Donegal Sea Stacks - Text Guide

© Iain Miller

Donegal Sea Stacks.

This is a route guide to the Sea Stacks of Donegal. The stacks are listed starting at Mullaghtan Head in the South West of Donegal and travelling North East (clockwise) to the peninsula of Inishowen. The routes have all been given conventional Rock climbing grades, It is worth bearing in mind that most of these beasts require varying length's of sea passage to access their base.

Mullaghtan Head

Dare to Be! XS 90m ***

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 30/06/09

Grid Reference G516869. This Monster seastack sits equidistant between Skelpoonagh bay (to the South) and the Sturral Headland. (to the North) It is guarded by monster 200mtr cliffs from both directions, a huge committing sea passage is required to land on the beast. Abseil descent of the route. This stack can be easily seen from the Glencolmcille to Malinbeg road.

Pitch 1, 20m, From the huge sea level platform at the Southern end of the stack, scramble up to a large ledge below the steep open book corner.

Pitch 2, 30m, Climb the open book corner and continue up the arete to a superb recess, below the bulge and capping roof.

Pitch 3, 10m, Climb direct to a boulder field at the southern end of the summit ridge.

Pitch 4, 30m, Carefully scramble along the ridge to the airy and exposed summit block.

Stural Headland

ACCESS: From Skelpoonagh bay follow the untarred road North to the Watchtower on the Headland, Approx 1Km. Continue North for another 1 Km, Sturral Headland is the Awesome looking ridged peninsula!

Peely Wally XS 5a 110m *

FA C. McDaid, I. Miller 25/05/08

Scramble down the north face of Sturral Headland to the sea level slab, facing the wee collection of stacks. Step down and around the corner, South, to belay in the recess at the base of the superb looking ramp.

Pitch 1. 30m, 3c. Climb the ramp following the Right Facing corner.
Pitch 2. 30m, 4c. Continue up ramp with increased interest, stepping across the void to belay on a wee grass topped block.
Pitch 3. 25m, 5a. Contine up ramp until forced to ascend 3mtr wall and continue up higher ramp. (bold)
Pitch 4. 20m, 4b Continue up ramp to summit

An Port (south)

ACCESS: The following three stacks are all accessed from the same launch pad. (Grid Reference G544887) From the An Port road end, follow the coastal path south over two bridges for approximately 600 metres. Leave the path and walk towards the sea, until you are at the top of the easy angled slope and slabs overlooking Berg Stack and Vertical Picnic stack. Descend to the sea level platforms facing onto the most Northern stack (Berg Stack). Berg Stack is easily visible from the road end beach as it can be identified by the two steep grooves on its North side.

Dan Osman RIP, XS 4a 55m **

FA I. Miller 07/06/08

 Grid Reference G537887 This route climbs the 50 metre big daddy stack 1 KM to the south of the An Port road end by it's seaward face.

Pitch 1, 30m, 4a, Climb the right hand side of the conglomerate wall and traverse left along the superb band of black slab until able to ascend to the open book corner. Climb the corner to a big ledge, block belay.

Pitch 2, 25m, Climb to the summit in fine stack style. (no gear and awesome atmosphere)

Osmoregulation, DIFF, 23m

FA I. Miller 07/06/08

Grid Reference G538887 This route climbs the smaller of the 2 stacks in an awesome and commiting location, 100m to the North of the above stack. Starting just right of centre on the seaward face, climb the black slab of immaculate rock to a stance and Jug haul to the airy twin summits.

Vertical Picnic, V.DIFF 30m

FA I. Miller, D. O'Connor 03/08/08

Grid Reference G544887 This route climbs the 35 mtr sea stack immediately to the south of Berg  Stack, at GR544887 and approx 600 mtr to the south of the An Port road end. Access is by stack hopping across Berg Stack and a swim.

