Friday, 18 January 2013

Donegal Winter Climbing

 Early January 2010 six hardy souls left the road end at the old church in Dunlewy and entered the the winter wonderland that was the Donegal mountains. After nearly six weeks of almost continual sub Zero temperatures and arctic tundra driving conditions the mountains of Derryveagh Donegal were in immaculate winter climbing condition.

Poison Glen in Winter 2010

 We split into three pairs of climbers and with each of us donning a full winter climbing kit each team picked a prime unclimbed route up three different faces in the Poison Glen. Alan Tees and myself climbed a 450m ice fall up the Bearna Buttress, with several grade IV ice pitches this route was an outstanding winter monster up one of Irelands highest mountain crags. 

Donegal winter climbing Guide

Pitch 5 Poison Glen climbing

Pitch 7ish 

Topping out in Poison Glen

 Anyways, three years later to the day, Jan 2013, four young (and not so young) men arrived on Cruit Island for a days winter climbing. This time there was no technical axes, no G14 crampons, no sub zero temperatures and no down jackets, there was outstanding summer sunshine.

Winter Climbing in Donegal

Traderg Wall, Cruit Island

Cruit Island Rock Climbing

Donegal Winter Sun

 And so, a day of warm Granite, lapping blue seas and sunny skies was the order of the day! The same day three years apart and at polar opposites of winter climbing conditions! :-)

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