Co. Antrim > Fair Head >
An Bealach Rúnda*** E1 5b

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[Johnboy concentrating, 2 kb]105m, 3 pitches. An excellent outing, one of the most popular climbs on the main cliff. This route takes the line up behind the huge detached pillar capped by a large bridging flake (visible from the ground) and trends leftward across the wall above. Start at the foot of the crack to the right of a small collapsed column, about 150m left of the Fang. 1) 45m (5a). Climb the crack and chimney to a ledge at 12m. Move up left to climb the crack between the main column and the wall, continue by chimneying between the column wall, passing a ledge on the right at 36m. Continue up with a slight increase in difficulty to a good ledge on the right. 2) 30m (5b). Move up and left airily to gain the top of the detached column and flake. Across the flake to the wall, then an awkward move up the wall brings jugs and a ledge on the right. Climb the short wall on the left moving in from the right (crux) continue up the thin crack to the ramp. Easier climbing leads to a large ledge. Climb a short awkward groove to exit right onto a large ramp, move back left to a good ledge. 3) 30m (5a). Climb the ramp and make an awkward move left to small ledges. Go up right to a corner crack, follow this to a belay on the ledge (possible belay). Climb the steep crack in the final wall.
C Torrans, C Sheridan 15/Jan/1976

Ticklists: Victim Of Mathematics' Ticklist of Extreme Justice, MIA logbook must haves!, Unusual and Interesting Routes You Must Do VS- E2.

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This climb is in 56 logbooks, and on 10 wishlists.

Owen lead the pitch, which felt run out, but very enjoyable on second. I started up the second pitch, and had just done the fun (if more than a little bit terrifying) 'airy' step onto the detached pillar when it started to get dark. So began a night of abseiling in the dark, getting a rope stuck, walking out in pitch black, with one head torch between us. Eventually got back to Belfast at 2:30am.
Alex McCalman - AltLd dnf - Jul/14 with Owen Largey

I did the first and the third pitch, Gleb the second. The crux for me was the squeeze chimney at the very bottom - awkward and hard to protect. The best pitch is the second, fun face climbing with a couple of short runouts.
bik - AltLd O/S - 15/Jun/14 with Gleb

soph - AltLd O/S - 31/May/14 with jon morgan

Cool bridging
morganator - AltLd O/S - 31/May/14 with Sophie Whyte

Hidden - Lead dnf - 23/Aug/13

Took ages to get to this along an indistinct path in the heather but it was well worth it. A great route with a memorable first pitch which was the most fun I've had on a route for a while! Someone referred to it in an earlier log as demented caterpillar chimneying - that's about right! Insane whole body jamming through the cleft, more like caving than climbing, eventually popping out through the top of the cleft back into daylight. Now all that remained was 25 metres of jamming, bridging, chimneying and back and footing. Really good fun, I've never done so much of that style of climbing in one go. Not sure if it's 4c as it's ungradeable really, let's just say it's traditional and J W Puttrell would have pissed up it in his tweeds while smoking a pipe. Great belay at the top of the right hand pillar, though those with a truly adventurous spirit should perhaps belay at the top of the detached pillar off the collapsed flake. How on earth is that thing managing to stay upright, considering the pillar seems to have snapped at the bottom?! Still, the thing must weight about the same as a herd of elephants, so a bit of back and footing shouldn't disturb it too much! Ed got the crux pitch, making a very passable whale impression getting onto the detached pillar and spending a while on the crux, which was steady 5b. For me the real crux was getting out of the awkward groove onto the green ramp as by then it had started to rain and the green livery was getting pretty slippery. I got the best pitch of them all, the ramp covered in green yukiness, in the rain. I haven't put so much gear into a 4a pitch for a while! Great couple of moves going up at the end of the ramp with a 60+ metre bottomless corner below you... and wet handholds. :-0 Linked in the last pitch, which was a sandbag at 4c - I thought it had a solid 5a move just above the belay ledge, but at least it was mostly dry. Phew, made it, what an adventure! Six and a half hours round trip from starting to gear up to getting back to the gearing up spot. By the way, P1 is 40-42m, not 52 as in the guide book. The others are correct at 30m for P2 and 30m again for P3&4. That'll be a hundred in total, so equivalent to about 27 gritstone routes or 1,579 boulder problems. Translation: The Secret Way
Misha - AltLd O/S - 20/Aug/13 with Ed

Rested on gear before I figured out the crux on the 2nd pitch. Awesome route!
eduardo - AltLd dog - 20/Aug/13 with Misha

Andy Moles - AltLd O/S - 07/Aug/13 with James McKenna

mcgovern - AltLd - 10/Jul/13 with TommyMcG

TommyMcG - AltLd O/S - 10/Jun/13 with Conor McGovern

Hidden - AltLd - 03/Jun/13

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 03/Jun/13

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 02/Jun/13

Hidden - TR - Jun/13

newtonmore - 2013

liamo333 - 2013 with mcgovern

First pitch 5a. Well protected in terms of off width/chimney climbing. No needs for big cams. Take few slings for chockstones instead. Must be done!!!
deepdiver - Lead O/S - 2013

