Altitude 15m a.s.l
John McCune on a rare ascent of Kerry Gold E4 5c, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland. © dlyonsewing
Excellent steep sound rock. Friends VERY useful. The Black Cliff is situated on Valencia Island in Co. Kerry to the west of the cliff top radio station. From Cahersiveen the island can be reached by ferry at Reenard point. A cheaper but slightly longer route from Cahersiveen is via the bridge at Portmagee.
This is the complex black cliff between the steep sided inlet called Coosnahorna and the tumble down Fogher Cliff, on the SW side of Reenadrolaun Point. The height ranges from 35m to 60m. The first eight routes can be reached by an abseil over The Lobster of Incontinence. In calm seas, the first 16 can be reached below 3/4 tide. In big seas, waves can come over the top. The easiest escape, bar Jumaring is E1.
At the seaward end of the overhanging face of Coosnahorna is Brendan’s buttress, characterised by the prominent flake of Brendan the Navigator. Right of this is the black slab of ‘Lobster which, despite ending on the lip of a large overhang is the safest position for abseil ropes.
The rock is a generally sound sandy slate, there is little loose rock but edged are very sharp and care should be taken with rope work and abseils. Rope protectors of some sort are essential for the abseils. All directions are given facing into the cliff. Two sets of Friends 1 - 3 can prove useful.
Route descriptions in:
Abseil only. Easiest escape E1. The cliff is tidal but climbable from half tide.
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