Donegal IMC Meet Trip Report

By Vicky


From 2 - 4 August a group of Belfast Climbers decided to roam west in a case of cross-club relations to join the IMC meet to Kilcar in Donegal. The day started off swimmingly by taking a necessary tributary off the motorway through various Antrim towns to pick up Kyle later than expected at 8am. However, soon we were back on course and Donegal was beck-oning. After a necessary pitstop for fuel and an unfortunate spinal injury in the water closet of Tescos we arrived at Slieve League to greet our IMC friends. Looking at each other to assess our sanity we precipitously headed to the belay to descend despite the stream of protestations from the Dublin crew. Kyle in a spate of delight started his ascent of Main Mast (E2), well known as one of the best multipitch E2s in the country. As Kyle went up his gear rained down as a karbiner and his phone tumbled into the Atlantic below; despite this his reign was not stopped and he safely reached a make shift belay (when he ran out of rope). Looking out towards Roaring Forties (VS) we spotted fellow BCC member Alistair. We greeted him with a flood of joy and enquiries over the climb – he greeted us by stating, “It’s been emotional”. However, soon the sun greeted from the sky, soon Main Mast was complete and soon the rock dried. Despite this, the IMC members had already departed Sail Rock for hot tea and more watery showers leaving the 3 BCC members with an ab rope and all the rock to play on.

Kyle abseiling into Sail Rock

Kyle abseiling into Sail Rock

Vicky and Jamie next decided to try Roaring Forties themselves with Vicky leading 1st and 3rd, Jamie the 2nd. Soon, they fully comprehended the previous “emotion” of Alistair. The rock was loose, crumbly and fickle- severe going on E6. Massive kudos to Alistair for leading the 2nd pitch (the most crumbly) in the earlier, less than ideal, conditions. The horrendous first 2 pitches gave way to a fantastic 3rd but, as Jamie summarised, perhaps not worth climbing the first 2? Meanwhile Kyle used the ab to shunt a few E5s etc on the face as well as take a questionable dip in the Atlantic in search of his phone. With our fun complete for the day we headed to the pub to join the IMC and reunite with Alistair for a fantastic meal before heading to the campsite for beer and slumbers.


Kyle continuing his descent beyond the base of Sail Rock, hot on the trail of his phone

Kyle continuing his descent beyond the base of Sail Rock, hot on the trail of his phone

Another photo of Kyle, but to prove that other people also went on the trip - here’s Vicky as well

Another photo of Kyle, but to prove that other people also went on the trip - here’s Vicky as well

The next day Jamie woke Vicky and Kyle early with a meek clamouring, “I want to climb”. Without much delay Vicky, Kyle, Jamie and Alistair headed to Muckross and were there for 9 o’clock soon to be joined by about 10 from the IMC. The steep overhangs of Muckross were intimidating for most. However, Kyle still managed to lead Cois Farraige (VS), Elvis twice (E3) and Stormy Petrel (E4) with very little difficulty. Jamie and Vicky were also successful with Jamie leading Tricky Dicky (VS), Primula (VS), The Barb (E1) and Elvis (E3) and Vicky leading Froth (HS), Nuts and Berries (HVS) and Joy of Frogs (HVS). Meanwhile Alistair seconded the most routes of the day and made some much appreciated coffee. Much banter was had with the IMC with shared climbs, a drone and chit chat. However, they might be perturbed by how willingly members of the BCC take their tops off as 75% of our cohort exposed vast quantities of skin over the weekend while a more civilised 0% of Dublin skin was displayed.

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Muckross

Muckross

Poster boy Kyle, eyeing up Elvis (E3)

Poster boy Kyle, eyeing up Elvis (E3)

Overall a fantastic weekend was had and (hopefully) we shall have a joint meet with our new friends again soon!

Kerry Trip Report

Report by Eva

Carrauntoohill from near Cronin’s Yard (photo: Alistair)

Carrauntoohill from near Cronin’s Yard (photo: Alistair)

Thursday the 11th of July, day 1.

The Belfast group consisting of Eva, Rónán and Lisa left Belfast with great anticipation and a car packed so well that only years of practising Tetris made it possible. After a long and uneventful journey with just a short stop at the infamous Obama Plaza in Moneygall, we arrived at our destination - Cronin’s Yard. We put up our tents just in time for the arrival of Vicky, Kyle and Alistair.

Friday the 12th of July, day 2.

Friday morning started with cloudy weather, perfect for climbing up the highest peak in Ireland – Carrauntoohil. We hiked up to the Heavenly Gates, where we started our climb up the Howling Ridge, stunning 450 m V-Diff grade route which, for some of us, was an introduction into ridge climbing. We completed the climb in two groups of three, using Alpine style techniques. All the efforts, sweat and Alistair’s tears were worth it once we reached the peak with these beautiful views (which disappeared as soon as we neared the top!). From there, we continued our ridge scrambling towards Beenkeeragh in the mist. After a few “Are we there yet?” moments, we reached Ireland’s second highest peak and were ready for our descent down the gully, with some beautiful views over the Hag’s Glen. While some of us decided to embrace the cold and freshen up in the river, Rónán and Lisa went ahead of the group to prepare some well-deserved barbeque.

