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Printed guidebook available here

There are three minor climbing crags in Glenmalure and another two in Baravore Valley above Glenmalure. Although the climbing interest in this area is rather limited the wild remote setting adds an ingredient that should reward the visiting climber's day. The valley lies to the south of Glendalough, beyond a ridge of mountains and is reached by following the Military Road south of Laragh across an upland pass (The Three Crosses) to Drumgoff cross-roads (T 107 909) north of the bridge over the Avonbeg River. Turn right into Glenmalure at this cross.

TODO add a map of the various locations here.


This crag is about 5 minutes walk west of the Glenmalure Hotel to the right of the road to Baravore. From the road it is almost completely hidden from view by the surrounding woodland but it can be clearly seen from the old barracks just across the valley. The crag is a narrow high outcrop of tough schistose rock. It is very steep with a large overhang at mid-height. Though having a rather vegetated appearance the rock is generally sound and the two routes that have been cleaned and recorded offer some good climbing in exposed situations. N.B. The cliff is a peregrine nesting site which puts climbing here out of bounds from April to July. The following two routes take the main front face of the crag, starting either side of a large nest.

NECK TIE 37m HVS (5a)
Start midway up a vegetated ramp to the left of the nest site. Climb up and left to the niche below the overhang. Climb the overhang on good jugs and step right to the base of a leftward-trending crack. Follow this crack for about 12m and then finish directly up the wall.
P. Breen, T . O Brien, May 1989.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT * 42m E1 (5b)
Start just to the right of the nest below a V-notch in the roof. Climb with difficulty onto the obvious nose. Move steeply right to the base of leftward-trending slabs. Follow the slabs to a perch immediately beneath the roof. Climb the overhang by moving horizontally left and then up on good holds and jams in a very exposed position. Step right and then continue, trending leftwards, up the face to the top.
P. Breen, T . O Brien, May 1989.


This is a small 5-6 meters high outcrop directly on the road that goes east from the Glenmalure Hotel towards Rathdrum. The crag is encountered on the left about 2-3 minutes from the hotel. It is a small schistose crag for bouldering, however also a bit highball.

Tosser's Delight Tim O'Connell

Sunny Paradise Tim O'Connell

Pill Tissue Tim O'Connell


The crag is on the northern side of Glenmalure (Ref. T073 941) approximately 4 km up the valley from Drumgoff.

Leave the road just beyond a tree-enclosed house opposite cowsheds about 300m south east of the car-park at Baravore Ford; the scramble up over the boulder-strewn, bracken-infested slope takes about 30 minutes. It makes a lot of sense to visit this crag before the bracken rears its ugly head from about mid-June. After that date anyone going there without a machete risks becoming suicidal. The best approach might be a diagonal from the carpark at the ford.

The buttress is more than 50m high but is broken at about mid-height by an offset terrace. Much of the face is subject to winter seepage which accounts for the black moss which somewhat disfigures the appearance of the crag from the climber's perspective. A few of the routes are quite dirty but in general the climbing is of an enjoyable if hardly inspirational nature with proficiency in steep slab work being the main skill required. The routes are described from left to right as one faces the buttress. An important reference point is the large holly tree at the bottom centre. The routes starting from the base of the buttress are first described and then those from the offset terrace above.

Pole Roack got its name from a pole fixed there to support a ropeway to bring turf cut on the upper slopes into the valley below.

Download topos of the crag at Page 245

Download topos of the next 4 routes at Glenmalure North 1

BEE LINE 17m VS (4c)
Start to the left of the left edge of the main face and climb directly up between two faint crack-lines to two giant blocks, one above the other. Finish up over the blocks and belay a little to the right.
J. Lyons, 23/8/1992.

DAEDALUS* 20m VS (4c)
Start at the left side of the main face, below an arête. Climb the arête on its right side. The crux is a high step up to a smear at half-height. Finish up over the blocks above as for Bee-line
J. Lyons, July 1989.

HIDDEN AGENDA * 21m E1 (5b)
This thin, eliminate-type climb takes a direct line up the face to the right of Daedalus and just left of a black mossy streak. Start about 1 - 2m right of Daedalus at a crack.
Climb left of this crack to a horizontal break. Continue upwards with hard moves around a circular area of white rock. Pass blocks with care and also the larger block above. Protection is sparse; "Friends" will be needed.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 14/10/1989.

