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“Wicklow Recreational Strategy” and bouldering

A report was recently published on Wicklow Recreational Strategy and it has a few small mentions of bouldering in it.

A thriving membership

Most activities had clubs that were based in the county and were knowledgeable about and sensitive to access issues. This helped to reduce any potential for conflict in the use of the resource. The majority of clubs reported a significant increase in membership over the past 2 years, with triathlon, mountain biking, bouldering, canoeing, kayaking and orienteering reporting particular growth.” page 26

Size and relative importance

An activity did not need to have a large number of adherents for its presence in Co. Wicklow to be important at a national level. For some less mainstream activities, the review revealed the importance of Co. Wicklow as a venue. An example is bouldering and for this activity, Co. Wicklow presents an ideal environment. Other less well known activities showed a high growth trend, including coasteering, cliff jumping and triathlon. Clubs reported that younger people are in particular drawn to these kinds of activities.” page 26

You can download the full PDF document here.

There is also a much bigger report (206 pages) titled “Development of the County Wicklow Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2009-20013” which also has a section about bouldering:

“Bouldering has been defined as a style of rock climbing and boulder routes were commonly reffered to as ‘problems’ Typically the nature of the climb was short and akin to problem solving in character. Generally bouldering was practised close to the ground, thus eliminating the need for safety equipment such as harnesses, ropes and helmets etc. Bouldering often involved sidways traversing  as well as vertical climbing. Its focus was on individual moves or short sequences of moves that demanded bursts of intense energy rather than endurance.

Co. Wicklow was a popular location for bouldering activties with Lough Dan, Glendalough, Mall Hill, Glenmacnass, Glendassan and Lough Bray reported as popular locations, with many users considering Glendalough to be the best bouldering area in Ireland. Glenmacnass had about eighty established ‘problems’ and Glendasan valley just north of Glendalough was home to Ireland’s hardest ‘problem’ nand Lough Dan, Mall Hill and Lough Bray were all smaller venues in the county.
Although bouldering has been around as a form of climbing for many years, it was only recently that the sport has seen huge growth and development both in Ireland and overseas.

Key locations in for bouldering in Co. Wicklow: Glebdalough, Glenmacnass, Lough Dan, Lough Bray and Mall Hill

You can download the report here.