Dalkey Quarry Upper Cliffs
Central Buttress. The large mass of rock rising high above the base of the steps. Criss-crossed with quartz veins and capped on it’s left-hand side by an old signalling tower.
Tower Ridge – The prominent high ridge of rock jutting out from the upper cliffs, just left of a radio mast. Distinguished by its steep nose and on its left flank there is a leaning wall, which turns sharply back into a slab at half height.
White Wall – Right of Tower Ridge and separated from it by a slope of mixed rock and vegetation lies a vertical face of pale rock. If approaching from the Killiney Hill Car Park it is the first outcrop of rock behind the gorse bushes to the right.
On entering the quarry from the car park the Upper Cliffs form a series of buttresses above the path which runs across the plateau above East and West Valleys. A series of steps lead up from the plateau towards the tower at the top of Dalkey Hill.
The first routes are located below and to the left of the steps on a sharp prominent ridge the far side of which drops down into East Valley.
ARROW HEAD * 14m VD
IMC. Early 1940s.
An unusual route, well worth the effort. Start up a crack in the wall below and to the right of the prominent ridge or by the easy slab. Climb the triangular face, which forms the nose of the ridge, and move along it, past the saddle to a slab. Up the slab by its edge.
NO SWEAT 15m VD
M. Leach, D.J. Doyle. 16.8.1980.
Start below the chimney formed by the large flake in the wall below Arrow Head. Climb the chimney to the top of the flake, move diagonally right to gain the crest and continue to the end of the ridge. Climb down left to a grass ledge on the other side of the ridge. From the ledge climb directly up the flake keeping left at the top.
CURARE 15m VD
J. Morrisson. 1951.
A poor variation on Arrow Head. The rock requires care. Start 1m right of the chimney on No Sweat. Climb steeply up to gain the ridge at the saddle. Finish as for Arrowhead.
Just left of the steps a gentle area of slabs leads down to a short steep wall. Two problems have been recorded here. Mickey Mouse (D) climbs the obvious easy line leading to the left edge of the slab. Vivi (D) climbs the wall and slab to the right.
J. Butler, T.P. McHugh. 1971.
The following routes start on the steps.
FAERY FEET 12m VS 4b
P. Kenny, J. Morrisson. 1951.
Nice climbing but don?t fall off! Start between the 7th and 8th platforms of the concrete steps. Climb the narrow buttress left of the wide-open chimney (Gwynne’s Chimney). The angle eases after about 5m. Move to the left edge of the slab and finish up the steep section via a tricky move onto the arête.
TIPP TOED 12m VS 4c
S.R. Young. 31.12.1977.
Start between Faery Feet and Gwynne’s Chimney. Climb directly up to a block in a short corner with a poor peg runner just above. Make difficult moves to exit left onto a slab. Finish up Faery Feet.
GWYNNES CHIMNEY * 12m VS 4c
IMC. Early 1940s.
An impressive route for its time. It still commands respect for its difficulty. Start on the 7th platform of the concrete steps at the foot of a short slab leading up to the chimney. Climb the chimney moving left onto the slab above. Exit either by the corner immediately above the chimney or finish as for Faery Feet.
BLOCK PARTY 9m E7 6c
M. Duffy. Summer 2009. (Top roped then soloed without mats.)
One of the last great problems in the quarry to the left of Hoochie Coochie Couloir. Bouldery climbing up the hanging arête with precarious moves above the concrete steps and railings. Probably font 7a+/b with mats?
HOOCHIE COOCHIE COULOIR * 9m E1 5c
S. Windrim, K. Higgs. 19.7.1977.
The steep groove immediately right of Gwynne’s Chimney is a formidable proposition. The protection is good but exhausting to place. Climb up the corner and layback into the groove strenuously. Follow this directly to the top. It is possible to escape right to gain Salacia but as you have done the hard bit at this stage it is not worth the trouble.
SALACIA 9m VS 4b
B. Davies, S.R. Young, 4.9.1975
An average route, which is redeemed by an exciting finish. Start just right of Hoochie Coochie Couloir on the 6th platform. Climb the green wall and move up slightly left into the groove. Continue up onto a sloping ledge, move out left and with difficulty gain the slab above in an airy position.
Variation Sunset (S) From the sloping ledge move right and finish up the jamming crack. J. Moran, R. Dowling. 11.6.1986.
MITRE 23m VS 3c, 4c
IMC. Early 1940s.
