Bouldering Guide to Ireland 2009

The latest Irish bouldering guide was released last week and contains 115 pages, packed full with almost 1500 problems and about 200 maps and topos.

The latest Irish bouldering guide contains almost 1500 problems and about 200 maps and topos.
The latest Irish bouldering guide contains 1500 problems, 200 maps and topos. Source: Geograph. © Copyright Richard Smith and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

This guide is intended to be reasonably definitive but just because something has been climbed doesn’t mean it is worth documenting so I haven’t detailed every variation, elimate, lowball sitstart or squeezed in micro line. From a personal point of view I attach the highest value to logical, independent lines with good moves and good landings and every problem that fits this criteria is described. Though I welcome other opinions on omissions and inclusions.

The bouldering in Ireland is generally found near the coasts. Granite is commonplace being found in Dublin, Wicklow, Galway, Down and Donegal ergo the bouldering style tends to focus on technical moves on rounded holds.

Some of the best Irish bouldering is in popular tourist spots such as Glendalough in Wicklow, the Aran Islands, and Connemara. This makes it easy to do a wee bit of bouldering whilst on a “normal” holiday especially if your other half isn’t a fan of getting out on the rock.

The best destination for a short bouldering trip to Ireland is probably Wicklow.  Glendalough and Glenmacnass are both excellent and there are plenty of other smaller areas nearby. Access is easy as well with Wicklow only being about an hour south of Dublin.

The guide contains lots of great routes all over Ireland.  You can download the guide from The Short Span

Remember when you’re out bouldering it’s good practice to stick by the following guidelines.

Bouldering Guidelines

  • Don’t use pof/resin.
  • Don’t chip out holds.
  • Don’t use a wire brush as they ruin the rock, a nylon one will be fine.
  • Avoid removing vegetation.
  • Try not to use too much chalk and brush marks off after wards.
  • Place your crash mat carefully to avoid damaging any vegetation.

Essentially just don’t do anything that would damage the rock or the environment and have fun.

If you enjoyed this then you might be interested in our interview with Daniel Woods, a professional boulderer

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