Download topos of the next 4 routes at Glenmalure North 2

Start just a little to the right of Hidden Agenda and follow a direct line between two parallel black mossy streaks.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 14/10/1989.

CIÚNAS * 25m VS (4c)
Follows a steep line just left of centre on the buttress. Start from about 4-5m left of the holly tree. Climb up to a short crack-line and to a horizontal crack and then slant up right to an overhang which is surmounted near its right side. Continue up the right-trending, juggy crack until another crack leads out left. Follow this to a smooth lichenous scoop. Move up this to below a steep bulge and climb this poorly protected section to finish on a grassy ledge.
S.R. Young, B. Davies, 5/9/1975.

BLAST OFF 52m VS (4c,4a)
In a very dirty state, it could hardly be climbed without prior cleaning. The first pitch is not well protected. Start just left of the holly tree near the centre of the buttress.
1. 27m Climb the steep slab on good holds to a small ledge beneath an overhang and move diagonally left along a short, open, greasy crack to the base of the wall. Climb the wall going up and right on small widely-spaced holds, following the rough line of a shallow vegetated groove to reach a wide, grassy ledge. Belay at the back of the ledge.
2, 25m Climb the slabs at the back of the ledge diagonally right via quartzy seams to reach the base of a crack at 8m and climb this up the centre of the face, finishing on small holds towards the top. Belay well back.
J. Hastings, D. McNulty, February 1977.

Download topos of the next 3 routes at Glenmalure North 3

Start behind the holly tree moving in from the left and follow a more or less direct line to the top, at first up the right side of the raised narrow section of slab to a vegetated ledge and then up a crack and slab directly to the top, finishing to the right of the crux of Ciúnas.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 14/10/1989.

NO LINGERING ** 25m HVS (5a)
Start immediately right of the holly tree. Climb the slab to reach blocky rock to the left of the overhang. Traverse right beneath this for several metres to the base of an arête forming the left wall of the obvious chimney. Move up and gain the slab above on the left side of the exposed arête. Make delicate balance moves up along the arête towards easier ground and the finish.
J. Lyons, 1/7/1989.

LEFTIESWELL * 27m S (4a)
Start on the right side of the buttress, right of the holly tree, under and slightly left of the obvious chimney at half-height.
1. 18m Climb the slab, trending right to the base of the chimney. Climb the right wall of the chimney to a grassy terrace and belay.
2. 9m Crux pitch. Go straight up from the top of the chimney which narrows to a crack with two awkward moves. Belay well back.
D. Walsh, P. Donnelly, D. Ó Murchú, 4/10/1974.

Download topos of the next 3 routes at Glenmalure North 4

Also download topos of the next 5 routes at Glenmalure North full

Start just right of Leftieswell about 8m right of the holly tree and at a right-trending quartz crack.
1. 15m Follow the thin knobby quartz line up to the ledge, continue up left of loose blocks to another ledge and then go diagonally right to finish at the belay ledge.
2. 10m Climb out left and go up the slab to the Leftieswell chimney; finish up just right of the chimney via the slab. Struggle through furze to belay well back on the terrace.
S.R. Young, J. Leonard, 14/8/1977.

This eliminate type slab climb, which has an unprotected crux, starts 2m to the left of the Cyclone Corner crack below a steep narrow slab going up to the left side of an overhang with a holly tree.
Climb the delicate slab (avoiding any recourse to the crack) working gradually left towards the top to a small pedestal foothold on the left side of the slab above a heather ledge. Edge back right and pull up on the rounded top edge of the slab to the break just left of the overhang. Continue up the easier slab to the left of the overhang to the terrace.
J. Lyons, 23/8/1992.