A popular route with good wall climbing on the second pitch. Start at the 6th platform of the concrete steps. Climb a short slab on jugs and move right onto a wide grass ramp. Move over ledges in a corner just right of a smooth slab. At 5m move out left onto a steep wall and climb this boldly to the top. Variations:
1. The most popular continues up the corner and finishes through a niche on the skyline.
2 Follow the smooth slab on the left. From its top move right up the steep rock to the top.
CENOTAPH 27m HVS 4c, 5a
W. Lee, J. Colton, P. Coakley. 8.1977.
Start at the 5th platform on the concrete steps. Three short parallel grooves offer a variety of routes up to the wide grassy ramp. The one on the left is 4c the other two are 5b, all are strenuous. Cross the wide terrace to beneath a projecting block with a triangular overhang at its base. Climb the corner on the left side of the block to gain a ledge at the top. Move left onto a large sloping foothold on the arête. Climb up and slightly right to reach the slab above.
SEPULCHRE 17m VS 4c, 4c
F. Winder, S. Rothery. 1952.
The committing move on pitch 2 requires a determined and gymnastic approach. Start as for Cenotaph. Follow Cenotaph to the top of the projecting block on Pitch 2. Climb the overhanging wall above by means of a committing swing right using a handhold on the lip. Finish more easily up the slab to a belay.
AISEIRI 29m HVS 4b, 5a
G. Moss, T. Forde. 31.7.1975.
Start on the steps in the obvious corner between Sepulchre and Central Rib.
1. Step left and climb the wall following a thin crack to a belay below the projecting block of Sepulchre.
2. Climb the crack on the right side of the block to the overhang. Make a long step right to a small ledge on the arête. Gain height and step right to a sloping ledge. Continue up the groove above.
LONG ARM OF THE LAW * 27m E1 5b
P. O?Sullivan, W. Lee, L. Brotherwood, T. Burke, P. Coakley. 22.7.1980.
A short but very worthwhile route with a worrying lower groove. Start as for any of the previous routes to the grassy terrace. Cross this to a steep groove right of Aiseiri. Boldly climb the groove and swing left onto a small ledge to join Aisieri. Finish more easily up this.
SUPERIOR AIRS 27m E1 5b
W.Lee. Early 1980s.
A dangerous boulder problem start leads to easier climbing above. Follow any of the previous routes to the terrace. Move right and climb the wall just right of the groove on Long Arm of the Law to a large ledge. Continue up to finish via the groove just right of Aiseiri.
CENTRAL RIB 8m VS 4c
F. Maguire. 1948.
Climbs the right edge of the smooth steep slab above the 3rd platform. Unprotected and no pushover. Gain the rib from the left and climb it delicately.
RAPTURE ** 27m E5 6b
R. Browner, S. Coughlan, C. Rooney. 1.8.1996 (Top roped prior to ascent).
This exhilarating route tackles the leaning arête above Central Rib. >From the base of the arête stretch up left to gain a ledge. Then swing out right onto the arête in a fine position, up to a horizontal borehole and force a way up the face, finishing right of the arête.
To the right of the arête the buttress forms a large brown wall, the base of which can be reached up steep grass to the right. The following routes climb the wall.
GREAT CENTRAL ROUTE ** 27m E3 6a
R. Richardson, J. Lynam. 1975, prior to loss of large crucial block. D. O?Sullivan. 20.8.1990, with new improved finish.
A route which as a result of rockfall has seen many changes since it was first climbed. It now stands as a superb route with well protected technical climbing. Start 5m left of the Great Gully below a rib at the foot of the large brown wall. Climb the rib easily to a stance and peg runner. Pass the peg and make a tenuous move left around the arête to gain the huge sentry box. Stem up the apex of the sentry box, technical, to reach better finishing holds.
Variation: The original route moved left from the sentry box to a second smaller recess then left again to gain the arête. IMC. Early 1940s.
MARICON 27m E3 5c
S.R. Young 1979, with aid. D. O?Sullivan. 20.8.1990, first free ascent.
Takes the scarred crackline up the wall right of Great Central Route. Start just left of Great Central Route. Climb the slab and step right to the stance below the peg runner on Great Central Route. Pass the peg with difficulty to gain the base of the thin crack. Romp up this to the top.
PINK FLUFFY CLOUDS 26m E4 5c
A. Sarhan, J. Gernon. Autumn 1999.
A delight for those with masochistic tendencies. Climb the centre of the wall right of Maricon to a “loose flake” at half height. Place dubious protection behind this to safeguard the crux mantelshelf up onto it. Finish up to a curving undercut crack on the right.
SOUTH CENTRAL ARÊTE 26m D
IMC. Early 1940s.
Start 3m right of Great Central Route below a corner. Climb the corner and wide crack above past a small bush to gain an earthy ledge, possible belay. Gain the slab above and follow the left edge to reach an arête. Follow this in a fine position to the top.
GREAT GULLY 34m D
IMC. Early 1940s.
This is the obvious rift separating the Great Central Wall from Central Buttress. The line can be followed to taste (probably distaste) and mostly consists of cranking on vegetables.
Right of Great Gully lies the Central Buttress, an impressive steep buttress of mostly good quality granite providing a high concentration of excellent hard routes.
