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Printed guidebook available here

Topos available here

WARNING: If you see this sign


it means that licenced deer-stalkers are hunting in the forest and it means what it says.

When planning to go to Barnbawn take into account that stalkers are licenced to operate from one hour before dawn until 11 a.m. and must get a minimum of 48 hours prior agreement from the Forest Manager. They erect these signs when entering the forest and remove them when leaving. The deer stalking season usually runs from the 1st September to the 28th February.

Game shooters (with lower powered guns) are licenced to use the forest during the season for any particular type of game for the period from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset (daylight hours) on those days where prior agreement is obtained from the Forest Manager.

A fire in 2018 has completely changed this crag. All turf and vegetation has been burned away exposing new areas of rock. Where turf has been burned off the top of the crag the roots of trees were weakened and they have collapsed making movement around the top more difficult than it was previously. Some of these trees have fallen across Holly Tree Slabs and made routes from Ooh! Aah! to Lineker impassible. Le Taureau Brun de Cooley and An Grianán are still climbable but involve passing under a fallen tree.

Sheltered, sun-catching, quick-drying and low-lying, this crag has routes ranging from Diff. to E1. All this and only 15 minutes from the road. Not being a mountain crag a visit at any time of the year is feasible.


Location: ITM E 720399, N 692346, Irish Grid: E 320474, N 192310, WGS84/GPS: Lat 52 58' 6" Lon -6 12' 27"


OSi shop website

To get to the crag, follow the R752 from Rathnew through the village of Glenealy, then turn right (north-west) immediately before the railway bridge. Take the next turn to the left, about 2km up the road, and left again at the T-junction. About 500m up the road there is a forest entrance on the right where parking is possible. The approach from Roundwood is via Tomriland Cross, Moneystown and Garryduff Cross. Note: recent alterations by Coillte to the road system within the forest have rendered the approach to the crag as detailed in the current guidebook obsolete.
Enter the forest, walk to the t-junction and turn right onto a well graveled forest road. Continue on this to a junction just before some overhead power lines. Ignore the turn on the left and continue straight ahead, passing beneath the power lines. The track now rises gradually, then goes slightly downhill to a junction. Turn left here, heading uphill and the crag soon comes into view up on the right.

Barnbawn after fire.png


There are three sections to the crag, Holly Tree Slabs on the left, Upper Buttress in the middle and Lower Buttress on the right. There is an easy descent route to the left of Holly Tree Slabs.


An Seanduine Dóite Severe
There are three thin, diagonal finger cracks behind the large holly tree near the left end of Holly Tree Slab. Start to the left of the three cracks, at the foot of a short, wide crack running up to a niche below an overhang. Climb the crack, which is steep to start, but eases with height, to finish up over a small dead holly tree.
G. Moss 16/10/18

The Bard's Gift V. Diff.
Start 3 m. right of the large holly tree, below a sharp flake. Climb the flake and follow the edge to a break. Step up and climb the edge to a small pine tree.
J. Duignan, S. Stringer. 29/10/18

The Rocks of Bawn. Severe
Start 2 m. right of The Bard's Gift and 1 m. left of Pine Tree Way, below a crack slanting up left to an overhang. Climb the crack to the overhang, which is taken on good holds, to finish at a small pine tree.
G. Moss 29/10/18

PINE TREE WAY    10m    VS    (4c)
Start about 5m left of the slabs at a short wall. Gain the slab, moving up left to a cracked, undercut wall. Climb this, exiting by the pine tree.
J. Lyons, D. Wall. 1/8/2004

FRAUGHAN CRACK     10m     VS     (4c).
Start right of Pine Tree Way under crack. Climb up slab to ledge at base of crack and then climb crack. .
T. O'Neill, B.Dolan 20/09/2008

Download topos for the next 8 routes at Page 301

OOH! AAH!     11m     D
Start just right of the descent gully at the foot of a long, narrow block. Climb the block to a ledge and follow on up the shallow crack above.
L. Convery, B. Norton, 2/2/1991.

