These cliffs have so far provided the best and hardest routes in the Comeragh Mountains. The rock is steep and clean cut with well developed vertical jointing. Though the main face is a bit gloomy in all but the nicest weather, many of the climbs are in fact on the side walls of the large gullies bounding and bisecting the cliff and therefore receive a fair amount of sunshine.
The cliff is best approached via a high sheep track above the southern shore of the lake. Gain height steeply from the south east corner of the lake and then contour the hillside on some sheep tracks.
Descent is best achieved by continuing up the hillside until a sheep track is encountered and then traversing off to the left (east) to gain the large gully. (In the dark, it is better to go higher still to a second sheep track before traversing east). For climbs west of Black Chocolate gully, it is best to traverse off to the west. However, it is important to gain open ground before descending, rather than attempting the open gully which has a tricky section lower down.
- 1 Coumshingaun North-facing Cliffs Layout
- 2 ROUTE DESCRIPTIONS
- 2.1 Main Gully East side [West-facing wall]
- 2.2 Main Gully West side [East-facing Wall]
- 2.3 The Emperor area & main North facing cliff
- 2.4 Emperor Buttress
- 2.5 Emperor West Face
- 2.6 Main Face
- 2.7 Black Chocolate gully area
- 2.8 Atom Ant Wall
- 2.9 Grey Hotel Buttress
- 2.10 Black Chocolate Gully - East side
- 2.11 Black Chocolate Gully - West side
- 2.12 The West Face
- 2.13 The West End
Coumshingaun North-facing Cliffs Layout
Main Gully [East side]
Main Gully [West side]
Sleep of Reason
Sleep of Reason direct
Prophets of Baal
Vale of Galgopleye
Emperor Buttress West face
Dark Angel- direct start
Stone the Roses
The Khalid Question
The Medial Axis
Anchor Alley, Greystone
A Mast For The Soul
Journey to the Great Flake
Atom Ant Wall
Grey Hotel Buttress
Black Chocolate Gully – Birdman Wall
Black Chocolate Gully
Central Pillar of Chocolate
Bk. Choc. Gully – Satanic Majesty Wall
Colours on the Water
The West End
A Walk on the West End
West End Slab
Main Gully East side [West-facing wall]
Sea Breeze 20m [E1 5b] P. Scanlan, B. McConnell Aug 2015 [On Sight]
Start at the front of the lower buttress (left side), climb steeply up the small crack line to gain a ledge, the line narrows until the crack widens half way up the buttress. Now climb the wide crack on the other wise blank slab, hand jams are not possible but good holds can be obtained within the crack, 5 friend needed to protect. Make strenuous moves up to small ledge and place protection before making hard delicate moves to the belay ‘pulpit’.
KARALUK 20m [HS 4b]
J Bergin, D McGrath, April 1988
Start at the left end (lower) of the buttress, and right of a wide and broken looking crack. Climb up steeply on large holds to the base of an overhang, traverse diagonally right until it is possible to climb a crack to the belay 'pulpit'.
The following two little routes are on a fairly clean buttress approx. 30 meters higher up the gully and on the same side as Karaluk
Sadrack 10m [HS 4b]
J. Bergin, R Smith. June 2012
Start at the left end of the buttress,, about 1 meter to the right of the left edge. Step up and diagonally leftwards until you reach the top left end of the buttress, and under a large block. Continue directly upwards, then carefully up the vegetation to belay about 4 meters from the top.
Nanuk. 10m [S/VD 4a?]
J. Bergin, R. Smith. June 2012.
This route starts about 2 meters to the right of Sadrak, under a small left trending ramp which starts after about 2meters....the first move is probably harder than VDiff. Gain the ramp and follow it to the top which is right of a large block. Continue directly upwards, then tread carefully on the vegetation to belay back about 4 meters.
Main Gully West side [East-facing Wall]
This is the wall bounding the east side of the North Facing Cliff proper. It is located opposite and slightly lower than the Karaluk buttress. The climbing is steep and fingery on this vertical wall, with good cracks and sharp incuts.
AMELIA 23m VS 4c
J Bergin. A Widger, 25 Aug. 1991
A fine wall route which starts almost directly under the left most of three steep corners facing the lake.
1. Climb up the steep left end of a ramp, where a few delicate moves lead to easier climbing to gain the corner. This is climbed using the arete on the left. At top of corner, trend right and find the least-unappealing line. Top-out horrendous.
