Monday, 3 June 2013

The Old Country










So I finally got round to putting together a video of last summer's expedition. It's here for anyone who's interested.



It's been a while since I've posted anything on this - I've been busy. I moved back to Ireland mid-April and have since been doing a bit of work at climby places around Belfast.

Despite the ridiculously late start to the Spring, trad climbing season arrived and I've been getting out when I can. A few trip to the Mournes and Fair Head have reminded me how outstanding the climbing is around these parts!

One particular highlight was an ascent of 'The Sheugh', a **** route on Buzzard's Roost in the Mournes described as 'just on the humorous side of character building' and 'best savoured by a large party in high sprits or preferably full of spirits'

The Sheugh is the cleft in the middle. Old school climbing

Stuart and myself had gone to Lower Cove but it had been far too windy to climb there. It didn't take much to convince Stuart (a caver in a past life) to make an attempt on the Sheugh, which was as wet and manky as you could ever hope.


Stuart at the start
The Sheugh, justifiably, has a fierce reputation and is avoided by most - see here for an excellent account of a rescue of some local 'notable climbers' being rescued off it a few years ago!

In the belly of the beast
It was, in short, absolutely terrifying. Scrittly damp rock and airy traversing on bad gear. The top-out involved trying to find the most solid grass to escape on. Brilliant fun.

The slightly grassy top out

Avoid wearing good clothes


I've fallen in love with Fair Head (again) and had some great days out there recently. Cúchullain (E2) with John O'Hara was an incredible experience, somehow holding in past almost all reserves and bellyflopping over the top after 5 hours on the wall.

On the top pitch of Cúchullain (Photo: J McCune)

The Fair Head meet was on at the weekend just past, and it was great to see so many people there. The weather was good enough to get climbing, the craic was great and Nick Bullock's talk hilarious. I had a go at the famous 'route for the aspiring hard man' GBH (E3 6a) at the Prow but fell off the crux repeatedly. My hands are now numb and mangled. Oh well, next time...

I also cleaned The Offence - a great HVS at the Prow that has been neglected (probably because the guide doesn't paint it in a very flattering light). Well worth the effort and it saw a few ascents on Saturday after cleaning.

The forecast is looking great this week - off to Gola island in Donegal on Wednesday for some seacliff fun. Yay climbing!