June 2014 - Weekend Climbing at the Burren - Paul Innes

A couple of weeks back I was happy to be heading back out to the Burren with the plan being a couple of days cragging on the sheer walls of Allidie. In my car CYCC captain Dave Cussen & joining us direct from Dublin CYCC founder & MI mentor Damo. Well the weather couldn’t have been finer & as we didn’t convene on the Friday till well into the afternoon no time was wasted & several mid grade routes  were  promply run up (at least by Damo & Dave... ) Gallows pole E2, Marchanded crack E2, Sky Pilot E2 & Moments of inertia E2 were duly despatched. For a finale, young Dave Cussen fancied his hand  & suggested a lead of Sunstone a steep & sustained E3 on Arran wall. From memory the direct start to this route is a tough boulder problem with one so-so wire for protection, Dave hung in there & fired it 1st go, swift confident moves lead to the half way shake  out  & with a minimum of time spent recovering Dave led confidently into the crux section placing the bare minimum of protection & was soon topping out. Now to that boulder problem start, couldn’t do it for the life of me even with a tight rope from above, I blamed the winter storms moving boulders or whatever but the reality is, the damn thing is HARD. Nice lead Dave 

That  night the sun refused to set & we enjoyed a late meal & campfire perched on the very cliff edge. Saturday dawned soon enough (too soon for this old fart) & although not as sunny as the prev eve it couldn’t be describe it as anything but good climbing weather. More mid grade routes followed,  Skypilot (again), Atomic rooster E1,  a look at a majorly rearranged start to Virtual Imagel which was deemed too dangerous without a stick clipped 1st runner & a scuttle up Pis Fluch to escape Mirror wall & the encroaching tide. Once again Dave took the initiative & proposed an Allidie classic, Wall of fossils E4.  By the time we arrived at the start the sun was fully on the crag making conditions for a route of this calibre less than perfect. Undeterred  Dave set off & made short work of the initial awkward corner protected by a sling barely sitting on a flake & a hard to place wire.  A fall while negotiating  this section really wouldn’t be advised. Long moves took him into the mid section & easier angled climbing. What followed was an exercise in sustained concentration requiring  precise & confident face climbing interspersed with some excellent wire placements, not to mention a couple of very hard (6A) moves for good measure. Dave took this all in his stride & in no time at all had reached the top & was calling me to follow. Again as the day before I found some of the moves at my limit & one section near the top just that bit too tough to get that day. Hey-ho, what Damo & I had witnessed was a highly competent & mature performance  that  Dave should be mighty pleased with.

Any climbing following that would have been an anticlimax so instead we took the way more agreeable decision for ice creams in Lisdoonvarna,