Sunday, September 02, 2012

Donegal Bouldering and Tweed's Port


A week in Donegal in late August is a dolly-mixture of weather. It certainly meant wind and the tent spent most of the week flattened under an invisible thumb of constant pressure. The bouldering around Dawros Head and Tramore is always interesting, with the sand levels playing tricks with your memory. The Tramore dunes have grown, for example, and totally covered one nice wall I used to enjoy as I couldn't for the life of me find it again. I felt suitably small, thinking how casually our efforts are buried by wind and time. It was no different for the neolithic and bronze age folk - a large finger of granite, which was once pointed on a hill as a marker or territory post, has lain buried for millennia by a giant sand dune which is only now walking its way east and revealing the top of the blinded stone.


However, Marmalade Rock in Loughros has some nice problems on walls and orange quartz, with the coves at Rosbeg providing some good steep, sea-worn schist, though mostly the the wind played tiddliwinks with my mats. And in Donegal chalk balls run away like tumbleweeds if you drop them... there is nothing more embarrassing than chasing a chalk ball down a beach, with rock shoes on...


I stopped off on the ferry home at Larne to climb on the big bloc at Tweed's Port, just north of Larne past Carfunnock park (no fun at all and full of squealing kids). I'm sure the locals have climbed on it, but it has four worthy aspects over a shore which needs heavy matting. The straight up lines are all fairly easy, on the four cardinal aspects. The east slabs tiptoe easily up over the tides when full. There is a south roof which provides some sit starts up to 6a and a a traverse of the west and south face is a good 6c if kept low. The meat of the bloc is a beautiful sea-worn north wall with what looks like some harder projects. I'd be keen to know of established problems if locals have climbed here, it's certainly the most accessible of blocs!








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