Little Killary

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Salruck Pass

A series of quartzite crags look north-west over Lough Muck on the lower slope of Benchoona, 5 minutes from the bridge. Two routes have been cleaned on the upper crag. Discovery sheet 37 grid L776615. Plenty of scope exists for further routes.

Rocfee 25m VS 4c 4c
F. Nugent, M. O'Driscoll. 31.7.1986
Climb left-trending fault in the centre of the crag. Easy until a finger-jamming crack is reached. Climb this to the top. Well protected.

The Warden 22m S
F. Nugent, M. O'Driscoll. 31.7.1986
Start to the right of Rocfee. Climb the next left-trending fault to exit by a clean groove.

Rosroe Peninsula

At the end of the long peninsula (Gob an dá Bó)sticking out into the Atlantic, west of Rosroe harbour and slipway, is a large slab about 15m. high and 60m. wide rising straight from the water and forming part of the northerly-facing side of the bay at the end of the peninsula. The traverse across is superb, with good slab moves on clean gritstone. The slab is about one mile west of the Hostel.

Quick Dip Traverse 60m 5b
T. Kelcey (solo)
Cross the slab just above the high water mark by sustained thin moves. Either direction possible, right to left best.

Little Killary

At the head of Little Killary Bay, just above the road to the (now closed and probably not signposted) An Óige Hostel at Rosroe harbour and slipway is a small escarpment. (Map ref. 778 642). This has yielded quite a few routes. Close to the road is a buttress forming a definite pinnacle, the climbs start from here and are numbered from left to right (west-east).

Little Killary crag from road

The Pinnacle


M. Perry, T. Kelcey. July 1983
A fine route up the left-hand face. High in its grade. 1. Start from 6m. up to the left of the Direct route. Start and climb the slab to the obvious overlaps on the left. Move awkwardly over these to a shelf below the final headwall. Climb the airy wall to good finishing holds.


Frank Winder*, Sean Rothery*, Betty Healy*. Summer '63.
Pull up strenuously over the bulge at the base of the pinnacle. Climb mostly on the left side of the arête. Alternative start is to traverse in awkwardly from the left.

T. Kelcey (solo). June 1983
A vicious little problem, climbing the short wall right of Direct Route. Follow sharp pockets diagonally to the left, then back right to join the ordinary route.


4 5.jpg

Frank Winder*, Sean Rothery*, Betty Healy*. Summer '63.
Keeps mostly to the right of the arête of the pinnacle.

5. KATANA 8m HS 4c
J. Wheaton, T. Kelcey, M. Perry. June 1983.
Start high up on the right-hand side of the pinnacle below a short crack. Climb the wall and crack leading up to the 'col' on the pinnacle.

The Prow

The next buttress forms a jutting prow. The face on the south-west offers:


Climb the far left of the slab and then the crack to finish

Possible first Liam Fahy, Alan Mordaunt September 2010
Follow the rightward slanting crack until it meets “IVY SLAB” then follow it to the top.

8. IVY SLAB 21m S (HS)
Joss Lynam, Noel Lynch. 16.5.1967
Gain the right lower corner of the slab with some difficulty, go diagonally left up the slab, and finish up the chimney.

S. Gallwey, O. Jacob. March 1982.
A right-hand finish to Ivy Slab was climbed by traversing back to the right (crux) into the centre of the slab from below the base of the chimney.

10. THE MIXED ROUTE 22m HS 4b,4b
T. Kelcey(1)*, M. Perry(2)*. June 1983
An interesting route taking a devious line to the right of Ivy Slab. Start where the ivy crosses the overhang to the right of Ivy Slab.
1. Use the main ivy stem to cross the overhang. Traverse right on rock to a small ledge. Move up and right onto the exposed nose, with difficulty. Continue easily to belay below the cracked wall.
2. Climb the cracked wall to the overhang and move right to an exposed ledge on the arˆte. Finish in good position just to the right of the arˆte.
(The ivy referred to in the three previous routes is no longer there so the exact line may no longer be possible.)