McGRATH     12m     D
Climb up the slab 2m right of Ooh! Aah! to a wide ledge. From here take the clean crack running up, a little left of the nose, to a short wall. Move left, passing left of a tree, to finish.
E. Hackett, B. Hannon, 26/1/1991.

BLOODY NOSE    13m    E1    (5b)
Follow Lineker to the base of the overhanging nose where a sharp hold helps to gain the big jug on the right-hand side. With two hands on the jug, pull up to a precarious position on the right-hand face of the nose. A difficult move consolidates the position. Finish easily.
C. Murphy 24/9/2003

LINEKER *     13m     VS    (4b)
This climb takes the slightly overhanging crack running up the right-hand side of the nose. Climb directly to the start of the crack, which is climbed, with a move left to finish.
E. Hackett, B. Hannon, 23/3/1991.

LE TAUREAU BRUN DE COOLEY 13m     S    (4b).
Start 1m left of the corner and below a short groove 2m right of Lineker. Climb the slab on good holds to the groove which is taken direct.
L. Convery, B. Norton, 2/2/1991.

AN GRIANÁN     13m     D
Climb the obvious corner to the right of Le Taureau Brun all the way to the top.
L. Convery, G. Moss, 26/1/1991.


This is the upstanding outcrop immediately right of Holly Tree Slabs, with a steep left-hand wall and a fine slab above it.

THE SAW DOCTORS     15m     VS    (4c)
Start as for An Grianán. Climb the first 3m of the corner to the top of the block, below a sloping ledge on the wall. Pull up onto the ledge and then make awkward moves straight up to a higher ledge. From here continue up the steep wall above, finishing at the highest point of the wall. Small wires useful for protection.
G. Moss, L. Convery, 23/3/1991.

ORANGE PEEL    15m    VS     (4c).
Start at An Grianán and head up the steep wall to its right. Follow good holds just to the left of Bonsai to an exit at the tree on the slab above. Belay as for Bonsai. .
D. Craig, S. Daly, January 2009.

BONSAI *    16m     VS    (4c)
Start at the foot of the right-hand edge of the wall, just down from Saw Doctors. Climb the edge of the steep wall on good holds and gain the upper slab near its lowest point (a runner here will protect the second from a possible big swing). From the slab follow the narrow crack, passing the tree with care.
G. Moss, L. Convery, 26/1/1991.

Download topos for the next 9 routes at Page 303

SCUD GUYS DIE YOUNG     18m     HVS    (5a)
Start 3m right of Bonsai at the foot of a square block. Climb the short crack to a large overhang before moving awkwardly up a narrow, left-trending ramp, to a restricted perch above it, below another overhang. Pull over this on good holds and follow the thin crack up the centre of the slab.
G. Moss, L. Convery, 2/2/1991.

BUACHAILLÍ BÁNA     18m     VS    (4b)
Start 2m right of Scud Guys Die Young at the foot of a short, undercut crack running up to a groove on the right of the overhang. Climb the crack to the groove and move left up a steep slab to a stance below the upper overhang. Move up right (crux) and then make a long step back left onto the upper slab. Follow the right edge to the top.
G. Moss, L. Convery, 26/1/1991.


This is the right-hand buttress with a deep chimney below an overhang on the face and, around to the right, a steep slab above a short wall and cave.

SWING LOWE *     12m     HS    (4b)
Start at the foot of the chimney. Struggle up the chimney to where it widens below the overhang. Move left up a slab and pull around the overhang at its left edge. Climb up the slab to a belay.
L. Convery, G. Moss, 19/1/1991.

THE EDGE ROUTE     12m     HVS     (5a) .
Start at base of Swing Lowe. Climb wall on left to horizontal crack. Move around left into groove then move up and back on to slab above to top. .
T. O'Neill, B.Dolan 20/09/2008 SADDAM'S RIB     12m     HVS    (5a)
Start immediately right of the chimney, below a short zig-zag crack slanting up leftwards. Gain the crack and continue up the steep rib to where the overhang is split by a narrow crack. Climb the overhang via the crack and continue up the slab to a belay.
G. Moss, E. Hackett, B. Hannon, 23/3/1991.

