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Rock Climbing in the Isle of Man
Minor Crags

 

CORNAA

This crag lies to the North of the beach, and includes many easy slabs of around 80', and one steeper slab reached by abseil from a small sycamore at the cliff edge.

BAREFOOT ~ 90' ~ Diff
Start near the back of the first gully below an overhanging flake on the left. Climb over a smooth slab and over a bulge to the top

NOVICE LEAD ~ 80' ~ Diff
Start on the left of the second gully on a slab below a spike. pass this on the left to gain a diagonal fault. Follow this left to a flake and slab finish.

BRITTLE ~ 120' ~ Diff
On the right hand side of the gully below diagonal rock folds, in a step like recess just above high water level.
1/70' A rising traverse left to a deep recess. Cross this then mantleshelf onto folds which are followed to spikes.
2/50' Step across grass tufts and follow a shallow rising traverse left on small holds below a steeper small recess. Continue until the lower slab runs out at the top.

Well past the above climbs a small sycamore tree lies astride the cliff-top path above a steep smooth slab. Abseil from the tree to a large platform at sea level, leaving a rope in place to enable the final overhanging gorse barrier to be overcome.

JOHN'S ERROR ~ 130' ~ Hard Sev
Climb easily up to a large ledge at half height and continue up a shallow groove on the right edge of an obvious pillar. From the top of the pillar climb directly up to the vegetation above and use a rope for aid to overcome this final barrier.

 


 

HEATHER CRAG

From Lonan Old Church follow the rough track up and through Ballakillet Farm. Continue along the path and through a gate into a field. Cross the field to the fence bordering the cliffs and turn left, passing another field. The crag stands well above the main sea-cliff line.

ORIGINAL ROUTE ~ 85' ~ V Diff
Start at the lowest point of the crag. Traverse right about eight feet just above the ground and up to a corner leading to a ridge. Climb a short wall leading to a second ridge and the wall above to finish.

ARETE AND WALL ~ 70' ~ Diff
Climb the prominent rib on the right of the crag avoiding loose rock on the extreme right hand edge.

SLAB AND CORNER ~ 80'
Start between the Original and the Arete and climb a slab followed by a corner direct to the top.

THE CRACK ~ 60' ~ Diff
Climb the obvious crack to the left of the crag, traverse 15' right along a narrow ledge then finish up a short corner.

 


 

GROUDLE

This is the steep black coloured wall which can easily be seen from the main coast road above Howstrake Camp. The East bounding arete of the crag can be reversed at any easy standard to large ledges above high tide level.

SERPENDICULAR ~ 80' ~ MS ~ (T)
A 50 yard traverse North from the descent, past the yellow wall left of the zawn. Start in the small shallow depression of the zawn wall. Climb a series of small overhangs to a hanging corner on the right. Belay 20' further up in a block with a crack.

AFTER EIGHT ~ 110' ~ Sev 4a
Start 10' right of Serpendicular below the bulging wall. Climb up the wall then left and down into a corner. Follow the series of small corners to the top. Loose rock at top, belay okay.

TRUE BLUE ~ 60' ~ HVS 5a
Start in the centre of the wall between a huge cave on the left and the smaller one on the right. Step left onto the face and climb up steeply on widely spaced holds to an good ledge. Up right along a narrow sloping gangway to reach a thin crack, then climb this and the wall above. Block belay a long way back left.

DEJA VU ~ 100' ~ E2 5b
1. Follow True Blue to the good ledge then step left onto the middle of the wall and climb this until the situation eases and ledges above and left are reached.
2. From the twin spikes at the top of the ledges climb steeply up and across to the left to reach ledges below the final bulge. Pull out left rather insecurely to finish. Belay 90' back and right.

 


 

HOWSTRAKE AREA

From the entrance road to the old Howstrake camp scramble very steeply down passing over a small rocky tower to large ledges above sea level. There are two bays, North and South, With existing routes in the South bay and potential in the North.