HARVEST MOON 27m [HVS 5a/b]
J Bergin, A Widger, 25th Aug. 1991
Start at the first section of an obvious ramp which starts immediately right of a damp section of the cliff. Climb the ramp until it is possible to bridge across to a diagonal crack to the left of a huge 'detached' block. Some strenuous jams bring you to reach the top of the flake (it might be advisable not to use camming devices behind the large block which is detached from the face). From here, follow the steep curving crack in the corner above to the top. Variation: E2 5c Follow the steep curving crack on the face which is hard uncomfortable 5c
THE SLEEP OF REASON 35m [E3 6a]
S. Gallwey (unseconded), 7 May 1989
An athletic route of sustained difficulty and interest, climbing up the left (east-facing) side of the obvious steep arete where the east and north faces intersect. Start at the base of the arete. Climb out onto resting stance on right-hand wall. Reach back left into crack and make a hard move to gain better holds. Continue up with difficulty until it is possible to follow parallel diagonal cracks leftwards to the overlap. Gain hold on right above overlap, and then make a long reach out right for small incut hold. Hard strenuous moves upwards establish one on better holds above the overlap (crux). Move diagonally right to the arete to gain a good handhold, which once stood upon, provides the first "hands off" rest of the route. Climb up the arete on slightly easier ground to a ledge about 4 m. below the top. Move left off ledge to climb a short overhanging wall on large holds to the top.
SLEEP OF REASON DIRECT 35m [E5 6a]
This does not follow the cracks leftward but goes straight up. Sustained.
H Fogg, G Fogg 2009
The Emperor area & main North facing cliff
The Emperor, a startling great prow of rock with a cracked overhang (the nose) near the top, juts out of the North Facing Cliff near its east end. Several good routes tackle its exposed flank.
TWIN-CRACK CORNER 35m [E1 5b]
Gain rushy ledge at 6m. Move to right-hand side of ledge. Climb boldly past bulge [in-situ peg, placed on lead] to eponymous corner. Top section is perfect hand jams.
G Fogg, H Fogg 8/8/08 Onsight.
KISHON 50m [HVS 5a]
Just left of base-camp, climb/chimney the edge of the detached flake. At the ledge, move out from the corner onto the short hanging slab at left to gain the bottom of the thin crack that leads to the corner above and thence to the higher corner above to left. At the top is a short vertical wall with good gear. With 50m ropes, it is necessary to belay above this and let your second continue through the last 2m to ledge.
Abseil descent from in-situ slings.
G Fogg H Fogg 15/5/10 Prior abseil cleaning.
PROPHETS OF BAAL 48m [E1 5b]
Start as for Kishon. From ledge, ascend corner system to right, through overhang, heading for higher wider overhang and niche above to left, and on to abseil ledge.
G Fogg H Fogg 15/5/10 Prior abseil cleaning.
HOREB 20m [E2 6a]
A test-piece from the abseil-ledge to the top.
From the left-hand side of the ledge, straight up through overhang, following crack.
H Fogg G Fogg 22/5/10 Abseil inspection.
YAMMERSCHOONER 70m [E3 6a 4c]
This is the leftmost corner of the three-toothed overhang just right of base-camp boulder.
1. 46m Climb the ramp to ledge [level with start of the Emperor] and then left to overhanging corner. Solve the problem of what to do, then thrutch up [well-protected]. Enjoyable climbing follows to good ledge.
2. 25m Continue to top and boulder belay.
Abseil descent from tat via ledge ideal.
G Fogg, H Fogg 21/6/09 Prior cleaning on abseil.
VALE OF GALGOPLEYE 70m [E4 6a/b 5a]
This is the rightmost of the three-toothed overhangs.
1. 35m Start as for Yammerschooner to ledge. A peg protects the move off the ledge to a tenable position and protection below the overhang. Getting further is hard. Higher up transfer delicately across to the right-hand crack and continue to a sloping belay at the left-hand end of the Emperor ledge.
2. 35m Bridge up chimney and continue to top to boulder belay.
H Fogg, G Fogg 20/7/09 Cleaned GF, flashed HF.
EMPEROR'S NOSE 60m [E2 5b, 5b]
S. Gallwey, W. Lee. August 1980
This climb takes the line of the obvious corner crack on the left side of the arete with the prominently overhanging nose near the top. Start from the base of the chimney/gully, traverse left around the arete that forms the eastern wall of the gully. Start below the corner, just left of a square-cut overhang at 4 m.