 In the centre of the seaward face, climb from the very tidal platform to a superb wee cave and spacious ledge @ 4 mtr. On superb wave washed black rock, climb the groove directly above to a smaller stance and continue to the summit on the steep left hand crack/corner line.

An Port (road end)

ACCESS: Directly “out to sea” from the road end lie the following 6 stacks. All can be accessed by paddling from the road end slip. An alternative approach is to ascend the slopes directly to the north of the slipway and skirt the cliff tops for approx 500 metres. Once you are overlooking the stacks, (Grid Reference G546894) descend to the boulder beach between “Rolling Thunder” and “Twin Arch Stack.” From this atmospheric wee beach it is possible to access by boulder hop “Twin Arch,” “Rolling Thunder” and “Realm of the Senses.” (Low tide and a calm sea required)

Realm of the Senses, Svr, 50m

FA I. Miller 13/09/08

The stack nearest An Port road end (Grid Reference G546893 is climbed by both it's landward and seaward faces. The landward face route starts below the landward arete. (facing the road end) Climb the immaculate rock to a grassy ramp. Follow the ramp with increased exposure and grovel to the summit. The seaward face is climbed @ Moderate for 80 Mtr up a superb ramp and deep grot grovel to the summit.

Rolling Thunder, V. DIFF, 80m

FA I. Miller 13/09/08

This stack is another classic wedge shape and is located on the seaward side of "The Realm of the Senses" stack @ Grid Reference G545893.This stack was climbed on it's seaward(ish) face. Just to the North of the huge seaward ramp lies a massive basin of rock walls, Scramble up the centre of the lower ramp to a rock scar niche. Climb steeply through the niche and grovel to an exposed summit.

Lobster Corner VS 4C,4A 35m *

FA I. Miller 02/09/09

This route climbs the left facing corner crack left of centre on the landward face of "Rolling Thunder" stack. Access is by boulder hop at lowest tide.

Pitch 1. 20m. 4c. From a small non-tidal ledge, climb the steep left facing corner to a wee recess below the ominous chimney crack.

Pitch 2. 15m. 4a. Climb the chimney crack and right facing corner to the stack summit

Lobster Wall S 4A, 3C 35m

FA I. Miller 02/09/09

This route climbs the jug infested face and corners right of centre on the landward face of "Rolling Thunder" stack. Lowest tide boulder hop.

Pitch 1. 20m. 4a. Climb the juggy corners to a lofty perch at the top of a monster ramp on the North face.

Pitch 2. 15m. 3c. Climb the flake crack up the arete to join "Lobster Corner" to the stack summit..

Twin Arch Stack, V. DIFF, 40m

FA I. Miller 13/09/08

This unusual sea stack @ Grid Reference G546894 has two legs at 90 degrees to each other, each housing a super sea arch! Scramble up the centre of the seaward face until forced to make very exposed moves up primary jungle to a tottering pin-point summit.

Swimming Home V.DIFF 45m

FA I. Miller 02/09/09

This route climbs the south face of "Twin Arch Stack." Access by lowest tide boulder hop.

Pitch 1, 15m. Gain the narrow ledge at the southern end of the landward face, traverse seaward and gain a higher large platform. Pull through a wee roof onto a huge platform. 

Pitch 2, 20m. Walk along platform like a ballerina to the base of a wide corner.

Pitch 3, 10m. Climb the wide corner to an airy summit.

Rest and Be Thankful S 4a 35m

FA I. Miller 02/09/09

This route climbs the North Face of "Twin Arch" stack. Access by guile at the very lowest of tides.

Pitch 1. 15m. 4a. From the seaward side of the arch running through the stack climb the right trending hand crack to the summit ridge.

Pitch 2. 20m. Follow summit ridge/ramp to the airy wee summit.

