Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A week in Donegal.

 With the sun shining and the Eastern Atlantic flat calm it would have been rude not to have been out seeking vertical pleasure in Donegal's great outdoors.
 Paid a wee visit to Torboy with Wolfgang Schuessler, this lonely wee island sits off the seaward tip of Cruit Island looking out to the northern end of the spectacular Owey Island.

Arranmore & Owey Islands from Torboy summit

Errigal Mountain & The Rosses from Torboy

 Accces to Torboy is by a 100m sea passage from a wee sandy beach just off the golf course. The sea channel out to Torboy is open to both south west and north west sea motion and is normally home to huge rollers coming in from both these directions, but for the past month Neptune has been kind and the sea passage was a mill pond!
 Arrived on the island and explored the northern facing cliffs, I had previously paid two visits over the past two years to the island and climbed 8 new routes on these occasions. After a through recce we calculated that there was potential for at least another 40 sub extreme new routes and so we began to climb.

Wolfgang on belay (note the sunnies!)

The zawn

 We climbed 5 new routes at the western tip of the islands north face and another in a deep narrow zawn facing out to Owey Island.
 Wolfgang was keen for some deep water soloing and so he abseiled down to the base of the unclimbed landward face of Torboy, whilst I paddled out to an offshoot skerrie and held the towels and camera.

Wolfgang abseiling

Deep water soloing (Oscar observes)

Post crux and committed

 Deep water soloing is the sport of climbing with out ropes or equipment above deep water and is an activity only for the very experienced. I am unsure what is more nerve wrecking, actually doing the climb or watching someone who is climbing? Thankfully Wolfgang stayed dry and we returned to mainland Cruit as a light easterly shower blew over the golf course.

 I was back on Cruit mainland the following four days running a Single Pitch Award Training Course and an intermediate rock climbing course with most of the participants visiting the island for their first time and all planning further visits.       




  1. Is he wearing a helmet DWSing? Pretty sure that would hurt if he went into the water. Cools looking wall :-)

  2. Hi Colm,

    We did indeed debate this very topic pre & post solo and felt that the pro's outweighed the cons BUT only just! :-(


  3. 40 unclimbed routes you say?! Oh Iain.


  4. :-) Hands off young lady, you have much more pressing matters at hand! :-0