EYE OF THE NEEDLE *     23m     HS    (4b)
Start 2m right of Saddam's Rib at the foot of the obvious left-trending ramp. Climb the delicate ramp and move across left beneath the overhang. Squeeze through the eye and move easily along the ledge to the corner. Climb the steep slab on the left to gain the arête which is followed to the top.
B. Hannon, E. Hackett, 23/3/1991.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH     12m     VS    (5a)
Start immediately right of Eye of the Needle below the undercut left edge of the slab. A fingery start, on small holds, overcomes the initial steep section. Continue up the edge on improving holds to the upper slab. Cross to the centre of the slab for a belay.
G. Moss, L. Convery, 23/3/1991.

DAMP START CRACK     14m     S    (4a)
Start 2m right of Sir Walter Raleigh above a little step and below the right edge of a short, recessed slab which is usually damp at the bottom. Make a difficult move to gain a foothold on the slab. Continue up the right edge of the slab to the small overhang. Move across right on good holds to the foot of a crack curving up left. Climb the crack and the edge of the upper slab to the trees.
B. Hannon, B. Norton, 2/2/1991.

BARNSTORMERS*     13m     E1    (5b)
Start immediately right of Damp Start Crack at the lowest point of the cave, below a short steep wall. Climb the wall on small holds to a ledge. Move straight up to a small overlap. Step up and follow the thin crack delicately up the centre of the slab (crux). Small wires needed for protection.
G. Moss, E. Hackett, B. Hannon, 23/3/1991.

CASCARINO**     14m     VS    (4b)
Start just right of Barnstormers below some boulders at the cave. Climb to the top of a pointed block in the mouth of the cave. Foot traverse left across the wall via the obvious crack to a ledge at the base of the slab. Climb rightwards along a narrow crack which crosses a break and becomes progressively thinner, to finish at a small tree. Good block belay.
E. Hackett, B. Norton, 2/2/1991.

OFFSIDE     13m     VS    (4b)
Start 4m out to the right of the cave, below the start of a crack which slopes up to the left. Gain the crack and follow it to reach a stance above the cave. Make a difficult move left to a sloping foothold at the base of the upper slab. Pull up and follow the crack in the groove above to the top.
G. Moss, L. Convery, 12/10/1991.

SIDEWINDERS    12m    HS .
Short, delicate and difficult to protect in the upper section. It can be greasy after a few days rain and is best tackled when dry. .
Start as for Offside. Pull up to stand in the crack and make a long, awkward step down and around to the right onto a good foothold. Traverse right using undercuts to gain the edge of the flake. Continue right on an intermittent crack and, when this fades, move up the face to a gap and tree belay. .
G.Moss, H. Hertzmann, Winter 2007.

TRAVERSE OF THE BODS    40m    HVS     (4c, 5a).
A right to left girdle of the crag, best done in 2 pitches to avoid rope drag. .
1. 20m Start as for Offside. Pull up to stand in the crack and traverse left to its end. Step across left and continue with the foot traverse on Cascarino. When this ends move left above the overhang on Damp Start Crack to reach the arete. Step down left onto the upper part of the ramp on Eye of the Needle and move across onto the hanging slab on Swing Lowe. Up this to belay above the exit on Eye of the Needle. .
2. 20m Move down into the furze-filled gully and across to the stance below the crux of Buachaillí Bána. Make a delicate diagonal descent across the short slab of Scud Guys (crux) and move around the nose to the stance below the crux of Bonsai. A short fingery traverse across the steep wall gains the narrow ramp below the finish of Saw Doctors. Step down onto the main slab and traverse pleasantly left below the crux of Lineker to just below the top of OOh! AAh! Backclimb this to belay on the ground. .
G. Moss, H. Hertzmann, L. Convery, Winter 2007.


<googlemap version="0.9" lat="52.970004" lon="-6.208026" zoom="16"> 52.968249, -6.208491 Barnbawn </googlemap>