Chubby (North Ridge) DIFF 35m **

FA I. Miller 28/06/09

Grid Reference G545893. 500 metres directly out to sea (West) of the An Port road end, this stack sits immediately to the North of the VERY obvious "Basalt Phallus Stack." Climb it's North ridge on superb Basalt jugs all the way to the summit. The sea passage to the base of this stack is a superb paddle through and under (if you wish) the collection of stacks between Chubby and the road end! Abseil descent of route.

Fortitude in Distress, V.DIFF, 40m

FA I Miller 13/09/08

This classic wedge stack is found on the seaward side of the Twin Arch Stack @ Grid Reference G545894. Climb up the centre of the landward face until you can pull up onto the seaward ramp, scramble up the ramp to the summit. The summit stone has been hit by lightening and is in a burnt out condition.

Toralaydan Island.

Approximately a Kilometre to the North of the An Port road end sits a huge grassy sea stack called Toralaydan Island, running along the South face of this Island sits three sea stacks.

Access: Easiest method of access is by a long committing sea passage either from the An Port road end or from the huge storm beach at G546894.

The Edge of Reason Diff 60m

FA I. Miller 01/09/10

 Grid Reference G545896. At the Land ward end of the chain of three stacks sits a huge triangular stack.

 Climb the sea ward ridge with an increase of exposure and malaise to the superb pointed summit.

Icon V. Diff 35m ***

FA I. Miller 01/09/10

Grid Reference G543897. At the sea ward end of the trio (furthest from the main land) sits a twin headed Basalt Spire. This route climbs the smaller domed summit.

 Climb the immaculate basalt slab up the seaward face, from sea to summit on the most perfect rock Neptune ever sculpted.

 Extreme nautical caution is required for the approach to/from this beast!

Baltic Spire. V. Diff 40m *

FA I. Miller 01/09/10.

Grid Reference G543897. This route climbs the main and pointed summit of the twin headed basalt stack.

 Climb the Eastern arete direct to the summit.

 This stack sits in an extremely dangerous position and a tad of nautical wisdom is essential.

Gully of the Gods. (An Port) XS 180m

FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 17/08/09

Grid Reference G546896. On the headland facing the monsterous landward face of Toralaydan Island, there sits a gully running full cliff height. The gully is the only way down the surrounding cliffs to access the island and is a very serious undertaking. Climbed from sea level in pitches of 20, 45, 45, 50, 20 metres to the cliff tops using excavated boulders as belays. The location and atmosphere are considerable! :-) Gully marked with a very discrete summit cairn.

An Port (North)

ACCESS: From the An Port road end follow the cliff tops for a shade over a Kilometre to the summit of the peninsula (Grid Reference G554899) overlooking and immediately to the East of the Twin Headed Stack, known locally as “An Bhuideal.” (The Bottle) Grid Reference G549903. Descend the very atmospheric peninsula/ridge to approx 50m before the tower to the North. From here descend the broken ground to the lonely wee south facing storm beach. From the huge flat semi submerged boulder, paddle the 200mtr to the landward side of the stack.

Extreme caution required, this sea passage is very atmospheric.

An Bhuideal (main stack) SVR 4a 50m **

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 12/04/09

The following route climbs the huge arete at the Southern end of the landward face. Easily seen from the surrounding cliff tops. Abseil descent of the landward face.

 Pitch 1, 25m, 4a. Start on the excellent non tidal ledge below the centre on the landward face of the main stack. Climb up and trend left to an exposed wee ledge on the arete.

Pitch 2, 25m, 4a. Climb the arete to the summit, every hold is a jug and the final 5mtrs will make you smile.

An Bhuideal (North Tower) VS 4c 50m ***

FA I. Miller, J. Read, M. Boner 13/06/09

This route climbs skinny, exposed and spectacular North Tower of this excellent stack. Access as for the main stack and an abseil descent of the route.

Pitch 1: 15m. From the groove between the two stacks gain and climb the landward arete to a ledge.

Pitch 2: 25m 4a. Make a rising traverse of the landward face to an exposed platform on the North Face.

