Doo Lough

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Doo Lough – Lower Crag

A small compact sandstone crag, situated just above the south western shore of Doo Lough. GR: 842 671 10 mins walk The crag is steep and fast drying. Some routes are dusty and in need of a re-clean.

Routes described left to right


On the left side of the crag, is a grass ledge which creates a break at half height. An obvious crack give the first route

1. Left Crack Severe 4a 18 meters
C Maddox 1999.
Climb the crack directly, (in need of a clean)

In the centre of the main steep wall is a curving ramp

2. Boomerang * E2 5b 20 meters
B.Smith 1999, (led with protection in place from previous attempt).
Follow the distinct ramp to small blocky niche, a tricky layback move leads to the steep head wall and faint left trending groove which leads to the top.

3. Slab Central * E1/2 5b 22 meters
B. Smith 1999
A direct start to same finish on the steep head wall of Boomerang, climb up the centre of wall to gain upper wall just beyond niche of boomerang, finish as previous route up faint left trending groove.

4. Project Route – The main over hang has been top roped inspected, probably around 6a moves though roof

5. Project route – The large hanging corner has been part cleaned and top roped giving moves around 5c

The final set of routes on the right hand side of the crag are on good rock, belays are well back on the grassy slopes, needing small wires and Cams. The routes all have some good wire placements, however a good range of small to medium cams is recommended to keep the head straight

6. Sunflower Arete * (top section needs re-clean) HVS/E1 5a 18 meters
C Maddox 1999. Cleaned on abseil).
Start below arete, just left of main corner. Pull up gymnastically onto arete and follow this and crack to horizontal break. Traverse break rightwards to finish (original route) or continue straight up shallow groove to top.

7. Paper Planes E1 5b 17 meters
The steep wall, 2 meters right of Sunflower arete. An eliminate line but with some good technical wall climbing, head straight up the wall between Sunflower arete and Sandstorm to the horizontal break, finish up the shallow groove of its sister routes.

8. Sandstorm HVS 5a 18 meters
Well protected climbing, starts 4 meters right of Sunflower Arete under steep, blocky grooves and cracks. Pull up steeply onto the hanging block then step left to follow the obvious groove line up the wall, step right near top to delicate moves to finish.

9 Born Slippy VS 4c 12 meters
Cleaned hanging groove / corner near right hand side of crag,

Doo Lough - Upper Crag

The crag is located directly above the northern end of Doo Lough (L 686 824 OS .5" map sheet 10) and can be seen from the road. It is approached by walking along the northern shore of the lake and then up a murderous grassy slope for about 300m. (about 45 minutes). The crag is composed of several buttresses of sandstone, conglomerate and a hard red rock which is possibly volcanic ash (?). Its height ranges from 90 - 60m. The rock is a bit fragile in places, but the climbing is good quality. The routes are described from left to right.

The exact details of IRELAND WALL and KNIGHT'S MOVE are not known. The part of IRELAND WALL reminiscent of the map of Ireland is a fairly small scale feature, at about 20m, and it should be pretty obvious.

F. Winder, P. Kenny. Easter 1950

J. Lynam, Kathleen Price. Easter 1950

(1) AILILL 13m E1 5b
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
This climb is found on the most easterly of the smooth buttresses. Protection is not so good. Start at a steep groove - crackline near the right hand end of the buttress.
Up the groove to steepening rock. Bridge up to gain a blocky hold on the right, 2m. from the top. Move delicately left to a wide crack and finish.

(2) VOYAGER 42m VS 4c
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start above and slightly to the right of Ailill at a large flake.
Climb up onto the flake and follow the crack-line directly up the wall to steepening rock and the crux. Finish on good holds. Belay on a block some distance to the left and hard to find

Left of the main face there is a small triangular buttress of superb smooth reddish rock. It is separated from the main face by a grassy gully. To the right of the buttress there is a large rocky gully which usually has a waterfall. The routes on this buttress are among the finest on the crag.

