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In the Couldron at Malin Head

Date: 10th June 2012
Submitted by: Chris Boomer
A bright sunny day with barely any wind and the views in every direction were spectacular. Alfie and Trevor were there when I arrived and Alan arrived shortly after. No time was wasted as Alfie and Trevor got their gear together and walked along Reptile Ridge before disappearing over the far side of it to set up a new route, not to be seen again for about an hour or so.Meanwhile Alan set up the Abseil (with a sock under the rope protecting it from the sharp edges - MaGuyver would have been proud) and disappeared over the edge and down onto a platform at the base of the Cauldron. Alan was straight up the first pitch of Rebel Yell, The route followed the rightward trending crack that was overhanging on the left side. I followed shortly after, and was pleased to find it was nice flat hand and foot holds all the way.Alan led both pitches, the rock on the second pitch was loose and crumbly and I was glad to get to the top. Route two was a new route; the first pitch followed the same start as Rebel Yell but moved left over an overhang and onto a slab. There was good protection at the overhang but it involved a very ballsy move to get round the blind side of it and on to the slab, I wasn't looking forward to making the move even on a top rope after watching Alan do it but with a combination of swear words and prayers I managed to ungracefully claw my way round it.Alan lead the second pitch where the rock was, unbelievably, even worse than the second pitch of Rebel Yell. He named the Route McAlpines Fuseliers in honour of the Dubliners VS(4b).  The final route of the day was another new route which started with a hanging belay about halfway down the cliff, just after the tricky overhanging move on McAlpines. It was a V shaped crack that started narrow at the bottom and widened up at the top.Once again Alan led and when it was my turn to climb there was a bit of faffing to get into the chimney, which involved performing an acrobatic 180 degree arse jam manouvre, but once on the rock it was lovely, clean, solid and grippy rock all the way.At the top of the route things got loose and crumbly again, but a bit of bridging meant this could be avoided.  

The day was ended with a coffee and apple pie from Dominic's mobile Coffee Emporium up at Bambas Crown while reflecting on one of the most memorable and epic climbing days I've had.

13 Jun 2012

Chris, thanks for putting on the report, but the rock wasnt that bad, (actually quite good for Malin Head!) I suppose if you you compare it to the Mournes you might have a point!

18 Jun 2012
Alan Again!

McAlpines renamed Finnegan's Rake- more appropriate, and with Bloomsday and all that!

02 Jul 2012

That does sound a fine day, I am particularly fond of Malin head; I couldn't believe it had been previously explored. The earliest routes were in Monty's Wine Cellar, some of which are pretty good value; folks don't get to often enough(?). Check them out.

Photo of Route