Pitch 3: 10m 4c. Climb to summit

Tormore Group

ACCESS: From the An Port road end follow the cliff top path for approx 2KM until you are on the headland overlooking these monster stacks. (Grid Reference G557906) For Cnoc Na Mara and Lurking Fear descend the 200 metre grass slope to the lonely pebble beach facing the stacks. Keep to the grassy slopes, directly above the beach and avoid the scree to your right.

Cnoc Na Mara, VS 4b 152m ***

FA I. Miller, A .Tees, M. McGuigan. 26/07/08

Grid Reference G555906 This route climbs the superb landward arete of the 100 mtr “sharks fin” stack just to the South of Tormore Island.

Pitch 1. 35m. Climb the wide groove right of centre on the landward face to a grassy ledge and block belay.

Pitch 2, 22m. Scramble up the slab to the base of the huge knife edge arete.

Pitch 3, 35m. Climb the arete to a peg and block belay on the ledge at it's top.

Pitch 4, 60m. An airy pinnacle traverse along the knife edge ridge to the summit.

A Puffin Too Far, VS 4c 150m *

FA S. Tait, I. Miller 18/04/09.

This route climbs the seaward face of the Cnoc Na Mara. A 400 mtr channel crossing from the North end of the beach to the base of the seaward face is the easiest approach. Abseil descent of route from block and peg belays.

Pitch 1, 25m. From the tidal ledge right of the deep recess climb the black corner to the huge seaward platform and a choice of belay recesses.

Pitch 2, 45m 4c. Immediately left (north) of the huge seaward recess and big roofs, climb the right trending groove to below an ominous overhung corner. Struggle up the corner to a superb ledge above the void.

Pitch 3, 40m 4b. In the centre of the ledge climb the steep left facing corner to gain the summit ridge.

Pitch 4 40m Scramble along the ridge to the summit.

An Appointment with Fear, VS 25m

FA I. Miller 15/04/10

Grid reference 556906 This route climbs South Face/Ridge of the 25 mtr stack on the landward side of Cnoc Na Mara. The atmosphere is considerable.

Lurking Fear, V. DIFF, 40m

FA I. Miller 31/05/08

This route climbs seaward face of the 25 mtr stack on the landward side of Cnoc Na Mara.

Pitch 1, 20mtr, Starting at the wee tidal stance at the Northern end of the seaward face, climb the steep wall of immaculate jugs to gain the easy angled ramp, pad up ramp to the sausage shaped block.

Pitch 2, 20 mtr, Continue up ramp to a very odd pillar, make an airy move up behind it and crawl to the exposed summit.

ACCESS: Access to Tormore Island and The Hidden Stack is an involved affair! Follow the access details as for Glenlough Bay stacks. Once on the beach, “coastaleer” your way West along the high water mark to the channel facing The Hidden Stack. For Tormore Island there is a further channel crossing to reach the non tidal platform at the bottom of the landward face of Tormore. From car to base of route approx 3.5 hrs!

Tormore Island, VS, 220m

FA I. Miller, P. McConnel, A. Tees, P. Cooper 10/08/08

Grid Reference G556908 At 150m high this is the Daddy of Donegal's Sea stacks, it can be seen from Dungloe, approx 40 KM to the North East! This route climbs the very obvious landward arete at the Eastern end of the island. This feature can clearly be seen from any position along this coast overlooking the stack. Access to this stack by land is a very involved affair a boat approach is recommended.

Descent is by 4 abseils back down this route using the block and peg belays described

Pitch 1. 45m Starting on the non tidal ledge in the centre of the landward face, directly opposite the secret 35 mtr stack. Climb the blunt arete to the right of the vertical basalt vein, follow the corners and ledges on superb quartz to a large block belay.

Pitch 2. 40m Continue up the arete on slabby mixed ground to a large ledge below the huge capping roof, peg belay.