Start at the bottom right of the buttress at a partly vegetated crack which runs up to an overhang with a holly tree. Nature is reclaiming this route.
1. 22m Climb the crack to the overhang. Move out slightly left onto the steep slab and around the overhang (crux) to a stance. Climb the corner above, which is awkward to start. Belay at the terrace.
2. 30m Start in the middle of the wall (just right of Stone Maiden) about 2m left of the obvious crack. Climb up on small edges passing a diagonal crack to just below a horizontal break. Move out left to a heathery stance. Move up and diagonally right along a crack for about 6m and gain
a slabby edge. Follow this to the top
J. Leonard, P. Sloane, P. O Connor, August 1977.

The following two climbs start off the higher left-hand level of the offset grassy terrace.

Gives a good finish to Leftieswell. From the top of Leftieswell climb the centre of the obvious slab on good hidden holds to the top.
B. Proctor, S.R. Young, 11/2/1975.

Start at the right-hand end of the higher terrace at an area of light-coloured quartzy rock. Go up a short curving crack and the short horizontal joints above it to reach the base of a crack. Climb the smooth slab to the left of the crack (crux)to finish.
J. Lyons 23/8/1992.

The next four routes start off the lower right-hand grassy terrace. This terrace can be reached by scrambling up the right-hand side of the buttress.

GRANISTER 16m S (4a)
Start at the left side of the terrace below a dirty corner. Climb up just to the right of a right-trending quartzy crack, to the small overhang. Go straight up over the overhang and belay on a block.
B. Proctor, S.R. Young, 11/2/1975.

Start just to the right of Granister. Surmount the slight bulge (thread runner above it), move right and climb up just left of the narrow chimney over short horizontal joints until just level with the top of Granister. Finish up the tiers of rock and vegetation to the right of the arête.
B. Proctor, S.R. Young, 11/2/1975.

Takes the long crack 4m to the right of Stone Maiden which leads up into the narrow chimney on the left side of the small overhang. Bridge up the crack and chimney to the top.
J. Lyons, 23/8/1992.

TOE THE LINE 15m VS (4b)
Start just right of Sleep-Walker and climb up a small ledge and the smooth wall to beneath the right-hand side of the overhang. Up past the break and work out right for 2m on small footholds to gain a short wide crack. Up this to finish.
J. Lyons, 23/8/1992.


(also known as Fraughan Rock Glen or The Three Valleys or Bolinaskea - Buaile na Sciatha ) is approached by crossing the ford/bridge on the Avonbeg at Baravore turning towards the hostel and after 100m heading up the obvious spur to the left of the old mine building. On reaching the forest road follow it in a generally southwest to west direction until the scree slopes on the right-hand side of the valley come into sight above the forest, more or less directly ahead. Follow a slightly descending section of the track to a sharp left-hand bend,marked on the left by a large boulder, and continue for 100m to the foot of the falling ground. Turn in to the right and skirt some scraggy trees to a moraine which leads up through the forest to steep grass and heather slopes. Above can be seen a prominent gully to the left of The Rock of Baravore -a vegetated wall of rock forming the rim of the valley. This is known to climbers as Great Gully and is reached from the car park in less than one hour.
The setting is wild and impressive with some excellent climbing. The Gully is 250m higher than Glendalough crag and so is more prone to cold winds. It shows its magnificence best on a fine day while in dull weather it can provide preparation for the Alps. Unstable or loose blocks are possible, due to the thin, serrated nature of the ridge, and care should always be exercised. Active erosion in the higher reaches of the gully makes descent difficult and unpleasant, particularly in rock boots. An abseil chain has been placed at the top of Great Gully Route. If this is to your satisfaction it will just be possible to reach the gully floor by using two 50m ropes. The climbs are found on the right-hand side when facing up the Gully and are described from the bottom upwards.

See the location of the crag at Routes 22 & 45 and location of crag

Download topos of the crag at Page 251

This route starts at a toe of rock at the bottom right side of the gully, 2m to the right of the Great Gully Route corner.
Gain the narrow slab delicately from the left and climb up to a small overhang which is taken on its front face. Move left and up the short grassy corner to a heather ledge beneath an undercut hanging groove. Gain the groove with difficulty and reach up to a horizontal break. Traverse out left onto the steep slab and climb up steeply to reach a narrow foot-ledge at the break. Continue up the centre of the slab and easier blocks beyond to gain a good thread and flake belay on the right side of the ridge. To escape, scramble down to the right.
J. Lyons, M. McSherry, 13/9/1992.

