Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Donegal Summer 2013

 It has just turned November and I am finally in agreement that summer is over in Western Donegal, BUT it has been a most outstanding and very long summer. The Rosses summer officially started on the 28th of February and finally came a rain soaked halt on 25th of October. During this extended period of blue skies well over 150 people have stood on the summits of a shade over 100 sea stack summits along the coast of Western Donegal and pretty much all of them had no previous outdoor climbing experience. Hurrah! :-)
 The bulk of the visitors to Donegal's sea stacks came from all four corners of America, with another large proportion coming from Canada, a small portion came from mainland Europe inc the UK and a tiny portion travelling from all over Ireland.
 This blog post is a small selection of the you tube films we posted over this summer from around the coast of Donegal.

Glenlough Bay on 28th February 2013

 The summer kicked off at Glenlough Bay on February 28th with Josie McGee, Glenlough Bay is Ireland's largest raised shingle storm beach and is located in one of the most remote places in the country. Our cunning plan was to make an ascent, probably the first of Ulsters highest free standing tower. Cobblers Tower is a 110 meter high spike of land connected to mainland Donegal by a very loose knife edge ridge, alas a mildly tetchy Neptune and a 40 meter white water sea crossing meant we paid a visit to the summit of Tent Stack instead.

Donegal's Highest free standing tower

 Made a return visit to Cobbler's Tower with Noble Brother Steven "Jock" Read and this time with an UBER calm sea paddled around Tormore Island from the Entrance to Shambhala to land at the base of the north face of the tower, we scrambled up the north face to a very insecure and mildly scary summit.

The most remote place in Ireland

 Made a return visit to Pyramid Stack with Andy Cronin, this very remote archipelago lives 300 meters out to sea from the base of the 1000 foot north face of Slievetooey. It sits approximately 22 kilometers from the nearest main road, 5 kilometers from the car and in a very inaccessible location open to both west and north sea states. This was the 2nd ascent of the stack the first ascent being a solo affair back in 2008.

Slieve League Sea Stack

 With the sea so calm and with Ireland gripped in the middle of a heat wave it would have been rude not to go for a wee visit to the sea stack at the western end of the Slieve League massif, this time with noble brother Des O'Connor, (no, no thee Des O'Connor) access to this stack is by a 500 meter paddle out to sea from Silver Strand at Malin Beg, one of Ireland's most beautiful beaches. 

Cnoc na Mara

 Cnoc na Mara, Ireland's most popular sea stack had six ascents this year including an ascent by 15 year old Jake Scollay from Scotland and Steven "Jock" Read. This 150 meter route has now been climbed by over 25 people in the last five summers, not a massive amount of people but still makes it easily Ireland's most climbed sea stack. :-)


 In the midst of these nautical misadventures young Luke was born, arriving safe and sound into the world a week early. :-)

Beyond The End's of the Earth Crag

We opened a new crag slightly further away from the real world than "End's of the Earth Crag," climbing with Peter O'Toole (no, not thee Peter O'Toole) and a very angry Neptune this excellent single pitch venue provides a very atmospheric place to place where solitude is guaranteed.

Owey Island on 24th October 2013

 A final wee explore was a solo trip out to Owey Island with the last of the summer sun forecast to disappear in the evening of the 24th of October, it would have been rude not to go out for a look.

Donegal Summits

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