The 5 Best VS Climbs In Ireland

If you’re like me, then you’ve been spending most of lockdown dreaming about getting out and climbing again, especially at my favourite Irish crags.

Sometimes thumbing through guidebooks and making tick-lists are the genesis of all good adventures.

This is a list of 5 climbs that I think every VS climber should aim to lead at some stage.

They vary in style, location and rock type and could make for a useful base for planning a summer climbing trip around Ireland.

The Black Thief, VS 4b, 24m, Fair Head

If you love hand jams, you’ll love The Black Thief, 24m of cruisey jams and gear on demand. Even if you dont love hand jams yet, then this is the climb to get you started and its fitting that it should be a Clare and Calvin route to start off this list.

Prelude-Nightmare, VS 4b, 4b, 4a, 4c, 74m, Glendalough

One of the best climbs on the crag. Solid rock and decent gear placements when needed. Its always a bit exciting leaving the belay ledge and committing to the airy Nightmare pitch. A must do!

Giraffe, VS 4c, 40m, Dun Seanna Head

Such a dramatic setting and an aesthetic line, with good holds and lots of gear. Waves crashing around the belay ledge can add to the drama, but mostly for your belayer as they will you to hurry up.

Girona, VS 4c, 4c, 47m, Fair Head

Another at Fair Head, but then it is the best crag in the world, so hardly surprising. Girona has a bit of everything climbing wise, but for me the final few moves on the upper section of pitch 2 are class. Hard for the grade but with gear on demand, its an absolute classic.

Jug City, VS 4c, 12m, Ailladie

It might seem odd that a 12m route peppered with jugs can be given the same grade as Girona. Its way easier to climb, but as a climbing experience, if VS is your grade, its up there with anything Ireland has to offer. For most people its there first abseil in route at Ailladie and with good reason too.

Honourable mentions:

Taoiseach, VS 4c, 4c, Fair Head – The slab section at the start of pitch 2 is awesome

Mahjongg, VS 4c, Dalkey – Fun, thin slab climbing.

Roaring Meg, VS 5a, Fair Head – a long route with some excellent moves on it.R

Kudos VS 4c, 4c Gap Of Dunloe – awesome route and a good multipitch adventure high above the valley floor.

Hopefully this inspires some to get out and climb when we are allowed do so again.

Let me know if you agree or even strongly disagree with my choice or if you feel there’s been a glaring omission then I’m happy to hear that too, it might just inspire me to get out somewhere new too.

I hope the above info is useful. If you would like to discuss any aspect further, please get in touch and Id be happy to chat.