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Rock climbing in the Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains are Ireland’s largest mountain climbing area that is home to over 20 distinct crags and more than a thousand trad routes.  The rock is well weathered mountain granite, sound and rough, that is characterised by rounded breaks, cracks, and large featureless expanses.  As shown on the map opposite the Mourne Mountains is a large area with all the crags well spread out.

Crags in the Mourne Mountains
No Crag No of Pitches No of Routes
A Binnian Tors 1 to 3 162
B Wee Binnian 1 to 2 29
C Buzzard's Roost 1 to 3 33
D Douglas Crag 1 to 4 15
E Blue Lough Buttress 1 to 2 19
F Percy Bysshe 1 6
G Lamagan 1 to 6 15
H Lower Cove 1 to 3 96
I Upper Cove 1 to 3 68
J Slieve Beg 1 to 4 64
K Slieve Commedagh 1 9
L Eagle Rocks 1 to 2 64
M Annalong Buttress 1 to 2 21
N Chimney Rock 1 to 3 12
O Hare's Castle 1 15
P Bearnagh Tors 1 to 2 49
Q Bearnagh Slabs 1 to 5 14
R Meelmore Buttress 1 2
S Slievenaglogh Buttress 1 to 2 8
T Spellack 1 to 3 58
U Slievenaglogh Bluffs 1 2
V Ben Crom 3 88
W Doan 1 16
X Hen Mountain 1 to 2 64
Y Pigeon Rock 1 to 4 55
Z Eagle Mountain 1 to 5 27

Map of the rock climbing areas in the Mourne Mountains

Map of the rock climbing areas in the Mourne Mountains

Rock Climbing in the Mourne Mountains GuidebookThe above information has been extracted from the Rock Climbing in the Mourne Mountains Guidebook that is available to buy from our shop.

The Mourne Mountains are an area of outstanding natural beauty that has a wide choice of classic routes at all grades, along with a real sense of isolation.  There is a great variety of routes to suit all styles though these can be long with many routes between 1-pitch and 3-pitches long. 

The more exposed Binnian Tors and Bearnagh Tors provide stunning views along with good varied climbing on clean, rounded granite.  Binnian Tors has over 160 routes across all grades.  There are many classic routes that range from bold (similar to gritstone) extremes, to more moderate routes between S and E1, and plenty of bouldering.

Rock Climbing in Ireland GuidebookLower Cove is probably the best individual crag with nearly 100 routes spread across 4 buttresses.  The expansive Corners area provides a good mix of single and multi-pitch routes particularly in in the lower to mid-grade range.  It is a popular crag due to its straightforward approach and sheltered south-facing aspect.

Pigeon Rock is the crag in the Mournes that has the shortest walk-in, and hence is very popular.  The climbing is also good with many quality routes on steep rock, with a good mix of grades.

There are a couple of guidebooks covering the rock climbing found in the Mourne Mountains.  The comprehensive guidebook is simply called “Rock Climbing in the Mourne Mountains”, whilst the “Rock Climbing in Ireland Guidebook” covers the very best routes in the Mournes.  Buy both of these guidebooks from our shop.

The Mourne Mountains are located in the south eastern edge of Northern Ireland, near Newcastle Town.  Dundalk is just across the border in Southern Ireland.  There are numerous places to stay in the area with Newcastle Town providing plenty of places to eat and drink.

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Rock Climbing in the Mourne Mountains Guidebook

The Rock Climbing in the Mourne Mountains Guidebook is the comprehensive rock climbing guidebook for the Mourne Mountains.  Buy this guidebook from our shop.