Saturday, 13 July 2013

Donegal Sunshine

 And sho, 2 weeks of 25 degree + sunshine, blue skies and mirror like seas, been out to play pretty much everyday. In the last 4 weeks we've climbed nearly 50 sea stacks around the Donegal coast and had the pleasure of the company of people from all over the world. The sea at the moment is so calm that it was possible to circumnavigate the mighty Tormore Island. This 160m high sea stack sits at the seaward edge to the entrance to Shamhala and I had never seen it's seaward face. The seaward face is the most outrageous big wall in Ireland by a very large margin, a route up this wall would be a major achievement in Irish climbing history. :-) It was a scary place to be even to paddle under in deep black water had a very real feeling of dread.

 Slieve League Sea Stack Film

 Paid a visit to Silver Strand Beach with Des O'Connor and paddled 600m out from Silver Strand Beach to land on the 50m stack at the base of the Western end of the Slieve League sea cliffs. A most excellent day out which involved a 600m paddle, 80m of scrambling, a short bouncy swim in slightly lively waters, a spitting fulmar chick and baking sunshine. This was also Oscar the dogs 5th sea stack. :-)

Slieve League Sea Stack

Slieve League Sea Cliffs

Sliver Strand Beach, Malinbeg

 Went for a visit to the Ends of the Earth Crag with Princess Kathy and made the double abseil to the very base of the crag where Neptune made an appearance. A most excellent day out on Ireland's most remote climbing location the short film below shows the slightly tetchy sea conditions on the day.

End's of the Earth Crag

Sea Stack Summit at An Port

Abseil off the End's of the Earth Crag

Rock Climbing in Donegal

Belay above the rage

Sea Cliff climbing in Donegal

 On a two day visit to the Entrance to Shambhala with Noble Brother Jock Reed, we made the first ascent of Donegal's highest free standing tower. This 100m high tower has major access issues in the form of being at the base of a 1000ft sea cliff, a labyrinth of tricky sea passages to arrive at the base of the easy angled north face and a very scary summit which appears to be defying gravity in all directions. We wished the cobbler well and did not stay long on the summit. :-)

 Summit view from Cobblers Tower


Cnoc na Mara from Cobblers Tower

Tormore Island from the Abyss

 The following day Jock and myself returned to Shambhala with 15 year old Jake Scollay who was on holiday from Edinburgh. Jake had taken a notion to climb a sea stack and the summit of Cnoc na Mara was the obvious solution to this current crisis. It was a very long day to the summit of this 100m sea stack with 26 degree sun, tetchy fulmar chicks and a mill pond Atlantic, all in all another excellent day out, if a mildly scary one! :-) A massive well done to Jake on getting to the summit and back down the multiply abseils whilst showing his slightly older climbing partners how to climb properly ie with style and grace! :-)

Jake & Jock after the ascent

The final Pitch

Looking South from the summit

Landing on the Stack

The Entrance to Shambhala

Simply Outstanding!

The End of a Very Long Day

 And Sho, these are just a few days out from the last two weeks and with a long term forecast giving continued excellent weather, it would be rude not to continue to play out. ;-)

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