not too easy to place the gear on lead; she was not softening to my charms. Then we had a return of the rain..oh shit! But this passed almost before it had begun. At the top it was necessary to take a step to the left, as seepage/drainage was coming over the sloping finishing holds. Whilst a fairly obvious line, from the opposite side of the zawn, it provided quite a bit of scary on-sight damp affair; oh and the opportunity for some inuendo. Bingo! It's better to attempt this line with the tide out and not too much of a swell, hopefully you'll get it dry too.

Photo of Route