(3) BRAGELA's WATCH 100m E1
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
An excellent climb with a real mountain atmosphere. Start to the east of the crag beneath a tall, steep, narrow buttress, just right of a major gully running up the hillside - about 20m. left of Nightrider.
1. 30m, 5b. Climb the left face of the buttress to a ledge (micro-wires) and then climb a steep ramp on the left of the buttress with increasing difficulty to a flake crack. Up more easily to a belay.
2. 20m, 3c. Move up rightwards to a grassy niche, and then left on a rock nose. Follow grass to belay at the base of a steep arête.
3. 30m, 5a. Climb up the arête passing a short vertical wall on the right. Continue up slightly right to grass ledge and back to a belay.
4. 20m, 3c. Move up right and then left via a ramp to easy ground and belay some distance to the right.

(4) RED DAWN 25m E2 5c
T. Ryan, S. McEvoy. July 1990
Another excellent and sustained climb with good protection. It takes the right hand of two cracks on the left side of the buttress.
Approaching from the left make a difficult sequence of moves to gain the crack. Follow this to a difficult bulge to the top. Abseil off to the left.

(5) LETTER TO BRESHNEV 30m E3/4 6a
T. Ryan, S. McEvoy. July 1990
This excellent and serious route starts up a shallow groove near to the right side of the buttress.
Bridge precariously up the sustained groove to a good peg at 10m. Make a difficult traverse right to large holds. Continue straight up past a poor peg to a crack leading left near the top. Follow this leftwards for 5m. to a short thin crack that leads to the top of the smooth face. Climb a slender pillar of rock above to a belay in a chimney on the left just under the top of the buttress. A superb sustained face climb.

The following routes are all in the region of the main face, which is an impressive, relatively smooth sheet of rock about 45m. high, the highest buttress on the crag. It has a broad base but tapers towards the top. The right side of the face is a well defined arête with a deep grassy groove on its right. To the left of the face there is a detached buttress of smooth reddish rock. Left again there is a deep slimy gully with a waterfall. The best approach to the area is by following a vague sheep track contouring up over the NW side of Doo Lough to a broad scree filled gully extending down from the crag. Follow the left edge of the gully (about 45 minutes from the road). The starts of most routes are marked by small cairns. The climbs are generally good quality but care is required on some due to the brittle nature of the rock and poor protection. The crag is in a magnificent setting high above the lake with extensive views of mountains and Clew Bay.

(6) EARTH WATCH 70m E1/2
T. Ryan, S. McEvoy. July 1990
Two contrasting pitches to the left of the main face. The first takes a short fragile looking wall sandwiched between the main face, a wide grassy gully on the left and a grassy terrace above. The second pitch takes a superb line up a prominent corner with overhangs on the upper left side of the main face. Start below the centre of the short wall at a shallow groove.
1. 30m. 5b. Make a difficult move up the groove to reach brittle flakes which lead to good holds near the top of the face (no. 6 rock sideways at 10m.). Pull precariously over grass and scramble up the terrace to a large blocky belay below the prominent corner (a serious pitch)
2. 40m. 5b. The corner is initially bulging. Climb this section on large holds. Continue up traversing under two overhangs to a third overhang. Climb over this using a wide crack to the top of the buttress. Scramble up heathery slopes to a spike belay. An excellent pitch on solid rock. It can be reached more easily and safely by starting up the first pitch of Nightrider, reducing the overall grade to E1.

(7) NIGHTRIDER 70m E1/2 5b/c
T. Ryan, A. Dawe. August 1984
The crag is dominated by a large triangular face bounded on its right side by a deep grassy groove. This route takes a line up the left-hand side of the face. Start in the middle of the face.
1. 25m. 5b. Climb steeply up the wall to a left-trending diagonal crack. Follow this to a gully on the left side of the face. Continue up the left edge of the face until it is possible to move left into the gully. Block belay on the left at the top of the gully.
2. 45m. 5b/c. Traverse right for 7m. back onto the face (crux) to a crack. Climb the crack in a superb position to easy ground. Scramble up trending slightly right to a spike belay near the top.
Escape off the cliff by first scrambling up leftwards and then up rightwards along a grassy ramp.

