The Artful Dodgers

(by Gerry Moss, November 2010)
"The east coast of Cork was one area where dry weather and sunshine was promised, so the Artful Dodgers decided to take advantage of this and pay a return visit to Knockadoon."


I’m not a man for making lists myself, but if I did, it would be a list of crags to suss out, rather than individual climbs. Cherrypicking routes overlooks the fact that most crags have much more to offer than just one or two lines and besides, you will get much more pleasure from making your own selection rather than blindly following someone elses, or restricting yourself to any one grade.

We have fine crags the length and breadth of the country, from Inishowen to Robert’s Cove in Cork, from Ireland’s Eye to Achill and it pays to get to know them, as most will provide rewarding experiences. Although we get our fair share of wet weather during these winter months, it is rare enough for the bad weather to be countrywide on any given day, so there is always the possibility of dodging the rain and getting in a bit of climbing somewhere .

Saturday was a prime example of this, with showers forecast for much of the country. But the east coast of Cork was one area where dry weather and sunshine was promised, so the Artful Dodgers decided to take advantage of this and pay a return visit to Knockadoon.

Our rewards were blue skies, warm rock and a gentle breeze. You won’t find the routes here on any hitlist, because, like many of the coastal crags detailed on the route data base, very few climbers frequent the area. To my mind that makes a visit all the more enjoyable, as solitude is part and parcel of the ambience of these seacliffs.

And there is always the possibility of the pleasure that comes with adding something new to the pot, which we did on Saturday – a pleasant and delicate HS on the Cylinder Slabs.

So, don’t shackle yourself to someone else’s idea of what constitutes a good route – plough your own furrow. Don’t just buy the guidebooks, go over them thoroughly, then browse the route database too, and, above all else, carry on climbing.

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