MORNING SHADE 20m HS A1
S.R. Young, P. O?Neill.
Start at the foot of Great Gully. Climb the fine crack on the smooth right wall to a ledge, continue up the vegetated rock steps to a finish at the boundary wall. Variation: E2 6a Gain the ledge using three boreholes and the arête. R. Browner. 19.6.2003.
SLAPSTICK ** 30m E7 6b
R. Browner, M. Duffy. 16.5.1999. (Top-roped prior to ascent).
The left arête of Central Buttress. Brilliant climbing, serious, steep, and strenuous. Probably the hardest route in the quarry. Attack the arête from its left hand side up a shallow groove, reach out right to the arête to good holds, a reasonable R.P. and a useless peg. Now pull out the stops and slap blindly up through the crux section to gain an undercut which leads on to easier ground above. Join Central buttress at the belay ledge below the finishing slab.
SPANDEX ** 30m E6 6b
R. Browner, M. Duffy. 6.10.1996. (Redpointed ground up).
Short and hard. The most physical route in the quarry. Climbs the corner with a prominent peg on the left side of the buttress. Scramble easily onto a large ledge. Bridge up into undercuts, peg runner, stretch up to a small crimp which if held will lead to the hanging block. From there launch up and hang the sloping ledge above. Mantelshelf onto the ledge and continue with ease to join Central Buttress at the void right of the belay ledge.
RETURN OF THE JEDI * 30m E5 6b
T. Burke. Spring 1990.
Hard and technical climbing up the arête left of the start of Central Buttress. Start in the corner of Spandex. Step right and climb the sharp arête by a dynamic sequence to a ledge and peg runner. An awkward mantelshelf gains a groove and another peg. Up the groove by a series of blind and technical moves using holds on the arête to gain a large ledge. Continue up Central Buttress or Hari Kari Groove.
YELLOW LINE RIDER 37m E1 5b
R. Richardson, P. McMenamin, S.R. Young. 12.6.1975.
An eliminate line following Central Buttress for part of its length. Start below a corner just left of the crux arête of Central Buttress. Climb the wall to gain the sloping ledge. Follow the line of vertical boreholes to a ledge below a corner with a large hanging block. Climb the corner past the block to a ledge, move left and then go up into a short hanging groove. Gain the slab above and follow it directly to the top.
CENTRAL BUTTRESS *** 37m E1 4a, 5b, 4b
F. Maguire, J. Morrison, P. Kenny. 1951.
A quality route, which traces a steep and devious path through some improbable territory, a milestone in the development of the quarry. Start just left of an ash tree.
1. Climb a rib just left of the tree to a large ledge below the main buttress. This ledge, the usual starting place may be reached easily from the left.
2. From the left end of the ledge make steep technical moves (crux) up the rib to gain another ledge. An alternative is to start 3m further right in a groove below a small overlap and to traverse diagonally left with difficulty to reach the same place. Step up and follow the obvious traverse line leftwards to a large ledge below a hanging block in a corner. Climb the corner steeply to reach a ledge above. Traverse left around the corner and make a long stride across the void to reach an excellent belay ledge. Nuts and old pegs.
3. Move left and up into a small overhanging V-corner. Climb up onto the slab above and follow this to the top.
HARI KARI GROOVE ** 35m E3 5c
T. Burke, H. Hebblethwaite. 12.1985.
A resolute lead. Follow Central Buttress to the belay ledge below the hanging block. Step down and right and enter a shallow groove, hidden peg runner, make committing moves up this to gain a ledge. Traverse left until above the hanging block on Central Buttress. Move up and clip a peg high on the right below the roof. Thin moves up the corner and a swing out right using good holds above the peg lead to a spectacular finish through the overhang.
PORN FOR FUN ** 35m E4 6a
T. Burke, H. Hebblethwaite. 12.1985.
Brilliant bold climbing with an exciting finish guaranteed to get the adrenalin pumping. Start as for Central Buttress. Follow Central Buttress past its crux and then climb straight up to a ledge and open corner in the middle of the buttress just right of Hari Kari Groove. Make hard moves up the right side of the corner (good nut slot in corner) to gain a big flat jug. From this climb boldly up rightwards to reach a small stance below a smooth white slab (peg). Climb the slab and groove to the roof. Wild moves left gain a large jammed block which ?seems secure? (good thread). From the block pull steeply up to gain the top.
SOFT TOUCH 30m E4 6a
R. Browner, P. Keane. 28.8.2001.
A worthwhile route despite some loose rock on the crux corner. Start 2m left of Port Cullis. Climb the groove to join Port Cullis below the roof. Traverse left beneath the roof and continue up the corner above on flexing flakes and friable footholds to the ledge of Astrodog. Follow the line up a groove to join Port Cullis again for the last few moves.