(8) CHINA BEACH 60m E2
T. Ryan, S. McEvoy. July 1990
Takes zigzag cracks up the right side of the main face. A serious route due to sustained climbing on brittle rock and less than perfect protection. Start under the centre of the face just right of the start of Nightrider.
1. 20m. 5a. Climb steeply up to a narrow ledge. Continue up just left of a large sheet of smooth white rock to another narrow ledge below a thin crack. Make an uncomfortable belay on this ledge using a nut and a No. 1 Friend 3m. higher.
2. 40m. 5b. Climb the crack and move right to gain a long prominent left trending crack. Ascent to the top of the crack and move right to a right trending crack (No. 4 Friend) which is followed to the right arête of the face. Climb the arête which leads to scrambling and a poor spike belay.

T. Ryan (solo) July 1990
This route follows the prominent grassy groove that bounds the right side of the main face. Although heavily vegetated in the groove the climbing is entirely on solid rock. Start directly below the groove.
Initially climb just left of the groove, then bridge across the vegetation until it gets slightly steeper at mid-height. Make a delicate move up the left slab of the groove to a ledge. Continue up to a steeper finish to gain the top right arête of the main face. Scramble up to the top of the buttress.

(10) ON REFLECTION 115m VS 4b,4c,4b
Juraj Georgievsky, Carl Maddox, 04.06.2008
A good mountain route with good interest throughout.
1. 4b, 55m Start as for Solitaire, follow the major corner and arete feature as for Solitaire, to large block belay. A good pitch on solid rock with some bold climbing on the central section. (If in doubt trick your climbing buddy into leading this pitch)
2. 4c, 30m An Excellent varied pitch, well protected. Cross the grass ramp, move up and right to a steep wall and finger crack, (left of blocky section) Climb finger crack for 6 meters (crux) to ledge. Up on blocky ground trending left then right to obvious steep corner, superb bridging up corner to grass ledge and belay
3. 20m 4b, Drop down ramp for a few meters to next wall. Follow slab and corner for 10m, move left to steep wall, directly up this taking care with the rock to belay at massive boulder.
(10 a) Direct Finish
P3. 5a/b 20m Nads Direct
Clement Quinn, Carl Maddox, 24.06.2014
To the right of the slab and corner, head directly to the clean, obvious overhang. Place good cam protection in the overhang / roof, and make hard, strenuous moves right to gain the ramp. Traverse right along ramp to central crack, and finish delicately, straight up. A well protected challenge, crux high in the grade.

(11) DICTATOR 75m E1 5b,4b
T. Ryan, M. Prendergast. 28.6.1981
The central and highest part of the crag is dominated by an impressive 45m. wall. This is bordered on the right by a deep grassy groove. Right of this there is an obvious thin diagonal crack trending leftwards up a steep slab(!). Start below a shallow corner at the bottom of the crack and about 9m. right of the deep grassy groove. The first pitch offers tremendous climbing.
1. 42m. 5b. Climb steeply up the corner to a ledge on the right at about 6m. Move left and continue easily up the crack to where it steepens at about 18m. Avoid the crack by following a line of holds on the left wall to a minute overlap. Traverse back right into the thin crack and up this (crux) to a second and larger overlap. Hand traverse down leftwards under the overlap for about 5m. and up to a small ledge. Climb diagonally rightwards to a confined grassy belay stance directly above the crack line.
2. 33m. 4b. Move left, firstly on grass and then rock to a small overlap. Over this and up a shallow groove for about 6m. At the top of the groove traverse right for about 5m. and pull up onto vegetation. Scramble up to an obvious short leftward-trending groove and up this to the top. Good nut belay (large hex.) about 9m. up the grassy ramp that forms the top of the buttress.

The next three climbs are found close together in the centre of the crag left and right of a recessed zone of black rock. The first begins on the right side of a steep buttress left of the seepage zone.

(12) BANBA 28M HVS 4c
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Climb a steep ramp to a grass ledge and belay.

