A long low limestone crag located at the left hand side of the final step or tier before the top of Mullach Mor as you approach from the south. Follow the way marked path past the Eastern bank of the lake heading northeastwards at GR 531694, continue on foot gradually gaining height for about 25 mins and after passing a line of smaller cliffs the main crag comes into view far off and to your left. The Crag is identified by the large blocks at its base and several tall trees at the middle of the crag.
The crag is broken into two areas namely Father Ted’s Crag and the French Quarter. Father Ted’s crag stretches from the west to the middle east of the south facing cliffs, while the French Quarter starts at the western corner of FT Crag and runs North. The crag looks onto Father Ted’s house under the cliffs to the west (Slievenaglasa).
The climbs range in height from 8m to 23m and there's a good variety of styles although in the main there's an abundance of vertical cracks, many of the longer climbs only hold onto their difficulties for the first 10 metres or less. Protection is generally good to excellent and the rock is sound once cleaned and climbed on a few times. There are scramble descents at either end of the crag or it is possible to back climb Crilly's chimney midway along the cliff. There is loose rock to be found in some gullies/chutes and on wide ledges in a few areas, in particular at Dougal's and Doyle's butress (Careful Now!)
There is a lot of weird and wonderful flowers and insects in the area so please respect the place. The crag is in the Burren National Park and should be treated as such.
To reach Mullach Mor from Ennis, drive to Corofin and take the first right in the village, pass the church, take the left about half-mile out sign posted for Gort. Travel on past Ballypoltry Castle and take the left after CaherBolane House (the turn just after the right turn to Ruan). Travel this narrow road for about ¾ of a mile at the most and take the right at the Y junction. Mullach Mor is visible in front of you and the crag is up on the top left hand corner of the hill (mountain).
To reach Mullach Mor from Ailladee drive to Lisdoonvarna, onto Kilfenora, along the Corofin road until you reach Kilnaboy. Take the left just after Kilnaboy ruined church and continue on this road (10 minutes) until you see a sign for Green Road to the left, go right and onwards for about ½ mile past the site of the famed cancelled interpretive centre.
Summer 2018 Update.
The Burren National Park have a shuttle bus running from Corofin to nearby Gortalecka Cross Roads (9-5) to facilitate visitors to the National Park. The nearby Lough Avalla farm have a nice tea room that is open on weekends.
LE FRENCH QUARTER
This is the west facing area of the crag whose initial climbers included a number of French. The crag is about 20m at its highest point. The rock in general is good
1. GAULOISES 8m VD Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan, 3rd July 2010 Takes the left crack, left of the prow before the crag loses height. Gain the ledge at 1m and continue up the steep crack which eases off passing two small ledges.
2. LE COQ SANS SPORTIF 8m D Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 3rd July 2010 Takes the groove-chute 6 m left of Toulouse or not Toulouse
LES PROLONGATIONS 15m S 4a Barry Watts, David Brosnan, 19th May 2018 3m right of LE COQ SANS SPORTIF a thin crack slants diagonally leftwards, step off a boulder and follow the crack to reach a small ledge and large holds, gain a second ledge and trend rightwards up a crack passing a third ledge to the top.
3. TOULOUSE OR NOT TOULOUSE 10m HVS 5a Neil O'Connor, Peter Farrell, 1st May 2000 Climb a corner to the left of Chauffeur with a fallen block at its base, just before the crag loses height. Climb gingerly past the hollow flake to a pod and up the steep corner crack above.
4. A CLASS TWO RELIC 10m VS 4c Barry Watts, Radu Toma, 22nd June 2010 Start 3 m right of Toulouse, Climb some thin cracks and finish up the steep crack-groove.
5. HENRY LE BÂTARD 13m VS 4b Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 3rd July 2010 Takes an eliminate line between Class 2 Relic & Lucky Luke, step onto the blank slab, traverse left to Class 2 relic crack, up this for 3 m until level with the ledge. Traverse right along the horizontal break, gain and follow the vertical crack to the top.
6. LUCKY LUKE 15m Diff Radu Toma, Barry Watts, 22nd June 2010 Take the crack 3m right of class two relic, this forms the left hand end of the big alcove which is left of the Chauffeur prow. Follow the crack to the top taking care with some loose rock higher up. Worthwhile for the grade.
7. Scramble 15m Mod Easy Ascent in bay directly to left of Chauffer.
8. CHAUFFEUR 15m V.Diff* Conor Warner (solo) , 8th April 2000 Follow the centre of prominent prow to the top. Good easy route.
10. TENTACLES OF DOOM 15m S/HS 4a/4b Eoin O’Neill, James Flanagan, 3rd July 2010 Takes a line up the right hand side of the chauffeur prow, there are two obvious leftward trending cracks at half height, start below these and climb with sustained interest past them for the first 8 m‘s, or pass the blank section by heading left to the arete, continue on finishing as for chauffeur, a good route.
