Killary Crags

From Irish Climbing Wiki

Killary Upper Crags (Pats Crag)



Location: This crag is situated approx. 2km West of Bundorragha Pier on the northern shore of Killary harbor, Co. Mayo. Parking at Pier, or in lay-by at the end of small road 0.5 km beyond Bundurragha Grid Ref: L822632 Walk In 25 mins

Character: A small crag of generally clean, fast drying, volcanic tuff, routes on the upper crag range from 6-16 meters. The climbs once cleaned are generally solid, though the occasional hold can be brittle on less popular routes. Protection varies but majority of routes are well protected. A range of cams and off-set wires are handy, some of the harder walls follow pockets where tri-cams may prove useful

A few harder routes have been included which are either projects or climbed with protection already in place. These offer good potential for training, or onsight ascents for stronger climbers. Any route not led ground up has been given a technical grade only.

Climbs described left to right

Two sections of slabby rock/ walls mark the far left end of the upper crag, the first route takes the faint left trending crack line in the right slabby wall

R00a. Mind your own Business 9m Severe 4a
Clement Quinn 2011
A lovely little climb, starting Left of West Wing on a clean brown slab which faces out towards Killary Harbour. Start at left arete of slab, climb straight delicate slab passing shallow cracks.

Peeping Tom V Diff 9mCarl Maddox
Carl Maddox
Start right of Mind Your Own Business. Follow faint right-trending crack up slab then on to left trending crack where gear can be placed, follow crack to finish. Ciaran Lennon,

R00b. West Wing 9m V.Diff
Peter Cody, Lena Doherty Nov.2009
Start just left of 'First Lady' at leftwards slanting ledges. Follow ledges left to to step into triangular niche (short crux), from niche follow crack to top.

1. First Lady 10m V.Diff
Lena Doherty, Peter Cody Nov. 2009
Follow easy slabs to obvious, left trending crack line, hand traverse the crack then finish straignt up the short crack.

1b. GBH 10m Severe 4a
Graham Brooks, Mark Bonner Spring 2010
Start 3-4 meters right of First lady, in obvious short steep corner, climb directly up corner to tricky move to gain ledge, finish easily up chimney

1c. Phat Chimney 10m Ungradable
Barry Smith, Carl Maddox, April 1998
The entertaining chimney formed by the detached block

2. Thin Lizzy 8m VS4b
Carl Maddox Solo, April 1998
Lay back the arete on the right side of the massive detached block, until a good hold on the left wall can be reached.

2a. Happy Days * 9m VS 4b
Hugh Hunter, Richie Byrne, Spring 2010
Start right of Thin Lizzy, at triangular niche capped by overhang. Layback to overhang, and pull through strenuously to easier finish. A nice little climb

2b. BFG 8m Hard Severe 4b
Richie Byrne, Hugh Hunter, Spring 2010.
The right side of the arete has some short steep grooves. Climb grooves direct.

2c. Would you ever shut up about that Rock 9m Severe 4a
Mark Bonner, Graham Brooks Spring 2010
Start at groove/ corner, four meters right of BFG, higher up and above the boulders. Up corner /groove directly.


3. Hide n Seek 16m HS
J. Healy, Achill OEC, July 2018
Start a few metres right of Hammer Man, beneath a groove. Climb up to groove to good hold at 4m and make a committing step up and right onto the slab. Continue more easily to the top.

3a. Hammer Man 16m V.Diff
Graham Brookes, Mark Bonner, Nov 2009
Start to the left of the main slabs, 3 meters right of jumbled rocks/ boulders. Step up on positive holds and continue straight up short slabs and overlaps, into large open groove, follow this to finish.

4. Pink Slab Possy 14m V.Diff
Barry Smith, Carl Maddox, May 1998
Left side of main slab, steep start on good holds, follow cracks then trend left to corner and crack finish

5. Slab and Tickle 14m Diff
Carl Maddox, Barry Smith, May 1998
Start in center of slab, keeping just left of side wall, as slab reaches top wall, ascend obvious open crack to finish

5b. Paddy G 12m 5c/6a
A hard and steep line, offering great climbing. Start just right of the slabs, climb directly up the steep, thin arete to the overhanging crack. Hard moves through the lip of the overhang (crux) led to the steep upper wall where tired arms meet the top

6. Killary Overhang*** 16m E3 6a
Kevin Kilroy, Claire Hardy 4/5/2023 (lead onsight)
The obvious overhanging crack line, to the right of the main slabs. Climb the clean corner on the right, make a powerful move to gain base of hanging crack line. Ape along in a gravity defying manner and pull over/ fall off the lip

6a. Leenane Crack *** E4 6a 20m
Kevin Kilroy, Claire Hardy 3/5/2023
The leftward leaning crack, right of Killary Overhang offers excellent steep well protected climbing. The large block on the left at the top is detached and should be treated with care but isn't needed for gear or holds. Flash/Onsight first ascent after abseil inspection to remove a very loose block which produced a large foothold down and left of the crack. This may well become loose after a winter or two and should not affect the grade.

