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It always shines on Cruit!

Date: 21st April 2012
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney
Cruit doesn't like me and PJ. A few weeks ago we joined Maeve and co. for the Easter weekend at Dunlewey, arriving mid-afternoon Saturday to grey skies and showers in Glenveagh. It just didn't look like rock-climbing weather so we opted for a wed trudge up Dooish, getting the compass out to navigate our way through the clag. Whilst I enjoyed getting the timings / pacings bang on in the conditions, my oul North Face coat is in obvious need of re-proofing and I was wet through by the time we got back to the car. Maeve and co. joined us in the hostel later and proclaimed, "The sun shone all day on Cruit". Bah!

We had a fine time in the pub that evening and sallied over to Cruit mid Sunday morning to find a whole rake of cars near Albatross Zawn. Who were all these people? When did Cruit get so busy? Must have been be Shir Iain Miller's advertising, new guide and declaration of "It's always shines on Cruit!". No sign of Maeve's car though. Hmm, maybe they were at Traderg? Nope. Farmhouse? Nope. Golf wall? Nope. Back to Albatross. Still no northern reg cars. Feck it we'll go over to Far West Butress anyway. And sure, enough there was Maeve! "Uh... we changed cars" Bah!

So we got the gear out and clambered down to the busy Far West wall. The exposed Cave Rave (S 4a) route looked delightful but a team was on it. The only free line was Trident a "VDiff" Alan Tees special, first climbed by his lordship and the Pailing girls in 1990. VDiff-me-arse, especially when the rain started just as I reached the big elephant-arse crack. There's noting like the feeling of burying your arm, looking for a nice jam, only to have it slide slowly back out again in the pissing rain. "This is all your fault!", shouted Miller, "It never rains on Cruit" Bah!

We opted for home after that but last weekend we were at a loose end and eager for some camping / climbing. The whole of Norn Iron looked miserable in the heavy downpours but there was a fleeting glimpse of clear skies in the west, from my wee weather app. "Let's chance it", said PJ, and so we were off on the Saturday noon. The sky was overcast at Cruit but significantly less so than the rest of the country. The Women with Altitude were just packing up as we headed for Far West gain. The high tide ruled out Cave Rave and so we headed off to find the Outdoor Climbing Wall. You'd have needed wellies to start most of the routes but we got on the far right one, Disco Feet (S 4a) a few moves up an S-shaped crack. I soloed the first half, then got nervous and PJ threw the rope up, just as the rain started. 5 minutes later I was hauling PJ in and trying to dodge the hail stones. "It always shines in Cruit!". Bah!

That shower nothwithstanding we had a beautiful clear evening around the camp fire, a starlit night and a drunken head torch walk along the cliff tops, listening to the roaring sea. Most excellent. Next morning a few early showers dried up and it looked like we were finally going to see some of that famed sunshine. We started where we left off and ticked off several routes, heading left. Steady As She Goes (VD), Seriously Gud Craic (S 4a), Autumn Groove (HS 4b) and Jitterbug (HS 4b). The latter 2 kinda cross one another and I think I did them the wrong way round, but who cartes? They were very nice lines and I was really enjoying myself. Finally Milldog Groove (S 4a) was next, a bold start with no gear whatsoever till after mid height. "A high chance of fall", says the guide but I declared to PJ, "I've never fallen of a Severe yet and I'd never live it down", so off I went. Nice climbing, just keep aiming for that big friend-friendly crack. The sky darkened ominously as I topped out and once again PJ was climbing in hailstones. "Sunny Cruit, my arse!" Bah!

So Cruit doesn't like us and tried to thwart our every move but we stuck it out and had some enjoyable (damp) climbing. I'm itching for the season to really begin, roll on Climbfest.

26 Apr 2012

Sorry to see someone else being as successful as I am being with the weather

29 Apr 2012
Maeve McKeever

The sun always always shines in Glencolmcille

29 Apr 2012

Rhymes with rollocks

01 May 2012
Alan Tees

Good on ya. Cruit is a great spot. Re the Climbfest, Camping arranged (with key for toilet for the self consious, week bladdered, and Maeve) at the GAA ground. Bring any auld gear you might want to sell, fire wood,and the sunshine. I have promised Valli a windless weekend- rash or what! Finally I have got the Eglisk bunkhouse for that weekend for 90 euro a night, limited places, so far PJ Ant, Bill and self going.

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