GREAT GULLY RIDGE ** 140m HS (4a,3c,4b,4a)
This climb takes a line up the rock ridge which bounds the right-hand side of Great Gully; good clean climbing in a very fine situation. Best enjoyed with not more than 4 people on the route to savour the full flavour. Big groups take away from the experience and the tail-enders can expect to arrive home late.
Start in the corner at the bottom right of the gully.
(1) 10m Climb the corner to wide crack. Belay under a roof at the top of crack
(2) 45m Gain the ridge and follow it directly to large stepping stones and easy ground.
(3) 40m Move rightwards up steps and then climb a crack in the right corner of the slab above (crux) or more easily move up right via leaning corners and then back left above the crack. Gain height to a large platform visible from below.
(4) 45m Move rightward to a short grassy wall. Move left up this for 3m to the base of a chimney with jammed blocks. Climb these to the top. Pitch not identified by anyone who sought it. It may describe going up via the off-width crack in the variation below.
Variation: (4a) Climb a short grassy bank and step up left onto a wide ledge beneath an overhanging off width crack. Move on and down to the end of the ledge (belaying here reduces rope drag) and step up onto a small heathery ledge in a corner. Climb the corner to a ledge and continue up a cracked wall above it. Scramble across the face to a pointed detached block. Finish up the slope behind this.
J. Morrison, A. Kopczynski, 1951. Rediscovered by Richard Dean and A. Latham about 1980. They (re)named it "McAlpine's Back Passage"

Overview Of Great Gully Ridge


Photo: Nick Simons

Rock climbing toppo. Lower section of Great Gully.
Lower section of Great Gully.

D-FOR-DOG* 18m VS (4b)
Start just left of Great Gully corner at the bottom of the obvious clean slab. Climb the arête to the overhang and follow the parallel cracks to the ridge.
Paul Kavanagh. Ray Morrissey, Summer 2003

FLAKE* 15m E1 (5b)
Start 15m up on the right side of the gully. Climb broken rock to a grassy ledge beneath the triangular face. Follow the crack-line, trending leftwards to the sharp flake then move rightwards to finish at the boulder on the ridge.
Ray Morrissey, Paul Kavanagh, March 2000

THE RAMP 15m VS (4b)
Take the steep ramp to the left of the triangular face to the large overhang. Move right to finish.
Ray Morrissey. Paul Kavanagh Summer 2003

Rock climbing toppo. Mid section of Great Gully.
Mid section of Great Gully.

Previously incorrectly labeled as "Z BACKWARDS". That climb is in fact further up the gully under a similar little overhang. This error made it into the 2009 printed guidebook.
Follow the ramp to under the overhang. Move high and left under the overhang before stepping right to gain the crack above.
Unknown first accent.

LET THE HARE SIT 20m VS (4a/4b)
From the top of the detached block this route takes the line via the short cracks above it (crux)then up easier ground on good holds to the half way mark. Veer up steeply right on large holds and good friction a meter or so in from the right edge to gain G.G.Ridge.
Tom Irving. Christy Rice. 15th June 2014.

THREE MAD SHEEP (Great Gully) 27m VS (High in the grade)
Start on the right hand side of the giant rock pedestal, where the pedestal butts up to the face two meters right of Pauls Crack. Pitch one 22 meters VS. Start at the very wide crack almost like a chimney at the bottom. Climb this all the way as it closes in to form a crack, difficulty increases with height. Athletically finish lay back moves from rounded pulls. Belay on top of grass ledge from nut on face and large block on top of Gully Crack. Pitch two S 5 meters. Step out right and climb wall above on rounded but good friction holds, tending steeply to right. Good belay on ridge.
Tom Irving, Christy Rice. Alt leads. August 24th 2013

Starts a further 20m up the gully. This route follows the obvious wide crack on the right side of the giant rock pedestal.
Ray Morrissey, Paul Kavanagh February 2003

Z BACKWARDS* 25m VS (4a/4b)
Start under the left end of the overhang. Move up and follow the well protected crack-line on the slab above.
Ray Morrissey, Paul Kavanagh March 2003