1) 27 m. Climb the wall to the ledge at 5 m. (crux 1). Climb the corner until the crack in the back of it closes at approx. 15 m. With difficulty reach a large hold on the arete to the right. Swing out onto this and mantle-shelf it (crux 2). Continue up the arete to a ledge. Step back left into corner and up easy ground to belay at back of ledge. Avoid loose flake.
(2) 33 m. Climb the good crack past the nose to exit onto a ledge on the right, just below the top. Belay. Good protection though some large pieces are needed for the top pitch.
Variation: Stay in corner on first pitch. H Fogg, G Fogg 13/6/04
Emperor West Face
6 TALKING GOD 30m [E4 6a]
S Gallwey, J Bergin. July 1991
An exciting and exposed climb up the right hand overhanging and undercut arete of the emperor. Climb the first pitch of Dark Angel, and continue for approximately 4m to belay on small stance underneath the first of two overhangs on the arete to the right. Start - In the corner, level with the lower overhang. Make several hard moves diagonally leftwards across the wall just above the overhangs, to gain a vertical crack in the centre of the wall. Climb the crack to a horizontal break where another hard move is encountered to get established in the crack above. Continue on up the crack until it is possible to reach the edge of the arete just below the overhanging section. Step left for a good rest. Climb the overhanging arete on huge holds to get another rest below the nose. Ascend past the nose on the right hand side, making a hard move to get established on the face. Reach back left to the arete and climb this more easily to the top. Good protection, though camming devices are not recommended too close to the edge of the arete.
TALKING GOD DIRECT START [E5 6a/b]
From the Dark Angel belay, climb the corner to under the overhang. Fix protection and traverse left to rest on ledge. Pause. Traverse back right under overhang to gain base of crack. Continue to top.
H. Fogg 22/6/2014 Onsight.
7 DARK ANGEL 60m [HVS 4c, 5a]
O. Jacob, S. Gallwey , June 1980
The route takes the line of the ramp that runs up the western wall of the emperor, forming an obvious corner in its upper sections. Start in a sentry box overlooking the lake, just around the corner from the gully.
(1) 25 m. Climb the crack to where the rock steepens. Traverse left for 3 m. and climb the flakes to a sloping ledge below the prominent roof.
(2) 35 m. Move right into the main corner and climb it to the top. Crux is surmounting the first overlap. Good protection.
This excellent route has unfortunately become mossy in recent years which has spoiled its looks. It is not a problem when dry, rather it lends itself to smoother and more satisfying hand-jams.
Alternative Start - 12 m 12m [E1 5b]
S. Gallwey, W. Lee, August 1980
Climb the obvious jamming crack which splits the east wall of the gully to join Dark Angel at a large ledge.
STONE THE ROSES 60m [E3 5c, 5b]
The blank vertical west-facing wall.
1. 30m Mantel onto start ledge then follow the cracks which lead to arête at horizontal break. Move back onto face to follow crack to belay at mid-way ledge.
2. 30m Move right to wide crack. Where crack forks, take left-hand option to top.
M Walsh, D O’Sullivan 5/4/08 Cleaned on abseil.
Alternative finish: [5b] Take the right-hand option to top. [in error] G Fogg, H Fogg '08
CAPRICORN 60m [E5 6a/b]
Start as for Stone the Roses.
1. 30m Follow the Right-hand crack until it is possible [but hard] to gain the bottom of the thin crack further right. Thin climbing with just enough protection leads to the horizontal break [big cams]. More moves lead to thin ledge/corner and a committing move to higher slanting ledge to right which leads to belay ledge.
2. 30m As for Stone the Roses.
H Fogg, G Fogg 24/8/09 Cleaned on abseil.
The bottom section of this part of the cliff is covered with a vertical garden of wet-loving vegetation and climbing on this is neither possible nor desirable [a recent scar on this is due to a natural failure of the mechanical strength of the vegetation and not to any misguided cleaning by climbers]. This does not shorten the climbs -- they start level with most of the rest but it does make getting to their foot more difficult -- a little adventure in itself.
THE KHALID QUESTION 75m [E1 5a 5b 5b]
This begins as for The Medial Axis but takes the blunt arete to the left up the centre of this wall.
1. 30m. Start as for The Medial Axis but move left to belay on the second large ledge/terrace.
2. 25m. Continue up the broken crack for 2 or 3m then step left at rowan sapling and climb to left of arete to gain cracks at arete. Continue to ledge.
3. 20m. Begin up left-slanting flakes then go up straight to tooth and corner.
G.Fogg H.Fogg 27/7/2014 Onsight.
THE MEDIAL AXIS 75m [E2 5a 5c 5c]
This is in the bay between Emperor Buttress and the Main Face.
