Achill

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Achill Sea Cliffs

Compiled by Carl Maddox, Easy Fear Productions

The Climbing


88 Routes and 6 variation routes, Single and Multi-Pitch up to 105 meters, generally good quality rock and reasonable to well protected routes


M-VD - 15 Routes

S-HS - 45 Routes

VS-HVS - 26 Routes

E1-E4 - 4 Routes


On a clear day, the Achill climbing experience can be superb. Quality climbing, great sea views and varied wildlife are all part of the mix.

The sea cliff climbing in Achill is on well weathered and featured Daldradian Quartzite, and mainly in the lower to mid grades. As a general rule the rock offers excellent friction, good to excellent protection and very clean distinct lines. The climbs have an adventurous feel, often striking out directly above the sea, most requiring abseil access and often hanging belay stances. Parties should be well organized and competent in sea cliff access. The ground above the tops of some routes requires care; it is worth leaving abseil ropes in place to protect exit routes.

Belay points are sometimes below the grass/ rocky top outs and this should be noted for the area your climbing in.

Use of helmets is strongly advised.

Sea conditions can be rough, at times requiring a high belay point to avoid spray and large waves. Once orientated and comfortable with the approach, Achill offers high quality climbing, covering a whole variety of situations and techniques. New routes are easily found, with scope for a huge number of lines at all grades.

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Main Approach From Achill Sound take main R319 for approx 17km to Keel. Then onto Dooagh (3km). Stay on R319 towards Keem bay Parking Area A
For access to areas, Foher, Waterfall Cove, Mweelaun Rocks and Carrickmore Point 2.5km from Dooagh, GR: F585044 Cars can be left at a lay-by on the road to Keem near the turn off to the water board plant. From here a short walk south east brings you to Waterfall cove (see crag entry) Approach to other crag areas described in relation to Waterfall cove.

Parking Area B
For access to areas, Fohernadihabby (Big Blue Area) and Fohermore (Ocean Boulevard Area)1km from parking area A GR: F576044 From parking area A, continue towards Keem on R319 for 1km. Park at Grassy lay-by on left. This lay-by is found as road reaches highest point, just before the road dips and bends around a major gully line

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A new area between Keem bay/ strand and Big blue area was explored. There seems to be scope for a small number of routes here, including an impressive hanging corner, which was too wet to try on our visit. Approach to this area is from car parking area B. Follow road towards Keem bay from parking area B. Passing two major steep gully systems, the third gully reached is easy angled and straight forward to walk in. Follow this to base, On left side a large rock pinnacle has a distinct crack running on its right wall. This is:

The Long Walk * Severe 4a 22m + 38m Scramble Follow the obvious crack on right side of the rock pinnacle, passing small overhangs at half height(crux),finish directly up capping slabs. A long scramble trending left leads to belay. Carl Maddox, Henry Wilkinson, March 2010

Fohernadihabby (Big Blue Area)

A compact area of cliffs 150m west of the major gully and bordered on the right by large overhangs which lead to a sizable cove. 30 meters from the left (west facing) edge of the cove is a series of obvious corners, arêtes, walls and crack lines facing out to the open sea. GR: 573043. The routes generally offer good clean rock, good protection and excellent friction. From the crag top, looking out to sea, the distinct corner of ‘Barnacle Bill’ marks the left edge of this section. Route descriptions start from the base of this route. All routes are approached by abseil, and some requiring a belay stance above high water mark

Standing on the ledges above Barnacle Bill and looking left, a steep well featured wall with and overhang to its left is visible.

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Californication, * S 4a 20m This route takes the steep and well featured wall, start on lower ledges up to corner where steep bridging gains the wall and overhang, move directly up the cracked wall until a vegetated groove is met, step right around arete and finish to large block belay. Nice little route.

Carl Maddox, Chris Mckeagney August 2010

Huckleberry Hound, * HS 4b 20m Start on the lower ledges directly below the corner of 'Californication'. Climb up to the base of corner with arete on right. Follow thin cracks (crux) leading to a step out onto the arete. Traverse horizontal cracks to right arete and finish.

Carl Maddox, Juraj Georgievsky, October 2011.

Yosemite Sam, * VS 4c 14m Scramble down and 5m right of Californication. Start on bold slab leading to overhanging corner. Follow slab trending left to overhangs. Surmount overhang (crux) into corner to finish at block belay as for previous route. Carl Maddox, Chris Mckeagney August 2010

UMPH, Sev 4a 23m Start on ledges 4-5 meters right of Yossmite Sam overhangs, under next obvious overhang. Go up easy wide crack where steepening groove leads to main overhang. Traverse left under overhangs until a break right take you onto upper walls/ slabs. Straight up to finish.

Clare Wheatley, Paddy Gethings, October, 2011.

Foghorn Leghorn, * HVS 5a 23m Start as for UMPH to overhangs/ roof, slot some gear in the roof and launch out directly on good powerful moves and hoopla onto the slabby walls above, finish direct. A worthwhile route with an entertaining and well protected crux.

Carl Maddox, Juraj Georgievsky. October 2011.

Moving right again from start of Yosemite Sam, passing overhangs until an obvious l/r angled corner appears, the next three routes start at the base of this corner

OMG VS 4c 22m Start just left of the Colonel Mustard corner, go up wall directly 2 meters left of steep groove line. Make delicate moves (crux) up this steep wall which graduallly eases towards the top.

Clare Wheatley, Paddy Gethings, October 2011.

Colonel Mustard, * VS 4b 22m Start at angled corner move up for three meters then head straight up to follow vertical groove line. Climb this with a tricky move to escape groove. Place gear on right then follow rising traverse for four meters to a delicate rock over onto a good foot hold, onto bulging slab. Up this to block belay. Nice climbing.

