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Rock Climbing in the Isle of Man
Calf Sound Area

 

Between Spanish Head and the Calf Sound are a number of crags, including some of the biggest on the Island. Regrettably much of the rock is amongst the worst on the Island and so the crags remain largely untouched. However some good routes have been found and considerable potential remains. Access is easiest from the car park at Calf Sound. From here follow the path across the rough fields past a stone cross, through a narrow rock passage, then skirt the edge of a field and cross a small stream. Just before the path starts to rise steeply up the hillside it is possible to scramble carefully down to the large boulders at the foot of the very big overgrown crag, a total distance of some half mile from the car park.

CREG BRIECHYN

This is the very big, overgrown crag itself. So far the only route is at the right hand end where the rock is excellent, and this is reached by a 250' traverse just above high tide level. The traverse is hard at the start (which can be avoided at low tide), the remainder goes at about V Diff / Sev. The traverse ends at a corner with a slabby right wall which contains an overlap, and with a small hole in the corner which gives access to a large cave. A traverse across the right wall to reach further lines is undoubtedly feasible at low tide, but has not yet been done.

FOURTH DIMENSION ~ 150' ~ VS 4c
1/120' From a belay beside the hole in the corner, climb the slabby and steepening right wall across an overlap and up a thin crack. The crack steepens into a short, very shallow overhanging corner, and an exit is made at the top of this onto a large ledge which runs across the left wall of the main corner. Traverse the ledge to its extreme left end and climb up a short orange coloured wall in a superb situation to reach an easy ramp leading back right to the top of the main corner. Good stance and belays.
2/30' Climb easily up and then right to finish on the hillside. Good belays some yards up and right. A good route on good rock.

BUROO NED

This is the crag opposite Greg Briechyn. It has a distinct light colour and is easily seen between Calf Sound and Spanish head in many places. A route has been completed, but the rock is rather dangerous and is perhaps best avoided.

GREG MOOAR

Approach as for Greg Briechyn, but continue up the steep hillside and over the top of the crag until an area of shallow, wide chasms is reached. From here scramble steeply down to sea level and traverse back towards Creg Briechyn. Perched up on the hillside is a huge buttress, this is Creg Mooar. Once again it is extremely loose and has defied all attempts to find a route up it.

If on the approach and scramble down to Creg Mooar, a line slightly left is taken over a small rocky ridge about 100' above sea level, another group of buttresses is reached identified by a huge cave at the base of the first one. These are so far unnamed and unclimbed.

GREG NY JAGHEE

Continuing the traverse just above high tide level a small pinnacle juts out into the sea. This is Creg ny Jaghee.

PINNACLE FLAKE ~ 50' ~ V Diff
Start directly below the summit of the pinnacle. Climb to a steep groove, traverse left to the flake, which is followed by a pullover onto ledges, then easily right and up to the top.

PARALLAX ~ 90' ~ Sev
Around the arete to the right, and several yards away from Pinnacle Flake is a chimney which leads to an overhang. Above the overhang the chimney splits into left and right cracks. Climb the chimney and the right crack. A great deal of rope is needed to reach a belay. If climbing on double ropes it will probably be necessary for the leader to pull one rope through and use this to belay. It may well prove possible to belay some distance below the top of the crack, which would certainly be preferable.

The traverse can be continued a little further, almost to the cave on Creg Briechyn, but is finally stopped at a small inlet.


All text © Manx Fell & Rock Club and Mike Caine