Saturday, 1 November 2008

About sharing and more Glendo off-track

Weather conditions were very mixed for the last bank holiday weekend: although the cold wind was keeping the rock at the perfect bouldering temperature, rain was also around...

On Saturday I got a text from Michael Duffy saying he was meeting Ricky Bell in the Cooley Mountains to check "one of the best lines in Ireland". This frightened me a bit as I thought the boys were on the trail of my latest secret spot. Oops, did I just say it? The fact is I do have a nice little spot in the Cooleys, but it does not have one of the best lines in Ireland, but at least 2 or 3 of them. No need to get excited though, this is just my very subjective opinion.

Talking about opinions, I already had got fairly paranoid when Dave Flanagan gave his own on first ascents back in June stating that "by saying nothing you are relequinshing your right to complain when someone does the 'first ascent' of your problem. " But I do share my discoveries and first ascents and the proof is my good mate Tim Chapman rung me that day asking if I had read Dave's article: "Do you think he knows about your new place?" The fact is I met a good few hill walkers around there and it's only a matter of time before climbers hear about it so let's start the sharing:

As for northies, it turned out that it was not what they were after. They were actually trying some serious line on one of the numerous outcrops that can be found in the Windy Gap. I had a quick walk around there before, but had never bothered checking that overhanging bit. I did not take any picture, but let's just say it is a high enough awesome looking slopey prow with what looks like a strenuous overhanging start. Unfortunatly the rain arrived and ruined the guys hopes as the upper slopers became damp. I would not be surprise if we hear about it soon though.

Sunday was another good discovery day. Again Michael Duffy texted us saying he was going to try a good looking roof crack he had spotted high in the scree. However after having spent a good time warming up and brushing the line, the few attempts he and Ron Browner gave it were far from enough to crack the line before the rain. In the meantime, I had met my old buddy Michael Nicholson who had decided to explore the surroundings. A good idea that was: he found a couple of huge caves, one of them containing one of Glendo's best problems. Not that it is particularly hard (Michael Duffy flashed the first ascent) but it has the good benefit of being sheltered from the rain, a quality that is not common among Glendo's problems... I am not talking about moisture here: by 5 o'clock all boulderers had fled the valley under lashing rain except for me, Kevin Griffin and Michael Duffy, who also had the taste of bringing lamps to light up the cave. The problem itself is a roof line, not too unsimilar to Chillax, but slightly harder. I suggested the name "Perma-dry" but Michael has probably come up with something better by now.

So, Dave, if you are reading this, here is a thought for your website: how about a database of perma-dry problems? I'll start: Perma-dry, 7a?, Glendo, in a cave high in the scree, 100m straight up above superstars of the BMX.


Pierre Fuentes said...

And before anyone criticise, yes the Blade Runner sequence is a montage: I never managed to film a full ascent....

Dave Flanagan said...

Good work Pierre, that stuff in the Cooleys looks great in particular the arete. How long does it take you to drive up? Did you find the rock sharp, we did when we went up there, still got some climbing done but you had to be selective.
Dry climbing in Glendo, good news, looks like its miles up in the scree. Do you need a lantern during the day to climb it?
Why don't you add Perma dry to the DB and then if we start finding more problems like it we can detail them somewhere?

Pierre Fuentes said...

Cheers Dave.

The drive is about 45mn from Glasnevin (so it's actually closer than Glendo for me). The rock is very sharp but the grain is much smaller making it climbable all year round.

"Permadry": no, you don't need a lantern during daylight. Micko Duffy should name it & grade it as he got the first ascent. I suggested that name after reading that article from Dave MC Leod.

I was hoping you'd know more of these "caves": surely there must be a few of them around the scree?