Mizen Head

From Irish Climbing Wiki

These climbs are taken from New Climbs 1975.
(Note: Since then a lot of fences and keep out notices have appeared all over this area).

From the old watchtower (sheet 88 OS Dicovery Series GR V 741239) facing the sea follow the edge of the cliff going right for 5 mins. until an obvious fin of light coloured rock can be seen. The slabs on the left of this should give climbing of a fairly high standard. they are just over 150 ft. in height.

Descent. There are two gullies: one to the left of the slab which is a dead end and a second one further left again. Dangerous descent.

Roughneck 140ft. HVS
C. Torrans, D. Mitchell, May 1976.
Start: On the left of the descent gully there is a steep wall with a series of ramps going up from right to left. The climb takes the edge of this wall (very loose).
1/. 100 ft HVS. Climb the bulging wall (loose) runner at 50 ft. Traverse right to edge, up cracked slab to belay in grass bay.
2/. 40 ft VS. Up slab to top.

Smaug 200ft VS
C. Torrans, D. Mitchell May 1976.
Start: Continue down descent gully to slabby fin. Climb takes obvious deep L-hand crack.
1/. 140ft VS Step across left onto slab, traverse left to crack. Climb easily to where loose rock and bulge stop. Traverse left for 40 ft to belay.
2/. 60 ft S. Continue left across pleasant slab to belay.

The route (as described in New Climbs 1983) is situated on a fin of rock that can be seen from the weather station bridge, looking northwest. About a 10 minute walk from station bridge. 50 m rope required for abseil or descent down gully.

Floating Opera 55m E1/2 (5b, 4a)
C. Torrans, Clare Torrans. 5th November 1983.
Follow shelf to middle of slab to a quartz vein that runs from L to R.
1/. 40 m Gain quartz vein which gets steeper and more difficult. Pass overlap (crux), move R and continue up crack (poor protection). Belay below overhang.
2/. 15 m Move L and up onto ridge and belay.

Barley Cove at Mizen Head

Small quarried vertical face opposite Barley Cove Caravan Park.

Ivy 50ft S
D. Gibson, C. Luton 23 July 1975.
Start: At right of vertical face at X mark.
Climb straight up to ivy covered ledge (possible belay). From left of ledge climb to top, finishing with difficult mantelshelf.

Barley Sugar 40ft VS
C. Lutton, D. Gibson 23 July 1975
Start: At left of ivy at arrow.
Climb straight to top with hairy mantelshelf to finish (no natural resting places).

N.B. Prominent slabs at Barley Cove only Moderate and V. Diff.

Brow Head (Nr. Mizen Head)

There are three zawns at Brow Head. The middle one has a spike of rock sticking up in the centre of the zawn. Here, a few black slabs that face inland give some good climbing.

Descent. Facing slabs descent is to the right. Easy climbing down to narrow ramp that leads down to sea.

Black Shuffler 50ft ?
C. Torrans, D. Mitchell May 1976
From bottom of ramp climb wall on small incuts to small shelf. Take obvious fault left (or R).

The Black Gunterer 50ft VS
C. Torrans, D. Mitchell May 1976
Takes the corner to the left of Black Shuffler. Abseil down to small ledge.
Climb up to overhang with deep crack. Up over this with difficulty to good horizontal crack. Move around R, up corner crack to top. (A good route).

Wain Lass 50ft S
C. Torrans, D. Mitchell May 1976.
Start: As for Black Gunterer.
Climb to overhang, follow overhang rightand up to top.

Dunlough Bay (on NW side of Mizen Head).
Approach. A narrow lane leads down from Oughtminee to a small slipway (Gright739 267) and it is possible to scramble along the clifftops to the east and west from here.

On a visit to this area in 1999, an IMC party discovered abseil and belay stakes above a stretch offering good possibilities. Several routes were climbed, but they may have all been done before. Details of this area probaly rests with someone in the Cork climbing community. Posting them here would save them for posterity.