1. 30m 5a. On the right hand side of the bay is a slab with a crack up the centre. The crack sports tufts of frochan festooned with moss-like filmy fern. Climb a series of edges to the right of this, finding protection in the crack, without needlessly disturbing the vegetation, to a large woodrush ledge. Continue up the broken groove to a small grassy stance about 5 or 10m below the flat face.
2. 30m 5c. Continue to flat face, stepping over clubmoss. The face is immaculate. The arrow-straight crack accepts small wires and micros.
3. 15m 5c. Step left and finish up crack through small overhang. Tricky.
G.Fogg , H.Fogg [2&3] 15/6/2014. Top pitches cleaned G.Fogg flashed H.
GERONIMO 70m [E2 5b 5b 5b]
This route leads up to and through the clean crack through the bare overhanging bulge at threequarters height to the left of Cuinne Flaithuilach.
Traverse the ledge as for Cuinne Flaithuilach. At the end of the sketchy section is a corner. Start here. Cuinne Flaithuilach is 3m further on.
1. Ascend the crack above the corner to a good ledge.
2. Follow the crack with trapped flakes, through a small overhang and slab above to ledges
3. Second should traverse left to belay below the crack through the overhang.
Pull through the overhang to glorious climbing above. Higher is a short broken crack to top of pillar and ledges.
4. Diff climbing and scrambling leads to moorland.
G Fogg, P Britton 26/3/2011 Onsight. Cleaned on lead. One rest for cleaning on pitch 2.
First ascent took over seven hours. Further ascents should take somewhat less.
CUINNE FLAITHIULACH 70m [HVS 5a, 4b, 5a]
J Bergin, M Keenleyside, 20th Aug. 1991
This route, for a long time, the only one on the main face proper, climbs an impressive dark steep corner with excellent jamming and bridging on the left side (east) of a prominent bay in the middle of the North facing cliff. The start is reached by a traverse right from the foot of Dark Angel, which is best done in boots, and the boots then thrown down to the track underneath (or carried to the top !!). The traverse is airy but there is ample protection and the moves are no more that V Diff. The first two pitches can be combined, but you will loose contact with your second, and there is the slight possibility of the rope getting jammed in a corner.
1. 25m. Climb the arete to the left of the corner until you are forced to escape to the slab on the right, which is climbed easily until the corner steepens. Some delicate bridging and/or lay-backing (crux) brings you to the base of an overhang. Move left onto the wall and climb to gain the corner above. Belay.
2. 15m. Climb easily up the corner and gain a grassy recess and belay. (It might be advisable to belay to the left in the recess out of the direct line of the final pitch due to some potentially loose rock.
3. 30m. Climb the steep crack above with the aid of some huge jugs to a small terrace, continue up above this and follow the continuing crack to the top. The last section is impending but well protected.
ANCHOR ALLEY, GREYSTONE 75m [E2 5b, 5c, 5a]
A soaring line on the right-hand side of the bay of which Cuinne Flaithiuilach is on the left. Bring lots of largish hexes or friends for pitch 1.
Approach as for the last i.e. tied on and putting in protection as required. Belay 2m left of the corner overhead.
1. 25m Climb short vertical face to slab and traverse this to base of corner and cracks on right.
Ascend jamming crack to jammed block and offwidth. Belay bridged across corner on left.
2. 25m Continue up corner past two bulging sections and make tricky exit onto grassy ledge on right.
Belay anchors 2m to right at foot of next pitch.
3. 25m Climb straight up just right of jutting nose. Belay on top of this -- one of the best belay perches in the Comeraghs.
Scramble the last two or three metres to heathery top. Traverse off left.
G Fogg [1 &3] H Fogg  22/7/2011 Prior cleaning on abseil.
A MAST FOR THE SOUL 75m [E1 5b, 5b, 5a]
Interesting and varied climbing. It starts from the same point as Journey to the Great Flake and shares the same top pitch as Anchor Alley, Greystone
1. 35m Start as for Journey to the Great Flake but trend left to reach the slab. This is traversed delicately to gain the crack through the overhang. Climb the crack to reach the belay at the ledge on top of a flake.
2. 15m Jam the bulging crack above the belay and negotiate the less-straightforward patch above to belay on a good grassy ledge.
3. 25m As for Anchor Alley.