Memorable first pitch
David Smith - AltLd - 07/Aug/12 with Dave Booth

Led second pitch, face climbing crux was much more my style than the chimney below! Fantastic route!
danoflynn - AltLd O/S - 05/Aug/12 with Tim Leach

Led the 2nd route. Awesome route! Standing on a flake rested on top of a 50m pedestal is incredible!
matthewjames - AltLd O/S - 04/Aug/12 with Boothy

led 1st pitch.. amazing pitch.
Helen Gibson - AltLd - 14/Jun/12 with mikey P, Paul

Hidden - Lead O/S - 14/Jun/12

one of the best E1's anywhere
dan gibson - Lead O/S - 14/Jun/12 with julie carroll

Julie Carroll - 2nd dog - 14/Jun/12 with Dan Gibson

Epic! Led 1st and last 2 pitches strung together
GarethHall - AltLd O/S - 09/Jun/12 with Patrick Goodwin

paddygoodwinlondon - AltLd - 08/Jun/12 with Gareth Hall

Hidden - Lead O/S - 02/Jun/12

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 30/May/12

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 29/May/12

Led P1 and 3. Great fun, superb chimneying
RKernan - AltLd O/S - 14/Apr/12 with John Begley

KKilroy - Lead - 2012

metal arms - AltLd O/S - 24/Jul/11

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 16/Jul/11

Second mistake of the trip was deciding to keep my approach shoes on for the first pitch of this.
JulesV - Lead O/S - 09/Jul/11 with Shauna

total craziness
Shauna - 2nd - 09/Jul/11 with Jules

Hidden - AltLd - 11/Jun/11

Gareth Clendinning (UBMC) - Lead O/S - 07/Aug/10 with Rose Williams

Rose Williams - 2nd - 07/Aug/10 with Gareth

my first E1 at the head. a real epic adventure! first pitch is crazy! climbing not particularly hard but 50m of it! Class! crux on the second pitch is airy but holds are small and positive. even the last pitch is truly superb!!!!
jamesbrown - Lead O/S - 26/Jun/10 with Michael murphy

Brilliant route.
georgec - AltLd - 12/Jun/10 with Geoff S

chillax - Jun/10

fantastic. just do it. don't take any beta or preconceptions as they'll only spoil it
Alex@home - AltLd O/S - May/10 with The Doctor

Gibson27 - AltLd O/S - 2010

Hidden - AltLd - 17/Jul/09

Went off route on first pitch and backed off, led pitches 3 and 4 in one. First pitch is crazy, chimneying to the top of the broken pillar at 12 metres then moving left to the crack and corner, laybacking and back and footing up this ... and it goes on for over 40 metres!
givemetea - AltLd RP - 27/Jun/09 with Nick Sexton and Keith

grand day out. backed off the lead on pitch 1, seconded kevin & ros up the route. Absolute madness.
Quiddity - 2nd O/S - 27/Jun/09 with kevin, Roslyn McKendry

Ri - Lead O/S - 2009

datoon - Lead O/S - 29/Apr/06 with RT & JB

Nigel Coe - AltLd - 25/Jun/05 with Andy March

cornishben - AltLd O/S - Jun/05 with Ian Butterworth

Cool 1st pitch
Les Ross - AltLd - 07/May/00 with Mickey McCann

auld al - AltLd O/S - Apr/93

Hidden - 2nd dog - Jun/91

demented catapillar chimneying required!!
rogerskews - 26/May/90 with Bryn Roberts

John HW - AltLd O/S - 1986 with Dave Evans

Hammy - 31/Jul/80 with Rob Lawson

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
renetemple, Timothy Miller, Hidden, kenneM, Hidden, Hidden, Hidden, Bradders, oliverk, Hidden

Total votes cast 39
hard E20 of 14
E20 of 14
easy E20 of 14
hard E11 of 14
E113 of 14
easy E10 of 14
hard HVS0 of 14
HVS0 of 14
easy HVS0 of 14
hard 5c0 of 10
5c0 of 10
easy 5c0 of 10
hard 5b0 of 10
5b10 of 10
easy 5b0 of 10
hard 5a0 of 10
5a0 of 10
easy 5a0 of 10
3 Stars14 of 15
2 Stars1 of 15
1 Star0 of 15
0 Stars0 of 15
Bag of .....0 of 15
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Style of ascent

Lead11 of 56 (19.6%)
Followed5 of 56 (8.9%)
Toproped1 of 56 (1.8%)
Alt Leads34 of 56 (60.7%)
Unknown5 of 56 (8.9%)

'Climbed'19 of 56 (33.9%)
clean O/S31 of 56 (55.4%)
clean RP1 of 56 (1.8%)
dogged3 of 56 (5.4%)
dnf2 of 56 (3.6%)