Right of the overhangs is a large chimney feature, sadly loosing its trouser snagging brambly character due to a massive increase in popularity from the Mayo climbing community (both of them!)

7. Gardeners Delight * 14m VS4c
Lisa Milner, Barry Smith May 1998
The obvious chimney crack is followed throughout. Well protected

Just right of Gardeners delight is a short cleaned corner, with cracks high up on the left wall

8. Fire Starter * 14m HVS 5a
Start at clean corner, bridge up this to grass ledge, traverse left on good foot holds to steep crack, make a couple of hard moves, finishing directly up crack. Good Protection

A sharp right in the crag presents a steep, square cut jutting wall

The wall just right gives a Moderate route 'Passage West' 9meters

9. Portwest 9m 5b/c
Some thin an delicate moves up the right side of the wall
Top rope only

10. Starboard Enterprise * 11m VS 4b
Carl Maddox, Barry Smith 2000
Start as for Portwest, traverse right to arete, follow left side of arete, before moving left to finish up thin crack. Bold start.

11. Donegal Redneck * 10m Severe 4a
Henry Wilkinson, Hugh Hunter, Nov 2009
Follow the cleaned corner, 3 meters left of 'Naked Lady'. Climb the corner direct, short crux at mid-height

11a. MC Casey 9m HS 4b
Michelle Casey, 2010
A slightly eliminate line, but offering soma nice worthwhile, and mostly independent climbing. Start at mid point arete, between Donegal Redneck and First Lady. Follow short grooves and ledges, hardest at start and finishing moves.

12. Naked lady * 10m S4b
Carl Maddox, 2005
The obvious corner left of the overhanging bouldering area. A steep bouldering style start leads to a cracked corner with slabs to the left. Go straight up corner, using helpful hold on the slabs

BOULDERING Some good boldering is available on the upper crag
a. Around the overhangs between Naked lady and muddy gully
b. Long traverses between the over hangs and right end of the right wall
c. The short walls to right of main crag, as passed on approach


A muddy gully marks the start of the Right wall climbs in Killary upper, The slabby grooves just right of the gully mark the first route

13. Jungle Train 14m M-VD
Plenty of variation on the slabby grooves to right of muddy gully

14. Pick Pocket 13m V.Diff
Larry Hunt 1997
Follow quartz vein/ groove to rock spike, from top of spike, step right onto sloping ledge and water worn cracks. Follow cracks to top, looking for the high finger pocket

15. Fingerlicker * 12m VS 4c
Carl Maddox, Barry Smith
Start 1-2 meter right of Pick Pocket, move easily to base of steep finger crack, make powerful moves up crack line and finish either directly from top recess or step left onto finish of pick pocket
Indirect start HVS 5a, start right of fingerlicker, up thin cracks to delicate traverse line leading to finger crack of original route

16. Wonder Wall 12m E2 5b
Alex Russell 2022
2-3meters right of fingerlicker, a hard direct start leads to faint cracks leading to overhang, a big reach through to good holds to finish

17. Teenage Wasteland 12m VS 4c
Peter V. / Juraj Georgievsky 2006
Start in center of wall below left-right overhang. Straight up to overhang, making a tricky then delicate move trending up and rightwards to upper slab

18. Jelly Legs 11m E2 5c
Barry Smith, Carl Maddox 1999, (one fall on 1st Ascent, not yet climbed clean).
1-2 meters left of groovy baby, straight up pocketed wall, passing shallow grooves to top

The right side of the wall, has a deceptive looking blocky groove

19. Groovy Baby 10m VS4b
Carl Maddox, Richard Beird 1999
Climb into the groove, using a double layback, follow groove to top, a small wire and boggy landing protect the start

20. HNC Arete 10m HS4b
Carl Maddox, Richard Beird 1999
Start 1.5, meters right of Groovy baby, follow faint arete and cleaned groove to top, spaced but good protection when found

21. Strangely Aroused 14m HS4b
Michelle Casey, Dave 'Big Wave' Whelan,Spring 2010
Start 1-2 meters right of HNC Arete. Climb to blocky ledge below steep thin crack, climb crack making an awkward layback to gain sloping ledge, continue straight up to finish.