G. Fogg , H. Fogg , R. Pearson  22/5/2017 Cracks cleaned on abseil.
JOURNEY TO THE GREAT FLAKE 60m [E1 5b, 5b]
An entertaining route demanding a wide range of climbing skills. It takes a plumb-line path from the ledge to the left-hand edge of the Great Flake and through an overhang on the skyline. Lower down it passes through a section of shallow chimney formed by a small corner on the right and thin jutting blocks on the left.
Approach: Traverse onto ledge from right as for Crooked Smile. Continue, crawling under a low roof and on 4m until directly below the afore-mentioned chimney.
1. 30m Delicate climbing leads to the smooth chimney. Once established in it, progress is made by back-and-foot bridging. Above, move left onto the face to tackle the bulge and, with right hand on the arete, continue to belay at a small stance just left of and level with the Great Flake ledge.
2. 30m Climb up, trending right, to the crack through the overhang at the edge of the Flake. This is overcome by gymnastic bridging and jamming. Easier climbing to the belay.
Descent: The Atom Ant abseil point is a couple of metres to the right around the corner.
G. Fogg, B. Mc Connell 15/5/2016 Onsight.
Black Chocolate gully area
This area contains the biggest concentration of good quality hard climbs in the coum. The initial west facing wall adjacent to crooked smile is probably the only area in the Comeraghs approaching route saturation. This clean cut wall, being just off vertical, allows for hard climbing on some very small holds. Having the afternoon sun on your back gives a welcome boost to climbing on this high mountain crag. There are two old abseil bolts at the top of Atom Ant. Test these well with good belay back up before use.
9 CROOKED SMILE 60m [HVS 4b, 5a]
S. Gallwey (2), E. Hernstadt (1) June 1981
This climb takes the crooked chimney/corner system which splits the arete formed between the main face of the cliff and the left wall of the gully. Start just left of the base of the arete on a large ledge. Traverse in from right.
(1) 20 m. Climb the obvious flakes on the arete and then up the right-hand wall. Traverse right to a crack splitting a large block. From top of block, step across to large ledge and belay in base of a short corner.
(2) 40 m. Climb corner and traverse left to base of chimney. Climb chimney to hanging slab leading up left. Climb slab until forced out onto the arete by the overhang. Pass the overhang and then climb up diagonally rightwards to the top of the crag.
Atom Ant Wall
10 TYGER TYGER 35m [E2 5c]
S. Gallwey, J. Bergin. April 1988
This route climbs the steep, straight crack on the exposed face just right of Crooked Smile. Start from the belay below the 2nd pitch of Crooked Smile. Climb up the left-hand side of a large flake leaning against the face. From the top of the flake, climb the wall and crack to its end.
11 GRENDEL 40m [E1 5b]
E. Hernstadt, S. Gallwey August 1984
This route takes the steep corner just right of Tyger Tyger. Start as for Crooked Smile.
(1) As for Crooked Smile.
(2) Climb the short corner and step right to a large flake. From the top of the flake, step around to the right into the base of the main corner. Climb the corner to the overhang, which is turned to the right (crux). Climb the short corner above to the top.
12 ATOM ANT 40m [E2 5c]
S. Gallwey, E. Hernstadt. August 1984
This route takes a diagonal line up the wall to the right of Grendel. Start as for Crooked Smile.
(1) - As for Crooked Smile.
(2) - Follow Grendel to the base of the large corner. Climb the diagonal crack line trending rightwards to a small ledge. Traverse left to join Grendel for the short upper corner. Strenuous.
Direct finish S Gallwey, J Bergin. June 1991 Climb straight up the face with good holds and protection
SLIPPERY PEOPLE 30m [E3 6a]
S Gallwey, June 1992
This route climbs the wall about 3m left of Controlled Burning, joining a good crack-line at mid point. Start - Scramble up the leftwards trending diagonal grassy ramp which starts at the base of the chimney. Scramble up another right ward trending grassy ramp to belay at the base of the wall. Climb up the wall on very small holds, using small wires for protection. Above a small overlap, a good crack presents itself and easier climbing leads to a series of round holes in the face. A hard move near the top puts you in position to finish by grabbing the edge of Controlled Burning to the right. From the ledge, the direct finish to Atom Ant, probably provides the best way up.
13 CONTROLLED BURNING 30m [E2 5c]
S Gallwey, J Bergin. May 1991
This climb takes the obvious vertical crack up the right hand side of the face 2m to the right of Atom Ant. Climb the wall (crux) with holds and protection improving with height. Gain a good crack and climb this to the top of the tower. From the ledge, climb directly up the face to the right of the direct finish of Atom Ant. Good protection.
