Tuesday, 22 January 2008


Bouldering in Le toit du cul de Clare, Co. Clare

A small PDF bouldering guide to Le Toit du cul de Clare is available.

The rule no.1 for enjoying a peaceful married life is to make sure you please both mothers-in-law (unless you have successfully managed to disguise a murder into an accident). Mine being from County Clare, I usually spend Christmas in France and the New Year in Clare and the opposite the following year. This is a good way of enjoying all the good stuff from Christmas time, from Christmas pudding to foie gras. And this way I also get a chance to send my problems at the Toit du Cul de Claire (although that trickle cake can have a terrible effect on my belly weight). The place is only 15 minutes away, so I usually manage 2 or 3 sessions at Christmas.
This time I did not do any gardening, although there is probably another 3 or 4 lines that could be developed. I would also like to get rid of some of the small bushes covering the top edge: some of the lines could definitely do with a nice top out. But one has to get some climbing done sometimes to keep some motivation.

This time I decided that I would focus on the full traverse loop around the roof, linking Cold Turkey and the Grand Slam traverse. After a few tries it definitely came clear that the easiest way was to start on Cold Turkey because the deadpoint is easier going up than going down. After that there are a few jugs to campus along the roof lip. These lead you to the corner around which stands Munster rules (Grand Slam left). Campusing back down should bring me back on the long mantel traverse below the roof. I say "should" because the entire line is approximately 40 moves and I will need a little bit more stamina. But I am back there next weekend and hopefully I will have that line called the "French connection" by Monday. Video here:

I also did a bit of exploration in the Arra Mountains between Lough Derg and Nenagh. This time I had pre-checked on the aerial views from both google Earth and the OSI, and although some very interesting spots looked particularly similar to those of Glenmacnass, the place proved to be as beautiful and as boulder-free as the Slieve Bearnagh in East Clare. Next stop is the Silvermines Mountains in Co. Tipperary. If anyone has already checked the place, please do not tell me. I love a thrill of long boggy walks in the misty fog. It is the best way to enjoy a nice hot whisky by the range...

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