Altitude 194m a.s.l
One of the few Irish winter climbing venues to get a mention in the timeless table top bible to winter climbing 'Cold Climbs'. It really does seem to come into condition more regularly than you would think.
This information is taken from New Climbs 1981.
Location: follow coast road as far as Waterfoot at the mouth of the glen. Take the Ballymena Road (A 43) for approx. 3 miles. The climbs are located up on the R. The most obvious feature (even from Waterfoot) is a waterfall called the Mare's Tail,, which starts about 10m from the road on a bend with a small layby. Routes from L to R looking at the falls.
NB.It is certainly possible to climb in Glenariff more frequently than one would expect, more so than the Mournes! The falls are very wide and even if they appear to be definitely not in condition (especially on the south-facing side) step up and have a closer look!
1. The Mane 250ft. ll/lll
Approx. 200m R of The Mare's Tail is a disused house on the R and opposite a gate with a clearing. Scramble up to grass where you follow a faint path (which gets better) through the trees on the L bank of the stream bed. After 10 mins. you are at the waterfall.
Climb the fall with two short steep sections at the start. Descend down the path to the L.
About 1/4 mile down the road towards Waterfoot is an obvious fall high up - 'The Veil'. There is a second in the back of a deep broad gully which is hidden from the road.
Park at the end of a steep disused track leading down to valley floor or in the layby on the opposite side. Beside the layby is a field entrance. Cross the gate (3m back from the road) and enter the field on R heading up towards the falls. Follow the track until possible to get down into the river bed. The falls are obscured from vision here.
3. Fallout 200ft. lll/lV
Follow the river bed to a narrow section. Climb the steep icefall on the L and then the easier one above.
4. The Veil 300ft. lV/V
From the river bed climb the R bank through the trees to reach next and most impressive fall.
Climb the fall in three steep sections, the last one, being the hardest, was climbed on the L up 30 - 40 ft. of vertical and slightly overhanging ice to start.
Descent from the above two routes is by following the path on the L.
All routes are of top quality and highly recommended. Lengths of routes are approximate.
All routes were soloed by M. Manson and E. Cooper on 11th Jan 1982.
During a thaw there may be stonefall on 'The Mane' and 'Fallout'.
The following information is taken from New Climbs 1985.
1/. Green Bananas 50m lll
East side of Crearlagh Burn Gorge.
2/. Crearlagh Burn Step 7m lV
Step at top of burn
3/. Ardclinis Burn ll/lll
Series of short steps along length of gorge.
4/. Cushenilt Burn lll/lV
Series of steps leading to upper amphitheatre and including 'Black Fall' 13m halfway and 'The Banana Tree' , lll, 40m in centre of amphitheatre.
5/. Da 13m lll
Short step at head of valley.
6/. Grey Mare's Tails lV/V
Altnagowan Burn, cosisting of four pitches.
4a/. Delaware Slide 60m V
This climbs the icefall on the L side of the obvious deep gully which is clearly visible from the road.
Climb the fall directly, exiting through the clean-cut slot at the top.
M. Manson, B. Ireland, S. McCrory. January 1984
The Mare's Tail 110m V
For location see opening paragraph at top of page.
Descent is as for 'The Mane'.
M. Manson, B. Ireland, M. McNaught (alternate leads), D. Woodward. February 1985
The following information is taken from New Climbs 1986.
Mr. Frodo's Hairdryer 80m Grade 3
This route is located between Crearlagh Burn and Ardclinis Burn on the coast road.
Climb a steep 10m fall then weave interestingly up to a final steep step to the top.
D. Woodward, S. Glass, B. Mallon. 14th Jan. 1987.
Mirror 45m Grade 5
The steep smear on the L side of Cushentilt Burn.
A long, bold lead to finish on a grassy meadow and poor belay.
D. Woodward, S. Glass. 14th Jan. 1987.
P.O.P. 50m Grade 3
The R-hand watercourse in the upper amphitheatre of Cushentilt Burn.
D. Woodward, B. Mallon (solo). 2nd March 1986.
Easy Peasy 90m Grade 2/3
Follows the gorge cut by Black Burn in a series of short steps.
D. Woodward, B. Mallon (solo). 2nd March 1986.
Nearly 90m Grade 4.
Follows the gorge of Glassaneely Burn in a series of short steps.
B. Mallon, D. Woodward (solo). 2nd March 1986.
The Narrows 60m Grade 2/3
This follows the gorge cut by an un-named stream to south-west of 'Nearly'. The route takes a line up a narrow V-shaped gorge.
D. Woodward (solo). 2nd March 1986.
About 200m L of 'Tough'there is a wide gully. the following route takes a line halfway up the gully.
Step Left 40m Grade 3
Climb the ice smear on the L side of the gully. Difficult to start, then easier to top.
D. Woodward (solo) 17th Jan. 1987.
Tough 100m Grade 5
A prominent three-tiered ice-fall forms at the L-hand end of the main north-facing cliff. The second pitch is the crux, with anicicle fring not usually filled out. A short ramp leads to the upper pitch.
D. Woodward, G. Walker. 26th Feb. 1986.
Wimp Out 85m Grade 4
L of 'Delaware Slide' (see above, New Climbs 1985) at a small coniferous clump is a prominent wide icefall. The first pitch leads to a good belay L of the imposing icicle fringe. Traverse below this where a short steep pitch widens out into a fan-shaped upper pitch.
D. Woodward, B. Mallon. 23rd Feb. 1986.
Stepping Out 100m Grade 3
Between 'Wimp Out' and 'Slippery Steps' a ribbon of ice may sometimes form. Easier after half-height.
D. Woodward, S. McCrory (solo) 17th Jan 1987.
Slippery Steps 100m Grade 4
Route follows an un-named river north of Doon Burn. Easy first series of steps leads via a long ramp to a steep corner formed by a large icicle. Another ramp leads to a steep smear.
Doon Burn Grade 3
Climb the burn, with a L-branching fork at the top.
D. Woodward, B. Mallon. 23rd Fe. 1986.
D.A. Grade 3
Short step at the head of the gorge cut by Inver river.
D. Woodward (solo). 29th Dec. 1986.
All climbing is on privately own farm land. I have meet the farmer whilst climbing and he appeared happy (am amused) that climbing was taking place. Please be respectful to allow continued access to some fantastic winter climbing less than 1hr from Belfast.
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