Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ireland mid Winter

 It is safe to say the winter weather in Donegal in the last 10 days has been truly outstanding with mid summer sun and bright blue skies. And so, it would have been rude not to venture forth and have a wee play while the sun shone.
 Met up with Josie McGee and we paid a visit to one of the most remote places in Ireland, Glenlough Bay at the far sea ward tip of the Slievetooey Peninsula. We arrived at the An Port Road End at an unsociably early hour and walked for an hour over the monster sea cliffs to arrive at the viewpoint overlooking Glenlough Bay.

Glenlough Bay

Slievetooey Peninsula

 Our cunning plan was an ascent of Donegal's highest freestanding tower, alas this unclimbed tower sits in one of the most inaccessible locations in Ireland and as such the emotions were forecast to be high.
 The next stage in our plan was a steep descent to sea level and from previous visits we follow the only sane way to the beach down a huge steep gully.

Descent to Glenlough Bay


 Once at sea level we coastaleered our way south for about 600m through a moonscape of house sized boulders and ever increasing wave action. We finally arrived at a very deep zawn and raging white water to a place where you are about as far from the real world as it is possible to be in Ireland. An outstanding and slightly scary location surrounded by giants and angry white water. Our tower was a no go and we retreated back to the storm beach and went for a play on Tent Stack.

Donegal's highest free standing tower

 And sho, we coastaleered our way back to Shambhala and continued to the base of Tent Stack. Tent Stack is a 60m sea stack with a short tidal approach, it's only been climbed once before in December 2008. The detail are in the Donegal Sea Stack guidebook.

Donegal Sea Stacks

 Alas by now, neither time nor tide was in our favour and we boulder hopped onto the stack and made a very quick ascent of the 90m Diff route up it's landward face, in two pitches.

Coastaleering in Ireland modeled by Josie

Tent Stack Summit

 Our exit from the stack was a little less stylish as we were now surrounded by angry white water and so a very choppy swim was the order of the day to land us back onto terra firma. 
 An outstanding day out in the winter sun. :-)

An Port Western Donegal

Glenlough Bay


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