PORT CULLIS *** 35m E4 6a
H. Hebblethwaite, D. O?Sullivan. 8.1985.
A fine technical companion for Porn for Fun but with better protection throughout. Start 4m to the right at a black stained groove just left of the large quartz vein of Astrodog and directly below a square cut roof. Climb the groove to the roof. Make a tricky traverse leftwards past a peg runner to a pocket and crack just right of Porn for Fun. A desperate move leads to a resting place at the foot of a white slab (peg). Climb the slab to its top and then swing right into a hanging groove and finish up this to a tree belay.
ASTRODOG ** 30m E2 5c
T. Burke, D. O?Sullivan. 8. 1983.
This route takes the big quartz vein on the right hand side of the buttress giving pumpy enjoyable climbing. Start just right of the quartz vein. Climb on jugs diagonally rightwards to gain a crack in the corner. Follow this to where it joins the quartz vein at a small quartz nose, crux. Up the chimney above past a peg until it is possible to step onto a large ledge on the left and a well earned rest. Climb the last section of the quartz vein and finish over the bulge in a fine situation.
CLITO FROMO SPACO 30m E3 5c
T. Burke, C. O?Cofaigh. 11.1985.
Right of Astrodog is a steep wall with a line of flakes leading to a short corner. Climb the flakes to gain the corner and a peg runner. Strenuous moves up this lead to a large ledge and tree. The blunt arête above provides a serious finish on which it is not advisable to fall off.
Right of Clito, the buttress diminishes in height. However in undergrowth there are a couple of satisfying problems.
WINDHOVER 8m HVS 5b
J. Lyons, D. Wall. 3.8.2001.
From the corner, climb up and leftwards across the slab and stretch tenuously out to the obvious handhold on the arête. Continue up the arête on better holds.
Variation: Alternatively the ‘obvious handhold’ can be gained by pinching and cranking directly up the arête from below. The slab can also be climbed on it’s own.
XANADU 7m E1 5c
J. Lyons, D. Wall. 3.8.2001.
The short corner presents a puzzling start, which is followed by a more straightforward but intimidating finish.
Right of Central Buttress a narrow path leads to the stone wall up a grassy rake. Above the path lies a steep buttress of rotten looking rock.
SPIRAL 16m S 4a
J. Lyons, 7.1992.
An uninspiraling route. Follow Brown Sugar, moving left onto a grass ledge and finish up the wall to the left of the arête.
BROWN SUGAR 16m HS 4a
P. O?Neill, S. R. Young. 9.1979.
A rarely climbed route with more than its fair share of dubious rock. Start just left of Savage Gully. Climb the arête of the rusty buttress, starting on its left side and then moving out to the right in an exposed position.
SAVAGE GULLY 24m VD
An unforgettable experience, horribly loose. Start below and to the left of the obvious gully splitting the buttress. Up over loose rock and grassy ledges to finish grovelling up steep rotten rock and mud.
Variation: The obvious steep ramp up the wall to the right of Savage Gully has been climbed; it finishes left into the gully avoiding the flaky section. J. Colton. 1977.
SAVAGE ARÊTE * 23m VS 4a, 4b
A. Kopczynski, J. Morrison. 1952.
An exposed second pitch in a fine position makes the route better than it looks. Right of Savage Gully is a steep wall bounded on the bottom right by a short groove. Start below the groove.
1.Up the groove and exit out to the right. Step back left and follow the edge to a stance and belay below a slab.
2.Move out left and up the edge of the slab.
SAVAGE RIB 23m HS 4a
IMC. Early 1940s.
1. As for Savage Arête.
2.Climb the corner up the right side of the slab to the tree and continue up over broken rock to finish.
Just around to the right a steep corner gives a short but interesting problem. Other problems have been climbed near a vertical borehole left of Cathy Crackers.
CATHY CRACKERS 12m VS 4b
S. R. Young, J. Mulhall, J. Butler, D. Mitchell, J. Leonard. 24.6.1972.
Start at the foot of the slabby corner around to the right of Savage Arête. Climb up the slab to a small square cut overhang, move around this and up the groove to a grassy ledge. Belay well back.
TOASTED SPECIAL 12m HVS 5a
C. Cormican, M. McSherry. Summer 1994.
Start as for Cathy Crackers but traverse out left below the square cut overhang, to belay at the whitebeam tree.
DISTRUST 15m VS 4c
S.R. Young, J. MuIhall. 1972.
The crackline 3m right of Cathy Crackers. Follow the crack up the slab to a bulge. Traverse right around this and ascend the ramp to a grassy ledge and tree belay.
Distrust Direct HVS 5a
Rowan Kavanagh, Gerry Galligan 26/5/09
A variation on Distrust, omitting the grassy ramp ending. Takes a direct finish up the crack and onto the slab below the overhang, to finish at the tree belay of Thrust. Small ledges and crimps on slab. Left trending crack below overhang, as per Thrust, may prove useful.
