It all began at 9.00 am in a newcastle coffee shop. It was supposed to begin at 10:30 am but I liked the idea of sitting for an extra hour or so by the sea just reading and sipping. After 10:30 the climbers began to arrive. Some people believe that climbers are hardcore and extreme, they are up at dawn and eat chicken and paper. These guys arrived late and instantly ordered coffees and ulster frys. An hour or so later we were heading for the hills and preparing ourselves for FM.

(Mum and Dad read no further in red text. Jump to the last bit in black text)

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FM was my first ever multi-pitch climb; 180 meters of slab climbing. We tackled it on mass as three groups moving separately. The climb is considered Very Difficult (easy in the rock climbing world) and involved a lot of friction under the feet. Once you got your head around trusting the friction of the rock then it became a pleasant and enjoyable climb. At this point I should mention how a climb is named. It is named by the first ascenters who earn that privilege. And the first ascenters deemed this climb fitting of the name “FM” an abreviation of “F&*£ Me”.

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The moments on the belay points (5 of them) allowed time to soak in the amazing views and watch the other teams progress both above and below. The valley below is my favourite in the Mourne Mountains but it is always amazing to see it from a different perspective. The valley has so many characters, many of which are hidden and only revealed if we show some daring.

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After finishing FM we had some time to relax and have a long lunch in an amazing spot. And time to realise that another climb was possible. And so, we went to lower cove to rope up for some more climbing. Vertical steepness but not multi pitch this time.

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At one point I found a comfy little ledge that I could take a picture from.

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And it was such a lovely day that we decided not to climb but to go for a lovely walk in the sunshine. That’s all.

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