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Burren climbing meet - CCC post

Summer 2015 and the first blog post of the Cork Climbing Club. The Burren was our first destination simply for the reason that there would be a mixture of experience among the members and the Burren accommodates this perfectly. The weatherman was wrong for a change! With all these satellite weather forecasts you would think we would have some form of accuracy but it worked in our favour so I’m not complaining. Maybe those who didn’t stay until Sunday might be a bit upset but we all got some routes done and left the Burren with more psyche, more muscles and a tan!

Ollie O’Regan and myself got there on the Friday morning/afternoon. Damien O'Sullivan (Damo) and John Harrison had also arrived at this stage and were getting stuck in. Aililadie was in the shade in the afternoon so team Ollie and myself got warmed up on some of the classics before we got melted, Genesis, Lisdoonfarkit, Ground Breaker, Bonnain Bui before we tried some more adventurous routes. Ollie led Atomic Rooster which has a cruel crux move at the beginning. I struggled to say the least but in an effort not to call in the Norwegian reserves finally made it up the crux. After that we moved over to Pis Fliuch, a 30m corner climb to finish up our day. The tide was in so we had to set up a hanging belay down the side of the sea cliff which was a first for me. It was pretty spectacular to be down there on my own, 30m from the top hanging off anchors watching the waves crash below me.

John Harrison and Damo, Point Blank (E4, 6B)

The rain came down Friday night and I woke to that exaggerated sound in my tent Saturday morning thinking this was going to be a disaster as most of the Cork Climbing Club were arriving today. The texts were coming in when the weather looked like it could go both ways but as the morning brightened up and the weather shifted people started to arrive to Ailladie and Ballyryan. Ballyryan was busy but we managed to squeeze in some leads on the modest crag. Anna Hauber, Paulina, Judit and myself enjoyed some not so hardcore leads. The short routes made for easy climbing but the polished rock threw the grades all over the place. It was good for practicing gear placement and set ups and for gaining experience. We all moved over to Ailladie to have a look at what the more adventurous were up to. John was running up some E4 6B thing which he finished clean. Point Blank and that was what it was….a blank face. I’m a long way off anything like that but we live in hope. Paul Gascoigne was sitting on top of Stoned (E3 5C) when we arrived and word has it he also completed Gallows Pole (E2 5C). Richard and Simone were nailing all the classics with Richard leading a few starred routes, Route 32 (E2 6A), March Handed Crack (E2 5B) and Line of Fire (E2 5B).

Paul and Eric, Stoned (E3, 5C)

A few showers made things interesting in the evening but out came the sun and dried up all the rain and … know how it goes!!! Damo went up Kleptomaniac (E3 6A) and no doubt John and himself went up some other interesting routes that the more skilled out of our new climbing club dare venture onto. I set up a top rope on Bonnain Bui for those of us who had been climbing in Ballyryan all day. Julie Reeves another member turned up for this finale. The girls got a taste for Ailladie and after much indecision decided to stay another night while the pessimists took off home in anticipation of bad weather coming in.

It didn’t. I didn’t stay on another night myself as I had made other plans in the county Clare but the girls and Damo had made the right decision. Sunday was a scorcher. Damo stayed on with the girls and helped them out top roping in Ailladie. They left with absolute psyche and an appetite for more. So the first of the Cork Climbing Club’s outings was a success thanks to the turn out and the weather. It was great to see the combination of experience and enthusiasm brought together. We had climbers with years of experience behind them encouraging those who are new to climbing. And for those of us who are relatively new to the game watching those with experience climb routes we can only imagine climbing was an incentive to build on that rack, train in Awesome Walls (ahem!) and to get out as much as possible. Looking forward to the next Cork Climbing Club outing!

Mags McCarthy (Events Officer)

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