J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start just right of the seepage zone below a steep buttress and 2m. left of the start of Heuston Blues.
1. 28m, 4c. Up the narrowing ramp and crack to a grass ledge and a belay.
2. 28m, 4c. Up slabby rock to a grass ledge. Climb steepening rock to a bulge and finish.
(The second pitch may be the top section of Heuston Blues)

(14) HEUSTON BLUES 30m VS 4b
T. Ryan, M. Prendergast. 27.6.1981
About 273m. from the right end of the crag there is an area of black and often wet rock with a long 1m. wide overhang 9m's. up. This route climbs a zigzag crack line on the buttress right of the black rock. Start just right of a gully between the two buttresses at the bottom of a rightward-trending crack.
Traverse rightwards along the crack to another crack slanting up leftwards. Climb this to a ledge at mid-height. Continue over a small bulge and hence up an easy crack to the top.

(15) LAIRGREN 48m VS
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start 75m. right of Dark Waters at a ramp - a few metres left of Blue Movie.
1. 23m, 4b. Climb the leftwards sloping ramp to a ledge and block belay.
2. 25m,4c. Climb up steeply and slightly left via discontinuous cracks to a ledge. Up again slightly left via a knobbly slab to steeper rock beneath a triangular niche. Climb up on smallish holds (crux) and finish up a gentle slab to belay.

(16) BLUE MOVIE 36m S
M. Prendergast (1), T. Ryan (2). 27.6.1981
This climb follows an obvious blue-stained leftward-trending ramp about 30m. right of Heuston Blues.
1. 18m. Climb the ramp to a grassy ledge and belay.
2. 18m. Move left and follow a leftward-trending crack to a grassy ledge. Trend rightwards up a fine short wall of rough conglomerate.
Poor protection.

(17) PIONEER 20m E2 5c
T. Ryan, S. MacGerailt, P. Breen. 9.9.1989
Takes a thin crack-line up the wall just right of the ramp of Blue Movie. Start directly below the crack.
Scramble up to a grassy ledge at 3m. Trend right up the wall into the thin crack and up this (crux) to a large flake at mid-height. Continue awkwardly up the wider left-trending crack above to the top. Good climbing.

(18) VOYAGER 20m E1 5b
T. Ryan, S. MacGerailt, P. Breen. 9.9.1989
About 10m. right of Blue Movie there is a narrow left-trending ramp. Start under this.
Climb the ramp for 5m. Step left onto small holds and climb steeply to larger holds. There is a poor flake runner out to the left. Continue up the wall, past a poor spike runner to regain the ramp which is followed to the top. Good climbing, though poorly protected.

(19) AIFE 53m HVS
. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
A short but demanding and exciting first pitch. Start at a steep right-trending crack 50m. right of Lairgren.
1. 18m,5a/b. Climb crack (sustained but with good protection to a small ledge and then left for 5m. to a block belay.
2. 35m, 3c. Continue up the arête to easy ground.

(20) IOLAR 40m VS
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start 5m. right of Aife and 3m left of a dirty corner.
1. 28m, 3c. Up onto the arête to a large block and grassy ledge. Belay behind a large block at the base of the chimney.
2. 12m, 4c. Up the chimney and crack to an overhanging jammed block which is passed on the left with care.

The following three climbs are located on the buttress near the right end of the crag. The buttress is characterized by two obvious wide cracks, one trending left and the other right. They meet some distance above the ground. Below the cracks there is a mossy area of rock:

(21) COLUMBIA 21m VS 4c
T. Ryan, R. Gill. 20.6.1981
This route takes the left-hand crack mentioned above. Start at a broken crack just left of the mossy rock and about 2m. right of the gully forming the left-hand boundary of the buttress.
Climb diagonally rightwards for about 5m. Ascend the thin jagged crack above to a niche in the wide crack at mid-height. Continue up the leftward-trending crack to the top.

(22)WINGS 21m HVS 5b
T. Ryan, J. Burke. 20.6.1981
Start below a thin faint and red ramp about 9m. right of Columbia.
Climb the ramp until further progress becomes difficult near the top. Traverse right across the wall to a crack and up this easily to the top. (Excellent sustained climbing.)

T. Ryan, J. Burke, R. Gill. 20.6.1981
This route takes a rightward-trending crack which starts just right of Wings.
Climb the crack to the top. Scramble up to a block belay.

