Glen Loss Point
This information is taken from New Climbs 1991.
This new area is found on a hairpin bend on the road (L133) from Belderg to Ballycastle, about 2 miles east of Belderg, on the North Mayo Coast (GR G 02 42) The main face, known locally as the "Point of Wren" is bedded sandstone (bring lots of Friends) of varying degrees of quality, ranging from superb, to Weetabix - sometimes on the same route. Even so, many of the routes are excellent and set you in some stunning situations. Besides, it's only 5 mins walk from the car. Access to the main cliff is by abseil only, off one of the many stakes, and the references to L and R assume you are facing the cliff. The crag is best viewed from West Point, across the narrow inlet of "Crumbly Cove". The southern half of the cliff is almost entirely loose, but this area ends at a prominent corner where the rock and the features become solid. This solid, 250m long section is divided into three sections: The Southern Flank and The Northern Flank, split by a central corner; and The North Face, which is further round, on the tip of the headland.
The North Face
These routes are accessible by scrambling down the the sloped ledges just north of The Prow area, to a platform at the base of the cliff. The climbs are to the L of the descent, where there are two corners, two north-facing walls and two west-facing walls.
Archaos VS 4b 12m
S. McGearailt (solo) October 1991.
Start 2m R of the corner which bounds the R-hand side of the first west-facing wall. Climb steeply, trending R, to a good hold at 4m. Reach up to a line of holdsleading back L passing a projecting block, to a small ledge. A tricky move gets you to a line of jugs that lead slightly L, to the top. Poor protection.
New Frontier HS 15m
S. McGearailt (solo) September, 1991.
Start 5m L of the corner (or 7m L of 'Archaos') at a bulging knobbly pulpit. Climb up to this, steeply, but on good holds, to a line of ledges that lead up R to the top.
Backstairs V. Diff 15m
P. Horan (solo) Sept. 1991.
Climb up the shallo L-facing corner 5m L of 'New Frontiers' and finish up the stepped ramp leading R-wards.
Accidental Tourists Severe 15m
S. Mac Gearailt & J. McCann (solo & solo) September 1991.
Follow 'Backstairs' to the ramp but continue straight up on big jugs to the top.
Parallel Universe VS4b
S. MacGearailt, P. Harrington & G. Schneider October 1991.
Start under the steep arete at the L end of the wall and move up for 6m, keeping on the R-hand side of the arete. Gain the cracks and pull over the overhang above on buckets to a series of ledges on the L which leads to the top.
The Prow Area.
This section is near the left end of the Northern Flank where a small, but conspicious, quartzy patch lies just above the high water mark. The Prow is the steeply overhanging wall to the left of this, with a prominent corner to the right of the quartz. To the right again of the corner is a supberb overhanging wall of bubbly, greyish rock. All the routes here are solid, clean and of the highest quality.
Raven HS 15m
W. Rock & K. McDonald Jan. 1992
This climbs up the large, but short, open corner that forms the left side of The Prow, up to a big round nose. Pick your way over the nose for the crux and straight up to the top. Access is by ab and belay on a large block at the base of the corner.
Bohemian Rhapsody E2 5c 30m
T. Ryan & K. McDonald Dec. 1991.
A stunning route which goes up the right side of the Prow. Ab down to the overhanging corner, to the right of the Prow, and swing 7m L (gulp) to belay on a ledge at the base of a ahort corner, directly under the Prow. If the seas are rough you'd want to belay at the top of this corner.
Climb the corner and arete above to a small brown ledge on the R side of the Prow at 10m. Move up under the bulge and step R and up, past the crux and a peg, to a ledge at a red quartz patch above the bulge. Zigzag R then L past the first overhang above you and climb the second directly using a short deep crack on the wall above. Continue on up to an arete on the L then back R to finish up a short corner.
Titanic E2 5c 30m
T. Ryan & K. McDonald Jan., 1992.
This immaculate pitch starts from the belay below the shallow quartz groove 4m R of the overhanging corner. Climb up the groove to a bulge, where a difficult move over brings you to a roof above. Step L onto an undercut arete and around awkwardly to a short corner. Climb the overhanging wall R of this, trending slightly R above the roof to a narrow ledge and from there it's on up to the top on easier ground. A real exciting pitch, but with good gear - if you bring a wide range of friends.
Carpathia E2 5b 30m
T. Ryan & K. McDonald 1991.
Belaying as for 'Titanic', move out to the hairline crack 4m to the R. Some sustained climbing up this brings you past two in-situ threads, to a roof at 20m. Traverse R under the roof and finish easily up to the top.
