Benwee Head

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Benwee Head (An Príosún)

This is an impressive cliff face located North of Kilgallign [1]. After passing through Carrowteige turn right at the T-junction and follow this road to a car park beside a sculpture. Here you get the first views of the face. Walk around the zawn to find yourself located above the face. Abseil stake in place. A 180m abseil will deposit you onto the wave cut platform at the bottom of the face.

The Misadventures of the Nocturnal Seal 200m E1 (4a, 4c, 5a, 5a, 4b)
B. Seery (Pitches 1, 4), H. Hennessy (Pitches 2, 3, 5) 16/09/11
1. 40m Start on the right hand side of the wave cut platform and climb the slab to a good ledge with some vegetation present.
2. 50m Continue straight up until a small rightward trending slab is reached just below the lower horizontal crack.
3. 40m Embark on an atmospheric leftward traverse of the face along the crack. Once it begins to trend downwards, move up to an arete to belay.
4. 30m Take a line to the highest obvious roof on the left hand side near the arete. Belay under here (No.4 Camalot useful).
5. 40m Move back left from under the roof and climb into a large rightward trending groove. Follow this until it is possible to climb direct to the easy exit in the wall above.

The Misadventures Direct 170m E1 (4b, 4c, 5a, 5a, 4b)
B. Seery (Pitch 1), H. Hennessy (Pitches 2, 3) (Cleaned Prior to ascent) 24/03/12.
Pitches 1 & 2 could be climbed together to give a more balanced route.
1. 25m Start on some black rock and climb to below the slab with the S-shaped groove.
2. 30m Climb the S-shaped groove and belay at the top of the slab below the steep rock.
3. 50m Move through some steep rock to some easier angled bolder climbing. Continue to belay on the arete as for pitch 3 on The Misadventures of the Nocturnal Seal.
Finish as for the last 2 pitches of The Misadventures of the Nocturnal Seal.

Benwee Head (East)

From the concrete slipway on the west side of Portacloy walk a short distance north and cross the small stream at the small waterfall. Follow the path uphill until the cliff line is reached. Continue west until the prominent series of slabs are reached - about 182m. - Pinnacle Slab.

The western upper slab is topped by two broken pinnacles and drops on the west side steeply into the sea. The lower slab to the east forms a prominent corner with the upper slab - Great Expectations - and the eastern edge drops into the sea with a delta face and gives perfect slab routes. The landward side of the slab consists of a loose slab, Googliox, leading up from a steep unstable boulder gully. The east of the gully is bounded by smooth boiler plate slabs topped by a scree

S.R. Young, D. O'Murchu. 19.3.73
VERY LOOSE. From the cliff top descend the grass for 76m. and continue down the boulder gully until the loose slab is reached, belay at the junction between the upper slab wall and the slab.
1. 55m. Climb diagonally right to the grass ledge and continue right and up to the crest of the ridge - the junction between the loose slab and the lower seaward slab. Peg belay in position on lower slab.

S.R. Young, D. O'Murchu. 19.3.73
Abseil from the peg at the top of Googliox for 45m. and pendule 15m. into the corner between the upper and lower slabs - belay.
1. 30m. Climb from above the sea cave in the corner on good rock - Peg belay.
2. 36m. Continue up the slab to the grass ledge, runner, back into the corner at the large flake, runner, climb out left, runner and up the slab to the right. Belay to assorted nuts.

D. O'Murchu*, S.R. Young*. 23.6.73
Start to the left of the sea cave below the start of Great Expectations.
1. 43m. Climb from the black block at sea level up and then diagonally left to a white recessed area - peg belay.
2. 43m. Climb directly up to the arête, peg runner at the bulge on the delicate slab.

CANDIDA 54m Diff
S. R. Young*, D. O'Murchu*. 23.6.73
Start from the lower left hand side of the main slab by a recessed slab.
1. 18m. Climb the recessed slab to the point where it meets the main slab.
2. 36m. Follow the left edge of the main slab to the arête.

D. O'Murchu, S. R. Young. 23.6.73
Climb the centre of the outer lower slab to the arête

SEA BRINK 45m Diff
S. R. Young, D. O'Murchu. 23.6.73
Climb the exposed edge of the outer lower slab above the delta face of the arête.

Descent from the arête is by a 45m. abseil from the peg at the top of Googliox to the boulder gully.

Benwee Head (West)

From Kilgalligan take the track north towards Benwee Head. Park at the end of the track overlooking the sea. Walk about 182m. west along the cliff top to the next promontory, gentle slabs below - Grid ref. F 800432.

Descend the grass for 24m. and walk west for a metre to a small grassy pinnacle, descend from this for 45m. to the slabs.

To the west of the slabs the rock drops steeply as a wall into the sea, the route described below takes a direct line up this cliff. Access is by abseil or by an easy sea level traverse.

Descend the slab to sea level, traverse 9m. west to the foot of a short slab topped by a steep pink wall. Ascend the right edge of the slab for 9m. and then break out round the corner to belay. Descend to near sea level to cross a water-worn gully and then climb up to the obvious platform and belay.

S.R. Young, D. O'Murchu. 17.3.73
Take the obvious groove line up the cliff on good rock.
1. 30m. From the small spike on the platform make a delicate move up over the bulge and continue on over two overhangs on good holds. At the third overhang traverse slightly left and climb the wall by the quartz vein to the small ledge and spike belay.
2. 30m. Up a few feet from the spike and climb diagonally right until the gangway ends, ascend the groove above to exit via the two prominent cracks to the right.