The event is kindly supported by Mountaineering Ireland (MI) and organised by myself; Paul Swail, along with the help of many volunteers. A special note has to be made for Sean Mcbride, the farmer whose land we cross to enjoy this magnificent crag. Every year he is welcoming, supportive and hospitable to all the climbers by arranging camping in his fields, supplying us with fire wood (and diesel when paper doesn't light it.) and enjoying the social side by joining the climbers for a beer in the evening.
The aim of this weekend is to attract climbers to this somewhat underused crag and create a friendly, vibrant and enjoyable ambiance. This was definitely apparent throughout the weekend with likeminded climbers giving route recommendations, beta on approaches and the odd sandbag.
The 'official' meet takes place over the first weekend in June every year, but with the stable forecast the crag had been busy for a few weeks up until the meet. This meant all the classics were chalked, and some of the harder routes half chalked.
The sheer number of routes being climbed was very impressive with parties on all the 3 star classics. There were a few notable ascents over the weekend; Halloween (E4 5c, 6a) received its first ascent from the ground that included Halloween Arete (E4/5, 6b) to finish, then days later Andy Marshall climbed the 2nd pitch (40m pumpy E4) into the hard and exposed aręte in one 65m pitch. Northern Exposure (E5 6a, 6b) having waited nearly 20 years for an ascent received 4 ascents in 2 days and even had parties queuing, something that is unheard of at Fair Head. Visiting Scottish climber Ian Small onsighted Where the Grass is Greener (E7 6b) after nearly 3 hours of effort along with numerous other E5s and E6s.
The meet also attracted a core bunch of highliners from the UK, who set up what is tipped as the highest highline in the UK. It was set up in the gulley of the Grey Man's Path and at over 35m, was intimidating just to look at. After a few unsuccessful attempts on the Saturday mainly due to wind they were forced to slacken the line and wait until Sunday. Unfortunately the winds increased but this didn't put off these dedicated highliners and to the amusement of the many observing ramblers, it was sent by Nadeem Al-Khafaji. A fine effort.
The success of this meet is down to the support shown by local climbers so a big thank you to them. It is great that Fair Head is now becoming recognised as one of the top venues in the UK and it seems like the secret is out - even Johnny Dawes was over battling with some of the Fair Head classics, so it can't be bad.
A big thanks also to the support shown by Mountaineering Ireland and to all who were involved with the meet. Fingers crossed for good weather next year because the rain in Ireland hasn't stopped since.
For details on next year's meet check out www.mountaineering.ie closer to the time.
The Rab CWIF 2017 is over and it certainly didn't disappoint. With a long list of seasoned IFSC World Cup competitors as well as... Read more
Stefano Ghisolfi has made a very quick ascent of La Rambla, 9a+, at Siurana, needing only four attempts to do Ramonet's classic... Read more
In May last year, Jacob Cook and Robbie Phillips repeated El Niño 5.13c (8a+) on El Capitan in Yosemite... Read more
25 years after Mick Fowler, Nikki Duggan and Steve Sustad summited in 1990, Irish sea stack fanatic Iain Miller has... Read more
US climber Alex Honnold has continued his tour of the UK by stopping off at Fair Head, Northern Ireland. Yesterday evening... Read more