Thursday, 17 May 2012

Rock Aplenty

A few nice first ascents from Glenmalure in Wicklow. Happy with the arete. It feels quite highball and with one pad I took ages to commit to the top out. Climbs lovely though - similar difficulty to Choc Ice and Alison Curtis and harder than So it goes right so probably around 6C+ or in Irish terms 3 Apples, 2 Oranges, a bite of Banana and a Carrot stick for good measure. Shelter is a great problem too, easy but lovely movement. Worth throwing your pad under it enroute to the higher problems or on your way back to the car.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Exploring Wicklow

Yesterday I had a day off. No running, no work and no climbing. A chance to catch up with all the other stuff. It ended with us going for a walk in Glenmalure and me finding and cleaning a lovely little overhanging prow. Nice to find something as easy as this with a definite flow to the movement. Plus it’s steep, pathside and in a beautiful setting. Shelter, 6A. Sit start on undercut below the roof and climb the good edges along the lip leftwards to good finishing moves up the mini groove. Class!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Robots

The Robots.
I dont like slabs. But this is a classic problem. Got me thinking what makes a classic problem? The movement feels good. The all-important setting. The texture and quality of the rock. The look of the line. The height. It keeps your interest. It allows progression to get you on the hook but won't succumb to thugery. It rewards understanding and strategy. And best of all, the crux is at the top and subtle enough to make you drop it a few times before the send. Magic!

Friday, 4 May 2012


Wow! Spent a few hours out there shredding tips and climbing some amazing lines. Thats the main draw of Glenmacnass in my opinion - lines. Aretes and prows. Obvious classic challenges with great landings. I hadn't been there since the first ever Irish bouldering meet. Did Tombstone arete, Smokey and the bandit, Le Joker and tried monkey burger, dice rib, and solidarity left and right. Slaped the top a few times but didn't stick it. 7a.

Anyone stressed or struggling to find motivation for life, bouldering, climbing should just walk up the valley and sit on the heather for a while. Beautiful.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Wild Wicklow

Guide book in hand I've been happily exploring loads of areas i never had the chance to climb at before. The clip above was from a 40min round trip to Lough Bray between the hail showers. I'd never done Choc Ice before and really enjoyed it. Little bit highball with great moves on slopers and friction for feet.

This last week I've had trips out to Dalkey, Mall Hill, Cloghoge and Carrigshouk. Sounds impressive but in reality some of those trips have just involved stomping around in the rain in my wellies susing out parking and approach paths and looking at lots of damp rock. But beneath the damp the lines look amazing - lots to do.

The morning spent bouldering in Dalkey was lovely. I hadn't climbed there in years and the place has changed alot but the atmosphere hasn't. It was like i never left the place. I had intended on just bouldering but once i pulled on i ended up soloing the old classics. Nothing harder than E2 but it felt great to be moving on rock again - known lines at a height. Felt great. One or two lines had these wierd moments on them. I had genuinely forgotten the sequences. All i knew was that i had climbed them before. I switched off and the routes just happened - like my body remembered what to do and i was just watching wondering what was going to happen next - really strange. Another nice thing was finishing up at Ivy Wall and managing the Ivy wall traverse in both directions and yepp direct - both of which i don't think i had ever done before. Sweet!
Ricky posted up his mega edit of Michael's first ascents around Wicklow - Irelands hardest problems from the Beta Coach - amazing!