Carl Maddox, Patrick Schofield, August 2010

Captain Boycott, S/HS 4a 20m Start at angled corner and follow this to make awkward move onto ledge, protection tricky to arrange/ poor in places. Move up and trending right along obvious R/L groove and crack lines to block belay.

Alternative finish to Captain Boycott HS4b From mid-way ledge move up passing overhang on right and meet short steep wall, high gear protects tricky move right crossing steep wall and gaining top of overhang. Finish up to blocks and belay. Carl Maddox, Patrick Schofield, August 2010.

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1.Barnacle Bill, * VD (3c) 17m
Take obvious V corner and cracks, which when viewed from above mark’s the left section of this area.
Carl Maddox, 14/06/09

All routes are now described from the base of the crag

2.Sky Road, * VS (4b) 17m
The arête just left of Barnacle Bill, bold in places
14/06/09

3.Thumper , ** VS (4c) 18m
The first full crack line left of Sky Road, Excellent crack climbing, with the crux near the start, and a layback to finish
Paddy Gethings 14/06/09

Alt finish, follow crack to 2/3rd Height, traverse right to short finishing crack/ arête of sky road

4.The Big Blue, *** HS (4a) 27m
Superb airy climbing, start up left hand crack with increasing difficulty to ledges. Make a delicate traverse left to exposed arête, up this to finish.
Carl Maddox, 14/06/09

5.Bridge Over Troubled Waters, ** S (4a) 26m
Another corker, start in the corner left of Big Blue, climb corner to bulge, as corner eases move right to crack, follow crack to deep v groove. Climb the groove with excellent bridging passing left of blocks near top.
Paddy Gethings 14/06/09

Fohernadihabby (Big Blue Area) Left Walls


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6. Little Block of Horrors, * HS (4b) 26m
The thin crack line, 2m left of A Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Belay on small ledge 1-2m left of crack line. Tricky start, step right to crack and short hanging groove. Up crack to large wobbly block (seems secure), angle eases after block. Follow crack to end, step 1 meter right to short brown corner, up this and easy grooves to finish
Carl Maddox. 16/06/09

7. Noo Shoos? Diff/ V.Diff 28m
Start 2 meters left of Little Block of Horrors. Follow corner crack to short easy chimney. Trend slightly left following obvious easy slabs, grooves and cracks to belay
Paddy Gethings 16/06/09

8. Echoes ** VS (5a) 25m
Nice climbing 2-3 meters left of Noo Shoos. Start at the thin finger crack, directly below A shaped overhang. Climb crack which gets steeper near overhang (crux, small wires useful), make delicate move to gain good hold below overhangs, another hard move gains foot ledge. Finish pleasantly through overhangs to easier scramble finish.
Carl Maddox, 16/06/09

9. Crouching Tiger S (4a) 20m
This climb starts just left of Echoes, and follows crack and corner into the overhang, crouch up and traverse right to good foothold. Straight up overhang to finish as Echoes
Carl Maddox, 24/08/09

Moving left from Echoes wall, around a blunt arete, is a steep wall dropping directly to the sea, the far side of this wall turns into the main zawn. The top section of the wall has a huge seawards slanting ledge, leading to capping well featured overhangs.

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10.EZ Nuff S (4a) 22m
Start 3 meters right of Ball licker at large ledge well above hight tide mark. Climb straight up groove and small overhang to reach large sloping ledges. Follow ledges to finish as for Ball licker. Richard Byrne, Hugh Hunter 20/02/10

10.Ball Licker * S (4a) 28m
Start 1 meter right of Deliverance, below obvious right hand crack leading to vee groove/ corner. Up directly to ledge, scramble to steeper finish on right side of overhangs
Paddy Gethings 24/09/09

11.Deliverance * S (4a) 28m
2 meters right of Clockwork Orange, Straight up crack to huge ledge, tackle overhangs just right of main prow, heading to finish up steep 'green' wall.
Carl Maddox, 24/09/09

12.Clockwork Orange ** HS (4b)28m (Possibly VS4c)
Central Orange and Black pock marked crack, straight up crack passing second crack and crux at 2/3 height. From ledge straight up under main overhangs, pull over this in a dramatic and exposed position, large holds.
Carl Maddox, 20/09/09

13. Dark Water * HS (4b) 27m Start 2 meters left of Clockwork Orange,Straight crack lead's to l/r slanting twin cracks. Climb cracks where crux move gain's horizontal break. Traverse break right for 2-3 meters to slab. Follow slab under shadow of vee overhang to easy finish. Jurai Georgievsky, August, 2011

14. Twelve Monkeys ** VS (5a) 30m Take the thin crack 2 meters left of Dark Water. Follow crack where crux moves gain horizontal break. Climb up and slightly left to groove/ chimney left of arete, at large overhangs traverse right to arete top and ledge. (care with rock to right of ledge)from tip of arete, pull up steeply through overhang on good rock and large holds to finish. A great, varied route, with some exposed moves. Carl Maddox, August, 2011.

Area East of Big Blue Area

Park and approach as for Big Blue area. This area lies 150m east of Big blue area, approach down right (west) side of main gully. As edge of main gully turns to face open sea, follow cliff tops towards big blue area, for approx 75 meters. Two obvious large slabs appear. These routes are reached by abseil down the first slab.

13.Lepoard * Diff 38m
Take the obvious crack line in the middle of main slab
Charlotte Perkins 20/09/09

14.Corner Climb * V Diff 32m
Follow corner of slab/ walls up and travering right below overhangs to finish easily up slab
Carl Maddox, 20/09/09

15.Pegasus ** HVS 5a/b 32m
P1. 20m (5a/b): Follow slab corner on far right of slab, above is a distinct hanging groove, follow groove, sustained to pull through overhang using crack on right. Up slab to overhangs, move delicately left under overhangs to vee-slot, reach through and pull onto slabs above

P2. (4a): 12m Easier but delicate ground to finish.

