Black Ball Head

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Paddy O Leary writes: I have not had time to check that sea crag on the Beara (name I’ve forgotten) which Tiglin discovered and developed to quite an extent. It's great fun- just below the Buddhist retreat with a lovely small beach nearby.

Blackball Head is a headland 5 kilometers from Dzogchen Beara on the way to Dursey Sound.

Approach Park considerately around a number of pull in spots at Blackball Harbour, walk in via the commonage north of the signal tower by following the shore line from the Harbour.

The climbing North West and South West facing walls of generally good volcanic tufa below the signal tower. The inlet is Coosbunnadoonroe (Cuas Bun a'Dún Rua). To approach scramble down the ridge for 150m until there is a ‘clean drop’ to your right, this is Black Sabbath Wall and Slab, abseil in to a tidal ledge. Routes are listed from left to right. For Ecstasy Wall and the Headwall (which are really named Bunnadoonroe - Bun a'Dún Rua)abseil down the gully on the left.

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Ecstasy Wall

A South Westerly facing wall of well-weathered volcanic tufa offering high quality off-vertical climbing. The rock bands above the climbs are filled with ledges and jugs. Some caution is advised as this strata is a bit brittle in places. The use of micro-wires is advantageous. Abseil down the gully (preferably using a minimum 50m rope) and traverse leftwards (looking in) over ledges and easy niches, approximately 3-4m above high tidal mark. The following routes start in niches, centrally at the base of the wall. All routes offer good protection and holds.

Dharmachakra 35m HS 4b

Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 5/8/2017

Move directly up over good ledges and holds of irregular features to yellow lichen slabs. Follow a left-trending line around ovelaps at the left-end of a blank wall to top.

Bhóithrín Na Smaointe 35m HS 4b

Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 6/8/2017

Follows the same line as Dharmachakra up on to the yellow lichen slabs. Then continue up, trending right, to a long horizontal crack at the base of a wide slab of few features. Move right to a prominent corner and follow this corner up to the top.

Sea of Joy 35m VS 4c ***

Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 5/8/2017

Left-facing double corners stand at the left end of an incised blue headwall. Here take the longer, right-hand corner directly to the top. A triangular groove mid-way can be surmounted directly or via a short slab on it’s left.


Blackball Headwall

Very enjoyable long, low grade climbing with a South Westerly aspect can be found here.

Regatta Ridge 70m VD

Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan, 5/8/2017

35m Follow a line 1-3m right of the true arete. Protection improves with height. Belay at a ledge on the right. 35m Continue up the arete on good holds until the rock becomes poorer. Veer right to follow a shallow corner crack to emerge at a large terrace, Traverse right for 6m and gain the next ledge system by a vertical crack. Move left to finish.

Dear Deborah 70m VD

Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan, 6/8/2017

Start 12m right of the arete below a vague line of vertical cracks and an interesting right-facing corner high on the face. 35m Follow the easy slabs and steepening cracks to a big terrace and a large block belay below the aforementionedcorner. 30m Move up the corner. Alternatively, traverse leftwards past a wall to a vertical crack which brings you to another terrace. Traverse right for 4m on this terrace and gain the next ledge system to finish (as per Regatta Ridge).


Black Sabbath Slab

Approach: North Westerly facing, On the tidal ledges after the abseil, scramble leftwards towards the huge cave on a good ledge above the high tide mark until you come to a very black, smooth, large featured, slabby face.

Black Sabbath 20m VS 4c

Sile Daly, David Craig, 16/07/2017.

Start at the first obvious and widest crack trending diagonally to the right. Climb this for 3 meters until the angle eases, then step left onto the the face and climb up vaguely leftwards through the steepest territory you can see passing through a few overlaps to the top of the slab. 20 m.

Black Sabbath Wall

This is the wall you abseil down

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Gerry Galligan on Fairies Wear Boots

1 Black Ball Corner Pocket 45m V. Diff

David Craig, Sile Daly 16/07/2017.

Climbs the obvious corner on the left side of the slab. Some suspect rock near the top.

Customs Drugs Watch 45m V Diff

Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan,16/07/2017.

There is a recess in the middle of the wall. Follow the shallow crack line on the left side of the recess to the top. Good holds and protection along the way.

Fairies Wear Boots 45m V Diff *

Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 16/07/2017.

Takes the shallow crack 2m right of the recess. A direct line to the top. Provides enjoyable, well-protected climbing.

4 Rack ’em up 45m Diff

David Craig, Sile Daly 16/07/2017.

Climbs the excellent shallow corner on the right side of the slab.