THRUST *** 24m HVS 4c, 5a
G. Jones, P. Duggan. 30.12.1968. Direct finish T. Ryan, S. Windrim. 31.12.1976.
A splendid long route with a thrilling steep finish. Start below a steep corner running up the left hand side of the smooth wall just right of Distrust.
1. Climb the corner past an awkward bulge and up the thin crack above to a large flake. Belay on nuts and a spike over to the right.
2. From the large flake continue up the thin crack to a ledge. Traverse left under the bulging headwall until it is possible to pull steeply up finishing diagonally rightwards. Tree belay. The top pitch can be avoided by scrambling right to finish up pitch 2 of Giants Staircase.
CRIME IN THE CITY ** 15m E4 6a
C. O?Cofaigh, H. Hebblethwaite, B.Callan. 20.6.1989.
Excellent climbing up the middle of the smooth wall right of Thrust. Despite being well protected where it matters, the route still has a serious feel about it. Start at the centre of the wall below an overlap (with a flake on the right). Climb up to the overlap, and move up leftwards to reach a good flat hold (peg) and continue with difficulty to a narrow ledge. Make thin moves straight up past 2 pegs to reach better holds. Traverse right across the top of a short corner to gain a ledge. Finish up the left- trending diagonal crack. Extending the pegs with slings is unnecessary for the grade.
CRIME IN THE CITY DIRECT 15m E4/5 6a
S. Mc Gowan, A. Grennan 12.05.2009 (Toproped prior to ascent).
A more consistent finish than the existing line. Climb Crime In The City up to the two higher pegs. Instead of traversing out right after the pegs, continue straight up, and slightly left, until a hard move right allows you to gain some good holds. From here the top of the wall and the finishing crack should be almost in reach, gain them and the ledge to finish. A sky-hook was used for protection on the upper section.
Note: The grade is a very rough estimate, I’ve no idea really. This may have been done before, but from the quality of the rock before it was cleaned I doubt it. Anyway, hop on it and give it a go!
CAPTAIN SKYHOOK *** 15m E6 6b
S. Mc Gowan, J. Redmond 20.05.2012 (Headpoint).
A bold line that takes over where Myasta Junction traverses out right. Follow Myasta to the jugs and the crucial small nut. From here leave the gear behind and make some hard moves up and slightly left on side-pulls and gastons until you can reach the base of a short corner and some better holds. If you’re still hanging on, give yourself a pat on the back and finish straight up, as for Crime In The City. As the name suggests, raiding you aid rack may be helpful.
MYASTA JUNCTION * 15m E5 6b
C. O?Cofaigh. 9.1990.
S. Mc Gowan, A. Grennan. 25.05.2010 (Repeated after the loss of a large block with toprope pre-practice).
A serious proposition up the flake and wall right of Crime in the City. Start as for Crime in the City. Move up to the small overlap. At the right hand side of this is a short thin flake. Layback this to reach good holds at the apex (a skyhook would be recommended here). A scary move to get stood on these gains a rest and crucial small nut. Move right and up to a teetering reach for a good hold and a hidden side pull. Another hard committing move to get stood up here adds some excitement before traversing out right on easier ground to finish.
ARCADIA 15m E2 5c
R. Fenlon, C. O?Cofaigh, H. Hebblethwaite. 12.1988.
Start just below the borehole 3m left of Preamble. Follow a thin crack until a step right and up gains a good handhold and a hidden peg runner. Move left and climb past a small overlap with difficulty to reach a thin left trending crack. Finish more easily up this.
PREAMBLE 15m VS 4c
B. O?Flynn, D. Moloney. 1962.
A dirty and poorly protected route taking the rib on the right side of the smooth wall. Climb the rib starting on its left side, to the grassy terrace.
GIANTS STAIRCASE ** 26m S 3c
IMC. Early 1940s pitch 1. A. Kopczynski, J. Morrison, 1952, pitch 2.
A justifiably popular route which remains dry in wet weather. Start below the huge overhanging wall on the east flank of Tower Ridge behind a whitebeam tree.
1. Climb up left over a series of square cut ledges and vertical boreholes, difficulty increasing with height. Belay on the ledge to the left of the overhang and below the corner.
2. Climb the corner above and finish up Tower Ridge.
GULF CRISIS * 23m E3 6a
D. O?Sullivan, J. Starke. 25.8.1990.
Breaches the overhang above Giant?s Staircase at its left hand end. Start 5m left of Giant?s Staircase between two trees. Climb up a right facing groove with a borehole, up the short wall above to join Giant?s Staircase. Follow this for 3m to a stance below and left of a black borehole. Move out right on small incuts and then up to gain the borehole. Pull over the lip to jugs and another borehole. Finish up the slab and right trending crack above.
