The Glorious Return of the Lion King

To set the mood I shall link thee to, what the kids call, a “banging tune”

Or for the acoustic version

After much pestering, I finally caught a hold of the long lost lion king, a.k.a Kevin Cheung.  A man of many talents, among them throwing leaving parties, and lifting small stuffed animals above his head.  For those unacquainted, you may remember him from such movies as “Keith Lemon: The Film” and “Whole Lotta Sole”.  In fact this young aspiring actor posses such skills as speaking French, is a Baritone singer and a talented musician in piano, drums and guitar, he is a true Renaissance man.  For more information visit  .

Freshly released from the Share correctional center, he collected me at an unreasonably early hour of 11:00 and we made our alpine start for the greatest crag in the Mournes (for those not in the know, that is Hen Mountain).  After suffering a bird-strike on the drive in, we soldiered on to the summit where we came across a rare sight in Ireland….other climbers.  After arming ourselves against attack with concealed hexes, we warily went to make first contact with said group.  On nearing our nerves were eased as we found a Begley and Charleen dragging young crushers up some granite.  After some general chit chat we parted ways and began our first climb of the day.

A classic of the crag, but only if you give up on it, we attempted Jump Route VS 7a+.  Thankfully, even after that debacle with the mountain-bikers, SOME of the holds were left undamaged, allowing an ascent with some difficulty.  After cursing my very existence, Kev successfully reached ascension and we set our sights on the route (boulder problem) Mainstreet.  After surmounting the crux of the route, things were getting sketchy, with no gear as yet and a 1m run out with a good chance of decking.  I had a bit of an epic but finally reached the gear nest spot about 2m up and began the process for planning permission.  After about 6 months, construction was complete and I could dismantle my port-a-ledge and ascend the wall above, and with a final push I reached the belay and set up for Kev to follow.  Not yet back in the way of manipulating friction coefficients to my level, Kev had some trouble, but eventually conquered the tremendous line (scrittley-luck-based slab).  After a realignment of the anchor, and a telling off by Kev for my attempt at a triple pike dismount in doing so, we abseiled down and sighted our next project.

The One They Call The White Hare is an ill defined route at best, but we made a hack at it, assured by the guide there was gear to be had at the horizontal break.  After reaching said break, I found that there was no chance in hell of placing any meaningful protection (I forgot to bring cams, which would have been bomber), thus completed a successful lead/solo of a not so bad route, and Kev quickly followed with little trouble.  While setting up for the next climb, the vengeful weather gods noted that we had in fact forgotten to back-off Jump Route, and set upon us with a shower worthy of a jet-wash.  During this, talks were held, where the counsel evaluated a low chance for further routes.  But the ever-resourceful Kevin Miguel Juan Kim Montoyez de la Vega Rotisserie Chicken Cheung, told me a tale of a forbidden crag.  A crag where the routes mutate and transform at the will of the crag faeries, a crag where there is no rain or wind, a crag where strange spirits put up ropes for you.  He called it “Hot Rocks”.

I later found out that this is what is known as an “Indoor crag” and so we, of course, completed no routes, though we did have some fun pretending to be climbing, more practice for our aspiring actor, and so the day was complete without major incident.

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