Grey Hotel Buttress
DAMOCLES 70m [E4 6a 4c]
This starts in the corner at the left-hand side of Grey Hotel Buttress, just right of a deep wet cave. A good view of the route is to be had whilst abseiling Atom Ant wall.
1. 48m Climb the initial awkward corner [small friends] and onto slab at right. Find some protection for the blank vertical/bulging section which leads to better holds and then to ledge. Go left around the arête into the upper corner which has good protection [small wires]. Exiting corner onto arête at ‘damocles’ block is also hard. Continue to belay at large triangular block.
2. 20m Easy climbing to top. Belay at top of Grey Hotel.
H Fogg, G Fogg 17/8/09 Cleaned GF, flashed HF.
15 GREY HOTEL 85m [E3 6a,5a,5b]
Pitches 1 & 2 -S. Gallwey, E. Hernstadt. (alternate leads) May 1987 Pitch 3 - S Gallwey, J Bergin. Spring 1990
This climb takes the grey face/tower situated in the deep gully to the right of Crooked Smile. The initial wall faces out towards the lake and is about 10 m. across. Recommend combining pitches 1&2. Start - At centre of face.
(1) 25 m. Climb up diagonally rightwards to top of choss. Gain a horizontal break above with a vertical crack at its left-hand side. Climb up strenuously just right of the crack, making hard moves to gain a small resting ledge near the right-hand arete. Climb the face to the left to gain the left-hand crack again and follow this up until level with a large sloping ledge on the right. Traverse right to gain this and belay.
(2) 20 m. Climb the overhanging corner above, past a ledge on the left-hand wall, to exit onto a large grassy ledge. (From here it is possible to scramble up to the right onto the Birdman ledge).
(3) 40m. Climb the pleasant corner at the back of the ledge into overhanging territory until it is possible to gain a second non-overhanging corner to the right. Follow up the face of the ramp with the off-width crack on the left (Small wires in the left-hand wall). The crux is at 3/4 height. Respect the precarious - looking block at the top.
Black Chocolate Gully - East side
16 BIRDMAN 70m [E2 4a 5b 5b]
O. Jacob (1,3), S. Gallwey (2). November 1981
The Birdman headwall is very steep and offers superb climbing. It may be reached by following the first two pitches of Birdman, or better by way of the first two pitches of Grey Hotel. It is also worth abseiling into it for its own sake. It is located high up on the left hand side of the upper section of Black Chocolate gully. This climb is located in the gully to the right of Grey Hotel, finishing up the superb crack which splits the top headwall near its left-hand side. The 1st pitch is poor. Start - At a grassy section of the left wall of the gully just up from a large wedged block.
(1) 18 m. Climb up leftward on mixed ground to the ridge. Continue up rightwards on ridge to gain a large grassy terrace and belay at the base of a short lay-back corner.
(2) 30 m. Layback strenuously for 8 m. then scramble up right to a good ledge beneath the headwall.
(3) 21 m. Climb obvious steep crack at left-hand end of headwall. At overhangs, use both cracks up to a little ledge. Climb diagonally right to the top.
17 PLANET CLARE 20m [E3 5c]
S Gallwey, J Bergin. Sept. 1990
Climbs the wall to the right of Birdman through 4 small overhangs. Start - In the centre of the Birdman ledge. Best to belay somewhat to the right as there is a potentially loose block in the initial corner. Climb the rightward facing corner flake in the centre of the wall past the 'loose' block to the first overhang. Climb strenuously up a crack line to the right on finger jams and lay-aways to gain a good hand hold and thereafter the large ledge. Exit to the left.
18 RAGING COW 17m [HVS 5a]
S. Gallwey, O. Jacob November 1981
This route takes the obvious crack to the right of the top pitch of Birdman. Start - At the right-hand end of the Birdman ledge. Climb the steep crack to the top.
BLACK CHOCOLATE GULLY ##### 90m S
D Ellickson, T Sherman, 24. 3. 1963
The location of this climb is uncertain, despite best efforts of the editors. The only known attempt to repeat it was thought to be VS. This description is taken from an old IMC newsletter.
1. 21m. climb the buttress and step right into the gully. continue to stance and belay at large chock-stone.
2. 13m. Follow the gully to the second chock-stone.
3. 13m. Chimney past second chock-stone to belay beneath overhanging chock.
4. 19m. Step across gully to ledge in corner and climb the parallel cracks then back right to the gully and continue 6m to the bottom of a lichenous corner. Belay.
5. 12m. Climb the corner - steep and vegetated at the top.
