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Dalkey Delights

Date: 3rd and 4th JUly 2010
Submitted by: Columba McLaughlin
 Sat 3rd July: Well the sun shone and Dalkey Quarry beckoned and so I headed down to see Noel and enjoy some vertical delights. Having had very little Lead Climbing experience this year, we decided to have a training weekend to loosen up the limbs and get the auld brain engaged. On Sat we made a beeline for ‘Drinker’s Direct’ (V. Diff). It is a really rough climb that gives good practice for mountain ridges. As a first lead rock climb for me it proved the perfect warm up. After that and just for fun and some rough climbing we climbed up and down ‘North Gully’ (Mod) a few times. By this stage I was feeling braver and we headed for the 3 star *** ‘Paradise Lost’ (V. Diff). This is the Quarry’s trademark climb. So I lead that as well and then soloed Gardner’s Joy’ (Diff) which has a feel good exposed type of climbing. Noel wanted a lead at this time so we headed for the Winder’s Slab area. Noel led up the 2 **‘Winder’s Crack’ (Diff) – see attached photo.  Then he decided to lead up the 2 star ‘Winder’s Slab’ (VS4b). I bottled the crux at the top and stepped onto ‘Winder’s Crack’ for a short reprieve. This did not amuse me and I needed to regain my composure. Noel suggested top roping the 1 star * ‘Little Wing’ (E1 5b) climb and I agreed. So a top rope was set up and we both spaltered up it. There were some weeps from the thin crack at the top and a few mossy and grassy bits which did nothing to help us when it came to smearing and crimping. However, it gave welcome practice. Using our back packs – also went up and down ‘Easy Gully’ (Mod) for a bit of practice. We then headed back to the East Quarry and Noel led up the 2 star **’Honey Pot Crack’ (S 3c). A brilliant climb on immaculate rock and brilliant protection. I then led the 2 star ** ‘Yorkshire Pudding’ (HS 4b) which is a bit rougher and the crux is right at the top. I had an undignified exit but I felt good. We headed back to Dublin for a few well earned glasses of vino. 

Sunday 4th July and the sun shone and it was 24C. We headed straight for some unfinished business on ‘Winder’s Slab’. We abseiled of the top and I cleaned out the grass and moss and the wet bits on ‘Little Wing’. If anybody notices this and wishes to complain – please make your complaint out on the back of a €10 or £10 note (I’m not bothered which they use). We climbed ‘Winder’s Crack’ again. Noel led up ‘Winder’s Slab’ and I again spaltered on the crux move at the top. How do you make a VS 4b move easy – very simple climb an E1 5b. So we toped roped and Noel belayed me up the 1 star * Raspberry Ripple (VS 5b) and then I climbed the 1 star * ‘Little Wing’ (E1 5b). It was much better now as the grass / moss / wet bits were gone. Also, it is amazing how small crimping holds can suddenly become big ledges. My first E1 (even though it was topped roped). Sheer enjoyment and an absolute delight. Noel then tackled both climbs and then we tried ‘Winder’s Slab’ again. This time, the crux moves were a ‘walk in the park’. It was so good that we both climbed it twice. To finish off, I used a top rope and climbed ‘Raspberry Ripple’ and ‘Little Wing’ again. Pumped and feeling good we headed back to Dublin to a brill curry and a few more glasses of vino.

05 Jul 2010

Great stuff Columba. Makes me want to organise a trip to Dalkey

06 Jul 2010

Aye - its a great place - everything from Mod - E6.

Photo of Route