22. Sin E 16m V Diff
Dave 'Big Wave' Whelan, Michelle Casey,Spring 2010
Start a few meters right of Slightly aroused, at a large boulder. Climb onto boulder using large off-width crack (boulder start) to gain slabby cracks running L/R. Follow cracks easily to finish.

23. Sasta 15m V Diff
Dave 'Big Wave' Whelan, Michelle Casey,Spring 2010
Another bouldering start 2-3 meters right of Sin E. Bouldering start to easier finish.

Killary Crags – Harbour Crag

This crag is approx ten minutes walk beyond Killary Upper Crag, follow the natural grass ramp which leads from the base of the upper wall routes and descends steadily on approach to the harbour crag. The crag offers a good mix of climbing, including good quality crack climbs, slab routes, steep grooves, aretes and walls. Protection on the majority of routes is good. There are also some slightly bold line's, this should be indicated in the route descriptions. The crag so far has around thirty five developed routes, with plenty of scope for further development.

Route Length 10 - 20 meters Protection mostly good, a range of cams and off-set wires useful


To the left of Honeysuckle crack, are three obvious lines.

6 meters left of Honeysuckle crack, on far left of buttress, is a short arete and slab.

Silent Forty 12m S 4a
Carl Maddox,Keith Nevin, August 2012.
Start steeply on arete to base of slab, a delicate move gains top of slab, easier ground to top.

Failure After School 15m VS 5a
Ciaran Lennon 18-06-13
3m right of silent forty. bouldery start on overhang to a crack line. keep left to avoid hollow sounding blocks near the top.

Two good and obvious lines between Silent Forty and Honey suckle have been explored, in need of a final clean. First line direct through overhangs to blocks thin crack finish is around 5c with a hard start. Rain stopped play so ones to return to.

1a. Mr Keith 15m HS 4b
Keith Nevin, Carl Maddox, August 2012.
Start as for Honey Suckle Crack, going straight up to overhanging Arch, move left out of arch, traversing delicately following a left trending overlap (crux) easier cracks finish straight up. Nice, technical climbing.

1.Honey Suckle Crack 14m HS 4a/b
Carl Maddox, Sinead Mulhearn June 1999.
Left hand crack/ direct start (4c)

2.Stredel 18m HVS 4c/5a
Led on pre placed protection and top rope practice, not yet onsighted (Bold!)

3. Wonderly Wagon 14m V Diff
Carl Maddox, 2004

4.Clares Route 14m S 4a
Clare Wheatley, 2004

5.The Fly 16m S 4a
Carl Maddox, 2010.


6.Midnight Cruiser 10m VD

7.The Night Crawler 10m D

8.Nashanator 9m D
Mary Nash 2009.

9.Difference of Opinion 10m VD
Henry Wilkinson, Hugh Hunter 2009.

10.Hughes Route 10m S 4a
Hugh Hunter 2009.

11.Henrys Route 10m HS 4b
Henry Wilkinson 2009.

12.Spider Pig 12m HS 4b
Carl Maddox, Neil McAloon, 2010.

13.Shane's Route 9m VD
Shane Treacy, 2009.

14.Noisy Neighbors 9m D
Richie Byrne, 2009.

15.The Panther 8m VD
Peter Cody, 2009

16.Jammie Dodger 8m D
Richie Byrne, 2009


17. Towering Inferno 10m VS 4a/b
Clare Wheatley, 2010.

18.Jessica Rabbit 10m Severe 3c
Carl Maddox (Solo) 2010.

19.Mad-dog's Whacky Warehouse 8m Diff
Carl Maddox (Solo) 2010.

20.The Sloth Returns 9m HS 4b
Carl Maddox, Patrick Gethings 2010.

21.Laurel and Hardy 8m Severe 4a
Shane Treacy, Peter Cody 2009.

22.Paddy Wagon 9m V Diff
Patrick Gethings, 2009.

23.Jumanji 12m Severe 4a
Patrick Gethings, 2009.

24.Walk the Line 18m VS 5a
Carl Maddox 2009.

