What better way to start your day than breakfast on the beach, 30m from the van? Time to check out the options for the day’s cragging in the guidebook over a coffee.
Very considerate of the Monks to construct such handy access roads – in this case bringing two opposing walls within a 5 minutes walk from the car allowing for sun or shade by simply switching sides. In our case that meant left hand side for shade in the morning followed by a switch to the right for more shade in the afternoon.
Our first route, Kilfinan, gets marked down as the worst of the trip – grungy struggle on poor, dirty rock ending in a tree filled gully. Avoid it! The neighbouring “Monks in the Gym” didn’t look a whole lot better, but was almost worth doing just for the brilliant name! Instead we did Apo Michanis Theos, a 35m 7a up mostly vertical, quite “traddy” white rock with a hard (too hard for me) crux crossing a blank undercut wall on crozzly pebble holds, and another tricky sting in the tail. Here’s a fellow Brit making a better job of it.
Switching sides (to follow the shade) I start up the classic 6a/+ Broom only to find it much tougher than I expected – also, after 20m there was no sign of a lower off where the route should have ended but instead a load more bolts heading up and around a sharp arête… At which point Helen reported that I was on a 38m 6c+ about 50m to the right of where we had thought. I cursed and pressed on, ultimately quite enjoying the route (which I probably wouldn’t have bothered with had I known the grade, being totally 6c+phobic!)
Heading leftwards we of course found “Broom” which proved excellent, and Helen completed the themed double bill with “Witch”
… And her favourite easy route of the trip: Kleines Geshenk.
Looking around for a final tricky route to try I’m left choosing between a 17m overhanging crack, a 30m featureless wall or a 20m steep orange wall that’s “hard to read” – I plump for the latter, “Wheelie” 7a, and am chuffed that I made some good guesses!