If Lord of the Rings was set in the Mournes
To start off this trip report, I shall follow in the footsteps of Master Cadden and apply some good tunes (mostly for the beats) to this for y’all to listen to as you read this award winning trip report. Today’s tunes are complimentary of my own taste in musik, many of which some may find odd, but if you want to listen to something different, you cannot because I’ll only be linking these- peppering them throughout *deal with it*; tunes will vary according to the tone I want to set so enjoy mes amis!
This week’s shenanigans bring us to the beloved Lower Cove, first explored by many a (hungover) Fresher on the annual ‘Fresher’s Trip’ and re-explored once again (hungover) from time to time by your avid climber. Lower Cove, for those who don’t know it is located deep in the fiery chasm; that is the Mourne Mountains. The location of Lower Cove provides quite a nice walk in with picture opportunities all around, or for those less fitted for the “stroll”, the walk provides a breathy hike; with a good way to get seriously warmed up.
The spontaneous trip to the Mournes on the misty yet bright Wednesday morning, sought to spur my mind into questioning key issues (shit talk) about the purpose of climbing, the disputes within climbing, bolting (triggering) and why Trad-ists, are so particularly skilled in the art of having no fear of Death whilst carrying an extremely heavy rack (steady on).
The day started off relatively well; rising bright and early to meet with Mr. Colin collecting both Eoin and I from our individual digs, and thus setting forth towards the Mournes to rendezvous with Sir Kyle Vlad of Trad, and later Master Cadden the local Wizard of Donard. On route to the meeting point, we stopped for the traditional coffee break at the local shop-filling- station-location. However, in this special episode we decided to stick to a healthy diet of bikers crisps, some “half dipped chocolate flan biscuits” for Mr. Colin, some Oats biscuits for Eoin and of course, 2 litres of L’eau (water for those not bilingual), instead of buying the coffee that we all should’ve had. After a quick stop for stocking up on supplies, we fired on towards location uno; Lower Cove car park.
Arriving in one piece, and meeting with Sir Kyle, we all trekked towards Lower Cove. The walk was a tiring one for all parties but nevertheless psych was retained as Eoin and I would experience Trad for the first time, Kyle and Colin would show us the ropes (hue) and all would have a jam packed day. We made our way to first corner where we set up camp, and looked at the possible routes to climb in Sir Kyle Vlad of Trad’s handy guide book.
For a first time traditionalist, one will find fascination in the use of various equipment used to prevent death; although it must be noted that the prospect of death in climbing is inherent despite various equipment. Two half ropes are sometimes used in this area of climbing, one for the clipping of one to the gear placements and the other I don’t know, I didn’t learn that much it’s not school lads.
Whilst pending this information, I was self-appointed photographer, and took visual notes of Colin’s placements and pretty solid climbing of a V.diff named “Tyro”. Impressed and excited to try, both Eoin and I decided to give the route a whorl, with Eoin seconding the climb and I following suit. One thing I found interesting was the crux of the route; A bridging of a small chimney with high foot holds (if you wish), before grappling nice juggy holds, and then a nice stepping up to the top. All in all a fun route, which I wouldn’t mind climbing again, next time hopefully placing the gear.
After climbing down again, through the Gully, we all decided to chill for a bit after one climb (do you see why skipping coffee was a terrible idea). Following the quick break, Sir Kyle was eyeing up a pretty gnarly E2 so named the ‘Meat Grinder’, awesome.
With Kyle racking up, we all gathered round, biscuits and crisps in mouths, Colin on belay, and observed Kyle ascend like an angel with no wings wedging small pieces of metal into tight spaces (he’s done this before). Sailing up this E2, Sir Kyle Vlad of Trad set up an anchor at the summit for Colin to second the route and withdraw Kyle’s gear. Colin did a pretty good job seconding, but not without falling victim to the meat grinder’s name. Blood was spilt this day. After Colin had equally sailed to the top, I decided that I was the captain now, and had to give this E2 a go…on top-rope. The route starts off with stepping up onto a small horizontal ledge, and hands grabbing onto some small sparse jugs at neck height, then working your way up into vertical cracks, with hand holds then being used as footholds. Passing a blood speckled hold (R.I.P. Colin), I came to what I believe to be the crux of the route…until you realise that the crux is a layback, and attempting it as not a layback is very silly. Up past the crux, you can ascend quite easily, trusting your feet and making a quicker ascent if you force yourself to stretch for great high footholds. From there, horizontal cracks are your best friend, providing excellent jugs and a happy climb to the top.
(Leaving y’all with a chill tune, I expect you to fade the music out yourselves when you’ve finished reading)
Arriving at the top, I discovered a Master Cadden Wizard of Donard and beyond, lying on the edge of both the crag and life; exhausted after climbing Donard and trekking to meet us at Lower Cove. We decided then, as the sun began to set, that it was best to call it a day and take the (nicer) walk back to the car park, where the plan to get a trad-itional chicken kebab (recommended by the Wizard himself) at Herron’s.
I won’t bore you with the shit-talk made at Herron’s, but questions in summary for y’all to think about;
Why does Herron’s put the Chicken beneath the chips? (To Colin’s dismay)
Why do people hate the pictures taken by others of them, but take the same picture of themselves and like it better (Cadden logic…)
Why do flowers die when they lay so close to Caddens heart? (my jab)
Is Cadden’s long-term plan to steal my Beanie viable? (Cadden’s edgy plan)
Is Kyle’s mental way of thinking being warped from staying in Caddens presence 24/7? (My internal thoughts)
And finally, when will September end because wake me up this report is too long.
So anyways, Thanks for reading, for those who stuck it out, and hopefully you’ll hear from me soon if I have the time and resources, because as an English student, free time is hard to come by…… bye!