Douglas Crag

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J329243 Despite the ease of access this remains one of the most unpopular large crags in the Mournes, with vast acreage's of turf and heather marring, the possibility of quality rock climbing on the majority of the routes recorded.

<display_map zoom="11">54.150681, -5.965287~Blue Lough Buttress</display_map>

From the car park (345219) at the bottom of the Carrick Little Track follow the track to the farthest edge of the forest. Strike directly up from here to the crag which is sitting brooding down over the valley on the left. About three-quarters of an hour from the car park.

The main feature of the crag is the large dirty right-facing corner taken by Amen Comer. On the left side of the square-cut pillar left of Amen Comer is a prominent crack taken by the route Cack-Handed Crack. The steep wall left of this crack is taken by Snert. All the longer routes meander up the hanging gardens right of Amen Corner. Although many of the routes start by following the right-trending seam on the large slab at the base of the crag, various ways can be found up this slab at never more than 4b and all provide unprotected friction climbing of some quality. At the extreme upper left end of the crag where it turns a sharp right-angle is a short but very steep clean wall. The routes on it are described at the end of this section.

Snert ** 33m VS (4c)
R. Cole, M. Mills, J. Forsythe. 22/8/81
A steep clean route which should be more popular. Start: in the middle of the wall left of Cack-Handed Crack. Climb small corner by flakes and continue straight up by a series of mantelshelves to large platform below overhanging wall. Traverse left and climb up to small bay. Climb overhang by crack and wall on right.

Cack-Handed Crack 30m HVS (4c)
R. Cowan.
Dire, dirty and best left alone. This takes the previously mentioned crack, gaining it from the left and finishing out right under overhangs at the top, as for Antagonism.

Antagonism 72m VD
J. Forsythe, M. Curran. 4/72/77.
This climb moves from right to left across the front of the buttress just left of Amen Corner.
1) 27m Follow the first two pitches of Amen Corner.
2) 18m Move up a couple of metres and step left round the corner onto the face of the buttress and move diagonally left to a niche above a large grass ledge.
3)9m From the left-hand edge move right to a raven's nest to belay. 4)18m Step left and follow ledges under the rib to the top or climb the overhanging corner on the right and pull up on good holds to the top (VS).

Amen Corner 55m S/A2
B. Rogers, D. Home. 31/8/64.
Ian Rea, Eddie Cooper & Phil Holmes, 12th May 2005,First free ascent and direct variation.
1) 15m Follow the right-trending seam on the lower slab.
2) 12m Mantelshelf up ledges to base of the fault.
3) 14m (A1) Move up right walls then back to crack, then right again and up to overhang at corner. Traverse left, then up. Crawl right to large alcove.
4) 14m Climb left corner of alcove and return to the fault. Up groove, (A2), and exit via steep slab on the left.
Direct Variation
1.) 35m. Start on top of 2m high pedestal at the base of the wall. Go directly up past a miniature right facing corner, stepping up right to gain big ledge. Up short walls and ledges in a direct line about 2m right of actual corner to below overhang. Swing out airily to the left and continue up crack to belay on a good ledge below the final corner.
2.) 15m. Up corner to top. Belay stakes are about 10m back.

Fallen Timbers 60m E3 5c, 6a. Ian Rea & Stephen Ferris, 6th August 2005. 1.) 40m. Either from the top of the pedestal at the base of Amen corner or via a traverse in from the left, gain the horizontal break on the left of the pedestal from where it is possible to go up and slightly left, making a precarious mantle, then horizontally right until directly above pedestal, then straight up to big ledge. Move right about 4m top go up a series of short walls and ledges until level with left edge of grass ledge. Go left into Amen corner and go up this for 4-5m until just below bulge. Go horizontally right to left edge of next heather terrace, then straight up to belay in big niche. 2.) 20m Go up diagonal crack and right hand wall to gain, precariously, an exposed ledge. Boldly up bulging wall, then horizontally left to ledge. Up directly and finish via Amen Corner.

The following three routes are recorded more for the record as like Amen Corner and Antagonism they are seldom, if ever, climbed.

Barrier 90m HS
J. Firth, J. Childs. 25/9/59.
Start: up the seam in the lower slab. Wander up through vegetation to gain the cleaner Right-Hand Buttress from a point about half way up its left-hand side and finish up the front of the buttress.

Judas 90m VD/A2
D. Home, B. Rogers. 1/9/64.
Start: again up the seam. Wander up to the lower left-hand end of the Right-Hand Buttress and ascend the front of this via an overhanging groove (A2), a vegetated crack and a steep slab.

Pomegranite 73m S
B. White, D. Naylor. 14/10/60.
Ascends the arete on the left-hand side of the cave gully at the right-hand end of the crag. The upper left-hand wall is steep, clean rock and a little sun-trap. The routes are described from left to right and although short worth the effort for the ones with stars - the others would be useful as a warm-up or down as it takes longer to put on the gear than to climb them!

Fissure Bob 10m S (4a)
R. Bankhead, G. Murray. 6/9/86.
Climb ramp at left end of wall and finish steeply above.

Murray's Original Route 10m E2 (5b)
G. Murray. R. Bankhead. 6/9/86.
Start: just right of Fissure Bob. Climb wall (crux) until possible to move left to top of ramp. Step right and finish up steep wall.

Isolated Incidents * 12m E2 (5b)
E. Cooper, S. McCrory. 4/87.
This striking line is normally done with an in situ thread just above the wider section. Climb the obvious diagonal crack which runs from right to left.

Technical Ecstasy * 12m E3 (5c)
S. Mcllwaine, 8. Stewart (One Rest Point). 21/2/87.
E. Cooper, A. Moles (First Free Ascent). 1989.
Surprisingly protection can be found for this rather steep route. Start: as for Isolated Incidents. Follow the diagonal crack for 4m until possible to reach short vertical break above the crack. Directly up easing towards the top.

Champagne Cocktail 12m E2 (6a)
A. Moles, I. Moles. 16/6/89.
Start: 1 m right of Isolated Incidents. Make a difficult move to reach a small ledge. Trend left and up to an inverted champagne glass flake. Step up delicately on small holds until a dynamic move can be made for a horizontal crack leading to a ledge on the right (crux). Finish easily up the arete.

Grapefruit Moon 10m HVS (5a)
G. Murray. 4/96.
Start: 2m right of Champagne Cocktail. Climb wall on good breaks to good finishing holds.

Little Trip 10m HS (4b)
G. Murray. 4/96.
Start: 2m left of Grapefruit Moon is a wall topped by a fist size crack. Climb up wall to crack.