The flat bogs between the mountains and the sea in Galway are vast empty and studded with boulders. Only one area has really been properly developed – Derryrush – but it always seemed unlikely that there wasn’t loads more bouldering to found.
Over the years various people have done bits of exploring but no one has found, or at least told anyone else, a major new area. I spend ages poring over various satellite photos a few years ago and spend a day driving around checking a few places out. I found a few big boulders and lots of small ones. Part of the problem with the granite in this area is that it’s quite rough and often flithy. Slapping to slopers on this rock is painful. The rock is more suited to highballs on decent holds – Highawatta on The Chief is the perfect example.
It’s surprising that it has taken so long, after all the area is only a short drive from Galway City which has a distinctive lack of good bouldering close by, but there seems to be a few people starting to explore the area now.
Frank posted up on climbing.ie links to two PDF topos here created. Download them here
And there was some more information posted on the Galway Climbing group on Facebook recently.
Here is the map I created of potential boulders
View Galway Bouldering in a larger map
Looking for bouldering using satellite photos is extremely hit and miss but sometimes you can be pretty sure a boulder is at least worth checking out. One major advantage of the Bing photos is that they were taken on a sunny day so it’s possible to get some sense of height from the shadow. Check out these two boulders which I would be pretty sure are big
Obviously the only way to be sure is to check it out. I think it would be great if anyone was doing any exploring added their findings – or their failure, to save someone else checking them out – on the Bing Map,