Ceann Capaill

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Introduction

This is the obvious rocky headland jutting into the sea about 1km south of the main sea-cliffs at Ailladie. The limestone here is much more weathered and the climbs are short averaging about 10m but they are of good quality and very accessible for about 2-3 hours either side of low tide. They are described from left to right as you face the cliff.

CeannCapaillPanorama.jpg

At the right-hand side of the wall it is possible to scramble down instead of walking down the beach.

CINDERELLA SEARCH 6m HVS 5a/b I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991. Climb the grey bulge in the wall. Swing gymnastically over this to some square-shaped blocks and follow the crack up above.

MUSSELS ABOUT 10m D I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. The fault 4m right of Cinderella Search.

BLUE NOSE 10m VD I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991. This is the obvious wide open groove with a steep flake.

GABBY HAYES 10m S I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. Start on a boulder 2m right of Blue Nose, and climb steeply up the wall and finish up past a short vertical crack at the horizontal breaks.

GET HAPPY 10m VS 4c I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. Start 5m left of Slim Jim on top of a boulder, go straight up and finish to the right. Low in the grade with a pronounced crux at the start.

SLIM JIM 10m S I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991. Start 3m left of the descent gully at a brown drainage streak. Climb straight up the flake and finish out right.

BAD RIP 10m E1 5b I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. The only route on the wall which is right of the descent gully (viewing with your back to the sea). Start below the left arête of the wall, step up and climb the right-trending crack to the top.

The right-hand side of this wall is characterised by two prominent black corners with a thin crack up the back of each and a wide fault on the left.

PINS AND NEEDLES 14m VS 4c I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. Gain the wide fault. Use this to get up to a horizontal cavern and climb out left to the next horizontal break. Climb up the nosy arête to the left of the upright flake.

Hurtssogood.jpg

HURTS SO GOOD 13m E1 5b I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. This is the prominent crack in the middle of the wall.

STREAMS OF WHISKEY 11m E2 5c T. Taylor, M. Flannery, 31/8/94. The line directly up the centre of the wall between Hurts So Good and Stormy Monday. Fine technical climbing on small positive sharp holds.

STORMY MONDAY 10m E1 5b

I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991.

The thin crack 5m right of Hurts so Good.

THE WEB 10m VS 4c

I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991.

The corner right of Stormy Monday.

CRAWLERS 8m HS 4b

I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991.

This runs up the right-hand of the two corners and offers some lovely bridging.

SPIRALS 12m VD

I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991.

The prominent chimney on the left-hand side of the wall.

QUICKSTEP 10m HS 4b

I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991.

This takes the stepped corner just right of Spirals and finishes out right. Be warned - it's more awkward than it seems.

THE DIVER 10m VS 4c

I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991.

To the right of Quickstep there is a large oblong boulder leaning against the wall forming a short natural tunnel. A few metres left of this there is a thin crack, difficult at first but it eases when you realise that you can bridge out onto the boulder higher up. Finish straight up.

THE QUICKENING 12m VS 4b

I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991.

Take a stroll through the tunnel and on the far side you'll find a large triangular niche with a horizontal black overhang. Climb the right-trending ramp and move along the ledge a bit to finish steeply up the wall on jugs.

On the right-hand side of this wall there is a right-angled corner with two deep wide cracks.

ANACONDA 11m VS 4c

I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991.

Start 4m left of Barnacle Bill and follow the right-trending crack to a ledge. From here step right and finish up left of the corner.

BARNACLE BILL 10m S

I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991.

This is the left-hand crack. It is awkward to start with, especially if you have short legs but gets easier as you move up.

JUST BEGINNING 10m S I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991. This is the right-hand of the two cracks in the corner with the crux being an awkward lay-back at the start.

EASILY PLEASED 10m VS 4c I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. Start immediately right of Just Beginning and pull up over an awkward bulge just left of the undercut arête. Now trend out right to the arête which you climb to the top.

VENUS 10m VS 4b I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. Comforting placements are missing on this wide crack 12m to the right of Easily Pleased. Follow it up to the left-hand side of the overhang and up-and-under to the top.

DOG ROUGH 14m HVS 5a I. Rea, I. Dillon, May 1991. 5m right of Venus a groove runs up to a deep horizontal break. Climb up this and hand-traverse left along the break finishing up the wall above on jugs.

WET AND DRY 14m HS 4b I. Dillon, I. Rea, May 1991. This starts on top of a large flat block, 3m right of Dog Rough. Follow the deep crack, which overhangs at first, to the left-hand side of the jutting overhang. Step up left to a big ledge and finish up the right-hand arête.

Walking west from the climbs described in the 1997 guide, past the huge boulders, there is an obvious large cleft (visible from the road) and a little further on a vertical hole (which drops down to a ledge/cave in the cliff at half height over the sea). It is possible to easily down-climb to the right of this hole (looking out to sea) or make an abseil, to the base of a square arête of perfect black rock (between the cleft and the hole). This gives a pleasant route which was climbed deep water solo on the first ascent:

Seize Fire 12m VS 5a * Nick Taylor 21.8.06 on-sight solo, high tide The arête is climbed direct past a half height ledge to a crux near the top. Worthwhile.

Continuing west past the headland itself there is a west facing cliff above a tidal platform (accessible from about mid-tide). There are 2 very large overhanging prows of rock on the right side of this cliff (facing in). The wall to the right of the right-hand overhang is split by a left leaning thin crack system, taken by:

Lesley Ann 12m E1 5c * Nick Taylor 22/8/06 abseil inspected, unseconded. The under-cut start is fierce, once established on better holds step left and continue enjoyably up the left leaning crack-line to a steep finish. Good protection, perfect rock and surprisingly good holds, an excellent climb. Climbed in increasing rain ? the ascent was still possible because the holds are pretty good, but a serious depletion of my brownie point status occurred as my girlfriend got soaked.

To the left of the left-hand overhang is a corner with an undercut ramp-like base:

Lovely Girl 10m V Diff Nick Taylor 21/8/06 on-sight solo The undercut base of the corner is tackled most easily from the right. Carefully climb the corner on sharp and crozzly rock.

Between Lovely Girl and the next corner to the left is a blunt arete, with a hanging groove above an overhanging start:

Rough Knees 10m VS 5a Nick Taylor 21/8/06 on-sight solo) About 4 metres left of Lovely Girl. A steep and strenuous start gains the hanging groove which is sharp and crozzly but much easier.