Slieve Lamagan

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The popular easy angled slabs of Lamagan contain the longest routes in the Mournes although the grade range is limited. The classic of the slabs is FM, a long multi-pitch route on clean sound rock that gives several VD pitches that can be combined with Arcadia for a harder final pitch. The slabs can be clearly seen on approach from the Carrick Little Track. From the Carrick Little car park (345219) follow the track along the edge of the Annalong Wood to its end and continue up towards Percy Bysshe. Just beyond the river crossing and before the crag there is a fork in the track. Take the right-hand branch and follow it round Percy Bysshe to the closest point on the slabs. Leave the track and strike directly up the deep heathery slopes to the bottom of the lowest and most continuous section of the slab.

1 FM *** 162m VD
R. R. Johnston and Party 20/6/48.
A classic route with many variants. Start in an open, rubble strewn and gravel filled bay at the lowest point of the continuous slabs, below a white slab.
1) 35m Climb the white slab and up the edge of the rib on the right Belay at a small ledge.
2) 43m From left-hand side of ledge move up to a small overlap and the slab above more or less direct to good belays below obvious steep band.
3) 14m The 'mauvais pas'. Up into a comer and step left onto a sloping ledge using a hidden handhold above left handhold on the flake on the right (crux). Continue up and left on steep but easy rocks to good belay.
4) 25m Follow the grooves above leading to a ledge at the bottom of the upper slab.
5) 30m Traverse diagonally right across slab using groove/fault to gain the broken rock in the comer. Alternatively traverse horizontally right to base of comer and up this to the same belay.
6) 15m Ascend more broken rock up a jug handled crack on the right and up to final belay.
Variation Direct Finish ** 40m S
Although harder this is more in keeping with the quality of the rest of the route.
5) 25m Boldly climb the exposed slab to gain the base of a steep comer topped by a huge block.
6) 15m Up comer on good holds finishing steeply at the top.

2 Arcadia 135m VS 4c, 3c, 4b
I Rea M Rea, R Bankhead 28/8/95
A number of previously climbed but unrecorded variations plus new climbing have been combined to produce a very worthwhile route which is low in the grade.
1) 35m As for FM.
2) 35m From the belay climb the right -hand crack then layback up a very slim slab on the right-hand edge. Friction up the black slab to the base of a rightward curving arch. Up arch to its apex over awkward inverted V bulge at apex. Move left to belay below the mauvais pas of FM.
3) 50m Move about 10m left and go up over a series of stepped bulges diagonally leftward. Continue out left again, then up and over another double bulge. Then up and left over rock and grass to good spike belay below the steep upper wall.
4) 25m Climb up a white slab and finish up the left-hand of the two steep comers.

3 FO 96m S3c
C Leeke I Firth 23/5/64
Rarely done as the other lines offer much better combinations. Start about 35mright of FM below a short steep wall and right of a small rocky gully.
1) 30m Scramble up and climb a tilted wall. Continue up to perched blocks to belay.
2) 30m Move up slabs to the wall above.
3) 18m Move straight up and pull up on jams to the upper slab (S) or move right as for the girdle traverse and climb right out of the recess and move left again. Ascend mixed rock to join Cherchez La.
4) 18m Climb the Cherchez-La chimney to finish.

4 Cherchez-La ** 92m S 4a
P Gribbon M McMurray 27/6/54
Start about 50m right of FM at a small sandy patch of ground beneath short wall.
1) 29m Up wall and climb the bulge (care with loose flakes) and continue up the right-hand edge of the slabs.
2) 34m Climb slabs to a steep prow split by a crack. Climb the comer on the left of the prow (crux) to a spacious belay.
3) 21 m climb up to a dark chimney Ascend this to make an airy step left onto slab climb the crack and finish up arête on left.
Variation Girdle Traverse 44m S 4a
Immediately above the 'mauvais pas' on FM, traverse right for Sm, step down and continue right across slab to overhang (possible belay). Climb the overhang to join Pitch 3 of Cherchez-La.

5 Upper FM 102m VD
R. R. Johnston Solo 2./5/48.
This route is situated on a large slab 60m north-east from the top of FM. Climb the slab using various cracks and grooves to reach the top wall. Almost any line can be taken at the same grade. Climb the short overhanging wall at the top.

Lamagan Buttress

This is a series of walls and chimneys on the Eastern side of Lamagan just above and left of Lower Cove. The main buttress has the largest chimney.

6 Santa's Retreat l5m S 4a
J. Keers. 6/8/88.
Climb the first obvious wet chimney to the left of the main face.

7 Apple Tree 10m HS 4b
T Johnston, I. Kcers. 6/8/88.
Climb the large groove and blocks 10m right of the previous route.

The following two routes are on the main buttress:

8 NewTree 12m HS4b
T Johnston, J Keers. 6/8/88.
Follow a large groove up the left-hand side of the main face. Climb the face when the comer runs out.

9 Line 18m E1 5b
T Johnston, J. Keers (Top-roped prior to ascent). 8/88.
Start 2m from left-hand edge. Use a small flake at 2m (crux). Continue on right trending flakes to a roof and exit at the right hand edge of roof. A direct start at H VS 4c can be climbed on the right-hand side.

20m right of C Line are two prominent grooves.

10 Warm Up Wash Out 10m HVS 5a
The crux is at the exit of the crack.

11 Anne Tree 10m S 4a
T Johnston 6/8/88

Routes have been claimed on the small buttress about 200m left and above the main buttress.

Western Slope

High up on the Western side of Lamagan is a large slab split into two sections. Although disappointingly featureless the described routes follow the most prominent lines. The following two routes are on the right-hand slab.

12 The Bubble Reputation 30m VD
I Rea, M. Rea. 30/6/92.
Start at the base of slab. Follow wavy seams up and then out right to a shallow left trending scoop. Climb up the scoop and finish on right edge.

13 Strawman 30m S 3c
I. Rea, M. Rea. 13/6/92.
Climb the pocketed wall 2-3m left of Bubble Reputation up to the base of a left facing flake. Follow the flake leftwards to an overlap. Go over this and up a seam to grassy cracks. Finish up the middle of a steep little slab just below the top or more easily up corner on the left.

The next two routes are located on the left-hand slab.

14 Titania * 50m S 3c
I Rea, M. Rea. 13/6/92.
At the base of the slab is an overlap. Climb over it on the left above a small detached block. Go straight up slab passing a left trending crack.
After about I Sm go out right to a long shallow groove which leads up and slightly right to the top.

15 Sundance 50m VS 4b
J Rea, M. Rea. 13/6/92.
Start: at the right-hand side of the overlap, from where two grassy cracks converge to form a V shape. Delicate climbing up the slab leads to easier angled rock. From here continue up between the two black mossy streaks.