Lisa and Vicky at the Start of Howling ridge (photo: Alistair)

Lisa and Vicky at the Start of Howling ridge (photo: Alistair)

Lisa halfway up Howling Ridge (Photo: Rónán)

Lisa halfway up Howling Ridge (Photo: Rónán)

Lisa and Vicky near the top of Howling Ridge (Photo: Rónán)

Lisa and Vicky near the top of Howling Ridge (Photo: Rónán)

Can you spot Kyle, Eva and Alistair? (Photo: Rónán)

Can you spot Kyle, Eva and Alistair? (Photo: Rónán)

Great view at the top (Photo: Eva)

Great view at the top (Photo: Eva)

Lisa and Rónán at the top of Carrauntoohill (Photo: Vicky)

Lisa and Rónán at the top of Carrauntoohill (Photo: Vicky)

Vicky and Eva scrambling on The Bones Arete on way to Beenkeeragh (Photo: Rónán)

Vicky and Eva scrambling on The Bones Arete on way to Beenkeeragh (Photo: Rónán)

Saturday the 13th of July, day 3.

Saturday was a sunny day with perfect conditions for some rock climbing in the nearby Gap of Dunloe. We stopped at an incredibly easily accessible Brennan’s Leap, with short yet strenuous routes ranging from HS to E3. All of us had our go at leading and even got to try to top-rope the hardest climb here (Deadline, E3 6a), after Kyle’s impressive lead seconded by Rónán. As the weather more resembled the conditions in the south of Europe, some of us decided to cool down our burned bodies in the nearby lake.

While Vicky headed down toward Kerry airport to leave us dirty rock climbers for the white elegance of Wimbledon, Rónán did a quick run up Carrauntoohil to get some more presentable pictures of the view from the top.

Brennan’s Leap, the ultimate roadside crag. (Photo: Alistair)

Brennan’s Leap, the ultimate roadside crag. (Photo: Alistair)

The actual view from the Top of Carrauntoohill, towards Cnoc na Toinne and the Big Gun (photo: Rónán)

The actual view from the Top of Carrauntoohill, towards Cnoc na Toinne and the Big Gun (photo: Rónán)

Towards Cronin’s, Killarney and a rainbow from Carrauntoohill summit (photo: Rónán)

Towards Cronin’s, Killarney and a rainbow from Carrauntoohill summit (photo: Rónán)

Obligatory evidence of Rónán running up Carrauntoohill in a BARF vest, a different Belfast based club!!!

Obligatory evidence of Rónán running up Carrauntoohill in a BARF vest, a different Belfast based club!!!

Sunday the 14th of July, day 4.

We continued our climbing in the Gap of Dunloe, this time at a crag called the Bothán. Another good day of climbing, with Lisa leading Agent Orange (HS 4b), Eva leading The Ego Has landed (VS 4b), Rónán and Eva leading Raven (HVS 5a), Kyle and Rónán leading Ljubljana (E1 5c), topped off with Kyle leading Disco Legs (E3 5c) and everyone else having a go at it on top rope. The day was once again finished by a jump in the lake.


Kyle on Disco Legs, Bothán, Gap of Dunloe. (Photo: Alistair)

Kyle on Disco Legs, Bothán, Gap of Dunloe. (Photo: Alistair)

Monday 15th of July, day 5.

The Gap from Bothán (Photo: Alistair)

The Gap from Bothán (Photo: Alistair)

Monday morning was a good reminder of the importance of checking oneself and one’s possessions before leaving climbing crags, but all was good once Eva’s wallet was found after a quick paced and refreshing walk on the top of Bothán. Afterwards we set off for the long journey home.

To conclude this report, the Kerry trip was a definite success, with a combination of beautiful weather, good company and some picture-postcard rock climbing.

A Kayak being taken for a walk at the Eagle’s Nest on Carrauntoohill. (Photo: Rónán)

A Kayak being taken for a walk at the Eagle’s Nest on Carrauntoohill. (Photo: Rónán)

No Ozone this week and update on Moorhill Quarry

Club times

This is a quiet time of year for indoor climbing but club times will go ahead as normal over the next few weeks, except for this Thursday (11 July) when the Ozone will be closed.

The weather is reasonably good, so keep an eye on the club facebook page to see who’s heading out.

Moorhill Quarry

Moorhill Quarry in Newry (UKC page here) is a recently developed roadside trad climbing venue. There have been rumblings of access issues but these appear to be resolved.

From Michéal Murphy:

Peter, the owner of the gun and airsoft club, has placed a pad lock on the upper gate and asked that the code be shared with other climbers so that we can use it as a car park.

The code is 3544..

He will have someone spray the weeds to make the parking area larger and to combat the giant hog weed. He is also happy if we use their shed at the top.

He stated that he was more than happy to share the area with climbers and is grand for climbing to take place while they are airsofting...

On the issue of health and safety he said they are using low pressure guns that are out of range of the rock faces and have consciously erected their shooting area away from the rock. There may be 5-6 routes on the far side of the quarry you may wish to be careful of if they are airsofting but the other ~45 should be ok.