Had a bit of an offer from a friend to go to the Mournes in Ireland at the weekend, so just couldn’t turn that down!! It was kind of risky only going for 3 days as the weather could have just been pants, but in the end it did turn out ok.
The mist was a bit low to go onto the tops so we went to a roadside crag and pottered around on some easy things.Although I did do this E4 6a/b and it was probably the most runout 6a/b move I’ve done on an E4 – ever. The route had never seen E4 in its life!! I’d say it was much closer to E5/6, unless I just miss read it slightly.
We decided to quest on to Binnian. We set off in the rain, but optimistically carried on and it did brighten up to be a really nice day. Unfortunately I couldn’t do the routes I wanted to do up there because of the wind, but it was good to check it out for a future trip and we did get some other nice things done.
We visited the recently developed Lower Cove East Buttress, really amazing place. Steep pumpy routes with good gear and long runouts. After leading a few routes we got abit held up because the army came and had to set off an old World War 1 bomb off just below where we were climbing. Probably the loudest thing I’ve ever heard!!
After that I decided to give a new route a go onsight. I wasn’t sure whether there would be any holds in the middle section but thought it looked easy enough to reverse if not. Anyway it ended up that there were holds, however with a lack of gear I managed to get myself very runout. After a bit of a spicy little mantle I came across a perfect friend 1 slot (good job I hadn’t used it already) and pushed on to the top.
Anyway I found out that the route I had done wasn’t really a new route. Ricky had done it a few years ago and called it ‘Freshly Baked’ and gave it E7 6b. However I did take a slightly different start, so the variation I did was slightly easier. Still good though. Can’t wait to get back for a longer trip and check out some other crags, along with Fairhead. It all looks so good.
When I got back from Ireland I had another little project to go and finish before going away to America. It was a new route at Ravenstones. I had tried it briefly previously after completing another project up there a while back but didn’t have the correct gear. Anyway I went back with the correct gear and managed to do the route ground up. It just goes through a seam in the roof right of ‘No Time to Pose’. Probably E6ish or something and I called it ‘Jelly Full of Bad Cherries’ in anticipation for the up and coming America trip!!
So now, I’m sooooooooo pscyhed for America, only a week and a half before me and Tom are shuffling about in some Vedauwoo sandbag 5.9.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Hutton