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Gartan Spring

Date: 9/03/13
Submitted by: maeve mckeever
There was a big turn-out for the MI Spring Meet at Gartan, with lots of familiar faces ready to shake off winter. Colmcille Climbers were co-hosting with Foyle Ramblers, and friday evening’s lecture was courtesy of Iain Miller who entertained us with tales of death-defying conquests of donegal  sea stacks and how to go about planning an assault. Anyone forming a summit attempt plan on any one of these, preferably with sea-craft access, and looking for a climbing partner, please contact Sandra Monaghan. Saturday morning after a full gartan breakfast, the usual herding cats routine eventually resulted in groups heading off on various walks ,some to climb at cruit in spite of the dodgy weather forecast. The cruit climbers later  reported that a few pitches were completed before onset of rain required coffee-drinking in winnebagos  and rugby-watching in pubs.  Alan T treated Gerard and myself to a scrambling tour of  North Ridge and Tower Ridge on Errigal , both of which were very efficiently knocked off before lunch. A leisurely tramp back to the car via the tourist route with stops to enjoy the scenery and pick out the ridge on Tory we should do as a club meet, made a great day out, the first drops of rain falling as we changed shoes back at the car.  For me, the afternoon AGM and Members Forum highlighted how many enthusiastic people are giving huge amounts of time to run MI. We have all got the T-shirt and appreciate of the effort that goes in to organise our fun. The highlight of the weekend was Alan’s After-Dinner slideshow showcasing 20 years of CCC.  Alan’s stories of fun and camaraderie, accompanied by action photos of trips all over the world gave a great account of the club to a wide audience of mostly non-climbers. Gartan once again came up trumps with a well-organised dinner for 60 followed by mini-buses to the pub, what more could you ask for! Gerard, Iain and I did a rope management workshop on sunday morning – I learnt in particular that I should develop the habit of belaying off the rope loop to allow escape from the rope, and learn to use an auto-locking device for direct belaying of 2 second climbers: an intense hour-and-half. We all then went to various meetings, had lunch and headed home, my kind of weekend.

Photo of Route