Rock Climbing Information

Coronavirus Update.

It is proposed that members will continue to organise climbing in small groups through the Whatsapp group. For the moment there will not be a more formal club climbing  programme.

  • Members must not attend if any of the following apply to them: they have been abroad in the previous 14 days; OR they have been in contact with anyone who has Covid-19 in the previous 14 days OR they have had any of the symptoms of Covid-19 in the previous 14 days ( e.g. High temperature, cough, breathing difficulty, sudden loss of smell or taste, flu-like symptoms). Leaders may ask attendees to formally confirm that none of these factors apply to them.
  • Can anybody who arranges climbing via the club climbing whatsapp, emails the clubs Climbing Covid -19 contact (Amy) with the names of attendees. This is to assist in contact tracing should this later prove necessary.
  • Be more careful than normal. The rescue services, understandably, wish to minimise rescue activity in order to protect their volunteers from rescues that inevitably create a risk of exposure to Covid-19
  • Avoid sharing equipment as much as possible. Clean or quarantine it after use.
  • Observe social distancing as much as possible.

Other points to be aware of: Car parking will often be in short supply . Wicklow Gardai have frequently closed roads around Glendaloch, have ticketed large numbers of illegally parked cars in other areas and have announced plans to have a tow truck on standby at weekends. Don’t forget that parking is illegal where there is a continuous white line down the centre of the road. Some landowners who have previously permitted access have closed it off either due to fear of infection or because of increased antisocial behaviour.

Here are links to two Covid-19 documents from Mountaineering Ireland.


      Covid-19 Advice for Hillwalkers and Climbers Full Document

      Covid-19 Advice for Hillwalkers and Climbers Summary Sheet


There is an active rock climbing group in Club Cualann We meet in Dalkey Quarry on Wednesdays from 6 pm till dusk from April through to September. Climbing trips are made to Glendalough, the Mournes and other crags at home and abroad during the outdoor season. From October through to March we meet in the Dublin Climbing Centre from 6 pm. until 9.30 p.m.
Rock climbing is exciting and at times strenuous. It provides a good workout and an adrenaline rush, but it is generally safe if well practised, especially for non-lead climbers, which most beginners will be.

How do I get involved

You can contact Jim Sheehan on 087 7671496.  He will talk you through what you need to do to get started.

What equipment do I need?

The basic requirements are a climbing harness, rock shoes, a belay device and for outdoor climbing a helmet is recommended.  For new people, a harness may be available on loan if required.  Tight fitting trainers with a plain rubber sole will do until you see what types of rock shoe are available. (Beware of buying rock shoes before starting to climb for two reasons: (a) climbing may not be for you and you will have invested in something you will use only once or twice, (b) sales persons generally persuade beginners that they need shoes a full size smaller than they normally wear resulting in very sore feet.  Take advice from experienced climbers before buying any gear!)  Tracksuit bottoms are ideal wear rather than restrictive denims.

How do I learn to climb?

There are many courses available from individuals and outdoor centres, but when you are finished your course, you may not have anybody to climb with.  In Club Cualann we provide instruction and continuing support and advice in the course of our weekly meets.  You will be assured of a climbing partner and experienced advice and supervision until such time as you are competent.  And there is the camaraderie of a group and after meet refreshments.

When is the best time to begin?

In Club Cualann we recommend that you begin early in the outdoor season.  We usually have a Beginners’ Day in April or May.  Then you will learn by climbing with experienced climbers over the course of the summer and progress to the stage of participating in the Multipitch Climbing Day in Glendalough in September. (Multipitch climbing means climbing rock faces that are longer than one rope-length, achieved by using intermediate anchor points on ledges on the rock face).

The indoor season is a good time to begin too.  You will learn the basic skills of tying in, climbing, belaying and being lowered (similar to abseiling) as well getting climbing fit.

Can anyone use a Climbing Wall?

To use Awesome Walls or any other climbing wall independently, you will have to satisfy the operators that you have the basic competences of putting on a harness, tying the rope to the harness and belaying safely. Experienced Club Cualann climbers will, if necessary, sign in new members under their supervision and coach them to achieve the basic competences.  Charges to use the various climbing walls apply over and above Club Cualann Membership Subs.

Where can I find out more?

There is a wealth of information on rock climbing on the internet.  Mountaineering Ireland has a lot if information on while Irish Climbing Online can be accessed at .

Several books cover the technical aspects of climbing, e.g. The Handbook of Climbing by A. Fyffe and I. Peter (Published by BMC).

There is a rich literature of mountaineering and climbing well worth reading, even if you never climbed!

 And you can call Jim on 087 7671496.