Starts 8m to the left of Paul's Crack below the overhangs. Move diagonally to the right climbing the obvious fault (blocks). Climb the overhang (beware loose block) on to the face and follow the thin fault-line up the face to the horizontal crack and finish directly above. (poor protection)
Ray Morrissey. Paul Kavanagh

A further 20m or so up the gully, this route follows the obvious wide crack on the left-hand side of the giant rock pedestal where it meets the main face.
Ray Morrissey, Paul Kavanagh March 2003

The following climbs are found in a recessed area on a mainly clean but crack-riven face capped by a projecting triangular block. Scramble up grassy slopes to reach the climbs.

Start near the right-hand side of ledges in a corner beneath an overhang. Climb the shattered corner/crackline system past the overhang, finishing right of the projecting overhang.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 6/7/2003

Start at a small overhanging recess.
Climb the recess and slant up right near the edge before taking a direct line upwards, a little to the left of the shattered crack of Flying Daggers. The crux is rather bold and delicate.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 6/7/2003

GALE ALLEY* 18m VS (4c)
Starts below two parallel clefts. Go up via the right-hand cleft and slightly right to a very small niche. Continue up to finish at the projecting block.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 6/7/2003

FULL TILT* 18m E1 (5b)
Starts beneath the left-hand cleft, left of "Gale Alley". Climb the cleft and the overlap above it to a small niche directly above. Finish by climbing up direct or veering a little to the right.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 6/7/2003

Starts in a slanting corner on the left side of the recessed slab. Clim past a small overhang and step right into a niche. Go up directly to finish.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 6/7/2003

Takes the narrow rounded slab left of "Inside Edge". Climb near the right-hand side of the slab, moving left near the top to finish. Bold, delicate climbing.
J. Lyons, D. Wall, 2/9/01

ALIX 20m S (4a)
Takes a cleaned crack to the left of the "Remembrance" slab. Climb this, trending leftwards onto a grassy ledge, beneath a large open crack. Continue up this to the ridge above.
Paul Kavanagh, July 2003.

The following climbs are on the last clean slab reachable from the gully floor.

PEPPA PIG** 20m E1 (5b)
Obvious corner below the clean wall of Eye-eye and Tower Crack. Good finger jamming, laybacking and bridging with some slab wobbling as well. Climb the right side of the slab to reach the hanging corner crack then climb that to the top.
Duncan Law, June 2019.

BABY SHARK* 25m E2 (5b)
Loosely follows the arête formed by 2 slabs. Some interesting features and a bouldery crux. Start below and left of the left end of a large hanging grassy ledge. Climb a small overhang to gain the grassy ledge. Arrange gear in the vertical corner at the right end of the ledge (which is surprisingly void of holds) then step up and left to gain a good hand hold in the thin crack close to the arête (crux). Pull up to good holds and a rest before stepping left round the arrete and following a slightly eliminate crack system to the top of the slab.
Duncan Law, June 2019.

Nice climbing that joins some interesting features but is ultimately escapable into RAMBLE for much of it's length. Start below and left of the left end of a large hanging grassy ledge. Climb a small overhang to gain the grassy ledge. From the leftmost end of the grassy ledge, make an easy but poorly protected move left onto the slab. Continue up the slab 1-2 meters from the arrete on the right. Eventually gear runs out so escape leftwards onto the obvious crack of RAMBLE and continue up that to the top.
Duncan Law, Summer 2020.

GRANDMA SHARK Variation 25m E1 (5a)
Climb GRANDMA SHARK until the gear gets scarce but continue up the slab at the top for the final few meters instead of escaping leftwards.
Duncan Law, Summer 2020.

RAMBLE 30m HS (4a)
An easy way to reach the ledge of Eye-eye and Tower Crack. Start on the blocky ledge as for Plinth then start up the left side of the slab until ½ height, taking care of some loose blocks in the corner. When the angle of the slab eases, gain the obvious cracks that lead up the center of the slab, finally topping out on the right hand side where it is easier to mantle onto the grassy ledge at the base of Tower Crack. From here it is possible (with care) to reach the final pitch of Great Gully Ridge by traversing right across the grassy ledges.
Ferghal Breathnach, July 2019.

