Scalp na gCapail

From Irish Climbing Wiki

This gneiss crag is situated in the Ox mountains in County Sligo. OS Grid Ref G642278, Sheet 25, Collooney. Lat/Long 54.1976, -8.5491. Take the road from Ballysadare to Ballina. Take a minor road on the left after 3Km signed for Cooney L6102. This leads, in a short distance, to the crag in the town lands of Collooney. Continue along this road to reach Happy Valli crag.

The original routes are focused on the triangular face more visible from the road, however a lot of cleaning and development has been done recently (2018 - 2021) on the left side opening up 10 new routes worth doing. Grades range from S to E2. Care should be taken on newer routes as there is still a bit of loose rock about!

Numbers are far left to right from the bottom of the crag

-1. High Five 18m S (4a) 
(Martin Daly , Conan McSharry Daly - 26/06/2021)
Start: 25m left of route No. 1 ( Santa Maria de Vison) there is a wall which is broken by a ledge at 10m. The route starts in the centre of the wall.
Climb the centre of the wall on pockets and square cut edges until the ledge at 10m is reached. Continue up the wall above the ledge to a small overhang below the top. Surmount the overhang by using good holds on the left to gain the top. Good protection.

1. Santa Maria de Vison 20m HS (4a) 
(M. Daly , B. Proctor - 6th October 2018)
The route takes the left hand side of the wall. 
Climb square cut ledges on the left-hand side of wall to where the wall steepens. A few technical moves lead to good jugs and top. Good protection. 

2. Garda Síochána 20m HS (4a)
C Ó Fiannachta, H Doherty. 13/05/2019
Start 2m right of "Santa Maria De Vision" on good steps moving slightly right and up to quartz feature. Good pockets and gear lead to a series of ledges and cracks to below a tree. Follow cracks and left of tree to where wall steepens. Straight up a thin crack and mantle headwall (crux) to heather ledge. Finish up small bank. Very good protection and wide variety of holds.

3. An Éalaitheoir 25m HVS (5a)
C Ó Fiannachta, J Mcnulty. 19/06/2021
A few metres right of Garda Síochána there is a bulge/overhang at mid height split by a thin crack (crux). This route takes a direct line through this. Start at the second short rightward facing corner directly below the bulge and continue in a direct line. Hard but well protected crux leads to easier climbing. Cleaned prior, lead onsight

3a. Slí na Fianna. 25m HS 4b *
(C Ó Fiannachta, L Slaughter, 12/07/2021)
This route takes a direct line up the series of cleaned bulges and cracks just left of Dreadnought and finishing up the slightly dodgy looking detached pillar/arête. Start at a low rightward facing corner step and climb up to below yellow stained bulge swing left to good pockets under bulge then back right to stay on bulge. Follow cracks on bulges to top.

4. Dreadnought 25m HS 4a
( M. Daly , B. Proctor - 15th April 2021)
Left of Juliana there is an obvious corner that the route follows. For the first few metres the profile of the corner is to the right. Climb this (crux) to where the profile of the corner changes to the left. Follow the rest of the corner at V Diff using jugs and small ledges to where a step left can be made onto the arete just below the top. Good protection throughout.

5. Juliana 25m VS (4c)
( M. Daly , B. Proctor - 29th September 2018)
Start 2m right of Dreadnought. There is an overhang at mid-height and a second overhang near the top. The route climbs through the middle of the two overhangs. Move up to the lower overhang and climb through it. Continue up the wall to a stance below the upper overhang. Climb to the crack in the centre of the overhang and gain jugs above. Mantle over to top (crux).

6. Lockdown Lunacy 25m HVS 5a/b
(Martin Daly, Brendan Proctor - 8th June 2020)
A few metres right of Juliana there is a large ledge at 2 metres. Gain the ledge. Midway along the ledge, climb the overhang with difficulty using the thin crack to gain good stance above. Climb the wall to a detached flake at mid height (thread runner). Continue to stance below the righthand end of overhang. Climb this, strenuously, to top and belay. Good protection throughout.

7. Lavia 25m E1(5b) 
(M. Daly , B. Proctor - 29th September 2018) 
Start 2m right of 'Juliana' Pull up onto wall by difficult moves and climb diagonally rightwards to stance below faint crack. Move up to base of bulge. Climb this, strenuously, (crux) to good rest. Continue to top. 
Direct start: At the righthand end of the big scoop climb the groove for a few metres. Step right onto the arete at the pocket (no 4 friend). Continue up to the stance below faint crack. (M. Daly, B. Foley - 13/06/21)

7a. Téigh Siar Fear Óg 27m HS 4b
L. Slaughter, M. Magennis. 10/07/2021
Takes the large obvious diagonal fault. Start at the base of the crack shared by Lavia and Firestarter and follow this line diagonally rightwards. Make a move around and over the bulge at half height (crux) to good gear and easier terrain. Continue up and right to finish up corner groove right of An Domhan Nua.