Carl Maddox, 24/09/09

16.Lola * VS (4c,4a) 28m

1. (4c).15m Start in middle of slab below large triangular block. Up slabs to block, pull up block to trick move left onto short slab, up slab to overhang , traverse left under overhang to end, belay at twin cracks.

2. (4a) 12m. Straight up twin cracks to steep orange wall, straight up steep orange wall on good holds
Paddy Gethings 24/09/09

Fohermore, Ocean Boulevard Area

Park as for Fohernadihabby, grassy lay-by, GR: 576044

A new area 200 meters beyond Ocean Boulevard, towards waterfall cove. There appears to be scope for several routes in this area. Must go back to find exact location of where here is. The next two routes are approached by abseil over steep hanging blocks (of varying stability). Abseil to large block ledges.

Zoolander * VS4c / HVS5a 35m

From highest point of block ledges, interesting, steep climbing leads to hanging crack / corner to to a second overlap (crux). From top of overlap move easily up pebbled corner slab to overhangs on left. Pull gingerly through overhanging blocks on good holds. A good climb with some dubious blocks/ ground to finish. Carl Maddox, Jurai Georgeivsky, November 2011. (Second overlap was aided for 2 meters, due to wet rock and excessive fear, after a dryer spell looks like offering good 5a climbing)

Delicato * VS 4b 38m

Climb obvious thin crack from left tip of boulder ledges. Nice moves with spaced gear leads straight up to reach a ramp, climb rightwards along ramp to pull over to base of pebbled corner slab (as for Zoolander). Up slab for 4 meters then move right along ledge then pull directly through main overhangs, treating the rock with care. Good climbing requiring a steady lead. Jurai Georgeivsky, Carl Maddox November 2011.

This next section is situated to the East of main gully, marked on OS map 30 as Fohermore. The area is contained with main gully to the West and small cove marking the east limit. Head straight down towards sea from parking. As you approach the cliffs traverse East (left) towards the Cove. As zawn edge turns to face the open sea, a steep rock and grass drop off, leads to a large, clean rock rib below. Abseil from large thread, down grass to rib, continue to lowest point on rib, belaying on ledge just above high tide mark.

1.Ocean Boulevard, * S(4a) 30m
Climb up trending left to obvious overhanging crack with v groove above and to the left. Traverse overhang left and into v groove (crux). Up this and short corner above to belay below grass. Prusik out treating rock with care. A good adventure for the grade
Paddy Gethings 17/06/09

Next route starts by Abseiling onto ledge below the overhang of Ocean Boulevard. From the ledge, scramble down and left across massive block to belay at base of corner left of Zawn.

1b. White Zawn, S (4a) 35m Climb corner to steep wall leading to large hand traverse, leading left along flake. Continue easily and trending slightly left to short crack, up this and easy ground to top. Jurai Georgeivsky, August 2011.

Moving slightly West, a small sea inlet separate’s the rib of Ocean Boulevard from the next obvious feature, the large V groove/ chimney

2.Rising Damp, * S (4a) 42m
A good value route, with well protected and mostly straight forward climbing. Abseil down corner to start at High tide mark, just right of damp lower cracks. Up and move into corner as soon as possible, follow corner then right to cracks avoiding vegetation near top. Treat blocks near top with Care.
Paddy Gethings 17/06/09

For the next route abseil in as for Rising damp. Move 6-7 meters right of Rising damp start to belay in a short corner, topped by overhang.

3.The Walrus * HS, (4a, 4b) 40m
A nice climb following the walls and cracks to the Right of Rising Damp

(4a) 22m. Pass out first overhang, taking v slot on right, easy ground leads up and left to large overhang. Pass this on left by stepping out onto steep cracked wall, follow cracks to low angled groove belay, just below next overhang

(4b) 18m. Up to overhang, which is passed on the left by delicate traverse out over lip of slab and gain corner crack on right (crux). Struggle up this before bursting through with relief to an easier finish up the short arête
Carl Maddox, 17/06/09

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Above, the Large V Corner of Rising Damp

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Above, The Walrus, S/HS 4a, 4a/b

20 meters right (a your looking out to sea) of the corner 'Rising Damp' is a scramble which leads to clean easy angled slab and a short corner on the right which turns towards a long cracked wall, abseil the wall past corner to slanting ledges below main cracks

4. First Impressions * HS (4a) 28m Follow the right hand obvious crack and arete throughout, well protected but sustained quality climbing for 14 meters followed by easy slabby climbing for 14 meters to belays Neal McAloon 14/05/10

The next crack line, to the left is the start of the next three routes, which despite being link ups, all have a distinct style and individual challenge

5. Head Shop S (4a) 11m

Take the second distinct crack line, two-three meters left of First Impressions, follow straight to top Carl Maddox 14/05/10

6. The Great Escape * HS (4b) 20m

A nice route with a couple of tricky moves. Start as 'Head Shop', follow the crack to just over half height, follow diagonal crack left passing a couple of tricky sections before finishing up the short scoop corner Carl Maddox 14/05/10

7. Empire State of Mind * VS (5a) 30m

A nice link up climb, with a short hard sting in the tail. Follow great escape entirely to the scoop corner, get a decent rest then move diagonally left under a small overhang/ undercut, making a committed move left to a step down onto brown foot ledge. Move up to the R/L rising crack line, following slopers and jams for the hands along the crack with more slopers and smears for the feet before a tricky move left again leads to a yahoo and bridge in the corner. Relax and enjoy the view then saunter up the corner to belay Carl Maddox 14/05/10

Moving right again, towards the Main Gully, meet the first of two large prominent ribs. Beyond the first rib a gully / re-entrant leads to the second rib. Beyond the second rib is the start of the large main gully.

The next two routes are reached by abseil or scramble down the centre of the first rib

Deception S 4a, 3c 35m Abseil in as for Fishy Suspicious. Move right to smooth outer face of 'massive block wall'.