Pitch 3. 45m Climb direct on superb rock to the left end of the huge roofs and become increasingly aware of your surroundings. Pass the roofs on the left and continue on mixed ground to a huge ledge and peg belay.

Pitch 4. 45m Climb gearless, near vertical grass to an exposed wee ridge, follow the ridge for 15 metres to a block belay.

Pitch 5. 20m Scramble up the grass covered ridge to the summit.

Hidden Stack. V.DIFF 42m

FA A.Wainwright,I.Miller 13/10/10 Grid Reference G556907. Hidden Stack sits in the channel separating "Tormore Island" and "Cobblers Tower." Access is by a superb paddle from the storm beach as for "Cnoc na Mara." This route climbs the Southern Ridge, the first feature on the stack you see as you paddle up the channel towards it. Pitch 1. 15m From the non tidal platform at the base of the South end, climb the up the left side of the South facing ridge to a large ledge. Pitch 2. 15m Continue up the ridge to a lonely huge Basalt boulder. Pitch 3. 12m Scramble along the summit ridge. Abseil descent down the seaward face from the Basalt boulder. The sea around "Hidden Stack" are very tetchy indeed and require due nautical care.

Glenlough Bay

ACCESS: From the An Port road end follow the cliff top path North for approx 3 KM. Once you pass the Tormore viewpoint (Grid Reference G557906) continue to follow the cliff tops as they descend into Glenlough Bay. At Grid Reference G567904, descend to the wide gully immediately to the South of the large ominous looking buttress. Follow the stream down this gully until approx 70 metre above the sea, traverse north for 50 metres and descend the scree slope to the beach. (Directly below the ominous buttress)

Southern Stack, XS 4c, 45m

FA I. Chestnut, I. Miller 10/05/09

Grid Reference G567907. This route climbs the Land ward face of the “flying wedge” stack. Abseil descent of route.

1 35m 4c At the Southern end of the landward face, climb the left trending groove and continue upwards to a huge grassy ledge. Classic stack ground, a mixture of good/poor rock and a hint of insanity.

2 10m 4c From the centre of the grassy ledge climb the very obvious bulging and very wide crack on surprisingly good rock and moves to the summit

Grid Reference G568908, the following two routes climb the Landward face of the huge tent shaped stack in the centre of the bay.

Darkness Descends, DIFF, 95m

FA I. Miller 25/11/08

From the large crater/pod at the bottom left of the landward face (Southern end), follow the right trending hand crack up the slabs(Northward). Continue right (North) through heather, grot and atmosphere to gain the foot of the North Ridge. Scramble up the ridge to the summit.

Rainman V.DIFF, 75m

FA I. Miller 25/11/08

From the pod/crater at the bottom (southern end) of the landward face climb direct to the summit, up the superb slabs and positive holds!

Jenga, E2 5a, 50m ***

FA I. Miller, D. Oconnor 28/12/08

Grid Reference G569908 This 30 metre quartz tower sits on the beach between the high and low water lines. This tower is an extremely serious climb, a fall from the last 12 metres would be fatal.

Pitch 1: 15m 4a. Starting on the high water line at the southern end of the landward face, climb the knobbly quartz to a small stance and make a superb rising traverse above the roofs/cave towards the sea to a large airy ledge above the void.

Pitch 2: 35m 5a. Follow a raising traverse North to the centre of the seaward face. Climb the right trending fault to the southern end of the knife edge summit ridge. Scramble along ridge to summit.

End's of the Earth Crag

ACCESS: Grid Reference G567912, This hanging slab of immaculate Quartz sits at the seaward tip of the Northern wall in the lonely and scenic Glenlough Bay. Access is a 3.5km cliff top walk from the An Port road end followed by a short exposed scramble down to the top of the crag.

Groovy Gully MOD 35m
FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 29/05/09

The huge groove at the left end of the slab.