9. LE HANDBALL 15m VS 4b Barry Watts, Radu Toma, 15th June 2010 Take the obvious crack ramp system where the protrouding prow joins the main cliff, steep to start, at the grassy ledge finish up the clean crack on youe left which is right of the bush.
11. JOE LE TAXI 15m VS 4b Barry Watts, Radu Toma, 15th June 2010 Takes the next groove right of LE HANDBALL. Start under an overhang a thin starting corner brings easier ground and some squeaky holds before the grassy ledge is reached (mind the large hollow flake on the left), Finish as for LE HANDBALL.
12. PAROCHIAL PURSUITS 15m VS 4c* Barry Watts, Conor Warner, 6th March 2011 Takes the shallow corner groove between JOE LE TAXI and A CASE OF.... Start at the large detatched block, a bouldering move leads to the top or alternately go round the back and scramble to the top of the block. climb the shallow corner groove above with a slight deviation onto the ranmp on the left about half way up.
13. A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY 12m VS 4c* Neil O'Connor, Peter Farrell, 1st May 2000 Climb the start of St. Etienne into the niche, long step left onto a sloping wall and continue straight up this wall to the grassy ledge above.
14. ST. ETIENNE 12m VS 4c* Cyril Blachon, C. Warner, A.Speer. 8th April 2000 4m left of the large tree left of Paris-Match. Up a short layback corner to a small ledge and up the crack straight above to the grassy ledge above. Good route.
15. ST. ETIENNE BY-PASS 12m VS 4c* C. Warner, John O'Connor, May 2000 As for St. Etienne but at the ledge stand on the block swing up right onto grassy ledge, ascend the rectangular block to another grassy ledge, finish up the left facing corner crack. Another worth while route.
16. LA CHALEUR DU SOLEIL 15m HVS 5a Peter Farrell, Neil O'Connor, 1st May 2000 Climb the crack/wall left of tree left of Paris-Match, to a small ledge on the left. Pull through the bulge to a grassy ledge and finish more easily to the top.
17. LA PASSION DE ST TIBULUS 20m S 3c Conor Warner, Barry Watts, 11th April 2011 Climbs the obvious pillars left of the Paris Match bay. Start up the chimney (formed by the detatched pillar) immediately right of the tree, from the top of the pinnacle follow good cracks over several ledges to the top.
18. LE 'S' HOOK 20m E1 5b* Peter Farrell, Neil O'Connor, 1st May 2000 Start in the left corner, opposite from Paris-Match, under the steep overhang. Climb the corner to a stance below the overhanging meaty crack. Hand traverse away right from the thuggery above and pull into the more amenable crack line 2m left of the corner. Up this crack and to a groove above left and follow this to finish. The direct corner awaits a colder day with better friction and a climber with big arms.
19. MRS DOYLE'S MUFFINS 20m E1 5b* Peter Owens, Dave Broderick, October 2006. Start in the left corner under the steep overhang. Climb the corner to a stance below the overhanging meaty crack. Layback the crack (excellent gear) and pull through to easier ground above.
20. GO ON GO ON GO ON 20m E5 6a* Kev Power, Squib Cubbon, October 2006. Start as for Mrs Doyle's Muffins. At the stance below the start of the layback place big cams and then commit out the right hand crack line. Powerful moves (crux) lead Northwards to a steep corner.
21. PARIS-MATCH 20m HVS 5a** Barry Watts, Elaine Ryan, 8th April 2000 12m left of the corner (Le Guillotine) there is an alcove with an overhang. The right hand weakness/crack is climbed by the hand crack in the slab up to a ledge. Arrange protection (small nuts), and bridge and finger jam up the blank corner to a large flat hold on your left and then trending up via the groove above past two loose sounding flakes. Belay at the very top. An excellent route.
22. Project 20m The direct start to "Your Mother's Snickers" via the 'tear drop' rock to the right of Paris Match has been climbed on top rope at 5c.
23. FATHER JACK'S CRACK 20m E3 5c* Squib Cubbon, Kev Power, October 2006. This climb starts in the corner just right of Paris Match. Climb to the break at the base of the narrow crack which is climbed direct to the top. Thin on gear but enough to keep you going.
24. YOUR MOTHER'S SNICKERS 20m HS 4c Eoin Fitzgerald, Nigel Callender, 1st May 2000 This climb starts in the second corner right of Paris-Match. Start in the corner and climb to the break at the base of the narrow crack, traverse 3m left to the arête and up to the ledge. Follow the corner crack on the right and step around right to avoid the top loose block. Trend to the left to finish the route.