1. 4a. 8m Up middle of smooth wall with protection in horizontal breaks, Belay on top of block

2. 3c. 27m Follow slabby ground directly above block to top

Cormac Ryan September 2010

Fishy Suspicious HS 4b,4b 35m Start on large blocky ledges, just left of leaning corner and massive block wall

1. 4b. 25m Pull steeply up main central crack and follow this to first ledge, then follow next crack direct to second ledge and distinct vee-slot. Belay below steep orange cracked wall.

2. 4b. 10m Pull straight up onto orange wall and follow left crack then easier ground to top

Chris Mckeagney, September 2010.

The Rainmaker * HS 4b, 4b, 36m Start as for Fishy Suspicious. A nice route with a thought provoking traverse on pitch 2.

1. 4b. 10m Pull steeply up main central crack and follow this to first ledge, traverse left to belay at base of large, open book corner.

2. 4b. 25m Climb corner direct to where it meets overhangs. Swing out right following the horizontal break and marginal foot placments leading to a rockover onto the slab. Climb straight up shallow groove and into easier v-corner to finish.

Carl Maddox, September, 2011.

Micheal's Mills * VS 4b, 4c, 4c 40m Start as for Pitch 1 of The Rainmaker. A good varied route, with an exposed second pitch.

1. 4b. 10m Pull steeply up main central crack and follow this to first ledge, traverse left to belay at base of large, open book corner.

2. Move left of corner to follow grooves and thin crack to left side of over hangs. Locate the hopefully well lodged block in the overhangs and pull hard through this onto slab. Up slab for 2-3 meters to belay on small ledge just right of curving corner. (Original route finished as for the rainmaker, via v-corner. Micheal and Jurai Georgievsky, September, 2011.

3.Dough Bre Finish * 4c

From top of pitch 2, Step left and follow curving corner to finish on upper slab. Take care with rock on last few meters.

Clement Quinn, September, 2011.


The next route takes a diagonal line across the second rib. Abseil to the right side of the rib, below overhangs.

One Step Beyond VD/S (3c, **4c with lower crack start) Optional climb lower crack from small ledge on right side of rib (4c), to base of overhangs, up overhangs and traverse left on big holds to easier ground and scramble finish.

    • A steep and exposed crack line on the left of the scramble finish, could give a well protected and dramatic finish and match well with the steep starting crack line.

Carl Maddox, August 2011.


The huge (Well large) West Facing wall of the Main Gully looks to have great potential for new routes, with some obvious hard lines through hanging corners, and steep, bold slab climbing. One route has been done here so far

Eagull * 95m HS 4b, 4a, 4b

Climbed on a day, my climbing buddy identified a Sea Gull as a White tailed Eagle. Abseil or walk to lowest point of the Gullys West Wall.

1. 25m Start under short wall, and climb left crack (tricky to start) to ledge, step right and climb orange wall to grass ledges. Climb pebbled slab for 12 meters to reach base of steep wall.

2. 30m Take left trending crack and vegetated corner to base of Arete. Traverse left of Arete and climb vertical vegetation for 15 meters and pray you don't fall! Belay on grass ledge

3. 40m Climb pebbled slab, directly behind belay then traverse right to small spike. From Spike, place high gear and traverse left then follow corner and cracks, trending slightly left. Follow cracks to 2nd traverse and up corner to finish on Pebbled slab and cliffs high point. (An excellent Adventure)

NOTE: Pitch 2 was an escape option (And not recommended) the intended route up the prominent crack in the center of slab / wall needs further cleaning. The pitch once cleaned looks to offer some great climbing and a fairly committing and bold crux around 5a. This pitch could upgrade the routes quality from good to superb.

Clem Quinn & Carl Maddox May 2014.


The Eagle Has Landed ** 105m HVS 5a, 5a, 4b

90 meter Abseil or walk to lowest point of the Gullys West Wall.

1. 25m (5a/b) Start under short wall, and climb left crack - as for 'Eagull' (tricky to start) to ledge, step left to overhang. Climb outside edge of overhang with a strenuous and gymnastic layback start into the large V groove. Move up left corner to grass ledges. Climb pebbled slab for 12 meters to reach base of steep wall.

2. 32m (5a) Traverse right to base of prominent, steep crack in the center of slab / wall. Climb crack for 10 meters to reach large flakes left of the grass ledge. Move up on flakes and make delicate and bold traverse right (Crux) to reach small side crimps. Rise boldly on crimps to better hand holds and pull into the mini corner. Climb corner (protection now returns) then traverse right for 4 meters the up to belay on large grass ledge. (An excellent pitch offering some great climbing with a fairly committing and bold crux, requiring a confident approach)

3. 48m (4b) 'The Monster pitch' From belay traverse 10 meters left to reach short slab, below prominent crack lines. Climb slab, then traverse right to small spike (as for Eagull). From Spike, place high gear and traverse left then follow corner and cracks, trending slightly left. Follow cracks to 2nd traverse and corner. From 2nd corner step delicately, down and left to base of central left trending crack. Climb the left trending crack to top.(Technically the easier pitch, but with an adventurous big feel)

ALL in an excellent route, with a short hard bouldering start, a superb and challenging 2nd crux pitch with a big feel adventure pitch to finish.

Clem Quinn & Carl Maddox, 15th May 2014.

Foher Area

About 500m, West of waterfall cove is a large rib of rock, pointing out to the open sea. As right hand slab turns to face the open sea, routes described from below from right-left.