PLINTH*** 30m VS (4c)
An exciting pitch through some unlikely terrain. Start at the base of the clean slab shortly before the gully narrows and becomes impassible. Mantle onto a blocky ledge at the base of the slab then follow the obvious crack system up the middle of the slab until at 2/3rds height it is possible to move left to a detached flake on the front of the broken pillar of Obelisk. Impressive moves on good jugs lead up this flake then continue up the easier ground above to belay. From here it’s possible to traverse the steep grassy ledges with care to Left Crack, Right Crack or continue up Obelisk.
Duncan Blom, July 2019.

The following climbs are found in the headwall area, in the upper reaches of Great Gully. They are described from left to right and are reached by carefully traversing in rightwards over vegetated ledges.

WINDRUSH 23m HS (4b)
Start to the left of the buttress beneath a series of clefts. Follow the cleft-line to ledges and move up to the left of the overhang to finish via a crack at jammed blocks.
J. Lyons, D. Wall 9/10/1994

LEFT CRACK * 25m VS (4c)
Start below and to the left of Windrush at a cracked rib of rock. Climb this, going slightly left to gain the left-hand crack which finishes on the right side of a rocking block. Go right to reach the base of an overhanging corner which is climbed on small holds to belay in a niche just below the cliff-top.
J. Lyons, S. Ó Hanlon. 27/9/1992.

RIGHT CRACK * 25m VS (4c)
Start as for Left Crack but move over to the right-hand crack and climb it to the overhanging corner which is again surmounted as for Left Crack
J. Lyons, S. Ó Hanlon. 27/9/1992.

OBELISK ** 45m HVS (5a)
This route is visible as a broken pillar of rock from the gully below it. Reach the start by further traversing down to the right of Right Crack to obvious clean cracks or by climbing Plinth from the gully below.
Climb the cracks to a blocky ledge (beware loose blocks) and continue up over sound blocks to a crack going diagonally left across a wall. Work across left here and climb a steep cracked groove to a partial rest-point just below a square-cut ledge on the right. Gain this directly or traverse right to reach better holds before pulling up onto a short overhanging corner which is climbed as for Left Crack and Right Crack
J. Lyons, M. McSherry, 13/9/1992.

The next group of climbs are further right, on that section of the headwall directly behind the ridge above the recessed slab area.

WINK** 25m HVS (5a)
Climb through the obvious triangular niche in the otherwise clean wall and proceed up the thin crack above. Tend leftwards as you go up, using another thin crack and eventually the corner to the left. When the corner starts to get vegetated, it is possible to escape onto a ledge on the wall to the left. Protection for belaying at the top can be hard to find so it is recommended to carefully walk rightwards to the top of EYE-EYE and belay there.
Duncan Law, Summer 2021.

EYE-EYE*** 25m E2 (5b)
Well protected climbing up the thin cracks in the clean wall left of the upper pitch of Great Gully Ridge. Twin ropes helpful. Start below the obvious triangular niche in the otherwise clean wall. Climb the obvious crack to gain the triangular niche then traverse right for 2-3 meters with feet at the height of the bottom of the niche until the next thin vertical crack can be reached. Climb this to the top on excellent wires and complicated fingerlocks.
Duncan Law, June 2019.

TOWER CRACK** 30m E1 (5b)
Follows the right-hand crack in the steep wall forming the left flank of this section of the headwall. Climb the well-protected crack, moving left near the top, past a slight overhang to finish.
R. Morrissey, P. Kavanagh, March 2000.

Moving left from the ridge below a frontal section of the headwall climb the obvious bulging crack to a ledge; Traverse left for 3m and climb ledges to a bulging corner crack. Climb this to an exciting airy finish (crux).
R. Morrissey, P. Kavanagh, Summer 2000.

Climb the obvious bulging crack to the ledge as for Castles in the Air but then finish directly above to the right.
R. Morrissey, P. Kavanagh, March 2000.

HAKUNA MATATA** 40m E2 (5c)
To the right of the obvious bulging crack is a smaller crack about 4m long. Climb this to the ledge above (good protection). Continue directly up to finish.
R. Morrissey, P. Kavanagh, March 2000.