BITTER AFTERTASTE ** 23m E6 6a
R. Browner, C. Bligh. 9.6.1994. (Top-roped prior to ascent).
The impressive line of weakness through the steep wall on the east flank of Tower Ridge. Start at the base of Giants Staircase. Climb the narrow sloping ramp to a good hold and peg. Swing left onto the face and continue up on small but positive holds to a jug at the lip, (dubious thread). Mantel over the lip onto a ledge and good nut protection. Smear up and right to a crack, which is followed to the top.
THE PRISONER *** 25m E5 6a
D. O?Sullivan, M. McCormick. 27.6.1985, with peg runner. D. O?Sullivan, J, Starke. 17.8.1990, without peg runner.
Lonely climbing with a considerable ?out there? feel to it. One of the best routes in the quarry. Start as for Graham Crackers. Follow this to the top of the nose (good R.P.s in the thin crack). Curb the palpitations and launch out leftwards to gain a good handhold beside an orange scar. From this precarious moves gain the obvious ledge. Move left along the ledge (wires and borehole protection) and finish up the exposed runnel with a few more hairy moments before reaching Tower Ridge.
GRAHAM CRACKERS *** 22m HVS 5a
R. Richardson, P.
A razzling route giving superb bold climbing at a surprisingly amenable grade. Start at the right end of the wall where the overhang terminates directly below the striking thin crack of Tower Ridge Direct. Climb the wall to an awkward mantel. Move left over ledges to reach a borehole right of the obvious protruding nose. A hard move gains a standing position on top of this (very small wires). Step right and launch boldly up the wall above to reach a welcoming horizontal break (phew!). Move left and up a wall to a ledge. Finish up or down Tower Ridge. Variation Finish: 5b The continuation of the horizontal break leads to a more sustained finish up the obvious thin crack left of the normal finish.
CELL BLOCK H ** 30m E1 5b
D. O?Sullivan, J. Lyons. 14.8.1990.
Start as for Graham Crackers. Climb the wall and then up over ledges to the base of the groove of After Midnight. Step left and climb a second very shallow groove above a horizontal borehole (easier than it looks) to reach a horizontal crack splitting the face. Follow this for 10m to a fingery finish up the thin crack left of the variation finish to Graham Crackers.
AFTER MIDNIGHT * 18m E2 5b
S. Windrim, A. Latham. 6.9.1977.
This route takes the shallow groove just left of the thin crack of Tower Ridge Direct. Start as for Graham Crackers. Climb the wall and move up over ledges to a horizontal borehole below the groove. Mantle onto a jug, peg runner, climb up onto a flat ledge and yet another precarious mantel. Swing out right onto the slab on Tower Ridge and a nut belay.
TOWER RIDGE DIRECT ** 18m E2 5c
First ascent unknown 1952. First free ascent W Lee. 1980.
The striking thin crack splitting the right side of the wall gives a good route. Difficulties are short and well protected. Start as for Graham Crackers. Move up over ledges to the base of the thin crack. Crank up this on good locks passing the horizontal break with a long stretch. Nut belay on the slab above.
FRENZY * 18m E1 5b
A. Latham, T. Ryan. 15.2.1975.
Good climbing up the corner on the nose of Tower Ridge. Start below the nose. Climb up to the recess below the corner. Bridge up the corner (peg) until it is possible to gain the thin crack on the left. Pull up and onto the slab of Tower Ridge Direct, nut belay.
PRAYING MANTIS * 17m E3 5c
J. Price, J. Armstrong. 15.10.1982. Direct start. C. O?Cofaigh. 1990.
Exciting climbing up the face and edge right of Frenzy. Start below the edge. Climb the edge using holds on the left to reach a good ledge. Arrange protection in a crack on the right, up the wall on sloping holds to finish via a blind heart-stopping grope for a hidden side pull on the right wall. An easier start is possible by moving right from Frenzy to gain the ledge.
TOWER RIDGE ** 40m D
IMC. Early 1940s.
A pleasant route with fine situations taking the continuous prominent ridge that emerges from a point just left of the radio beacon on the top of the hill. Start below blocky rock immediately right of the steep nose of the ridge.
1. Climb the groove on the right of the ridge until it is possible to move left and pull onto the slab on the ridge itself. Nut belay or block belay above.
2. Move up onto the narrow exposed section and traverse airily along this to a small notch level with the right hand slope.
3. Climb easily up the continuation of the ridge.
Variation, Flake out HS 4b. On the first pitch, resist the scramble to the right of the nose and move directly up to a stance. Place good protection and move delicately left out towards the nose. Reach up and place a finger lock behind a flake, commit to the exposure and move up using a series of sidepulls on the flake until a ledge is reached. Move right and place protection for lead/second (to avoid pendulum/rope drag) and pull up onto the slab as per Tower Ridge 1st belay. A. Flynn, E. Fraga, 3.4.2011
A large area of broken rock and grassy slopes separates Tower Ridge from White Wall. Two poor routes are located midway between the two.