25. PAT MUSTARD STRIKES AGAIN 18m VS 4c Barry Watts, Radu Toma, 22nd June 2010 Takes the obvious shallow corner 3m left of the Guillotine passing a small ledge with a bush at two thirds height. Start the crack with some difficulty which soon relents when large holds on the right wall come into reach. The final steep corner crack above yields to good holds on the right which lead up and right to a ledge.
26. LE GUILLOTINE 15m VS 4c Conor Warner, Nigel Callender, 8th April 2000 At south end of the French Quarter about 2m north of the corner is a disjointed slab. Above this is an offwidth. Climb the offwidth to the second horizontal break line; move right onto the arête and up to the grassy ledge. Finish up the right hand side corner. Be careful with the rock. (Large friends needed)
FATHER TED’S CRAG
The description of this crag starts on the far left of the south-facing crag. The first bay of the crag is marked by large boulders and trees.
27. BISHOP BRENNAN'S BUM 15m HVS 5a Barry Watts, Keith Nevin, 14th July 2011. The eye catching wide crack on the left hand side of the bay, Start at ground level and grapple the sickle shaped jamming crack which straightens, widens and eventually delivers you onto a grassy ledge. Finish up the crack as for the upper section of Le Guillotine. Strenous and painful on your hands (think about taping up or use a pair of old cycling gloves), large cams and hexes will ensure a well protected ascent.
28. ARSE 15m E1/2 5b* Peter Owens, Dave Broderick, October 2006. Start below steep parallel cracks. Step up and right to gain right hand crack and up this to jug. Bypass the ivy choked pod treading lightly on the flakes to the left.
29. FECK 15m E3 6a* Squib Cubbon, Kev Power, October 2006. On the right hand side of the bay is a thin cracked wall. Climb up the wall using RP's for protection.
30. GRIFFINS ARETE 14m VS 5a Barry Watts, Elaine Ryan, 8th April 2000 Halfway between FECK and RAM'S HEAD is an arête above large boulders. Start a few m right of the arete, a technical first move on the blank slab onto a narrow ledge and up the arête to the top.
31. Gospel 14m The open book corner has to right of Griffin's Arete has been top roped at 5b
33. SPIDERBABY 18m HS 4b Barry Watts, Conor Warner, 11th April 2011 Follows the long buttress 8m left of Rams Head where there is a short shallow corner, Climb the corner (crux) and follow cracks to the top passing several small ledges.
34. PONY TAIL EXPRESS 8m S 4b Elaine Ryan (solo) 8th April 2000 Just left of Ram’s Head is another offwidth. This is gained from the low point of the buttress. Climb the crack to the top.
35. RAM'S HEAD 8m HVS 5a Nigel Callender , Conor Warner, 8th April 2000 This offwidth is located at front of the small buttress left of FJWB. A difficult first move leads up into the offwidth. Climb the offwidth delicately to the top. (The route name comes from the goat’s skull jammed in the crack.)
36. CRILLEY'S CHIMNEY 8m Diff Danny Buckton (solo) 8th April 2000 The wide chimney at the right hand side of the Ram’s Head Buttress. Used as an ascent/descent.
37. BEACH PARTY 12m HS 4c* Barry Watts, Elaine Ryan, 8th April 2000 Start up the crack 5m right of Crilley’s Chimney. Climb the jamming crack to the tree. Gain a grassy ledge on your right and finish up the wall on your left through thoughtful moves.
38. SPICY WEDGES 12m E3 5c* Kev Power, Steve McMullan, October 2006. Start 8m right of beach party below the wide groove of confederacy. After a few metre's traverse left for 3m along white rock on good holds and gear. A long move (crux) leads to the horizontal break. Follow the crack and groove to the top.
39. CONFEDERACY 12m VS 5a** Barry Watts, Conor Warner, Nigel Callender, 22nd Jan 2000 Up the wide groove 7m left of Jack’s Bottle to a grassy ledge on the left to the root of the problem and straight on up. Good climbing on sound rock.
40. KIWI STEW (FATTY'S BANE) 12m HVS 5a Nigel Callender, Danny Buckton, 8th April 2000 The thin crack about 1m right of Confederacy. Up to the ledge and straight up just right of Confederacy’s finish. Just right of this is a perfect finger crack, still unclimbed.
41. CHALK OR CHEESE 13m HVS 5a* Colm O'Ciara, Andrew Speer, 8th April 2000 Just left of Father Jack’s Bottle is a huge flake. Climb the flake to under the tree, traverse right to almost behind the bottle and then escape back up left. Great lay-backing. (this route was top roped directly to the top, Maeve Baxter 8/3/00)
43. FATHER JACKS WHISKEY BOTTLE 8m S 4a Barry Watts, Conor Warner, 6th March 2011 The exposed free standing pinnacle can be climbed via a slab on the East side. Start from toe of pillar easily up onto detached flake and wide step up onto sound rock to the top of the pinnacle. Great photo opportunity.
