/ Fair Head
Route recommendations for a gentle introduction - about VS, or lower if there is anything - and then some stuff about HVS/easy E1 for later visits, would be much appreciated.
Not a huge amount at that level, but def plenty enough worth a visit.
Typical starting routes are the black thief or fence at the prow.
I'd also recommend December at the Binnagapple area as a nice HVS, Toby jug being a harder version at E1.
Small crag could be a good intro, cracks like jungle line (bring a few big pieces) are super safe and straight forward.
All the starred VSs I've done we're great and quite stout/burly for the grade. Hell's Kitchen and Burn Up are outstanding HVSs though (and not much harder)
Start with black thief ( easy single pitch vs to get you started on the prow)
Fath mo bhuartha
To name a few! I can vouch that all these routes are quality most being sustained three pitchers. Enjoy!
Agree with the above, though watch out for Roaring Meg, I found it a bit spicy first thing in the morning. Girona, Chieftain and Taoiseach are classics, and black thief and fence are also well worth a go. Might take you a climb or two to tune into the rock.
Excellent thread - I've been eying up Fairhead too, and this is really good info. Is there anything below VS?
Go to the crag page on here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=17029 and click to order the climbs by grade.
There's a few easier things on the Small Crag, but the Small Crag is not a good reason to visit Fair Head.
You might find some of the VS's and HVS's at fairhead a bit adventurous. Some of them have a quite "big crag" feel to them. Whilst the ones suggested are all good routes (some of them brilliant), you will hear a lot of people telling you that Fairhead doesn't really start properly until E2. That is just because E2 is the first magic grade at fairhead. By that i mean that when you can climb E2, the door opens to a seemingly infinite supply of mega classics that will change your outlook on climbing and probably your outlook on life as well. The next magic grade at Fairhead is E4 because that opens up the next level of super classics.
That's not to say the VS's and HVS's aren't worthwhile, they are. You just won't quite be getting the best of the area. A bit like going to Buoux when you can only climb 5+. There's a few good routes, but you'd enjoy it a lot more if you could climb 6b (then more again if you could climb 7a).
If you are coming for a week, i'd suggest a dual location holiday - start in the Mournes and finish at Fairhead, or vice versa. The Mournes has a lot of wee crackers around VS/HVS.
The small crag is to be avoided after May as midgies blown over from scotland setup a blood sucking swarm that feed relentlessly on you which is great for pushing the grade but not for your enjoyment.
If you're mobile you could also consider a visit to the Mournes which is under 2 hours away and offers a vast number of routes at all grades. The new guidebook is excellent. However, you really can't top fairhead for sheer drama and topping out in to the sun with that view behind you.
That's good advice imho Ė when I went to Fair Head (a wonderful crag, as good as any in these islands) I was climbing E3-E5 over here and I remember some distinctly scary moments on Hellís Kitchen. Itís a bit like Gogarth; has a grip factor of its own.
Not to say it canít be enjoyed by a visiting party operating at VS/HVS if thatís the grade they lead back home; Iím sure it can be, but being prepared for the possibility of squalls would be sensible.
Not much but there is a crag to the left (if you can get through the head height brambles that grow in the summer!)the name escapes me but it has some easier stuff but not the same quality as the main attraction!
If you want to go somewhere that is a mini training ground for Fairhead; a friendly crag with lots of quality routes in the lower grades go a little further along the Antrim coast to Dunsevrick (check out Columcille Climbers for routes and directions etc.) where you can try out some of my creations!
It is true Fairhead is a big Crag; with the majority of climbs over E2; but I love it as a lifelong midgrade climberI find that Fairhead is exilerating but loaded with gear; agree Mournes are great but also try Dunsevrick the Donegal oucrops, which are easy to fit into a tour of the North!
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