1.Foher Corner * Diff. 30m
The obvious crack and v-corner/ groove. Start easily up to corner, nice bridging leads to right traverse to ledge. Move left off ledge to rib, scramble up rib to finish
Carl Maddox, Ben Siddal, Sept, 2003

2.Potters S (3c)
35m
Start in middle of wall at orange slab. Trend left to left edge of wall, up slab to overhang, step right round overhang to blocky slab, up this (crux) to finish easily on rib above
Ben Siddal, Carl Maddox Sept, 2003

3.Stokie ** HS (4b) 18m
As the wall turns left two obvious, steep, left trending cracks topped by a distinct overhang appear. Follow cracks on good holds and protection in a leftwards rising traverse, under overhangs until cracks run out and force you to reach holds over the overhang. Up to belay. Great climbing, scramble out to finish
Carl Maddox, Ben Siddal, Sept, 2003

Two other routes, which wander just a bit too much are recorded for completeness. They are found 200m west of Foher Area, short walls with easy scramble access to non tidal rock ledges

4.Bootlegger HS (4b) 16m
Chris Keely, Carl Maddox, June 2004

5.Foot loose in Wonderland S/HS (4a) 15m
Carl Maddox, Chris Keely, June 2004


Waterfall Cove

This crag is situated on the coast between Dooagh and Keem bay. Cars can be left at a lay-by on the road to Keem near a turn off to the water treatment plant. From here a short walk south east brings you to a small cove. A small stream forms a waterfall at the back of the cove hence the area has been called Waterfall Cove. Eighteen routes have been made in this cove and the remainder are found to the east.

A large pebbled slab forms the bulk of the east facing side of the cove. To the left of this are a series of grooves and bulges, and a small orange and black slab. Left again is a slabby wall and the first eight routes can be found from here. Descent to the platform is by abseil, or down climbing

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Slanting Grooves’ on the slabby wall Moderate, 18m

1.Babywinkle * V.Diff 18m
A nice climb on the slabby wall. The small corner formed by two cracks 6m left of In the Pink. Large friends/ hexes useful
T.McQueen, 1989

2.In The Pink Diff 20m
Obvious corner at right end of slabby wall, move left onto the slab as the corner bulges
D.Stelfox, M.Stelfox, 1989

The top out on this section is grass (routes 3-8) Belays are just below top out, care wet grass and climbing shoes! Recommended for teams to top out protected by top belay to safer ground on left. Body belay to protect last climber from top belay and across grass.

3.Sure Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do * VS (4b)
20m
Start as for In The Pink. Up rightwards to niches then left on ramp to gain hanging pebbled corner. Up to belay just below grass. Slightly bold but straight forward on traverse
T.McQueen, A.McQueen, 1989

4.A Right One HS (4b) 20m
Up the orange and black slab and then the deep recessed groove to the right
A.Macfarlane, 1989

5.Colonial Boy ** E1 (5a/b) 20m
The thin crack line immediately right of the orange and black slab, and the shallow groove directly above, Belay at spike/ block just below the grass.
A.Macfarlane,T.McQueen, 1989

6.Zig Zag Wanderer ** HS (4b) 20m
Start from the rightmost and smallest ledge on the platform. Traverse right 3m to good cracks. Up, then rising traverse leftwards to ledge (crux). Right and round to finish directly up white pebbled slab at Colonial Boy belay.
T.McQueen, A.Macfarlane, 1989

7.Dawson and Mags * HS (4a/b) 20m
Traverse 3m further right from Zig Zag Wanderer to a crack which widens as it meets the sea. Up crack to overhang. Bridge up then swing out right on good jugs. Up easily then left sloping ramp to top. Belay to left of Colonial Boy
D.Stelfox, M.Stelfox, 1989

8.The Gash HS (4a) 25m
The most obvious crack line up the centre of the large pebbled slab. Gain starting niche by long rightwards traverse from the platform, or by abseiling into the back of the zawn and shorter traverse and shorter traverse left from boulders
A. Macfarlane, 1989


Waterfall Cove, Achill Badger Slabs

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The west facing side of Waterfall Cove is a series of slabs and arêtes. The right most slab is the most extensive and has a gently sloping platform (tidal in part) at its base. The lower right portion of the slab is recessed and there is a cave left of this. Stakes allow an abseil to the platform at this cave and access to routes 9-18.

9.Funnel Web, HS (4a) 30m
This climb takes a line up the large slab left of Achill Badger, a poor and loose route. Start in corner on right of slab, up this for 5 meters to obvious horizontal crack, traverse left to slab edge, up edge of slab until poor rock pushes you right, up middle of slab to finish.
Carl Maddox, Maurice J. Dixon 2007

Safest belay option for routes 10-18 is to leave abseil in situ and belay at top lip of slab/ cliff, below loose top out

10.The Fox * S (4a) 25m
Takes the corner just left of Achill Badger, up corner to overhang traverse right under overhang to finish as for Achill Badger
Barry Smith, Carl Maddox, Dec. 1999

11.Achill Badger ** S (4a) 25m
A quality, well protected route. Makes a route up the left edge of the main slab. Follow flakey cracks immediately right of the slab edge. Finish up wide crack.
T.McQueen, A.Lyttle, 1985
12.Alternate Start 1 ** S (4a) 8m
Climb the left trending crack to join the original route near the arête.
13.Alternate Start 2 * HVS (5a) 12m Climb thin crack up centre of of slab to horizontal break, Traverse left to original route.

13b. BRAVE NEW WORLD E4 5c. Climb the thin crack up the centre of the slab and continue straight up the blank slab. Bold. Diarmuid Duggan March 2002.

13a. Juraj HVS (5a/b) 28m
A continuation to this route was added by climbing a series of short grooves and horizontal breaks to the right of Achill Badgeer.
Juraj Georgievsky Carl Maddox May 2008.