Californian E1 5a 30m
T. Ryan & M. Van Dome October 1991.
This route runs up the centre of the overhanging wall, at its easiest point, 8m R of 'Titanic', from a belay on the slab below. Climb directly up on buckets, passing a big lump of bird guano on the L and over steep and sustained bulges at 20m. Move R to a crack in a short corner and up the grooves to the top.
Pretty Woman VS 4b 30m
K. McDonald & T. Ryan December 1981.
This route takes the R slanting groove about 20m R of The Prow, on excellent rock. Ab down to the bottom of the groove, which is the first obvious feature R of the overhanging wall, and belay on a small ledge to the R. Climb steeply and enter the groove at about mid-height. Follow it all the way to the top.
Grivle VS 4c 30m
W. Rock & K. McDonald Jan. 1992.
20m R of 'Pretty Woman' is another obvious groove which you belay below, on an in-situ thread. Start up the sharp nose and continue up to an overhang, which you pass on the R, to a second overhang. The crux is getting over this and once done you can idle your way directly to the top.
Grainne's Wail HS 30m
K. McDonald & W. Rock Jan. 1992.
Another 20m R of 'Grivle' and another ab-in gets you to the bottom of a crack/corner system. Keeping the obvious slab on the L, move up to the first corner which leads to the crux at a small overhang. Once you've gained the crack above finish up nonchantly to the top on loose rock.
Drop the Dead Donkey E2 5b 35m
T. Ryan & S. Gallwey Nov. 1991.
Abseil down the central corner that splits the Nort and South Flanks and belay on a good ledge 10m above the sea. The route climbs the crack just L of the corner, which is nice and strenuous at first but gets quite serious in its middle section. Move up the basalt dike to where the crack almost closes, and pass this section using small holds on the L (crux). Follow on up the wider overhanging crack to a ledge and climb awkwardly out to the R up the narrow ramp above. The fun begins when you get to the base of the narrow, R-facing corner, which you climb on large 'soft' holds to the top.
White Sea Horse VS 4b 35m
K. McDonald & T. Ryan Nov. 1991.
This is the main central corner which you climb directly till you get to the loose part near the top. From there traverse carefully L and finish up a narrow, R-facing corner.
Goldener Oktober VS 4b 40m
S. McGearailt, D. Doyle & G. Schneider, Oct. 1991.
This takes the first corner on the Southern Flank, R of the central corner. When abbing down keep L of a small pillarand belay on a large black ledge, 8m above the sea. It's also advisable, nay, imperative, to use the ab rope for the last, exceedingly loose, 10m of the route. Climb up the corner on good holds passing two bulgesand, after 25m, move 2m L to an arete. On up steeply from here to a grassy ledge where you haul yourself up the rope.
Great Wall Area
In the centre of this section there is an area of vegetation and loose rock before the second corner R of the main central split. To the R of this again is the impressive Great Wall, 40m of smooth dark rock, bounded on the R by a sharp arete. Further R is a third corner with a large overhang at mid-height. The routes here are in magnificent situations and of excellent quality but the top 10m of unidenified material requires a gentle hand.
Thunderbirds E2 5b 40m
T. Ryan & P. Harrington Oct. 1991.
A superb,sustained and direct line that climbs up the wall to the R of the quartz groove that runs up two-thirds of the cliff. Ab down to the R of the arete and swing L to a belay point on footholds, 5m below the overhang that crosses the base of the cliff (peg runner). From here climb up to and over a little corner in the overhang to gain a thin crack on the wall above. Climb the crack, with a slight diversion L to where it closes just above a small quartzy patch at mid-height. Step R to another crack and up steeply to better holds., before moving back L again to continue up the original line. The holds get increasingly larger here, but once you reach the slightly overhanging barm brack you trend gently R up to a protruding block near the arete, which is followed to the top.
Brains E2 5b 40m
T. Ryan & M. Van Dome, Oct. 1991.
An excellent companion to 'Thunderbirds' with which it shares the peg belay. Traverse R from the belay under the overhang to a short, leaning wall. The crux moves are up this to gain a spectacular position on the short arete on the R. Follow this to the wall just R of the of the main arete of Great Wall, where a thin crack brings you to a ledge on that arete. Continue up, keeping more or less to the arete until you reach a short groove where the arete becomes loose and overhung, about 10m from the top. Step onto the L wall and climb carefully past a projecting block.