Garron Point

From Irish Climbing Wiki


A newly developed sport crag overlooking the bay at Waterfoot. Good quality climbing on milky white limestone with interesting flint-stone features, easy access, and a useful spread of grades.

The location benefits from a relatively dry climate, being in the rain shadow of the nearby Antrim plateau. The rock dries fairly quickly and the steeper main wall stays dry in light rain. The cliff gets evening sun from around 5pm in spring/summer. Can be midgey on still days in summer/autumn.


Approach notes

There's room for 5 or 6 cars in a lay-by below the crag, just before the two houses on the seafront. Cross through the gate with the blue Honesty Box - please make a small contribution to show appreciation to the local farmer who allows access on his land. Form the honesty box walk rightwards (sheep track on your right) for a short distance uphill to the crag towards the stack.

The neighboring farmer is happy for climbing to take place on this wall. Please stay off the crags above the farmer's fields to the west of the main cliff, as access to these hasn't been agreed.

Please act considerately to nearby homeowners as noise carries in this tranquil location - no loud whooping after your flash of Saturn V!

Small wall left to right.

6b - straight up bolts

6a - starts left, merge into right route to share 2 bolts and finish left on own bolts

6a - straight up right line of bolts

Right of small wall.

7b+ - starts left. Small Boulder to gain arête- finish up arête

7a- arête

Main wall

8a - left line of bolts (arguably loose block at top)

7b+ - straight up bolts, move right to merge with 7c finish

7c- straight up bolts. Merge top section with 7b+

8b/+ - expansion bolts. Keep right of 7c.

Steep side Pinnacle -

6c+ - left side

6c - right side

Slab side pinnacle -

2x 5s

Shorter slab below Pinnacle -

The left hand line below was first recorded by John McCabe in 2018 as a highball slab. It has now been equipped as a beginner sport route with a lower off.

4c - Left hand line (Aidan’s slab)

6b - Deep Blue Sea



Garron Point (Grid Ref - 30 24) is a prominent headland five kilometres north of Carnlough on the Antrim Coast road. The rock is a type of chalk containing large flints which form sharp holds. Above the chalk there is a tilted layer of weathered basalt which forms the bulk of the headland proper and is of no climbing interest. The routes can be quite loose, particularly at the top, and care must be taken not to dislodge rocks onto the road. Climbers have hitherto been active here with the tacit permission of the owners at the nearby college.

Cars may be parked in the public car park adjacent to the post office, about 30m from the crag.

Descent from the routes is by the large grassy gullies at either side of the crag.

As of 2017 the crag is covered with metal mesh to stabilise it rendering it effectively unclimbable

Moratorium 40m HS
P Blake, M Curran. 9/6/1970.
A large buttress on the left of the crag encroaches on the road. The route which starts in a sheltered alcove winds its way round the buttress from bottom left to top right. After a difficult start move around the corner (right) to gain a steep groove. Continue up past ivy and loose rock to belay on a post.

Cockleshell Cracks 45m HS
P McHugh, J McKenzie. 6/1969.
The best route on the crag. Start at the bottom of two impressive cracks which run up the corner behind the lay-by.
1) 15m. Climb easily up the chimney, exit left and continue up to a restricted stance under a large overhang.
2) 30m. Move up and right past an old wedge to gain a vertical crack. Climb the corner on good holds, loose at the top. Finish up the grass.

King Nose 40m S
M Curran, P Blake. 14/10/1971.
Start approximately half way between Cockleshell Cracks and El Condor in a vegetated corner left of a prominent arête.
1) 30m. Climb the right-hand pocketed wall on good holds before moving left into the corner. Move up and step left below a small tree. Step back right and gain the wide irregular crack. Follow this rightwards, exiting onto an airy platform on the arête.
2) 12m. Easily up mixed grass and rock to the top.

Tort 56m S
M Curran, L B Marshall. 1971.
A rising traverse of the right-hand buttress, this route takes in some good scenery. Poor protection. Start at the base of the obvious groove at the left edge of the right-hand buttress.
1) 28m. Enter the corner and climb easily on large holds until it is possible to pull out right and traverse right below the overhanging wall to a sentry box belay in the middle of the buttress.
2) 28m. Continue the horizontal traverse across the right wall onto the arête. From this exposed position climb on poor rock to the top.

Impending Disaster 42m VD + A2
M Curran, P Blake. 24/1/1970.
An exposed route with fine situations. Start at the base of an inverted Y-crack, roughly in the middle of the buttress.
1) 20m. Begin up the wriggly crack and weave through the overhangs above to arrive at sentry box.
2) 22m. The impending wall on the left is split by a rising crack. Move out across this crack on pegs (some in place) to the edge where the crack assumes a near vertical tilt. Using thinner pegs move up this headwall to grass and a metal spike belay.

El Condor 42m S
L N Griffin, M Curran. 25/10/1970.
1) 20m. As for Impending Disaster.
2) 22m. Follow a steep ramp leading diagonally upwards to the right. Emerge onto the arête and follow it to the top.

This crag lies about 500m north of the Coast Road Crag beside a side road running up to the nearby college. Most routes tend to be short and problematical, particularly those found on the seaward buttress. The three routes listed are on the landward side of the road close to the main wall. Descend towards a small cottage 100m to the south.

== Descriptions for the following routes are out of date due to rock fall and they are considered dangerous ==

Coughin Wall 33m HS
M Curran, P Blake. 6/12/1969.
Serious with some loose rock at mid-height, not well protected. Start at the bottom of an ill-defined groove about 3m left of the shallow arête formed where the main wall meets the road. Locate a small overhang and climb directly up. At about 10m move slightly right to gain the depression above. Finish straight up.

Ottago 33m S
M Curran, B Blake. 20/4/1969.
Start a few metres right of Coughin Wall at the left-hand side of the main wall. The route follows a thin groove to a tiny stance on the arête at about 9m. Move left to gain the depression which is crossed on large flint bollards. Straight up to the top and belay on the metal spike.

Heckler 40m VS
M Henry, M Curran (Alternate Lead). 1/6/72.
A fine airy route with good protection throughout. The line follows the prominent groove on the right-hand side of the main wall. Start at the entrance to a small cave.
1) 10m. Climb up out of the cave turning the large perched block on the right.
2) 30m. Move left into the groove proper up a series of ledges. Awkward moves follow as the groove begins to lean to the right. Easier rock leads to the top.

About 1.5 kilometres further north along the Coast Road there is a tiny cottage and a small pier. A tilted finger of rock, Saturn Pinnacle, on the slopes above has two routes.

Violator 18m VD
M Curran, P Blake. 30/11/1969.
Start at the back of the pinnacle. Gain the ledge and move right to the arête. Continue to the top.

The Savage 35m VD
F Mason. 1966
On the seaward side of the pinnacle climb straight up the slab, loose at the top. (Descent is by abseil).

Milky Way 30m E2 5c
M Daly, P McGarrity. 5/8/1995.
Behind Saturn Pinnacle there is a white wall with a crack running up the centre – the route takes this perfect jam crack.