Safest belay option for routes 10-18 is to leave abseil in situ and belay at top lip of slab/ cliff, below loose top out

14.The Myth of Trust ** HVS (5a) 30m
Start 6 meters right of Achill Badger and climb cracks slanting rightwards to the edge of the main slab. Lay off arête (Bold crux) to gain a wide leftwards slanting crack. Up this and finish as for Achill Badger
T.McQueen, A. Lyttle, 1985

15.Atlantic City * VS (4c) 30m
Start in the cave. Surmount jammed block at back of cave. Traverse right to recessed slab and up to overhung niche. Through overhang (crux) to small ledge. Continue up short corner crack, move left and finish by crack in wall left of small slab (Belay here before grass is reached) T.McQueen, 1985

15a. Exiting the Womb** VS (4c) 30m
An entertaining, unique and varied route. Start as for Atlantic City. After surmounting the jammed block go left instead of right, squeezing yourself between the ever-encroaching walls of the cave until you emerge into the daylight at the bottom of the wide crack of The Myth of Trust. Finish as for this route or go right about 7m below the top, following a line of 3 parallel hairline cracks (HVS 5a). R.Creagh, C.Hogan 25/06/12

16.Sapphire * HVS (5a) 30m
Start below centre of recessed slab (tide permitting), initial hard moves to gain slab. Directly up slab to overhang. Committing move to gain jug and pull up to upper slab. Easy fault right then left to ledges. Horizontally left to finish as for Atlantic City
T.McQueen, A. Lyttle, 1985

17.Hail Stone Corner S (4a) 25m
The corner which marks the right end of the recessed slab. Traverse right beneath overhanging blacks near the top to finish at arête.
T.McQueen, A. Lyttle, 1985

18.Escape Route Diff 30m
The easiest route up cracks and blocks right of hailstone corner to a breech left of a small pinnacle. Scramble up arête to finish.
T.McQueen, A. Lyttle, 1985

East of Waterfall Cove, Dingo Area Facing the open sea around the arête is a square non tidal ledge. In good weather this is a real suntrap. It can be reached by traversing round from Waterfall cove, down climbing Touché Turtle or by abseil

19.Touché Turtle * Diff 30m
Climb the scoop just left of Suntrap ledge. Continue up easy angled corner to arête. Up this as for Escape Route.
T.McQueen, A. Lyttle, 1985

20.Levon Helm * E1 (5c) 30m
Climbs the corner at the back of suntrap ledge. Technical moves to gain groove, finish more easily up right edge of slab
T.McQueen, A. Macfarlane, 1989
Alt finish, Place protection on right of slab, traverse left 2 meters to finish directly up centre of slab (5b)

21.Gleaning the Crumbs * HVS (5b) 20m
From the right edge of suntrap ledge. Up short rightwards leading slab then back left through overhang. Easy ground to top.
A. Macfarlane, T.McQueen, 1989

22.Dingo ** S (4a) 25m
Traverse right from ledge across a chimney to the next wall. Take the crack up the middle of this wall. Excellent situations for the grade, maybe safer to abseil into hanging belay
A. Macfarlane, 1989

23.Indian Summer * S (4a) 25m
Takes the arête forming the right edge of Dingo wall. Traverse or abseil to hanging belay just left of arête. Traverse right to arête, up arête (No protection for 4 meters) and continue direct to easier ground above
Carl Maddox, Ben Siddal, Oct, 2003


East of Waterfall Cove, Achill Slab and Fair Dinkum Area

The next two routes start from a platform beneath an intimidating overhanging wall right of Dingo. The platform can be reached by abseil or by down climbing Achill Slab.

24.Achill Slab S (3c) 20m
The slab that forms the left boundary of the large overhanging wall and lies to the right of the wall Dingo is situated on
A. Macfarlane, 1989

25.Zawn Chorus HVS (4c) 25m
Take a slanting right to left line of weakness which becomes a chimney. At 12 meters traverse left across a well hung slab (often damp) to exposed ledge. Up sandy corner above, finishing out left of capstone. Poor rock at top needs to be cleaned (the last 2m were top roped)
T. McQueen, P. McClenaghan, 1989

Right of the overhanging wall is a smooth, bulging arête and then a deep cut chimney/ zawn. Right again are three routes. These can be easily reached by descending gentle slabs further to the east and traversing round. This is around 50m east of Waterfall Cove

26.Achilldorightly * V.Diff 15m
The stepped corner 6m right of the deep cut chimney/ zawn. Take the line of least resistance and finish entertainingly wide chimney
T.McQueen, A. Lyttle, 1983
Direct finish, VS (4c) 15m. Up stepped corner to ledge, straight up from ledge through overhanging corner/ crack. Short but strenuous Barry Smith Carl Maddox 1999

27.Fair Dinkum * E2 (5b) 15m
A thin crack splitting the steep wall 2m right of Achilldorightly. Sustained quality climbing , small wires for protection
A.Macfarlane, D. Stelfox. 1989

28.Billy the Fish HVS (5a) 15m
The right to left slanting crack line (often damp) 2m right of Fair Dinkum. Try to ignore the two large ledges leading out rightwards
T.McQueen, A. McQueen, 1989

Mweelaun Rocks

(West of Waterfall Cove)

These crags are located east of Waterfall cove/ Achilldorightly wall. Across from the rock platform from Achilldorightly wall is a small zawn and east facing wall. A few short easy routes can be found here.
Further east again is a deep cut, narrow zawn, OS Map 30, GR 586041. The east facing wall of this zawn has steep walls, with potential for some harder routes. The west wall has a slab section at its base, with a distinct overhang at 2/3 Height.
Approach- Abseil into high tide mark, beneath overhangs, all routes start from here. Routes described from left/right

Achill8.jpg

Above, Mweelaun Rocks

1.Rosco V Diff 12m
Traverse left from slabs, crossing Uncle Jess and well featured wall, straight up to ledge, finish easily.
Carl Maddox, 12/06/09

2.Uncle Jess Mod 10m
Obvious line of weakness left of overhangs. Trend up and left in groove to ledge. Then rightwards in groove to finish.
Carl Maddox, Solo, 12/06/09

3.PG Tips * S (4a) 10m
Start on left side of slab, up quartz crack to overhang and crack. Up this (crux) to finish Paddy Gethings, 12/06/09