Scramble round to the South bay and drop down a short steep wall to the start of an obvious square corner with a cracked left wall.

JUST A PINCH ~ 50' ~ VS
Climb the left wall of the corner direct up the middle. Harder than it looks.

RINGROUND ~ ? ~ Hard VS
A route has been climbed up one of the caves and corners to the left of Just A Pinch, but no details are available and the route is unchecked.

NORMA RAE ~ 70' ~ Sev
Climb a short wall past two small overlaps. From a large sloping ledge climb a diagonal crack rising to the right and follow this to the top. Care is needed with loose rock. A variation is to climb the bulging pocketed wall left of the crack. Longer and harder than the original.

 


 

PORT JACK

CHIPPY CRACK ~ 50' ~ Sev
Descend via the footpath opposite Port Jack Chippy and scramble around the small headland. The slabs have two thin cracks, climb the central crack above undercut start.

PORT JACK CHIMNEY ~ 40' ~ MS ~ (T)
The obvious feature at the Douglas Bay Hotel (now demolished) end of the crag. Loose rock.

ROUGH BOY ~ 90' ~ HS 4c
At the start of Port Jack Chimney, a rising traverse across the slab until two thirds across climb the overhanging wall to finish on the short slab.

EASY CRACKS ~ V Diff ~ (T)
Three crack lines split the right end of the cliff.

 


 

LANGNESS

Rather surprisingly in view of its very low level there are a few quite good climbs. The best area lies adjacent to the 16th green. Follow the road to the lighthouse, leaving it to turn left at a ruined house by a gate in the road. Continue at right angles to the road, over the fairway, and drop down past the green to the base of a slab which contains a large overhang.

THE PLUMBER ~ 50' ~ V Diff
Start at the bottom of the gully (Baillie Gullet) and climb straight up the boiler plate slab, over an awkward bulge and finish up a conspicuous groove.

THE PLUMBERS MATE ~ 25' ~ V Diff
Left of The Plumber, near the head of the gully, climb a small overhang and easier slab above.

LONGMANS LEAP ~ 50' ~ Sev
Right of the other routes, climb directly up to and over the overhang at its widest point.

In the next gully South, about 200 yards away, (Marth Gullet), are a couple more short routes.

TRIDENT ~ 45' ~ Diff ~ (T)
A good little route. Starting below high water mark a crack leads to a triangular stance. Above this few feet of easy climbing leads to a bulging wall. Climb this left, right, or harder straight up.

COFFIN ARETE ~ 20' ~ Mod
The arete right of Trident.

 


 

SCARLETT POINT

An unusual plug of volcanic rock, reached at low tide only. The climbs are on the seaward face.

SCARLETT STACK ~ 35' ~ Hard Sev
Climb the V-groove.

RIGHT HAND WALL ~ 40' ~ V Diff
Start at an inverted v cleft and follow a hair-line crack on face holds to a ledge.

BREAKFAST AT ERIC'S ~ 400' ~ HVDiff
A solo traverse of the limestone quarry at Scarlett. Start behind the visitors centre and traverse in a clockwise direction. Note loose flakes, especially on the sea wall section.

 


 

GREG-NY-IRREE-LAA

The seaward face is very steep and the crags are best approached via Eary Cushlin and the path down to the old hermitage. The crag itself lies at about 1000' at the top of the lag.

ROUTE ONE ~ 35' ~ Mod A traverse on large holds to the left leads to a platform from where a steep wall, often wet, leads to the top.

ROUTE TWO ~ 35' ~ Diff
Start on a small outcrop just below and right of the main wall. A short wall on badly placed holds leads to a shelf and a second, shorter, wall.

 


 

STROIN VUIGH

Best reached from the Sloc, the sharp bend in the coast road by a car park and picnic site. The climbs lie on the South side at about 800'. From the Sloc the outcrop can be seen below the summit and below the skyline.

