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April 10, 2017

The Gap Meet and rock climbing in Kerry

The Gap Meet and rock climbing in Kerry

There’s nothing quite like an airy traverse. Questing rightwards for what seems like an age, but really isn’t, its impossible not to be affected by the exposure high on Faill Ceol. Three of the climbs on this high crag are given three stars and I’m on one of them, the amazing Kudos.

Faill Ceol

  Faill Ceol

I had a conversation recently about three star ratings on climbs. My friend suggested that the rating is mis-used and considering the three star shite we were climbing at the time, I agreed.

But then climbing is a very personal thing and perhaps not everyone would love the scenario I find myself in on Kudos.  My last piece of gear is a size 1 DMM wire, the small purple one. Its a good few metre’s off to my left, not brilliantly seated, in a small crack. Each move away from it is so easy, technically, but when faced with a long swing on small gear, my mind stalls my limbs a little.

A shout from below reminds me I’m well able and I spot good gear coming soon. I’m blown away by the scenario and quality of the climbing and despite the little stall I’m loving the adventure. Or so I tell myself.

We abseil off and move onto Scairbhn. It seems odd not to try Meltdown, as if it and Kudos  are symbiotically linked, but the wind has picked up and some more shelter would be nice.

Vicki takes the crux pitch this time and dispatches it steadily, but I still get full value from the bottom pitch, well protected and safe, but with its moments.

That wraps up the first day of the Gap Meet for me and I head off to Con Moriarty’s campsite to see who’s about. The crowd is gathering and I bump into Martin. A plan is hatched for the next day and with it an early night.

Saturday morning is dry and sunny and we head for the main face getting on Out of my reach. Its hard to fathom the steeliness and guile of the first climbers on these cliffs, climbing ground up on-sight in a time when the kind of small cams we have these days weren’t at hand. Again, the sense of adventure is high.

After lunch Martin sends The Stoop with panache. I battle with Bats, with less elan. Ill be back again for a less awkward ascent.

Climbing in the Gap

  The Gap from Poirse gully

 

We catch up with others at Kates and share a drink in the evening sun. Everyone is in good form, from those who sent their first 7C boulder problem to those who did their first trad lead, all sat at one table.

Later, back at the campsite, we settle in the communal room to hear Cons talk. Sixty slices of apple tart await 20 mouths and the odds are looking good.

What happened next though was the highlight of the weekend. Not sure what to expect, but having seen plenty of boring climbers talking about climbing, it was apparent early on that wasn’t what we were getting.

A tale of history and culture, the past and the future, of the Gap and its surrounding environment, it was one of the best talks Ive ever heard, delivered with a quiet passion and comedy. I could have listened to Con well into the night.

Maybe that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but then talks, much like climbing are a personal thing. A three star rating.

 

Leaving the cave on Bats

Leaving the cave on Bats

 

   The Gap Meet and rock climbing in Kerry

The Gap Meet and rock climbing in Kerry

The Gap Meet and rock climbing in Kerry