Monday, 16 July 2012

Gola Island

 Another varied week in the great outdoors started in on Monday in Dalkey Quarry, with a two day Single Pitch Award assessment with the quarry being an extremely busy place with 20 candidates being assessed. On Tuesday night it was a swift return to Donegal to attend a Donegal branding initiative meeting, a varied collection of people from all sectors of industry/ tourism and providers were in attendance. With surfers/kayakers & rock climbers being well represented and the adventure tourism potential of the county was discussed at length! :-)

 And so, to Gola island we went! The cunning plan was to visit two offshore outcrops both of which are currently unclimbed and hold massive potential for new routes, alas Neptune was in attendance and the sea passages looked extremely emotional. A quick rethink and plan B was put into effect, living on the south west tip of Gola was an unclimbed wall of immaculate Gola granite, approx 16m high and 200m long and so with 9 climbers in attendance we began a wee new route campaign.

A new Gola crag

 The crag is accessed by a very easy abseil to the semi tidal ledges which run along the entire base of the crag. In true new route fashion we started at the easier right hand end of the crag and worked our way seaward. In total 14 new routes from V.Diff to E1 5c were added. With all the routes following the most prominent crag features from steep finger/hand crack to full body jam grooves and chimneys. The crag continues seaward and begins to overhang at approx 25 degrees this section of the crag awaits the steely fingered! :-)

Unclimbed rock on Gola Island

 The Gola chapter in the future Donegal Climbers guidebook now extends to 48 pages with every recorded crag and route on a  photo topo with 4 new crags and 50+ previously unrecorded routes included.     

Playing with Neptune, main walls Gola

Looking towards mainland Donegal

Gola Island sunset


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