Whiteball Head

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<display_map> 51.594153, -10.050112~Whiteball Head</display_map>

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Whiteball Head is the headland to the north-west of Blackball head. 5 kilometers from Dzogchen Beara and right beside a beautiful bay with a quay the climbing is positioned in an idyllic spot. Park at the quay and approach the cliffs from the rocky beach passing a house and sheds on their left. The walk takes about 5-10 minutes.

The climbing is mainly on slabs. Unlike Blackball Head to the south (which is grass topped and requires stakes) Whiteball Head has lots of natural blocks for abseil anchors.

Camping is possible on a flat grassy area beside the road about 200m east of the pier.

The Approach

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The East Slab

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0 Grey Crow V. Diff 12m - The thin line left of Left-Hand Route. R. Creagh 05/11/14


1 Left-Hand Route HS 14m T.O'C 5/5/11


1a Shirtless in November VS 4b 14m - Start beneath the left hand end of a small roof about half way up. Climb directly to this by the crosshatched rock, around the roof and straight to the top. R. Creagh 05/11/14


1b By the Grace of John VS 4b 14m - Climb the thin line to the right hand end of the roof, move left and over the roof and back right towards the top. R. Creagh, S. Hermann, J. Healy 12/05/13


2 Beara Thin Crack VS 15m - Beautiful hands-to-finger crack, very similar to Thin Crack in the Mournes. T. O'C 5/5/11


3 German Bean Sprouts HVS 15m - Thinner version of route 2 with perfect jamming and smearing. T. O'C 5/5/11


4 Spanish Cucumbers E1 15m - Thin crimping with delicate smears. T. O'C 5/5/11


4a The Beara Necessities HVS 5b 15m - Climb the corner left of that of The Ramp and continue directly to the top between two very thin cracks (i.e. without straying right.) R. Creagh, J. Eldred 16/07/17


4b VS 4c 15m - Climb the corner left of that of The Ramp and move right to finish as for the top of Woodcutter. D. O'Sullivan, R. Creagh or J. Healy, March 2013


5 The Ramp S 20m T. O'C 5/5/11


6 Woodcutter E1 15m - Thin smearing and crimping with a good rest at the ledge. T. O'C 5/5/11


7 Sophia VS 4b 15m - Climb the line right of the wet streak, passing a horizontal slot at 3/4 height. R. Creagh, D. O'Sullivan 15/03/13


8 Twomey's V. Diff 15m - The line on the right end of the crag, straight to the top. R. Creagh, D. O'Sullivan 15/03/13


A 15 meter slab to the west of the routes noted below was climbed and went at easy V. Diff. The zawn to the west of this has some deep-water soloing potential. There is further potential on the slabs to the west of these routes.


The Flake Slab

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West of the two slabs mentioned already is this tall slab recessed into a square-cut bay. The rock is strange and brittle, but workable. It is an uptilted surface of fossil wave ripples. The slabby nature of the routes means you should never need to pull too hard, which is good as pulling hard on this rock isn't highly recommended. The bottom of the crag is reached by abseil and all routes bar 1 and 2 are tidal.


0 Conglomerate Pie S 25m - Climb the steep and soft black wall to the left of 1. Sile Daly, David Craig 14/07/17


1 Trasna na dTonnta HVS 5a 20m - Abseil in to the bottom of the corner (or traverse in from the right in a calm sea) and follow the overlap to the top. Double up on gear as the rock is a touch soft. Don't let that last sentence put you off. R. Creagh, J. McDonald 20/03/13


2 Grade Expectations S 20m - Start as for 1 and head for the obvious wide left facing corner. Big gear useful. R. Creagh, J. McDonald 20/03/13


3 The Snowflake Seduction VS 4c 25m - Start left of the leftmost rockpool and climb up and slightly leftwards aiming for a series of flakes high up. J. Healy, D. O'Sullivan, S. Hermann 20/03/13


4 All Shapes and Sizes VS 4b 25m - Start as for 3 but head up passing darker sections of broken looking cracks, following the line of least resistance/best rock. R. Creagh, J. Healy 16/03/13


5 Centre Stage VS 4b 25m - The obvious line of the crag, following the right-leaning crack. J. Healy, D. O'Sullivan 16/03/13


6 The Flowers Affect E1 5a 25m - Start a few metres right of 5 and climb upwards via spaced pockets before trending rightwards, roughly parallel to the previous route. D. O'Sullivan, J. Healy 16/03/13


7 HVS 5a 25m - Starting from the stepped ledges near the right of the crag climb directly to the top past crozzly cracks. Thin slings for threads. D. O'Sullivan, J. Healy, S. Hermann 20/03/13


8 S 25m - Climb the large stepped corner on the right side of the bay, passing a steepening near the top. J. McDonald, R. Creagh 20/03/13


9 Angela Merkel Thinks I'm Toproping S 20m - Climb parallel cracks up the middle of the stepped, west facing wall of the bay. S. Hermann, J. Healy 20/03/13


There is more !

Walk to the end of the headland and descend leftwards by wide sloping ledges to a large platform to a 14m south-facing wall. Routes are listed from left to right, West to East.

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Viking Raid HS 4b

Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 14/07/2017.

Starts at the centre of the wall at a shallow corner. Climb the crack for 4m. Continue over left-trending ledges. Make a delicate last move right-wards to reach the top. Adequate protection from small and micro wires.

Shock Therapy 14m VS 4b

Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan, 14/07/2017.

Takes a line of weakness and quartz rock just right of the steepest part of the wall. Climb boldly for 6m to a small ledge, continue up the well protected crack line to the top.

Guerrilla Days in Ireland 15m VD

Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan,14/07/2017.

Climb the right hand arete.