11. JUTTING PROUD 12m E1 5b
T. Kelcey. 2.10.1986
Start 1m. left of The Quiet. Pull over the overhang or move in from the right. Traverse immediately left to the arête, then delicately around this to the hanging slab on the front of the buttress. Place a 1.5 friend in a slot up to the left and follow the obvious line leftwards, between the roofs to easy ground. (A small jammed block forms an important hand hold at the crux. It has been checked on abseil and seems secure, but it moves about alarmingly.)


12. THE QUIET 16m HVS 5a
T. Kelcey, M. Perry, J. Wheaton. June 1983
A superb line up the south-east face of The Prow. Delicate with only moderate protection. Start from the lowest point of the face. Move up and left to the arête. Continue to the right of the arête past some short blind cracks to below a scooped shelf. Step right to a prominent foothold then delicately up to a cleaned sloping ledge. Finish up the short crack.

13. CHURCHMOUSE 12m E2 5c
T. Kelcey. 2.10.1986
A fairly worthless eliminate. Start 2m. up and right of The Quiet on a little slab. A thin seam runs directly up the wall from this point. Step left onto the wall and follow the 'line' joining The Quiet at the sloping ledge near the top.

Whippet's Corner

M. Perry, T. Kelcey. July 1983
The "unhygienic" corner/chimney to the right of The Quiet wall. Gain the base of the corner by a short slab, follow the corner and exit up the hanging groove on the right.

Overhanging Wall

To the right of The Prow is an imposing wall about 45m. in length.

Glenda making the first OS of Drown in the Sky in 2002.


15. DROWN IN THE SKY *** 18m E4 5c
T. Kelcey. 4.10.1986 (practised on abseil)
Excellent sustained climbing on a steep and impressive face. Well protected. Start 15m. right of The Quiet and below and well left of a prominent unpleasant-looking corner. Climb the shattered wall to a peg. From holds up right stretch left over the overhang to a deep hidden pocket. Further good holds lead up right to a second peg. Make a hard move up to get established on the wall. With feet on the slight ramp line move up rightwards on good hidden incuts. >From the last incut make a thin move straight up to another good hold. Horizontally right then up to undercling the large triangular block and reach good finishing holds. Peg belay (in situ). Two pegs added since 1989.

15-16.jpg Toby Foord Kelcey leading, Noel Jenkins belaying 2004.

16. HOTWELLS 14m VS 4c
M. Perry, T. Kelcey, J. Wheaton. June 1983
A good route up the groove line on the far right of the wall. Start directly below the hanging groove. Climb steeply up a short brown wall to a ledge. Gain the obvious protruding block below the groove by awkward moves from the right (dubious rock). Follow the fine groove and exit left on good holds.

To the right of Overhanging Wall a terrace/ledge system divides the edge.

Lk crag nw-vieu.jpg


17. WOP 9m S 4c
T. Kelcey (solo). June 1983
The first obvious feature going right along the terrace is a big detached block. Gain the arête of the block from left. Finish pleasantly up the arête.

T. Kelcey, M. Perry. July 1983
Between the Wop block and the Babycham slab is a purple slab forming the right wall of an obvious corner. Climb the steep slab delicately up to a flake in a scoop, then easily up to a ledge on the right. Move back left over an overlap and finish dramatically on good holds, above and to the right of the corner. Some hard moves with poor protection.

Further to the east the angle of the crag eases, and there is a fine brown slab.

Joss Lynam, Noel Lynch. 16.5.1967
Start below the centre of the slab, go up right into a corner, pull up left onto the slab, and continue straight up.
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The escarpment of Little Killary continues up the hillside, forming one side of the prominent Salruck Pass. Above the escarpment, on the summit on the west of the pass are some small gritstone tors. The most westerly of these has a large (24m - 30m) west face, overlooking the Atlantic. It consists of slabs and grass ledges. On the left-hand side of this face is a fine bulging slabby rib. Many good lines are possible, but the best is the rib direct.

Kelcey (solo)
Follow the rib on its left-hand side.


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