BOULDER RIB 37m M
W.R. Perrott 1950.
Scramble up the obvious rocky ridge.
CHOCKSTONE GULLY 31m M
W.R. Perrott 1950.
The gully just to the right past large blocks.
SHADOWDANCER 8m E1 5b
K. Cooper, J. Lally. 6.1993 first recorded ascent.
High up on the right edge of the grassy slopes and below a turret in the boundary wall, there is a vertical wall with a thin crack. Climb the crack strenuously to a borehole and the top. Traverse left to finish up the corner.
The following routes are located on White Wall.
CROM DUBH 23m S 3c
G. Moss, L. Brady. 26.7.1975.
A scruffy route. Start 8m up and left of Helios.
1. Climb easily up to the left hand of two grooves (Time Burner takes the right groove), up the groove to a spacious ledge and nut belay.
2. Climb the left trending groove above the belay ledge to a small ledge and move across rightwards to a large grassy ledge. Step up right onto a slab, which leads to the boundary wall.
TIME BURNER 21m HS 4b, 3c
S. R. Young, G. Moss. 19.7.1975.
Start as for Helios.
1. Move up over ledges to gain the base of a groove with a horizontal borehole. Follow the groove rightwards until it is possible to gain a large ledge on the left, nut belay.
2. Climb the left trending groove above to a ledge. Continue up the slanting groove to the boundary wall.
HELlOS *** 34m VS 4c
P. Kenny, A. Kopczynski. 1951.
The first of three White Wall classics gives a cracker of a route. Start at a sentry box at the base of the groove running up the left side of the wall. Climb directly up to the long vertical borehole (this point can also be reached by a traverse left along the “Catwalk” a sloping ledge 2m above the ground). Pull up left onto a small ledge above the borehole. Climb the corner and edge above until a step right can be made to a ledge. Ascend the groove above, peg runner, to a nick on the left edge, continue straight up or make a long stride across the groove to a ledge on the right. Move left under a triangular nose and up to a stance (possible belay). Follow the slab on the right to finish.
Variation, Edge of Eternity 5b An inferior finish to Helios, which moves across the right wall of the groove via a thin crack to gain the nose of In Absentia. Finish up this or up the top groove of Hothead. J. Hastings. 1986.
HOTHEAD ** 20m E2 5b
H. Hebblethwaite, C. Evans. 1986.
A very good direct line up the wall, sustained and quite bold. Takes the wall right of the black streak above the ?Catwalk?. From the ?Catwalk? climb the wall boldly to gain good layaways (wires). Move up and right to gain the edge. Continue up the groove above (In Absentia Groove) to the nose. Move left around this and finish leftwards up the shallow groove.
IN ABSENTIA *** 20m HVS 5a
A. Kopczynski, R. Ohrtmann. 1952. No rope used. Both soloed the route. (IML 11 1989 page 38)
Magnificent climbing up the centre of the wall. Start at the base of White Wall beside an ash tree. Step up onto a ledge, then up onto a rib on the right. Step across left and gain a grass ledge and small tree. Continue up to yet another ledge, which is traversed leftwards to a triangular nose. Very precarious moves around the nose lead to a niche, climb up onto the nose and boldly up the wall above to a tree belay. Scramble to the top.
Variation, In Absentia Groove 5b A variation on In Absentia which approaches the nose more directly. From the tree climb the obvious groove leading to the ledge just right of the nose. J. Armstrong, D. O’Sullivan. 7.1983.
ULTIMA THULE * 20m E1 4b, 5b
S.R. Young, S. Darby. 13.6.1974.
A poorly protected eliminate which traverses the upper part of the White Wall from right to left. Start as for In Absentia.
1. Move up onto the ledge and climb the rib over a bulge and onto a slab above to reach the Hyperion belay ledge.
2. Move up left around the protruding block to a small sloping ledge and undercut holds. Move across left with difficulty past a borehole, continue diagonally left to finish at the tree to the left of the In Absentia belay.
HYPERION *** 20m VS 4b, 4c
P. Kenny, F. Maguire, J. Morrison. 1951.
Another peach of a route up the right side of White Wall. The second pitch is exposed and committing. Start at a slabby groove just right of the start to In Absentia.
1. Climb the slab to reach a small ledge. Pull up into the short corner above and gain the top of the prominent block. Alternatively start by following the thin crack to the right of the slab and gain the block from the right. Step up from this across a slab to a peg belay.
2. Move left and climb up the corner on the right side of a projecting block to gain a niche, it is also possible to pass the block on the left. Move out left by a committing long step onto the face. Climb the steep wall above to an ash tree belay.