3m to the right of this is

8. Firestarter, 20m HVS 5a/b *
C Ó Fiannachta, J Gillmor. 13/05/2019
This route takes the most direct line through the steep head wall/bulge at mid height. Climb up the niche and bridge left to a good stance below head wall. Give the wall a hug, arrange protection and make two bold moves using small flat holds to surmount this to good holds and rest. The fire has been started. Finish straight up slabby wall.

9. Bealach An Laoch Suaimhneach 20m VS (4c) 
C Ó Fiannachta, H. Doherty. 1/5/2019
Start 2m right of Firestarter at the small undercut. Climb up and slightly right of human size notch. Up onto slab and straight up towards the overhang. Arrange protection and make a committing move to surmount this (dont step right!), then enjoy a good rest. Finish straight up the middle of the slabby wall.

2m to the right directly behind the tree lies..

10. An Domhan Nua, 20m, S(4a)
C. Ó Fiannachta, H. Doherty. 27/04/2019
Climb the stepped tongue on good holds up onto spacious ledge. Make your way up into the twin cracks (good gear) and onto another ledge, from here make an awkward move up and over slight bulge and straight up stepped corner groove. Small gear on top.

Scalp na gCapaill Topo (right side) June 2021 (Adjusted line 22-23).jpg


11. Under the Carpet 20m HS(4c)
C Ó Fiannachta, I Krella. May 2017
Start 3m left of Moore Street Trader. Climb the bulge and stay left of neighbouring route until joining is necessary at 2/3 height. Finish as per Moore Street Trader.

The main feature of the crag is a prominent triangular face split by three obvious crack lines. The leftmost one is taken by

12. Moore Street Trader 25m HVS (5a) *
(M. Daly, C. McDaid – 27th April 2007)
Climb the left slanting crack to the top. Hard start and finish. Stake belay.

13. Polish Paddy 25m VS (4c)
(M. Daly, C.McDaid – 27th April 2007)
Climb the crack through a small roof and follow directly to the top, finishing up a small slabby wall. Stake belay

14. Ganger Gaffney 25m E2 (5b)
(M.Daly, C.McDaid - 4th June 2007)
Halfway between Polish Paddy & Tweezer, climb through the horizontal break then up a precarious slab (protected by no5 nut in slot) through the faint overlap/break and then up a left trending crack to join the neighbouring routes in the upper section. Stake belay

The rightmost crack line is taken by

15. Tweezer 25m VS (4c)
(C. McDaid, M. Daly – 27th April 2007)
Climb the crack with an awkward initial section. The route gradually traverses leftwards in the upper section to join the slabby wall of the previous route. Stake belay

16. God of Strathyre 13m E1 (5b)
(C.McDaid, D. O’Neill –28th April 2007)
On the left wall of the right arête of the triangular face, there are two faint crack lines. Climb these with minimal protection until a large scoop is gained. Don’t use the arête!! Do not belay on the tree on right hand side and abseil off as it’s dead. Better now to finish up more easily on the cleaned groove on left or further left by joining one of the previous routes.

17. Postie Pornstar 20m Severe (4a)
(C.McDaid, M.Daly – 4th June 2007)
The arête immediately right of God of Strathyre is climbed direct, with a step right at half height. Continue up the arête. Stake belay.

Two lines were climbed in the 70’s (18 & 21)to the right of this face and are as follows:

18. Hanging Tree Chimney 25m Severe (3a)
(G. Foley – 9th October 1976)
Takes the chimney to the right of the triangular face. Up chimney, step left at the top, good holds to a tree. Continue to the top. Peg belay 3m back from the edge.

19. Groovezone 25m Severe 4a (Unknown)

20. D+2 20m Severe (4a)
(Martin Daly, Brendan Proctor - 8th June 2020)
Route takes the arete on the LHS of wall. Climb the diagonal leftward trending crack to a pedestal below and right of the arete. Move up and across left to the arete which is followed to top.

21. Tadpole Creek 25m V Diff
(G. Foley – 9th October 1976)
Start right of Hanging Tree Chimney. Scramble easily leftwards to a heather ledge. Climb a series of cracks and ledges to the top. Peg belay.


Further right there is a wall seamed by three cracks. The first two cracks share a common start before splitting after 2m. The leftmost is taken by

22. Teach Urlar 17m HS (4b)
(M.Daly, C.McDaid – 9th June 2007)
Climb the leftward trending blocky crack to top. Stake belay

The adjoining crack is taken by

23. Floozy in the Jacuzzi 17m VS (4c)
(M.Daly, C. McDaid – 4th June 2007)
Climb the crack direct until a rightward facing groove is gained. Climb this to top. Stake belay.

One metre further right is another crack, the most obvious crack on wall

24. Crack Cocaine 17m VS (4c)
(M.Daly, C. McDaid – 4th June 2007)
Climb the crack direct to top . Stake belay.

25. Unknown