(24) ARDAN 42m S 4a
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start 3m. right of Beetle.
1. 20m. Up via niches to the arête and follow this to a ledge and belay.
2. 22m. Continue up easier ground to finish.

(25) AINNLE 10m HVS 5a
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Unimpressive looking but probably worth it for the crux. Start right of Ardan at a small cave.
Climb up to beneath the overhang, move left and gain the crack strenuously. Continue up more easily to the top.

(26) BARACH 13m S 3c
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start to the right of Ainnle. At a small buttress in a recess above the blockfield.
Climb the arête on the left of the buttress passing the overhang (crux).

(27) BRANWEN 13m V.Diff
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start just right of Barach.
Climb up the centre of the buttress past an overlap.

(28) GUAIRE 47m HVS
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start right of an obvious descent gully at a small, steep, smooth faced buttress.
1. 12m, 5a. Climb the centre of the buttress to the top treating the rock with care. Poor protection.
2. 35m, 3c. Climb the wall above on its left side directly to easy ground and belay.

(29) CLIONA's WAVE 20m VS 4b
J. Lyons, D.Wall, July 1987
Start near the western end of the crag just right of a grassy gully and directly above three obvious boulders.
Climb the corner to dubious blocks and move right beneath an overhang. Gain height and move delicately left to the top of the overhang. Then move easily to the top.

These routes lie on the cliffs above the south-west end of the lake at Doolough. The most striking buttress here is subtended by a Y-shaped gully. Ascend the rib on the left of the stem of the Y and then traverse onto the face of the buttress above the vegetated portion. The face above has two roughly parallel cracks and a smaller one on the extreme edge. Two routes were taken up the face.

UNNAMED 1 45m V.Diff
Ms E. Healy and F. Winder Easter 1957
This route starts up the left-hand crack.
1. 15m. Take the start of the left crack but pull out right up a sloping slab leading right back to the top of a pedestal in the middle of the face.
2. 15m. Take the right crack to ledge - caution with projecting blocks. Up groove to overhang. Traverse right to belay.
3. 15m. Take easy groove above to top.

B. McCall and F. Butler Easter 1957
The right-hand crack starts just to the right of a pedestal in the middle of the face. This route starts just to the right of this pedestal and initially takes a line up the face to the right of the right crack, but ends up to the left of the previous climb.
1. 30m. Straight up to belay at the end of the second pitch of Unnamed 1.
25m. Instead of the easy grooves above, traverse left under an overhang and take a steep groove to the top - really a continuation of the left crack.

Pampalona Ridge 150m Moderate Scrambling to V.Diff
C. Warner and A. Warner 24th July 2013


From the weir at the downstream end of Doo Lough follow the fence to the left for 100-200m ascend the grassy ramp ‘Weir Gully’ all the way to the flat topped undulating southeastern shoulder of Teevaree. Walk 10 – 15mins towards Teevaree. At approximately N83350, E267120 is the last main rocky outcrop before the main saddle. Descend the steep walled easy gully ‘alleyway’ to the east . Descend 120m keeping to the right of the gully until the rock ridge ends and a sheep track to the south east becomes evident. The route starts at the toe of the ridge. The ridge is divided into a lower and an upper section by a grassy ramp at about 60m which joins the ‘alleyway’ gully. The rock quality was found to be very good. Gear was adequate.

1. 40m Moderate to Diff enjoyable climbing on solid rock as far as large grassy ledge. Belay at a low wall of conglomerate rock.
2. 30m Moderate to Hard Scrambling to the top of lower section. Scramble across (right) the dividing grassy ramp to the foot of upper section and climb to a belay.
3. 30m Moderate to Hard Scrambling. Climb on solid rock to the left of a grassy gully before crossing right via a right trending grass ramp and rock to the right edge of ridge overlooking the ‘alleyway’ gully. Belay at an excellent crack just to the left of edge.
4. 30m Diff to V.diff. Climb on to the the top of solid large blocks at the right edge of the ridge, and then escape onto the narrow arête to the left across a niche and climb / bridge up out of the difficulties to good sling belay.
5. 20m Moderate scrambling on solid rock to top of ridge.