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Aill na Cronain
Irish: Aill na Crónáin; Cronan's cliff
Aill na Crónáin, Skull Buttress - - 1192527.jpg
"Skull Buttress" in the middle of Aill na Cronain showing the flat Skull Slab VDiff–climb in centre
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Nearest city 3.5 km south of Ballyvaughan
Range The Burren
Coordinates 53°05′47″N 9°08′20″W / 53.0963°N 9.139°W / 53.0963; -9.139
Climbing type
  • Traditional
  • Abseiling
Height 25 metres at highest point
(most climbs 10–15 metres)
Pitches Single pitch
  • mostly D to HS
  • little above HVS
Rock type Limestone
Quantity of rock
  • +70 routes online database
  • 50 routes 2008 guidebook
  • No Facilities
  • No Fresh Water
Cliff aspect West
Elevation circa 150 metres above sea level
Ownership Private property
  • Aill na Cronain (none)
  • Fanore (paid)
  • Ballyvaughan (paid)
Classic climbs
  • Skull Slab (VD),
  • Raven (E3 6a),
  • Mayday (VS),
  • Demon Dim (HVS),
  • Poetic Majesty (VS),

Aill na Cronain (Irish: Aill na Crónáin; Cronan's cliff) is an inland west-facing limestone crag in The Burren in County Clare, Ireland. It is popular with novice rock climbers due to the number of short single-pitch 10–20 metre rock climbing routes in the S to HS rock climbing grades. It is beside the Aillwee Caves.

Rock climbing

The crag is accessed by a 10–minute walk northwards from the upper car-park of the Ailwee Cave attraction (see map below). The crag is on private property but rock climbing has been allowed since the early 1970s, with the earliest recorded rock climbing routes dating from circa 1971. The UKClimbing online logbook notes that: "Skull slab is probably one of the best VDiffs you'll find in the country". Aill na Cronain is also listed in Ireland's Adventure Bucket List, which says that: "If you are just starting out [rock climbing], one of the best spots to visit is Aill na Cronain, just beside the Ailwee Cave".

In terms of layout, the centre of Aill na Cronain is the "Skull Buttress" which has a distinctive skull–appearance when viewed from a distance. Its "nose" contains the flat Skull Slab VD–grade climb. The "East Side" face, and "Far East Side" face, lie to the north of Skull Buttress. The "Butterfly" face, and the "Small Wall" face lie to its south. While most routes are between S and HS, more challenging routes have been put up on the "Skull Buttress" such as Raven (E3 6a), Monkey Business (E2 5c), and Sunbane (E1 5c).

Aill na Cronain is in the County Clare townland of Ballycahill. Just over 23 kilometers to the southwest of Aill na Cronain is the more advanced rock climbing limestone sea–cliff called Ailladie, which contains some of Ireland's most advanced rock climbs.

Aill Na Cronain in The Burren, County Clare
The layout of popular novice rock climbing venue, Aill Na Cronain, in The Burren, County Clare, Ireland
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