The following route takes the steep arête-like ridge which forms the left side of Great Gully.

Not for the rock purist but nevertheless an interesting and sometimes demanding challenge on rock and heather up this steep, arête-like ridge. The route follows the crest of the ridge and climbs the main obstacles directly. It starts at a steep wall behind a tree and climbs the wall directly which is difficult and poorly protected at the top. The next major rock obstacle is taken partly on the right, going up and over a large rocking block. Rather easier but pleasant climbing on good rock towards the top of the ridge with panoramic views.
J. Lyons, S. O Hanlon, 27/9/1992.


This crag is at the northern end of the line of cliffs in Baravore Valley. Reach it by following the spur and forest road as in the description of Baravore Valley (Upper). This time however turn right at the first junction and after about 10 minutes take a rough track rising on the left through recently planted (circa 2000) forest. This track starts at a sweeping lefthand bend in the road and is directly opposite two mature pines, both with their tops lopped off (there is a clearing and a rocky outcrop below the two pines). The top of the crag can be seen from the start of the track, above the trees ahead. Follow the unplanted area up through a narrow gap in the trees and leave it when level with the foot of the crag to traverse sharply left, keeping close to the rock to avoid rough ground below. Failure to do this will leave you in an area of cunningly hidden, heather-covered holes between the boulders where even the mountain rescue may not find you. Pass through a grove of alder trees in a gully to reach the toe of the first buttress. 35 - 40 minutes from the hostel. As the crag is approached from the right the routes are described from right to left. Although the rock is sound and the climbing generally good the awkward access and resurgence of heather in the cracks detracts from the enjoyment of the crag.

ALDER BUTTRESS is the first buttress reached, to the left of the tree-filled gully.

ALDER AMBLER 39m VS (4b,4b)
Start at the lowest point of the buttress, on the left-hand side, below a crack slanting up right.
1. 24m Climb the crack to a ledge, pull up onto a block and move across and up left to a ledge on the edge of the slab. Gain a higher ledge and climb a short steep wall to the foot of a deep crack which splits the upper slab. Strenuous moves gain the crack which is followed to a wide ledge and thread belay.
2. 15m Move left and climb the wide crack running up to the right of the overhang, difficulty increases with height
G. Moss, E. Hackett, 20/2/1993.

SNOWFLAKES * 40m HVS (5a,4c)
Although escapable at several points it gives enjoyable climbing. Start 2m left of Alder Ambler, below a thin dogleg crack running up the right-hand edge of the steep face.
1. 25m Climb the crack to a ledge, traverse horizontally left for 2m and make a difficult move up to gain a short slanting crack (crux). Move left again and pull up into the slanting corner. Leave the corner by hand traversing out left from beneath the overhang and pull up into a small triangular cave. Make an awkward move out right to gain a ledge at the base of the upper slab. Delicate moves lead up the left edge to a wide ledge and belay.
2. 15m Follow the left edge of blocks to a stance below the left side of a short hanging slab. Hand traverse left along the lip of the slab and pull around into a niche. Easier climbing to the top.
G. Moss, H. Sharkey, 13/4/1993.
Variation: Direct Start 23m HVS (5b)1a Starting midway between Snowflakes and Alder Statesman climb directly up the wall via the short, thin vertical crack to gain the sloping crack of Snowflakes.
T. O Neill, H. Sharkey, G. Moss, 9/5/1995.


Snowflakes - direct start.

ALDER STATESMAN * 36m VS (4c,4b)
Start 3m left of Snowflakes, below the overhang.1. 21m Climb the cracks to the overhang. Move across left to gain the foot of a flake below the cave. Climb the flake and traverse left along the wide zig-zag crack to exit by a projecting block.
2. 15m Follow the wide crack to a ledge below and right of the overhang. Step left onto the slab and pull directly over the overhang on good holds.
G. Moss, H. Sharkey, 13/4/1993.

Start 5m up left of Snowflakes and just left of a large rowantree growing against the face. Climb the cracks and exit by aprojecting block onto a wide ledge. Climb the edge of the blocks to a stance below and left of the hanging slab. Makea delicate move up left onto the slab and climb the crack above.
E. Hackett, G. Moss, 20/2/1993.