DETACHMENT ~ 70' ~ Diff
Start just above the lowest point of the crag at the foot of a corner above which is a large detached block. Climb the corner, the block and the groove above to finish.

TORMENT ~ 75' ~ ?
A few yards right of Detachment to the right of a slabby wall with a right angled overhang at half height. Climb the steep wall to the right and the slab above followed by a final short steep wall.

THE BLOCK ~ 20' ~ ?
A finishing pitch can be made up the large block above the crag.

 


 

LHIATEE-NY-BEINNEE

Best approach is from the Sloc. The only worthwhile pitches are to the left of the skyline and low down.

SLOC GROOVE ~ 35' ~ V Diff
A shallow overhanging groove.

SLEEPWALKER ~ 65' ~ V Diff
Right of Sloc Groove and left of a grassy gully below a shallow overhanging quartzite corner. Climb the corner direct to the overhang and finish up the crack to the right.

 


 

CREG-NY-GREEBA

Another small inland crag, easily reached from the main Douglas Peel road at Greeba. The crag is just North of the road in the Greeba plantation. The rock tends to get rather green.

THE CORNER ~ 35' ~ V Diff
A good but dirty right angled corner crack. Hard to start.

THE LONG CORNER ~ 45' ~ V Diff
A groove in the arete right of The Corner. Undercut to start and strenuous to finish.

ZIG-ZAG ~ 45' ~ V Diff
The crack and slab to the right of the above. An awkward mantleshelf finish.

THE BARLEY MOW ~ 35' ~ V Diff
About 60 yards right of the main crag and at the same level lies a small outcrop containing a corner followed by a wall.

THE HAYMAKER ~ 45' ~ Mod
A slab to the right of Barley Mow.

 


 

CLUGGID FALL

This is a pleasant little inland crag in an unusual setting (for the Isle of Man). The crag is reached by a walk from the Sulby Glen road. Park by a the "Public footpath to Sulby Claddagh" sign which points to Cluggid Fall, cross the wooden bridge, cross the field and up bank until a rough vehicle track is reached. Turn right and follow the track until it reaches a stream. Turn left and follow the stream either on the left hand bank, following a rough path, or on the right by following the vehicle path until it reaches a hairpin, then going straight on to the waterfall. The routes are short and of a low standard so it will not really suit experienced climbers although walkers who do some occasional climbing might find it worthwhile.

CLUGGID ORIGINAL ~ 40' ~ Mod
Start up the left edge of the crag to a large block overhanging the pitch. Easily past this left or right and finish up a short wall.

CLUGGID DIRECT ~ 40' ~ Diff
Start about 6' right of Original. Climb straight over a small bulge at 20' to join Original.

ARMFIELD CLIMB ~ 40' ~ Mild Sev
Start at the central groove of the crag. Traverse 20' left along a green slab below a flaky bulge. Move around the bulge and up.

EAGLES NEST DIRECT ~ 40' ~ Mild Sev
Start directly below the bulge on Armfield and climb direct to the top, finishing slightly right.

CLUGGID GROOVE ~ 40' ~ Mild Sev
The obvious central groove gives the best route on the crag.

MISTRESS ~ 40' ~ Mild Sev
Start at the foot of the groove on the right wall (narrow) and climb directly up avoiding the groove and left hand face. near the top a small slab provides a finish.

SPOUSE ~ 40' ~ Mild Sev
Start right of the groove along a lower slab just above the grass. Climb a very small V-groove and the smooth slab to the left around a short bulge. Up and left to the edge then right to finish as for Mistress.

CLUGGID ARETE DIRECT ~ 40' ~ Mild Sev
Start right of the groove, up and over an overhang, keeping to the arete to finish.

DEPARTURE / MEANDER ~ 40' ~ Diff
Two rather indefinite lines starting as for Spouse and finishing to the right.



All text © Manx Fell & Rock Club and Mike Caine