About 15m to the right of Jack’s bottle is a small lone white thorn bush. This bush locates...
MRS. DOYLE'S BUTTRESS
44a&b. MY LOVELY HORSE 12m S 4a-VS 4c Conor Warner,(S variaiton) June 2008 Barry Watts, Jo Connor (VS variation) April 2010 Take a line up the next clean buttress. Either start in the square cut vegetated gully on the far left (S) or take the inset corner (VS) crux past two ledges, head left to easier ground when holds run out near the top, easier ground is reached by a tricky but well protected mantelshelf. .
45. YOUNG FELLA 24m HS 4a/b** Nigel Callender, Barry Watts, 22nd Jan 2000 The right hand side of Mrs. Doyle's is short corner and finger crack. Layback to crack and move right onto the slab. Follow the slab up to the centre of the buttress. Up a little easier to a ledge and from there continue very delicately up the left hand side face to the top. A worthwhile route.
46. TOO BIG FOR SMURFS 24m HVS 5b Colm O'Ciara, Maeve Baxter, 8th April 2000 The inset rib between Young Fella and Blood Right. Straight up the rib and over the slight overhang to the top of Young Fella’s slab. Finish right of Young Fella’s finish in the corner.
47. BLOOD RIGHT 24m VS 4c Barry Watts, Conor Warner, 22nd Jan 2000 This takes the groove 4m right of Young Fella. It starts thinly at first by using holds on the right wall (5a). Follow the wide crack up to the ledge and finish on face holds just right of the arête (small nuts).
48/48a. FUNNY MEN 23m HS 4b, Barry Watts, Conor Warner 14th June 2011, (48a Conor Warner, Radu Toma, 14th May 2011) Takes the line 6m to the right of Young Fella. Climb easy rock to the right of chute to a ledge/terrace, continue up onto face above the chute on good rock to a slight overhang bulge. Finish direct up the bulge above the chute. (or 48a at the overhang traverse 3m right and then up to finish). Good gear (loose rock in chute, Careful Now!)
A number of shorter routes exist to the right of Mrs. Doyle's Buttress. About 25m right of Blood Right is a proud buttress with a dubious flake at 4m. This is...
49. IT'S GREAT TO BE A PRIEST 10m HS 4b Kevin Forde, Tim McCarthy, 01 July 2006 3m left of Soggy Smurf, behind the holly tree left of the suspiciously detached-looking hanging flake. Avoiding the holly, climb the clean corner (crux) to a ledge then step right and finish up short leaning wall to top of pinnacle. Good gear throughout. Some loose rock on top of pinnacle .
50. SOGGY SMURF 12m HS 4b Barry Watts, Nigel Callender, 7th Jan 2000 This freezing cold day ascent was the first new route of the millennium in the Burren. At the front of the buttress is a deep groove. Climb up the groove and step left into the shattered face at half height and finish delicately to the top.
51. AN ECUMENICAL MATTER 10m S 4a Kevin Forde, Tim McCarthy, 01 July 2006 Start as for Soggy Smurf. Excavate your way up the loose shattered groove for a few m, until your sense of self-preservation forces you right on to sounder rock. Continue to the top keeping 2-3m right of the groove. Treat rock throughout with care.
52. CITIZEN 13m S 4a Conor Warner, Radu Toma, 14th May 2011 4m to the left of dancing priest there is a coss filled curve. 1m to the left of this is a right trending diagonal crack. Follow this crack, wide step the chute and continue rightwards upwards on nice slab to terrace (cross over on the dancing priest). From the right edge of the jammed flake pull strongly right up onto the narrow long ledge and continue up and right of the dubiously posed flake. Good gear. (the chute has loose rock, Careful Now!)
53. DANCING PRIEST 13m S 3c Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 3rd July 2010 7m right of soggy smurf there is a slab and a large boulder above. Follow the crack left of the boulder to the ledge (crux), move left and finish up pleasant juggy crack which has a ‘fang’ it’s base. Ascend the easy terrace above to a belay on flatter ground. A pleasant climb.
54. SMURF SYMPHONY 8m HS 4c* Maeve Baxter, Colm O'Ciara, 8th April 2000 Up the right angle corner 10m right of Soggy Smurf. Climb right at the block and finish straight up.
55. HEIDI 7m Moderate C Warner (Solo) May 2009. Short scramble up nice sloping crack 4m right of descent
56. CASPER 8m S 4a Barry Watts, Radu Toma, 15th June 2010 About 30m right of Smurf Symphony there's a smaller version of Dougal's buttress. Climb the corner on the left to below the tree, on reaching the tree veer right and gain the juggy ledge. Finish up the short wall on good holds. Originally mistaken for 'it's great to be a priest' near dusk
About 100 m on there are further buttresses along which give good scrambles and some 15 m slabs at D/VD