Englishman's House Crag
Location - This crag over a mile long faces east and lies on the west side of the Belcoo-Dowra road. Approach - The car can be left in a quarry, (Grid Ref. 014323, Sheet 26, Lough Allen) and the track continues up almost to the crag when the fence is followed. Description - It is 60 metres high and consists of vertical and overhanging sandstone/gritstone, albeit very vegetated. When seen from the approach path, the crag is split into three main sections - A. A series of prominent corners, followed by a grassy break in the cliff - the descent gully. From the fence go left across the hillside crossing several other fences. B. The highest section of cliff as far as the black cleft above a huge triangular flake. This cleft is POLL NA CRAIG. C. The remaining crag to the right of POLL NA CRAIG.
There are three prominent corners left of The Sentry Box. The third from the left is Spider Mole. Between it and the second corner is an overhanging arête. Creep left along a grassy ledge below the overhang to the base of an overhanging corner. Climb this using the excellent jamming crack (crux). Gain a good ledge and move right. Climb the next corner and move right to a small ledge on the arête. Climb the scooped wall above trending left (scant protection). A marvellous route!
LISTEN TO THE WIND BLOW 23m VS 4c R.Cole, M.Smith, A.Carden 20th August 1977 Climbs the third of the prominent corners from the left end of the crag.Start on the right or more easily on the left of the short tower at the foot of the corner. possible belay on ledge. Bridge or thrutch up narrowing chimney, past loose blocks to the top. Peg belay on slabs.
SPIDER MOLE 23m VD M.Smith, R.Cole, A.Carden 1977 The steep clean crack 6 metres right of Spider Mole.With two hard moves go up and right and into the sentry box. Layback or jam the crack above to reach horizontal cracks, left of an overhanging block. Boulder belay and peg far back.
THE SENTRY BOX 23m VS 4b R.Finlay, P.Hall, T.Fogg August 1981 Direct Start - A.Currans, R.Finlay. 20th June 1983 Start - 3m right of The Sentry Box.Climb ledges trending left to gain start of right-curving flakes, or climb the thin crack as a direct start at VS (5a), harder for shorties. Climb these to good ledge. A vertical crack rises from the right end of this ledge. Using it climb the wall to its left directly to the top.
WAR 25m HS 4a P.Grant, G.Mitten August 1981 Start - on the big platform to the right of War.Climb on ledges up the deep wide crack.
LITTLE PUFF PUFF 8m VD P.Hall, R.Finlay, T.Fogg August 1981 Start - immediately right of Little Puff Puff.Climb the steep clean corner crack to ledges and the top.
WHISTLE STOP 7m S 4a P.Chatterley, T.Fogg. August 1981 (The obstinately named)Start - 4m right of Whistle Stop.Climb steep wall by widely-spaced ledges.
PIGS IN TOW 9m S 3c R.Finlay, P.Hall August 1981 Start - 1m right of Pigs In Tow up curving left crack.Gain the wide crack above (crux). Climb to ledges and easily to the top.
CANADIAN PACIFIC 10m VS 4b P.Grant, G.Mitten August 1981 Start - 3m right of Canadian Pacific.Climb the crack and ledges trending left.
BOXCAR 9m VD Alister Scott, Jerome Starrs, Rosie McGovern 26 August 1987 Left of Wee Chuggy (below platform or Fox's Hump). Approximately one metre to the right of a small oak tree.Climb obvious crack with wrist jams. Hard move up to rest under overhang. Reach up with left hand on to wobbly block and move out and up to finish.
ROSIE'S WRIST WRINGER A.Carden, M.Smith, R.Cole 20th August 1977 The central overhung crack on the buttress below and right of the previous two climbs. Start from the heather bank above the hidden lower tier.Bridge airily on good holds past the overhang.
WEE CHUGGY 20m VD R.Finlay, P.Hall August 1981 Start - on the tier below the 'Platform' and 5m right of Wee Chuggy.Climb cleaned blocks and short vertical crack to sloping ledges beneath small broken overhang. Move up and left and climb up the steep wall and crack above.
CHOO CHOO 14m HS 4b P.Hall, L.Cassidy August 1981 Start - 2 m right of Choo Choo.Climb the large left-trending flake. From the top make a steep step right and up ledges to the top.
PULLMAN EXPRESS 12m VD E.Devoy, J.Dixon 11th May 1976 Start left of descent gully at boulder.Up grass to right of cave to wall. Climb the chimney to the right. Up the chimney to overhang. Climb this directly. Climb horizontal cracks on the right wall to belay on top.
