(by Jade O’Connor, December 2008)
Bouldering at Tramore, Co. Waterford.
Coming from Waterford City, follow the main road into Tramore, leaving the beach to your left, and continue straight through the town climbing steadily. After approx 1km from the beach you will come to a tiny roundabout surrounded by retail. Turn left here onto Cliff Road.
Continue for a few metres on Cliff Road before veering left to a small slip road. Follow this (Pier Road) downhill to the cove.
Parking by RNLI / Cliff Rescue Centre or on the pier itself. As you walk to the right pier wall you will notice a few steps cut into the cliff. Climb these over the sea wall and descend to the beach and bouldering.
The bouldering here is tidal, and generally accessible upto an hour or so either side of high tide under average tides and calm sea conditions. Please be aware of your environment and make educated decisions on the day’s suitability for this location.
On the plus side the tide only laps the face of the rock and the beach drops steadily away from the cliff meaning it’s dry and ready to climb quicker than you’d expect. Although all the problems here are of low grades I think this is a reflection of my ability rather than the rock itself and I’m quite sure a good boulderer will add many harder lines.
Moving from right to left, Sector One provides the best of the bouldering with excellent quality overhanging rock and super smooth limestone slab under golden sand. It’s also the first area to be affected by the tide so a good place to start.
Sector One left
|1||Myxomatosis||f4+||One foot on the sidewall and jug your way to the top.|
|2||Lady Lunge||f5+||Match hands on triangular flake and move up till under overhanging block.|
|3||–||P||Follow vertical seam to triangular incut and possible jug finish.|
|4||–||P||Obvious crimp/side pull mid-way up, but where next?|
|5||Motion Carried||f6A||Work the corner crack till you can move left, reset your feet and match hands on ledge to complete. (Possible SS to this problem)|
Sector One right
|1||The Silk Run||f5||(Eliminate) Start on open sloping ledge, climb and mantle using only hand holds on left of golden marks.|
|2||–||P||Start and continue up most left vertical white seam line and top out.|
|3||Waterfall||f6A||Start to the left of the white line described above, move up in the corner on slabby ledges and finish on the top arête (avoid the lower jug on the left or use it and downgrade the problem to f5?)|
Sector Two left
|1||Queen’s Seat||f3||Series of pulls on obvious flakes to top.|
|2||Disrememberized||f4+||Start at most undercut point, find your feet and easy Egyptian, continue to higher ground.|
To the right of these problems there’s a heavily-featured slab of easy (ungradeable) climbing.
Of the two small caves in sector two, this one is in the middle, the smallest and set furthest back from the sea.
|1||Cave||f6B||SS, match hands on undercling, feet on right wall, then reverse a bit on big jugs and move up the outer lip carefully to easier vertical ground. A superb problem.|
Sector Two right
|1a||Should I, Could I, Would I?||f4+||SS using free-standing fin on left to start, and top out on triangular point.|
|1b||–||P||SS same problem eliminating left fin.|
|2||In Your Face||f5||SS and layback off obvious crack and mantle.|
|3||White Spider Actually||f5+/6A||Start in middle of wall and climb vertically through large incut jug (short but nice sharp holds).|
The Cave right
There’s some more potential problems here but beware of friable rock.
As you come down the steps off the pier there’s a manmade project literally under your feet, a small barrel section jugged and ready to go for the strong and willing (photo above).
Jade working her problem – Lady Lunge f5+ (left) and Motion Carried f6A (right)
Dany working his problem – Waterfall f6A (left), Cave f6B (right)
This is my first attempt at grading problems and compiling such a guide so please take it all with a pinch of salt and make up your own minds. Having said that, my reason for putting this out is to hopefully save you some of the hours I’ve spent driving around searching for decent rock and hopefully start a worthwhile resource in the South East. If you have an opinion about the problems listed or others to add please email me that we may build on this starting point.
Many thanks to Dany Sekyra, Katarina, Tim Sacklin, Laura Harper and Conor Doherty.
Jade O’Connor. December 08. v2.0