Altitude 393m a.s.l
Donegal Granite at its best © georgec
The crags surrounding Lough Belshade in the centre of the Blue Stack Mts provide excellent climbing in beautiful surroundings. The routes are, almost without exception, on sound granite and well spread across the grades although the long routes on the main face of Belshade Buttress are all HVS and above. There is still plenty of scope for development. Friends are almost essential for protection on most routes.
From left to right: Belshade Buttress - by far the largest and containing very fine routes up to 90m in length. Two Tier Buttress on the right flank, consists of two short walls each characterised by a diagonal crack line running up its centre from left to right. Red Wall - below and slightly left of Two- Tier Buttress. This crag is a smooth rightwards facing slab giving fine climbing with no protection. Beyond this is a steep grass and rock outcrops through which descent can be made from the top of the main crag. To the right again is a stream and then a group of three crags one above the other. These are, from the bottom to the top, Blaeberry Crag, The High Crag and last of all The Very High Crag. All provide good one pitch routes on clean rock.
Map ref: G975901
After passing through Barnesmore Gap on the Ballybofey/Donegal Town Road, look for signs on the right for Lough Eske. Drive around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction until, at the top of a steep hill, a wooden walker points the way down a narrow road to the right (Edergole) The narrow road leads to a small farmyard where cars can be parked. From here a way marked path leads up the valley passing (out of sight) the Doonan Waterfall which is well worth the short detour (50m) to the right to see. The river, and the marker posts are followed until the first major river junction, when a stream descends from Lough Belshade to the left. Follow this stream to arrive at the lake shore. Follow the lake shore to the right to arrive at a small beach at the northern end of the lake, directly below the crags.
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