6. 19m. The gully opens out into mixed rock and heather which is climbed directly or by a long traverse over the right wall.
CENTRAL PILLAR OF CHOCOLATE 35m [HVS 4c, 5a, 5b]
At the back of the gully, the Central Pillar rises as a tower of stacked detached blocks. This route tackles the tower whereas 'Black Chocolate Gully' does seem actually to follow the gully up on the right.
1. 15m 4c Climb the vegetated buttress, using the gully where prudent, to reach the wide crack behind the square-section block on the right-hand side of the Pillar and up this to belay on top of the block.
2. 15m 5a Chimney the wide crack behind the next block to its top and continue up the ever-widening crack on the right with increasing difficulty. The only protection for this section is a micro wire on the left [unless you are carrying a very large cam].
3. 5m [+15 heather] 5b The dramatic jutting finger on left beckons, providing an exposed and exciting move or two to climb. Continue up the heather slope to find a belay at the rock band.
If the finger does not appeal, a less intimidating option is offered by the open-book corner on the right.
G. Fogg, M. Griffin, 19/6/2017 Onsight.
Black Chocolate Gully - West side
COLOURS ON THE WATER 45m [E3 5c]
This is the striking crack threequarters of the way up the gully on the right hand side,
l. 10m Climb crack to ]edge.
2. 35m Continue to top
[Climb as one pitch]
Pitch 1 G Fogg, S Gallwey 9/6/06 onsight [as new start to Satanic Majesty]
Full route G Fogg, S Gallwey 17/6 06 onsight.
Cleaned and abseil point put in 21/8/07
SATANIC MAJESTY 40m [E3/4 6a]
From top of gully slope, traverse along narrow ledge on right, past `Colours' to crack system near arete. Belay. [preliminary pitch ]
Climbing the cracks brings one to the left of a slab under the overhang at 35m. Traverse breathlessly right into the sunshine and climb more easily up the arete.
S Gallwey, G Fogg Aug 2001,
Abseil point put in 21/8/07 [Free-hanging abseil, 50m ropes OK]
PREHISTORIC WORLD 40m [E3 5c 5b]
S. Gallwey, J. Bergin. 3 Sept. 1989
An exciting climb following the exposed line of the arete bounding the right-hand side of the gully. Very hard to protect [doubtful peg near start gives little confidence], moves 5c at least. Start - Directly opposite the start of Birdman, just above the wedged block that spans the gully.
1. 25 m. Climb up the arete to a horizontal break. Place a small wire blindly in crack high on left wall. Make hard moves to gain jugs above overlap. Continue up arete more easily to where the right wall forms an overhang. Move left onto the face and climb straight up on small holds (crux) to large holds and good protection back near the arete. Continue up arete to ledge and belay.
2. 15 m. After placing a high runner in the cracks to the left, climb up the arete to the flake (somewhat loose) and thence up easier ground to a magnificent belay pulpit, complete with abseil bolts.
The West Face
This consists of a pleasant series of buttresses and ribs at the West end of the North Facing Cliff. They possess an airy and open feeling which is a welcome change from the gully area to the left. The climbs are best located with reference to the West end buttress, the west most buttress with a gully to the right. The buttress appears to lean against the rest of the cliff. The arete of this buttress is taken by 'A Walk On The West End' while the face to the left (north) is taken by 'Perpetual Motion'. The next arete to the east divides in two at midpoint to form a double feature with a groove between and a capping overhang at the top. 'Ansty's Desire' and 'The Tailor' take the left and right aretes respectively.
Photo with most routes here: Media:CS_TheWestEndF9.jpg
FILAMINGO 45m [HVS 5a]
Clean [now] corner immediately right of gully.
Abseil descent as for 'Prehistoric World',
P Britton, C Ennis, Hh Fogg; N Walls 13/6/04
RED WALL AND ROOF [ED'S ROOF] 25m [E2 5c]
Back on the north-facing rock beyond Filamingo, past an undercut at ground level.
Climb the curving corner crack and slab to obvious crack through roof. Continue to belay at boulder above. Descent is either by abseil from old nut plus new tat or by slithering down the near-vertical woodrush to fetch up at the foot of Filamingo.
G Fogg, H Fogg 22/8/08 Onsight.
STEPHEN'S CRACK 15m [HVS 5a/b]
Climb right-hand edge of slab at Ed’s Roof. Move right, around arête to broken crack. Generous jugs at the breaks make up for slight overhang.
G Fogg, H Fogg, P Brennan. 13/6/09 Onsight.
