Whiteball Head

From Irish Climbing Wiki
Loading map...

White Ball Head 3.png

Whiteball Head is the headland to the north-west of Blackball Head. 5k

m from Dzogchen Beara and right beside a beautiful bay with a quay the climbing is positioned in an idyllic spot. Park at the quay and approach the cliffs from the rocky beach passing a house and sheds on their left. The walk takes about 5-10 minutes.

The climbing is mainly on slabs and has lots of natural blocks for abseil anchors. Gear and holds are adequate if a bit spaced, micro wires and small wires useful.

Camping is possible on a flat grassy area beside the road about 200m east of the pier.

The Approach


The East Slab


It is possible to scramble down to the large rock platform from either side of the slab.

0 Grey Crow V. Diff 12m
R. Creagh 05/11/14
The thin right facing corner line left of Left-Hand Route. The upper wall is a bit run out, escape left is possible.

1 Left-Hand Route HS 14m
T.O'C 5/5/11

1a Shirtless in November VS 4b 14m
R. Creagh 05/11/14
Start beneath the left hand end of a small roof about half way up. Climb directly to this by the crosshatched rock, around the roof and straight to the top.

1b By the Grace of John VS 4b 14m
R. Creagh, S. Hermann, J. Healy 12/05/13

Climb the thin line to the right hand end of the roof, move left and over the roof and back right towards the top.

2 Beara Thin Crack *** VS 15m
T. O'C 5/5/11
Beautiful hands-to-finger crack, very similar to Thin Crack in the Mournes.

3 German Bean Sprouts HVS 15m
T. O'C 5/5/11
Thinner version of route 2 with perfect jamming and smearing.

4 Spanish Cucumbers E1 15m
T. O'C 5/5/11
Thin crimping with delicate smears.

4a The Beara Necessities HVS 5b 15m
R. Creagh, J. Eldred 16/07/17
Climb the corner left of that of The Ramp and continue directly to the top between two very thin cracks (i.e. without straying right.)

4b Unnamed VS 4c 15m
D. O'Sullivan, R. Creagh or J. Healy, March 2013
Climb the corner left of that of The Ramp and move right to finish as for the top of Woodcutter.

5 The Ramp S 20m

T. O'C 5/5/11

The first runner is about 7m up and the start is not a push over.

6 Woodcutter E1 15m
T. O'C 5/5/11
Thin smearing and crimping with a good rest at the ledge.

7 Sophia VS 4b 15m
R. Creagh, D. O'Sullivan 15/03/13
Climb the line right of the wet streak, passing a horizontal slot at 3/4 height.

8 Twomey's V. Diff 15m
R. Creagh, D. O'Sullivan 15/03/13
The left facing corner line on the right end of the crag, straight to the top.

A 15 meter slab to the west of the routes noted below was climbed and went at easy V. Diff. The zawn to the west of this has some deep-water soloing potential. There is further potential on the slabs to the west of these routes.

The Flake Slab

Post winter 2017-climbs 2-7 below all disappeared when winter storms stripped the face off the slab, others may be affected too.

Pre winter 2017

Whiteball final 2.jpg

West of the two slabs mentioned already is this tall slab recessed into a square-cut bay. The rock is strange and brittle, but workable. It is an uptilted surface of fossil wave ripples. The slabby nature of the routes means you should never need to pull too hard, which is good as pulling hard on this rock isn't highly recommended. The bottom of the crag is reached by abseil and all routes bar 1 and 2 are tidal.

0 Conglomerate Pie S 25m
Sile Daly, David Craig 14/07/17
Climb the steep and soft black wall to the left of 1.

1 Trasna na dTonnta HVS 5a 20m
R. Creagh, J. McDonald 20/03/13
Abseil in to the bottom of the corner (or traverse in from the right in a calm sea) and follow the overlap to the top. Double up on gear as the rock is a touch soft. Don't let that last sentence put you off.

2 Grade Expectations S 20m
R. Creagh, J. McDonald 20/03/13
Start as for 1 and head for the obvious wide left facing corner. Big gear useful.

3 The Snowflake Seduction VS 4c 25m
J. Healy, D. O'Sullivan, S. Hermann 20/03/13
Start left of the leftmost rockpool and climb up and slightly leftwards aiming for a series of flakes high up.

4 All Shapes and Sizes VS 4b 25m -
R. Creagh, J. Healy 16/03/13
Start as for 3 but head up passing darker sections of broken looking cracks, following the line of least resistance/best rock.

5 Centre Stage VS 4b 25m
J. Healy, D. O'Sullivan 16/03/13
The obvious line of the crag, following the right-leaning crack.

6 The Flowers Affect E1 5a 25m
D. O'Sullivan, J. Healy 16/03/13
Start a few metres right of 5 and climb upwards via spaced pockets before trending rightwards, roughly parallel to the previous route.

7 Unnamed HVS 5a 25m
D. O'Sullivan, J. Healy, S. Hermann 20/03/13
Starting from the stepped ledges near the right of the crag climb directly to the top past crozzly cracks. Thin slings for threads.

8 Unnamed S 25m
J. McDonald, R. Creagh 20/03/13
Climb the large stepped corner on the right side of the bay, passing a steepening near the top.

9 Angela Merkel Thinks I'm Toproping S 20m
S. Hermann, J. Healy 20/03/13
Climb parallel cracks up the middle of the stepped, west facing wall of the bay.

There is more!

Walk to the end of the headland and descend leftwards by wide sloping ledges to a large platform and a 14m south-facing wall. Routes are listed from left to right, West to East.

File:Whiteball head end of.jpg

Viking Raid HS 4b
Gerry Galligan, Barry Watts, 14/07/2017.
Starts at the centre of the wall at a shallow corner. Climb the crack for 4m. Continue over left-trending ledges. Make a delicate last move right-wards to reach the top. Adequate protection from small and micro wires.

Shock Therapy 14m VS 4b
Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan, 14/07/2017.
Takes a line of weakness and quartz rock just right of the steepest part of the wall. Climb boldly for 6m to a small ledge, continue up the well protected crack line to the top.

Guerrilla Days in Ireland 15m VD
Barry Watts, Gerry Galligan,14/07/2017.
Climb the right hand arete.