Ricky Bell has done the second ascent of Dan Varian’s problem Glenn Ross 8a+/b at Fair Head (see some background to Dan’s FA) and he also got his project done, The Gentleman’s Arete 8B, also at the Head. Ricky has done plenty of other new problem check out his blog for details.
Check out this great video by Rob Hunter (co-author of the Fair Head Bouldering guide) climbing a few of the classic Mourne boulder problems including
- Cloud Nine 6bish FA Chimney Rock Mountain
- Huckleberry Huggin 7a stand (sit has been completed at 7bish) FA Binnian North Tor
- Writer’s Bloc 7c FA Binnian North Tor
- Felsic Fantasy 7a FA Binnian North Tor
- Apprehension 7bish FA Binnian North Tor
In February Dan Varian paid a visit to Fair Head and climbed a few new problems, read more about it on the Three Rock Books blog. He had just uploaded the a video of the hardest problem he climbed on the trip Glenn Ross 8a+. He also did the first move with a rag on his foot!
Read about Dan Varian’s wrap up of 2014 on the Beastmaker blog.
The crag in Lough Dan has a very steep, undercut base. And I think it would be possible to traverse the underside of the roof from left to right. Most of this problem would stay pretty dry in the rain. There is one hard crux exiting the roof and crossing the first section of steep wall but it’s probably not more than 7a. This is a long problem and would probably feel more like a route.
This quarter’s issue of Irish Mountain Log contains an interesting piece by Barry Dalby of EastWest Mapping about Charles Thompson a mountaineer, teacher and collector of placenames. Among the photos is one of Thompson – or possible a friend – bouldering in Glendalough. It appears that most of Thompson’s climbing was done early in his life so the photo probably dates from the 1920s which must make it one of the first photos of bouldering in Ireland. Dalby suggests in the caption that the photos is possibly Glendalough but I’m almost certain that the problem in question is on the large boulder that lies just off the path between the Path Area and the Ruins. The boulder is crossed by a sloping diagonal ramp. I will confirm next time I’m there.
This one is a little closer to home, and it goes to show that even the most popular venues have hidden – in plain sight – gems to be climbed. So Three Rock, the middle tor, around the right hand side of the wall where it turns right there is a wall, almost like a freestanding boulder. The line keeps to the right using the arete and the slopey breaks. There are plenty of holds on the bottom but the top looks like a typical Three Rock battle.
The landing is reasonable, a pad and spotter would be nice. Hard to know the grade, probably somewhere between 6a and 7a I would guess.
The last great problem on Three Rock (could have been done before of course).
A photo of this problem appeared in the guide but didn’t give much details of the location. It’s lies above Fraughan Glen on the left side of the valley above the waterfall.
It’s an amazing line up the left side of the very steep (maybe 55degrees over) wall. There are holds, beautiful small little dishes and it mightn’t be that hard but I can’t recall what the finish is like. This is an amazing line granted a good walk from the road. The landing is perfect.
This one isn’t that obscure seeing as it appears in Bouldering in Ireland but it’s worth highlighting. The Holiday boulder lie up the valley from the rest of the bouldering in Glendo, about 15 minutes walk past the Fin. There are a few reasonable easy problems but the standout line is the central groove. Slightly overhanging, it has a few holds and looks like it will be super technical, the landing is reasonable but a spotter would be useful as there is a block on the edge of the landing zone.
This is a nice, not far off the beaten track but not in an established area either. I found this a good few years ago, I have been back once or twice but not recently. I’m highlighting one problem but there is plenty more to go at here.
The problem is a slap to the big sloper and then another hard dynamic move/mantle to the sloping top. The landing needs a little work but will be perfect then and there is plenty of wood around to sort it.
Two weeks ago I started the project giveaway. Every Friday I will post up a photo of an unclimbed boulder problem in Wicklow and give the location. I was in Font last Friday so am late with this (last) weeks.
Anyway here it is. An immaculate concave slab of pristine granite in Mall Hill. It’s just right of the main crag, it’s problem number 16 in the latest edition of the guide.
It’s very smeary but the rock is top quality, could be very hard but might be just hard, it’s difficult to say with slabs.