May 26 2012 Gap of Dunloe Trip Report by Marvin Stern

Sunshine, dry granite, ropes and tourists - the walk in to Rescue Rock

The day started at 6.20 when I got up to make myself breakfast and to get ready for John Murphy who was expecting me at 7.25 to give me as well as Mark and his son Cormac a lift to the Gap of Dunloe . Of course John´s daughter Yasmin wouldn´t like to miss a great climbing opportunity like this and so she was up to the party, too.

We all were in a pretty good mood and so the approximately two hours of driving flew away. Games like “I spy with my little eye” and a brief food break at a shop only cheered us up more and when we finally arrived we were eager for the rock and couldn´t wait to get started. Adding to the good atmosphere the weather was amazingly warm and a cool breeze made it very pleasant, it was basically a day made for out-door climbing! Richard who had already been there was just on his move to throw down the last rope for the first four warming up climbs when we arrived. Most of us had already climbed outdoor before but some guys including me hadn´t and became slightly excited. The feeling to climb the first time in your life on real rock was so different to the experiences I had gained from climbing in the Marydke that it really troubled me the first minutes. It is hard to tell what the difference is that makes outdoor climbing so much more enjoyable and nicer than indoor climbing but one thing that springs to my mind in particular is that you can choose you own way. 

After time more and more motivated and determined CYCC climbers arrived and so we kept climbing for good 3 hours. Because it was getting hotter and hotter and some of the climbers had done extraordinary hard routes (like our team captain Daniel) we decided to go for a lovely swim down in one of the several lakes. The water was surprisingly nice and almost all of us went for a swim. Even though John Higgins didn´t manage to dive to the bottom of the lake it was great crack and some of the braver climbers even jumped into the water from a nearby rock. Nevertheless “the game had to go on” and so Richard and John had put up routes in the meantime on Bothan - the opposite side of the valley. Well strengthened by the brief but relaxing break we went back onto the rock and finished many hard routes. Though some of us, including me, split up from the main group to do some strong and intensive boulder sessions we all met up at the end to go for some last climbs. When the day was coming close to its end we all looked back satisfied on the climbs we achieved and when I will think of my first time outdoor climbing I will look back with a smile on my face and will think “that was the worth the trouble of coming to Ireland”!

John, Alexi and Marvin enjoying the Gap of Dunloe at its best

Marvin Stern