Rob Hunter and Veronica Lee have developed a new bouldering area at Fairhead, Northern Ireland, called Na Bolláin Rúnda. To date, they have added close to 250 new problems from Font 3 to 7C.
The pair's flurry of development happened when their Rocklands trip was put on hold due to Covid-19. Instead, they spent eight weeks working on the upcoming second edition of the Fairhead Bouldering Guidebook which involved developing the new area.
Rob and Veronica have known of the area for years, but according to Rob it 'was lost to memory due to so many other climbs to do.' Slowly, they have been moving further away from the Murlough Bay area, which boasts the highest concentration of boulders, in order to develop other sectors.
After lockdown, Rob went for a walk with his friend Si McCartney and cast a fresh set of eyes over the area:
'We were astounded with the amount of incredible lines to be climbed! We had a good idea of where the beginning and end of the area is. Rather than a formulaic method for development we went with what inspired us. With any new climbing and discovery everything is exciting and fresh! However, we do have a few favourites.'
The area has a challenging hour and a half walk-in and will most likely be a spring or summer venue, particularly with the Ballycastle descent gully described by Rob as 'an interesting experience in winter with pads, especially with a blustery updraft!'
Currently, Rob hopes that the new guidebook will be published sometime in 2021 – production has slowed slightly due to the development of the new area, but all good things come to those who wait…