The next two climbs are on ROWAN BUTTRESS to the left of and at right-angles to Alder Buttress.

Start at the bottom right of the buttress, in a corner below a series of overhangs and 4m above a large rowan tree.The first three overhangs are taken on the left, the fourth by a short lay-back crack. Above this step right and climb a thin crack to a ledge. A shallow corner and a block lead to a grassy bay with a short pillar and good belays.
G. Moss, H. Sharkey, 5/7/1993.

ROWAN ARÊTE * 27m HVS (5a)
Start at the bottom left of the buttress, beside a conifer, below and left of a rowan growing above an overhang.Pull up right onto a block, climb a short crack and a flake to gain a crack running up the left side of the arête. Follow the crack until it is possible to step right onto the arête and move up to a ledge. Difficult moves lead to a higher ledge at the foot of a short, steep section capped by an overhang. Climb the edge on small holds (crux), step right and jam up the crack which splits the overhang. A difficult mantelshelf is followed by easier climbing to a grassy bay with a short pillar and good belays.
G. Moss, B. Hannon, H. Sharkey, 5/7/1993.

The next five climbs are on HOLLY BUTTRESS which is to the left of, and around the corner from, Rowan Buttress. A large holly tree grows in a corner at its base.

Start 3m right of the holly tree, on a heather ledge below an overhang and just left of a small rowan tree.Climb a short left-trending ramp to reach a horizontal finger crack and traverse back right above the overhang. Delicate moves gain the upper slab and lead with continuing delicacy up its left edge to a sloping ledge behind the holly tree. Pull up onto a detached block and step onto the slightly overhanging wall. Steep climbing leads to a strenuous exit.
G. Moss, B. Hannon, 25/8/1993.

Start just left of the holly tree. Climb a flake and traverse right into the corner behind the tree. Climb this corner to a sloping ledge and pull up onto a detached block. Continue pleasantly up the corner with some difficult moves near the top.
G. Moss, B. Hannon, H. Sharkey, 5/7/1993.

Start just left of the holly tree. Climb a flake and traverse right into the corner behind the tree. Climb this corner to a good ledge below the shallow, overhanging scoop. Climb this (crux) and the short wall above.
G. Moss, H. Sharkey, 13/4/1993.

Start 3m left of the holly tree, just below and right of three rowan trees, at the foot of a thin crack. Steep climbing leads to a good ledge where the crack widens. Continue pleasantly up the crack to the overhang, surmount this (crux) and continue more easily to the top.
G. Moss, B. Hannon, H. Sharkey, 5/7/1993.

Start 3m left of Deck The Halls at the foot of the highest of the three rowan trees.
1. 13m Traverse rightwards to reach a sloping ledge behind the holly tree. Pull up onto a detached block and move across right to belay at the foot of the slab with an overhang on its left.
2. 10m Climb the slab - difficult to start and delicate to finish.
B. Hannon, G. Moss, 25/8/1993.

The next two climbs are on FRAUGHAN BUTTRESS which is about 15m left of the top of Holly Buttress. A rowan tree grows at its foot and another at the base of an obvious deep chimney.

Start at the small rowan tree at the foot of the buttress. Move up right to a ledge with a second rowan. Squeeze into the narrow chimney and climb it, moving left above to belay on the highest ledge.
H. Sharkey, G. Moss, 13/4/1993.

Takes the arête between the previous route and the next one.
T. O Neill, H. Sharkey, G. Moss, 9/5/1995.

Start as for Fraughan Chimney. Climb the corner to the left of the arête until it is possible to pull up into the grassy niche on the wall. Steep climbing on good holds leads via the jammed block to a belay as for the chimney.
H. Sharkey, G. Moss, 13/4/1993.

There is one final route in Barravore Valley on the opposite (south-east) side of the valley on the steep rocky buttress which descends leftwards, west of Art's Lough.

Takes a central line up the buttress to the left of a shallow, grassy gully.
J. Lynam, J. Shortell, November 1951.

Map of locations in Glenmalure