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2011 review

Stephen McMullan posted a good retrospective of the Irish climbing year on climbing.ie.

From a personal point of view my highlight was finishing the guide in January and it selling well. I have a small pile left and it sold loads more than I had expected/hoped. For the first few months I barely dared look at it for fear of finding mistakes and only focusing on the elements that could have been better. But with the passage of time I can now happily leaf throught it with considerable satisfaction. The icing on the cake was probably getting shortlisted for Banff. Thanks to all who bought it and to those who haven’t what are you waiting for?

The guide and the arrival of Gravity must be the two biggest events on the bouldering scene. Gravity seems to be doing great business and must surely breed a whole new crop of boulderers/climbers. It’s definitely going to have a huge effect on the competitive climbing scene, starting kids climbing young and getting them strong. How all this will translate to rock climbing remains to be seen.

My goal for the year was to concentrate on new problems which worked out pretty well. The exploring on the Wicklow coast fed the rat somewhat but it is probably destined to be a estoreic enough bouldering area however next summer might see some route development I suspect. A few visits to the Upper Glanekeera valley yielded some excellent finds which add to make a decent remote area. Must get a few things climbed and then do a topo. (posts 1,2,3). Also finally explorded Camaderry properly, I now have a pretty good idea where the really good stuff is.

The standard of Irish bouldering definitely rose this year. Partly due to the co-ops and partly just a younger generation. I would suspect more > 8a’s (I know the ‘ is technically wrong but I think it’s clearer than 8as) were climbed in Ireland this year than ever before.

The cave in howth was in great nick for a lot of the summer and loads of new links were done. John Howard also ticked the whole cave which must be one of the most impressive feats of the year. See below for the updated topo – of course it’s not as simple when you actually stand there and try and find a problem.

One of the very last parts of the guide I wrote was the outro. It got me thinking about how much bouldering there is out there, I have always believed that there are some major areas to be found. But a day in the pissing rain in Caha Mountains pretty much convinced me I won’t find it in the Cork/Kerry mountains.

Anyway. Thanks for reading and keep commenting. Will write a post tomorrow about plans for the year.