CHUCKLER 20m [E4 6a]
Traverse left from secret sentry-box to base of west-facing wall. Climb thin crack through small overhang to ledge. Abseil descent [tat].
H Fogg, G Fogg 22/8/08 Cleaned GF flashed HF.
THE DIAMOND 18m [E3 6a]
The cleaned crack up the centre of the flat face. Abseil off ledge from tat at right.
H Fogg, G Fogg 8/8/08 Cleaned GF flashed HF.
GRIDDLER 16m [E2 5c]
The left-slanting crack that joins to top of the Diamond.
H Fogg, G Fogg 21/6/09 Cleaned GF flashed HF.
GRIDDLER ARETE 60m HS 4c, 4c, 4c
This long arete is a scruffy companion to Anstey's Desire to the right and a counterpoint to the the short hard technical Griddler and Diamond to the left.
1. 15m. Step across the ledge and climb the distinctive three-piece pillar to the ledge [the top for The Diamond and Griddler]. Continue around to the right and up a short slab to the large flat ledge.
2. 30m. From the left hand side of the ledge, climb the cracks and step airily back right to regain the arete. There follows the long broken scruffy section. Keep to the right hand side of the arete on the slabs.
3. 15m. The clean steep more challenging-looking top section of the arete.
G. Fogg, B. Mc Connell 10/05/2017 Onsight.
The West End
RAMPANT RABBIT [HVS] The broken crack a couple of metres left of 'Red-line Vibrations'.
M Walsh, H Hennessy '07
RED-LINE VIBRATIONS 40m [E3 5b 5c]
“Start 5m left of Ansty’s Desire.
1. 20m Steep gnarly fist-crack to technical ramp, then easy traverse to base of arête.
2. 20m Bold. Climb wall left of arête to small ledge. Move up and right around arête to large ledge [Anstey’s belay].”
3. Pitch 3 is pitch 2 of The Tailor.
M Walsh, D O’Sullivan June 2007
ANSTY'S DESIRE 75m [HVS 4b, 5a]
J Bergin, S Gallwey, 3rd June 1991
Start just down and left of the corner formed where the west end buttress joins the main cliff, at a broken corner with a steep slab to its right.
1. 30m. Layaway up the broken corner until it is possible to step left on to a slab, continue and climb an off-width crack on the right to a grassy ledge, then climb the off-width spectacularly to a large pulpit and belay.
2. 45m. Traverse left onto the arete on large holds and climb to the top. Crux at mid height. (50m ropes necessary to reach belay).
THE TAILOR 75m [HVS 4b, 5b]
J Bergin, A Widger, 25th Aug. 1991
1. 30m. As for Ansty's Desire.
2. 45m. Gain the right hand arete, which is climbed to the top in a spectacular position. See the note re. belaying for Ansty's Desire.
PERPETUAL MOTION 65m [E1 4b, 5b, 4c] J Bergin. S Gallwey. 23rd May 1991 Start approx 10 m to the left of the arete A Walk On The West End in an obvious west facing corner.
1. 20m. Climb the corner on good holds. Break onto the face at the overhang and continue on to belay on a small ledge on the face.
2. 20m. Climb the crack with increasing difficulties. Surmount the overhang on small holds and climb to the base of the next, larger overhang. Traverse delicately to the left and then continue up to belay on the arete.
3. 25m. Climb the arete to the top. This pitch is shared with A Walk On The West End, and may be made slightly harder by keeping to the left of the arete.
A WALK ON THE WEST END 55m [HS 4a,4c]
J. Bergin, S Gallwey. 16th May 1991
This route climbs the obvious arete at the end of the cliff. It is probably the best lower grade route in the Comeraghs, with a real feeling of traveling and exposure. The one 4c move is very well protected and could be aided if necessary. Start - on a slab on the west face of the arete.
1. 30m. Quickly gain the arete proper, and climb it to a large and convenient belay ledge.
2. 25m. Continue on up the sharp arete to the top. The crux is shortly above the belay.
WEST END SLAB 60m VS 4c, 4c
Very nice slab climbing that starts at the same point as A Walk on the West End but takes the centre of the slab rather than the arete.
1. 30m From the lowest point, track rightwards towards the centre of the slab and follow the overlap that curves on up. After 30m, move left to belay on the prominent clean nose..
2. 30m Traverse the vegetated ledge rightwards to reach clean rock. From here, aim to pass to the right of the rowans overhead. This means making repeated moves to the right. If in doubt step right.
G. Fogg, M. Griffin. 8/7/2017 Onsight.