25.San Quentin 18m E2 6a


26.Vanilla Ice 20m Severe 4a
Graham Brookes, 2009

27.Great Central 20m V.Diff
Carl Maddox, 2004.

28.Lyons 10m S 4a
Maura Lyons, 2009

29.Speckled Hen 18m E3 6a

30.Burn Out 20m VS 4c
Henry Wilkinson, 2009.

30 a.Ring of Fire 20m E1 5a

31. Black Baron 20m VS 4c
Carl Maddox 2009.

32.Hairline Crack 14m S 4a
Carl Maddox 1999.


Killary Crags Northwest

This information is taken from New Climbs 1981.

A gritstone edge above Killary Harbour on flank of Mweelrea. It lies on the end of Killary Harbour, about 300ft up from the shore and one third of a mile east of long beach on the Mayo side of Killary Bay.
Sheet 37 OS Discovery Series. GR 770 665.
The edge is approached either from the roadhead leading to the beach or by boat from Gubbandabo Quay.The beach is followed for about a mile from the road then the Killary shore for about one third of a mile to a small cove, which can be reached by boat. The edge is 300 ft directly up the hillside.
The edge can be divided roughly into three tiers of sizeable buttresses. The first tier encountered has a tree growing out of it; no routes here. The second tier is up and to the L of the first tier. It extends onto the west flank of the hillside overlooking the beach in a short section of 80 ft. slabs. The highest, third tier has one large (50 ft.) impressive buttress, with a good niche crack (unclimbed) and some smaller buttresses to the R. Going R from this buttress the routes are:

IMG 20180220 211722 (1).jpg

1. Deprivation 30ft M.S.
Fenner, Kelcey.
On the first buttress to the R with a stone wall abutting it.
Follow a flake, then the R arete.

2. Y Crack 25 ft. V. Diff.
Kelcey (solo)
R past some vegetated is a good buttress with a Y-shaped crack on L wall.
Follow crack throughout.

3. Mania 20 ft. S.
Fenner, Kelcey.
R-ward slanting flake on outside face of 'Y-Crack'.

4. Nutty Slab 20ft. Diff
Kelcey (solo)
Next to the R is an unclimbed buttress.

The next buttress has an easy slab on the L side.

5. Diff Chimney 25 ft. S.
Kelcey, Fenner.
R is a pinnacle, detached from buttress, giving a chimney on the L and an overhang on the R.
Climb overhang and finish easily.

6. The Banana Hang 20ft. VS (5a+)
Kelcey, Fenner.
On R-hand side wall of buttress.
Climbs a desperately overhanging flake close to the arete.

On the Second Tier.

7. Happy Landings 20ft. VS (5a)
Kelcey (solo)
On this tier, on the R-hand side, there is a buttress split on the R by a broadgrass ramp/terrace. To the L of this ramp, where it meets the ground, there is a short steep wall, split by spaced horizontal cracks. Climb the wall, then finish easily.

8. Danny Dammit 60 ft. S.
Fenner, Kelcey.
50 yds. to the L of the above climb there is a wall, with a mass of slabs around the arete on the L.
Climb 5 ft. to the R of arete, passing a grassy corner on its R-hand side, up a faint groove, past some blocks onto slabs.

9. Wild Wobble 30ft. V. Diff
Kelcey, Fenner
Slab around arete from previous route.

10. Pollux 30ft M.S.

11. Castor 30ft. M.S.
Kelcey, Fenner
These two climbs lie on two clean slabs separated by grassy corner 30 yds. to the L of previous route, past some vegetated slabs.

To the L are some more vegetated slabs, but then there are 60 yds. of 80 ft high clean slabs yielding three routes.

12. Stony Staircase 80ft. Diff
Kelcey, Fenner
Climb R-hand side of slabs from lowest rocks, taking final overhang direct.

13. Tobin's Eliminate 80ft. HS
Fenner, Kelcey.
L of start of 'Stony Staircase' is a short ramp running R-wards to arete.
Climb a a bulging slab about 5 yds. L of bottom of ramp. Easier variations to L or R (4c by line climbed). From grassy footledge above slab , head up diagonally L to a downward-sloping blocky overhang. Climb overhang by square-cut scoop between blocks. Finish direct.

14. Pangs 50ft. HS
Start: 30 yds. L of 'Tobin's Eliminate'. Above is an obvious thin slanting groove, heading R-wards. Climb straight up to, and over, bulge L of groove. Finish up slabs.