HYJACK 20m E2 5c
C. Rice, D. Milnes. 1972, using some aid. T. Burke, P. O?Sullivan. 6.1982, first free ascent.
Start at the thin crack as for Hyperion. Climb the crack to the base of the steep wall. Follow the steep continuation crack with difficulty to gain the slab. Continue directly to the boundary wall.
SAMSON 20m E2 5b
H. Hebblethwaite, T. Burke. 12.1985.
Climbs the diagonal flake up the steep wall left of the corner on Brain Damage.
BRAIN DAMAGE 23m HVS 5a
S. Windrim. Summer 1977.
A grotty route on poor rock and vegetation. Takes the short steep corner below and left of the whitebeam tree in the centre of the wall. Follow the leftward trending ramp from the right on loose rock to the base of the corner. Up the repulsive corner to a ledge. Step up and left and follow the overgrown slab to a tree belay.
Q 20m E2 5c
T. Burke, H. Hebblethwaite. 12.1985.
The flake crack right of Brain Damage provides a classic barn door layback.
JODY SUE ON THE BRAIN 20m E1 5c
D. Murray, D. Kelly. 28.6.1984.
A good continuation to Q or approach via a traverse from Brain Damage. From the tree in the centre of the wall climb onto the small ramp (peg runner, not in situ). Traverse left along the ramp then directly to the top via the borehole. Tree belay.
FALCONIUS 24m HS 4b, 4a
B. O?Flynn, J. Butler. 1960.
Enjoyable climbing up the right side of the clean wall. Escape is possible just about anywhere. Start at the lower right corner of the overhanging wall at a groove crowned by a small ash tree.
1. Climb up into the groove and step left to a short wall. Continue on up passing a vertical borehole to reach a ledge on a large pulpit. Move right across a sloping shelf and climb up over ledges to an ash tree belay.
2. Scramble easily past the ash tree to the top or alternatively step right along the ledge then up left by the diagonal line to the top.
PURGATORY H UPPER CLIFFS 24m E3 5c
C. O?Connor, N. Keegan, T. O?Connor. 8.2000.
A good route with some thin moves and a distinct lack of substantial protection. Follow Falconius until it is possible to teeter boldly left below the pulpit and across to gain the sanctuary of the tree. Make a committing step up onto the narrow ramp and continue directly up the short slab to the top of Preacher.
PREACHER * 24m HVS 4b, 5a
A. Kopczynski. F. Maguire. 2.9.1951 (originally called Perversion).
Technical climbing with good protection. 1. As for Falconius to the pulpit. 2. >From the left side of the pulpit climb the crack up the slab to a grassy ledge. Continue up the crack to the top.
VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND 47m E3 5c
B. Davies, S.R. Young. 9.1978.
An adventurous traverse of the White Wall. Start right of Falconius at an overhung niche. (HVS Using tension from a peg at the pulpit on pitch 1).
1. Climb the corner past blocks then move left above the tree on Wits End. Continue across Falconius below the pulpit and with difficulty gain the tree on Jody Sue on the Brain, as for Purgatory. Continue left above Hyjack and gain the top of In Absentia.
2. Descend In Absentia until the traverse can be continued across Helios to the Time Burner belay.
WITS END 21m D
W.R. Perrott. 1950.
Start as for Falconius at the short groove. 1. Climb up the groove swinging on tree branches to gain a belay ledge. 2. Continue straight up over steps to the grass ledge of Falconius. Finish up the slab above the tree.
PREALPINA 21m S 3c
P. Kenny, H. Quinlan, M .Lavery, M. Monaghan. 1956.
Start on a white slab 15m right of Falconius, slightly right of and below a prominent white rib and a projecting block. 1. Climb the slab, move left under the rib and up to a large grass ledge. 2. Continue up the pleasant slab above to finish just right of the boundary wall.
IMPROMPTU 21m D
W.R. Perrott. 1950.
Start as for Prealpina. Follow Prealpina past the rib onto the broken rock to the left. Ramble up past trees and vegetation to finish left of the slab of Prealpina.
CRESCENDO 23m D
W.R. Perrott. 1950.
Start as for Prealpina. Climb the white slab rightwards to a grassy ledge. From the left side of the ledge climb past a small tree up the left side of a projecting nose. Step right onto the nose and continue on up past a gorse bush to finish.
BLACK HAND GANG 18m VD
G. Moss, S. R. Young. 19.7.1975.
An uninspiring route. Originally climbed after a fire had burnt off most of the gorse. Start well to the right of Crescendo below a slab, which leads to a steep wall. Climb the slab up its right side or up the centre to a gorse-covered ledge above a small overlap. Up the loose wall above moving left onto an obvious ledge then back right to a prickly finish.