/ Best time to go to Fairhead
Always wanted to go to Fairhead but kinda put off by the weather. When is the most reliable time of year? July? Mid summer? Too hot? Are there and bird bans?
Just after the international meet (late May BH) so all the classic routes have been climbed and chalked but the hordes have gone. Some of it faces N so in the unlikely event of it being too hot you should be fine. I’ve been early June and August. Dries quickly after showers as it’s dolerite, especially routes which catch afternoon/evening sun. Don’t think there are any bird bans but check RAD.
Ensure you have a belay jacket. I've only had 1 warm day down there at the time that Misha is suggesting!!!
Truly awesome place though...
Very true! But around the Rathlin Wall area the sun pops round in the afternoon and if it’s out of the wind it can be very pleasant.
Great place. I've had two holidays there in June - warmer than Dow Crag!
I went in the last week of May 2008 for half term with a team of 6. Had a fantastic time. Climbed 6 days out of 7. Maybe a bit lucky with the weather but I think this time helps with midge reduction.
Defo one of the areas in the UK to visit for trad.
I went for the first time during the heatwave at the start of July 2018. Conditions in the shade were ideal and the climbing fantastic. The only issue I had was the nagging feeling that I maybe ought to have been on Beinn Eighe!
I’ve had 5 or 6 trips there. It is a north facing mountain crag by the sea. Being convex shape different parts of it catch the sun during the day from mid May to late July. It can be chilly with a North wind. Dries quickly (1 hour) after rain. The rock has good friction and is climbable in mist when Gogarth would be impossible. 100m ab rope is very useful especially if staying longer than a weekend and you’ve picked the cherries near the two descent gulleys. Hexcentrics are very useful . As Misha says after the international meet it should be quieter with lots of cleaned routes.
> Don’t think there are any bird bans but check RAD.
RAD does not help for Northern Ireland or Scotland (or anywhere not in the UK):
WELCOME TO THE REGIONAL ACCESS DATABASE
The source of the most up to date access advice for climbers in England & Wales
Birds almost certainly nest on parts of Fairhead.
Mountaineering Ireland provide limited (no?) info on "bird bans" on specific crags but provide general access advice.
Laws and enforcement vary across home nations.
For reference: Guidance for (some) Scottish crags be found here:
Hi Kevin, Thanks for that. Due to other trips were thinking of July. Will that be midgey?
Are you going to the Hebrides this year?
The crag can get very midgey but with different aspects very exposed to North, East and West winds it is usually possible to find enough breeze to blow them away.
I'm very keen on going to the Hebrides, and after mid March should have enough time to get climbing fit again
Catch up soon
> Ensure you have a belay jacket.
And to cover all the bases, a midge net (this experience, warm, damp day in early June. Same time the year before it had been freezing).
No bird problems at all as far as I know, and I've been climbing there for a lot of years
Ah, good point.
One of those places had one great trip to - and never quite got around to going back. The trip we had was end of May, the daylight then is so long and the rock quick drying so you should be able to get plenty done. On our trip it rained most mornings, so we fell into the habit of late starts and late finishes - just meant that by the time we'd had the post-crag pub visit it was a case of - oh-sh*t midnight, time to go and cook dinner.
Loads for you to do there - and I must get back there again!
> Just after the international meet (late May BH) so all the classic routes have been climbed and chalked but the hordes have gone.
I've been to Fairhead twice during the meet. I usually avoid such events but 'the hordes' are generally well distributed over a very extensive cliff and I've never found the numbers irritating or an inconvenience. The Prow or Ballycastle Gully might get close to busy but hardly Stennis or Stanage popular. If your three star classic is occupied, move to the three star classic next door! For me, the advantage of insitu abseil ropes outweighed any possible disadvantages.
May to mid June seem like the prime season for a visitor: low midge count, climbing in the late evening sun, and a slighly better chance of stable weather. As others have said, long daylight hours and quick drying rock mean it is nearly always possible to climb at some point during a showery day.
Probably the best trad. climbing in the UK.
I climb there most weekends through March-October. May is probably the most reliable for sustained weather. But its quick to dry and never too cold. No bird bans. Most 2/3 starred routes should be in pretty good conditions. Very few weekends do I not get at least 1 day out. Believe it or not the most prevalent weather is not rain. It just tends to be cloudy with a little wind.
Absolutely best trad climbing in the world (a little bias)
Also midgies arent usually an issue as there is generally a wind. occasionally they are very annoying later in the day.
In June 2019, ultra-runner Paul Tierney completed a record-breaking round of the 214 Lake District Wainwright peaks. He broke Steve Birkinshaw's 2014 record of 6 days, 13 hours and 1 minute by nearly 7 hours. Prior to that, the record was...