TRUNDLE CHIMNEY 17m VD
GRAINNE MHAOL 50m VD A.Carden, M.Smith 18th December 1977 Start 150 metres right of the Descent Gully. Takes the vegetated right slanting chimney at the left edge of the huge overhang at one third height on the cliff. 1) 35 m. Bear left then right on steep vegetation and occasional rock to a chimney. Go back into the cave and squirm out over chockstone (rope drag?) to grass. Belay back in final chimney (35 metres) 2) 12 m. Move up to and surmount the enormous awkward chockstones.
GLECKSTONE'S STEEPLE 20m S 4a A.Carden, R.Cole 3rd October 1976 The prominent rock spire overlooking the gorge. Start at the south east rib of the huge block. 1) Gain a spike. With one thin blade peg for handhold, ascend wall. Belay on platform. 2) Climb exposed arête to the top. Stand up?
KEN'S FOLLY 26m VD Ken Hill 1975 Start - Take the crack just right of right flank of the entrance to the gorge and to the left of a clean knee jamming crack. Up ledge and chimney, up the big rift.
GLECKSTONE'S CRACK 26m S 4a R.Cole, A.Carden 3rd October 1976 Start 12 m left of Poll Na Craig and 3 metres right of Ken's Folly. 1) Climb the steep, knee jamming crack to ledge and chockstone belay. 2) Chimney up the big rift as for Ken's Folly.
BACK INTO THE FUTURE 26m E1 5b A.Currans, R.Finlay 25th August 1983 At the north end of the gorge (right-hand side as you face the cliff) is a very obvious impressive corner. Climb the left side of the large detached flake, to a good ledge, on top of the flake. Bridge and jam around overhang to a rest ledge. From ledge follow corner crack, on superb jams to reach niche. Bridge up directly for several moves then move right and up to finish.Undoubtedly the best route on grit/sandstone in the area, if not the world!
POLL NA CRAIG CAVE 24m VD G.Jones, J.Dixon, K.Hill 1) 7m. Go back and up the big rift. 2) Gradually descend for 7 m until pot is reached. 3) Bridge down 10 m. The rift continues and a hole is seen at the end.
MARIE 30m S 3c R.Finlay, A.Currans 1983 The first pitch was previously an alternative start to ANTOINETTE.Begin on the inside of the flake in Poll na Craig immediately opposite the crack seen as the right side of the flake when approaching the crag. Climb the crack with care (loose blocks) to the top of the flake, possible belay. Move along the top of the flake. Step across the gap to the main wall opposite and gain a cleaned ledge. Step left past an obvious crack to immediately below ledge and in blocky groove. Gain the ledges (crux) and continue easily to the top. Climbed in one pitch from Poll na Craig.
ANTOINETTE 27m VS 4b M.Smith, A.Carden (3 points of aid) 19th December 1977 M.Smith, A.Devlin FFA. 1983 Climbs the large flake at the entrance to Poll na Craig and the vertical prow above. 1) Climb the crack on the right of the flake. (loose rock inside crack). Pass an awkward chockstone to top of flake. Belay. 2) Step left from belay, past the obvious hard crack. Use holds on the opposite side of chasm. Move up past a peg to a crack. Move right to a peg just below top to finish
MICK'S CRACK IS DRY 15m E4 6a/b M.Walsh, H.Hennessy 14/08/2011 Yo-Yo ascent, cleaned on aid and abseil. The detached lower prow at the right end of the crag with a splitter hand crack in the 3m horizontal roof. From jugs jam the roof crack to a good jam around the lip of the roof, using the crack which reduces to rattley fingers turn the lip and you are home free. Safe route.
STIL POITIN 25m HVS 5b A.Currans, P.Nolan 2nd December 1990 Right of the area with Marie and Antoinette is an obvious off width crack. Right of this is a large overhang at one-third height.The route takes the steep clean left facing corner just left of the overhang on finger locks and hand jams. Good protection. Access is by abseil from a stake at the top. Belay on a large block at the base of the corner.
AL'S DIHEDRAL 20m HVS 5a Alan Currans, Pat Nolan November 1990
ACCESS ROAD 13m D R.Cole, A.Carden 2nd October 1976 10 metres below the foot of the crag is a small rock tier. Climb the rib at the right hand end.