Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Sea Stack Climbing

 And Sho, with more than a week of 20+ temperatures and blistering sunshine in Co Donegal it would have been rude not to go out and play as much as was humanly possible.
 A week of outstanding weather and we were off to Glenlough Bay, with a view to making an ascent of Tent Stack, alas Neptune was most definitely in the building. We arrived at the top of the cliff top descent gully in the bay to the sound of millions of tonnes of shingle being raised and lower on the beach 200m below. As we descended the gully the 16 foot surf coming into the bay in walls of Caribbean blue sea were absolutely outstanding to stand and watch, but alas we needed to cross them to gain our sea stack.
 Watch the short film below, as it shows just how outstanding Donegal's little known places are, it also shows the county looking very much like southern Spain.

Glenlough Bay Film

Descent Gully to Glenlough Beach

Raised Shingle Storm Beach

Sea Stack Summit view

Glenlough Bay

 The following day, it was a return to An Port for a wee look at Berg Stack and as the previous day the seas were ramping 16 footers from the West. It took a wee bit of nautical guile to circumnavigate the outlaying skerries to allow safe passage to the Berg stack. Once we all arrived at the base of the stack it all became a bit overheated as the "oven effect" was on full pelt in the mid-day sun. We ascended "Mayday, Mayday," up the landward face and with an airy top out onto the huge wedge summit to a perfect sea breeze and pounding white water around us and around all the outer skerries and islands. It would have been easy to sit all day watching the sea.                                  

Berg Stack, An Port
Colm & Christine on Berg Stack Summit

 The following day it was once more back to An Port, this time for a wee look at the mighty Cnoc na Mara.
 It is difficult to put into words the journey up Cnoc na Mara as it is a truly outstanding 100m high sea stack. It's landward arete is a classic 150m long mountaineering/coastaleering journey. The climbing is never hard but is very exposed and there is a wee bit of thought required to the rope work and "getting back down." 
 Thankfully Neptune was in a much better mood and we made the paddle to and from the stack without too much drama! :-)
 The short film below shows the exposed nature of this very spacial sea stack climb. :-) 

Sea Stack Climbing Film

Cnoc na Mara

The Entrance to Shambhala

The Paddle out to the Sea Stack

Holly abandoned on the Cnoc na Mara

Summit Ridge

Looking up, Pitch 4

The 2nd Abseil to sea Level

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