4.Boss Hog * VS (4c) 10m
Climbs the right side of slab, following thin quartz crack. At overhang go straight up (crux) to finish
Carl Maddox, 12/06/09

5.Sand Fly * S (4a) 11m
Start to right of overhangs, in V. Up shallow crack to head wall. Move right then left through head wall on excellent holds
Paddy Gethings, 12/06/09

Carrickmore Point

West again of Mweelaun rocks/ zawn is a small rocky peninsula, with a short, steep wall, with a partly tidal platform (platform can be slippy in places)The left wall is steep with an undercut base. It has a distinct left trending crack, a steep vertical crack and overhangs to the right

Achill10.jpg

Left Photo, Mweelaun rocks in foreground, with left wall and Carrickmore point behind

Achill9.jpg

Above, Carrickmore Point

a1.Fred Flintstone * HS (4a/b) 15m
A nice climb, with some fiddly Cam placements. Start on the far left of the steep wall, by the large left sloping roof. Pull up steeply on good holds to gain the obvious horizontal foot crack. Traverse entire wall to overhang, step round this and over the void to finish. Bring a good range of Cams to keep you afloat.
Carl Maddox, Lisa Kennedy 25/09/13

1.Daisy Duke ** HS (4b) 10m
Take the central crack straight up the steep left wall, crossing several horizontal breaks (cams useful). A great little route, easier than it looks
Carl Maddox, 12/06/09

Just right of the left wall is a pebbled slab

2.Pebbles Diff 9m
Start at the lowest point of the slab, straight up, taking care with the pebbles
Carl Maddox Solo, 12/06/09

Right again of pebble dashed slab is a steep pebble wall

At the end of the peninsula is a short 8m wall, of very weathered rock, several lines can be tackled between mod-diff standard

3.Barney Rubble Mod 8m
Straight up brown wall to highly weathered finish
Carl Maddox Solo, 12/06/09

SLIEVEMORE

Diff 2 Routes

V Diff 2 Routes

Severe 5 Routes

VS 2 Routes

HVS 1 Route

DUGORT SLABS

The lowest two crags on the North West Flank of Slievemore Ridge, 15 mins. walk from Dugort Quay Road.


PIRATE 52m Diff
Clare Sheridan, Joss Lynam (shared leads) and AFAS party 30.6.74
Start 20m. left of the lowest point of the right hand side of the first crag, the middle of the smooth white slab.
1. 15m. The slab to a short corner stance on the Quartz band. Belays.
2. 37m. Climb direct the pleasant rib above, stance on the easy way down. Good belays.


MID CENTURY 66m V Diff
Clare Sheridan, Joss Lynam (shared leads) and AFAS party 30.6.74.
Start at the lowest point of the right hand side of the first crag.
1. 38m. Climb the long slab to stance on big grass ledge. Belay at right hand end.
2. 13m. Move left climb the wall to a short corner, mantleshelf onto the upper slab, stance on grass. Nut belay.
3. 15m. Move right and ascend the slab to stance at blocks. (The steep wall on pitch 2 can be climbed to the left of the belay at between severe and hard severe)


The second crag is separated from the first by an open gully. Scramble along rough ground below the crag until an obvious pink slab comes into view. This is:


PINKIE 35m Diff
Joss Lynam, Lesley Richardson. 15.6.75
Start on a rib barely emerging from the heather, to the left, and below the slab.
1. 25m. Climb onto the slab and go straight up to a big recess.
2. 10m. Climb the wall on the right in a corner.


Beyond Pinkie are a number of short slabs and corners of insufficient sustained interest to be worth recording. Near the right hand end of the crag is a vertical rib. This is:


SALAMANDER 22m Severe 4a
Carl Maddox, Jason Ryan 11.05.08
The obvious hanging slab half way between Pinkee and Production line. Scramble up grassy ladges to vegetated corner/ wall below and right of the clean hanging slab. (Abseil approach maybe easier).
Move up and trend left on on vegetated rock to overhanging block, move left round block then step right to grass ledge. Traverse left along hugh block and crack to slab base. Directly up clean well featured slab to finish.

Right of Salamander and left of the rib start of Production line, is another hanging slab, with a large overhang at its base, the next climb starts below the right side of the slab and overhangs. Best approached by abseil.

AMPHIBIAN 20m Severe 4a
(Possibly HS 4a due to bold section) Carl Maddox, Neal McAloon 01.08.10
Take the broken rock and vegetation just right of overhangs. A tricky and scruffy start leads straight to better climbing up the right side of slab. Drop a cam at base of slab and move boldly for six meters to horizontal break and easier climbing to top.

PRODUCTION LINE 28m V Diff
Joss Lynam, Lesley Richardson. 15.6.75
Start at the foot of the rib (the belay is higher up on the right.
1. 20m. Climb up the series of big steps on the rib. Where the rib loses itself in the face, bridge up the corner and belay on the shelf above. Walk 12m. left along the shelf to the foot of a slab with an overlap to its right side.
2. 8m. Climb the pleasant slab.

FIRST PINNACLE BUTTRESS

This is the big gable-ended crag halfway up the Slievemore Ridge from Dugort. It is best reached by climbing the ridge and then traversing in to the foot of the buttress. The most obvious point of reference is a white wall at about mid height on the western face.

GREAT WESTERN 130m VS
N. Allen, Sheilagh Manning, M. McDonagh. 11.6.75
Start at the foot of the nose where the north and west faces meet, either scramble up grass ledges on the right or traverse the left side of a semi-detached block via. an awkward corner.
1. 15m. Climb a short steep corner, move left (right?) along a rake to stance on grass. Nut belay.
2. 30m. Step right onto the slab and make a long delicate traverse to a semi-cave below an overlap. Nut belay.
3. 30m. Move up and right onto a block, and climb leftwards to a good ledge below the prominent white wall. Climb a short corner on the left of the ledge, and the fine white wall to a good stance. Nut and piton belay.
4. 33m. Move right 3m. and climb the overlap and the short groove above, step left on grass and make a rising traverse to the right, to an obvious brown corner, climb this and step right at the top to a good stance. Piton belay below a big overlap.
5. 22m. Pad up the narrowing slab to the right and where the slab ends make a difficult mantle shelf. Ascend to the roof and traverse pleasantly left to finish up at a short steep wall, on the ridge.

