Com an Lochaigh

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Revision as of 18:32, 17 November 2021 by Lochlanngallagh (talk | contribs) (→‎Upper Tier: Updated the grade after looking through some notes)

This valley is situated south of the car park for the popular pilgrim's path up to Cnoc Bréanainn. Sheet 70 of the OS map series. There are multiple crags in the valley and much potential for a patient climber willing to go adventuring. The crags are of good old red sandstone with fantastic friction. There's a light "crust" on some parts of the crags but this doesn't pose much of a problem to climbers. The river has gravel banks which are salmon spawning so extra care should be taking to not disturb that habitat.

Heading west from Dingle take the exit north at the Milltown roundabout. Turn right off the main road at Baile an Lochaigh (signs for a pet farm) and park at the end of the road at Q429082. Please ask at the farm for permission to enter the valley. Follow the track into the valley until it ends at the river.

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An tEarrach Thiar

This crag is visible directly ahead at the end of the road, however crossing the river here will result in wet boots. A better place to cross is located 200m upstream by hoping between some boulders. The crag is not a uniform wall of rock, it is instead a series of short disconnected walls.

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Lower Tier

This is the tier seen directly ahead when at the end of the road.

An Cúinne, VD, 7m
L. Gallagher, 5/2020
Climb the face of the leftmost corner

Méara Bochta, S, 10m
L. Gallagher, C. Belton, 5/2021
Climb large loose flake at centre of lowest tier. Arrange gear at each gorsey ledge. Finish up flared crack to the left and belay off boulder set back well back from the edge

Upper Tier

This tier is characterised by three obvious overhanging arêtes at it highest point. There is potential for some much harder routes after some cleaning.

Dohjongg, VS 4b, 10m
P. McFadden, C. Watson, 5/2021
Farthest right crack before you have to start scrambling. Avoiding loose flake at bottom, climb up crack with sketchy top out to the right.

Naoi Méar, HS, 8m
P. McFadden, 5/2021
Climb follows series of cracks that go under two rocky arêtes situated near the top. Stand on grassy ledges to put in very bad gear and some 'crucial' micros.

An tEarrach There

The crag is visible about 500m away on the left. It's roughly half an hour from the car. Located at the slope leading to the crag is an abandoned house with a wooden roof frame. There are two tiers to the crag.

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Lower Tier

The following routes are located on the lower tier, which is characterised by being footed by some massive fallen blocks and a large square patch of ivy on its left hand side. Descend to the right (looking out from the top of the crag).

Crann Pianmhar, VD, 6m
P. McFadden, 5/2021
Up large crack, stand on horizontal break and move left before topping out.

There is a tiny stone wall coming from the centre of the crag to a boulder at its base. The first route starts left of this wall, the rest from the right.

Tús Nua, E2 5c, 12m
R. Creagh, D. Dineen, 03/03/2013
The obvious crack in the centre of the crag, offering brilliant climbing. Start below a hanging groove and head straight up, following the crack through overhangs. Continue to the top using the crack on the blunt arete. Sustained, steep, technical and well protected.

An Balla Beag, HVS 5a, 12m
R. Creagh, J. Eldred, 02/11/2015
Essentially a direct start to Cuimilt. Carefully cross over the small wall into the hole below the steep groove. Climb the groove until it's possible to swing around to the slab on the right. Continue straight up and follow cracks leftwards to the top.

Cuimilt, VS 4c, 10m
R. Creagh, D. Dineen, 03/03/2013
Start above the hole with the blackthorn tree, using the big boulder to get established in the hand crack (or by starting up the wall if you don't mind the hole below the crag). Take the left trending line along the cracks.

An Tine, E2 5b, 12m
R. Creagh, E. Kennedy, 18/03/2016
This route starts on the right side of the crag. Access the base by climbing through a small cave from the right end of the crag. The line is the obvious thin crack that starts down in a deep hole. Try to avoid stepping back behind you to save your arms. It lets up eventually.

Alphonse Wall

This is the upper tier with many vertical cracks seen when topping out the lower tier. Named after a rescued lamb. Climbs are listed left to right as seen in the topo below.

Left route is Mo Chéad Uair and the right route is Tarrtháil Alphonse

Mo Chéad Uair, HS, 8m
C. Belton, P. McFadden, 5/2021
Climb up leftmost ramp with your feet, keeping hands in right crack. Head upwards at end of crack.

Tarrtháil Alphonse, VS 4c, 10m
P. McFadden, C. Belton, 5/2021
Crack starts above big flare in middle of wall. Climb up crack with good gear and veer right when crack splits. Finish either straight up or stay right for easier top out.