CRUSADE 80m HVS
Ken Higgs, (1) (2), Tom Ryan. 5.6.1977

The route below takes the obvious diagonal line of narrow ramps and slabs up the North face of the First Pinnacle Buttress and finishes up a steep corner high on the left side of the face. Start as for Great Western, i.e. at the foot of the nose where the north and west faces meet.
1. 45m - 4c. Climb leftwards up the ramp on the side of the semi-detached block, and across the top of a corner to a good stance and possible belay. (Great Western goes straight up from here). Move left on slab and pull around the corner. Descend slightly and step across groove to gain slab on left with difficulty. Move up to crack, and up this a few feet until possible to traverse left across wall to a good foot ledge below the leftward trending narrow slab (the slab is split by a thin crack). Climb slab and continue up narrow ramps to a grass ledge beneath a wide crack. Peg and spike belays.
2. 35m - 5b. Climb wide crack to top of block. Traverse left across block to corner. Move around left edge of corner and gain a narrow ramp on face. Move up this a few feet until possible to climb onto sloping ledge above (crux).Climb steep corner above ledge and pull out right and gain top with an awkward mantelshelf. Scramble up 6m. for a nut and peg belay.

GRANUAILE 114m S
Clare Sheridan, Bairbre Sheridan. 14.6.75
Start by scrambling to obvious crack below a dark overhanging groove, right of the high white wall, left of a large boulder with overhanging roof.
1. 36m. Climb crack and continue to below overhanging groove. Move left and around nose onto large slab. Belay at left (peg) (or up vegetated ramp).
2 18m. Climb short corner and continue up veg. for a few feet. Step right onto a white wall and climb to ledge (coincides with upper part of pitch (3) of Great Western). Nut belay below overhang.
3. 42m. Step up and left to surmount overhang and continue straight up on easier ground, bearing right round overhangs (loose blocks). Choice of belays.
4. 18m. Climb easily and directly to top.

Joss' Fault 62m S
Joss Lynam, Bob Richardson (shared leads). 14.6.75
This goes up the rather obvious fault line which forms an incipient chimney in the nose about 20m. right of the white wall. Start at the foot of the fault.
1. 27m. Follow the line of the fault, mostly keeping to the right into a niche (pitch could be broken here). Climb up the slightly overhanging chimney above (crux) to a ledge on the left. Go up diagonally, right round the overhang to a terrace. Go up a further 4m. on vegetation to a wire chock belay. Beware of loose blocks on this pitch.
2. 35m. Climb the big slabby steps left of the impending wall. At about 20m. go left over a small wall into a big recess with an overhanging roof. Exit by the left wall and move up right to belays.

To the left of the First Pinnacle Buttress is a smaller buttress. Left of centre on this is a big corner formed between a steep slab and a somewhat overhanging wall. There is an overhang across the top of the slab. The climb goes up the layback crack in the corner, then traverses left to a narrow vertical crack in the slab.

NATASHA 30m VS
Bob Richardson, Joss Lynam. 14.6.1975
1. 22m. Reach the foot of the layback crack with some difficulty. Layback up to big overhang (moss on slab). Chock runner. Make a slightly descending traverse to the crack. Climb the crack jamming (crux) and exit left to a big ledge.
2. 8m. Traverse left along grassy ledge and climb the easy corner by bridging.

BITCH OUT ROUTE** 30m E2 5c
George Ponsonby, Cillian O'Corrbui 25.5.2016
Goes up the obvious large corner formed by the slab and overhanging wall, using a large variety of climbing techniques. Climb the wide crack as for Natasha to the overhang. Continue up the overhang (sustained) to the top. Protection is perfect throughout. If cleaned, it is a potential 3 star route, though the grade could be reduced if new holds appear.

Moving left again, from 'Natasha' approx 50m, is an obvious pinnacle with a massive fallen block at its peak, the next climb starts at the outwards face of the pinnacle, below a hanging , curving crack line.

SLITHER 20m HS 4b
Clem Quinn, Carl Maddox. 14.3.14
1. 10m. 4a/b (Start right side of Pinnacle) Reach the foot of the curving hanging crack via large sloping ledges. From top of crack, make a high step up and left, the make a rising traverse on sloping ledges to large 'Gap' belay.

2. 10m. 4a/b Straight up to steep wall, then Traverse right, along exposed ledge to reach the inside of the pinnacle. Make a tricky traverse to reach the fallen block and pull steeply over this to finish.

Descent - Cross fallen block to exit.

Note: This route was climbed in drizzle, so wet holds and smears made the final grade hard to judge. 'Natsha' looks like a classic, steep line - hopefully a dry day on our next visit.

SLIEVEMORE BUTTRESS

At the head of the valley on the north face of Slievemore is a prominent pear-shaped slabby buttress 1 hr. from the road


THE SNEAKER 114m S
N. Allen, Shelagh Manning, M, McDonough. 10.6.75
Start directly below the summit of Slievemore, 15m up the left-hand bounding rake, at a cairn. (arrow on the slab)
1. 39m. Step onto the slab, move up to an overlap, traverse right and climb a crack. Step right and make a rising traverse across the slabs to a stance below an obvious brown roof. Nut belays.
2. 33m. Climb the corner above and enter the slabby corner. Move right on grass, cross a slab leftwards to regain the corner. Ascend this until a stance can be taken on the left, on a large block.
3. 42m. Move up easier slab and grass above to a stance on easy ground. 100m. scramble to the right remains.



Updated guide: Media:Achill Climbing Guide Mark 3.pdf