The Slippery Slope DIFF 35m
FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 29/05/09

Climb the centre of the dimpled slab to the right of Groovy Gully

Caoimhe's Corner V.DIFF 35m *
FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 29/05/09

Climb the excellent left facing corner, 10 or so metres to the right of Groovy Gully.

Dimples Direct V.DIFF Length: 35m
FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 20/05/09

From the belay at the base of Caoimhe's Corner step right and climb the centre of the slab and through a wee niche to the summit.

Ripples Direct SVR 35m *

FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 29/05/09

Climb the centre of the next slab to the right. Your left hand/foot on rippled perfection whilst your right hand/foot is on smooth immaculate rock.

Sonic Boom VS 4c 70m **

FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 29/05/09

Pitch 1: 35m 4a From the bottom of Groovy Gully traverse right on superb rock. Stay as close to Neptune as possible and feel the energy of the sea level blow hole.

Pitch 2: 35m 4c Climb the steep smooth sided left facing corner to the summit

Glenlough Bay (North Headland)

The End's of the Earth Stack Diff 20m ***

FA I. Miller 22/06/10

This excellent wee stack sits in a very lonely and exposed location, 300m out to sea from the bay to the North of Glenlough Bay, approx 4.5KM from the An Port road end. The stack is efficiently guarded by an extremely tetchy Neptune and is a serious undertaking. 

Climb the superb jug covered flake up the centre of the landward face.

Davie Jones Locker Svr 20m **

FA I. Miller 22/06/10

On the sea ward face of "Ends of the Earth Stack," Climb the right trending groove/cave. (internal caterpiller stylee) Pull out and jug haul to summit. Immaculate rock, superb climbing and a location that will live long in your memory.

The Entrance to Hades Svr 20m **

FA I. Miller 22/06/10

On the sea ward face of "Ends of the Earth Stack" starting 3 metres to the left of The enormous slot climbed by "Davie Jones Locker," Jug haul up the steepest part of the face, pull round the roof on it's left and stand on the summit.

The Unforgiving XS 110m

FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 04/07/09

Grid Reference G573916. This 60m twin headed beast sit's in a very remote/lonely location, 4.5km North of the An Port road end. It is fiercely guarded by monster cliff's and a very atmospheric gothic sea channel. Access on FA was a 750m superb paddle from the headland just North of Glenlough Bay around Neptunes wrath to the southern end of the beast. Descent of the stack is by Guile.

 Pitch 1, 30m. Easily scramble up the south face of the southern summit. 

 Pitch 2, 35m. Continue upwards to the summit of the southern summit.

 Pitch 3, 10m. Downclimb to the col between the two summits. Block belay. 

Pitch 4, 35m. A monster pitch to the summit of the northern stack, up no grot but alas mucho loose rock/certain death and ultimately mega atmosphere.

A beast for the connoisseur. :-)

Pyramid Stack S 160m

FA I.Miller 29/06/10

Grid Ref G583920. This twin headed stack was climbed as an East to West ridge traverse (& back). Access is by 5km cliff top trek from An Port, followed by a very steep 300m steep grass down climb and a 300m paddle around the grassy island between the stack and land. It's location is mind blowing and is prone to monster seas. A very serious stack

Gull Island

Gull Island E1 5a 145m

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 24/04/09

Grid Reference G613924.This route climbs the outrageous, soaring landward arete of this 100mtr beast. Access is a monster walk in from GR G613889 over Slievetooey (472m). Access to base of the stack is a 100m steep grass/mixed ground scramble to a truly atmospheric location on the boulder beach at the base of the stack. Descent from summit is by guile and 2 abseils down the route. This route has to be seen to be believed!

Pitch 1, 50m, 4a. To the West of the landward arete climb the huge corner crack until it terminates. Traverse right & ascend the ramp to gain arete & a tri-peg belay. (2 good gear placements in 50m, fall & U will die)

Pitch 2, 50m, Continue up the Arete by a very atmospheric scramble to the big block @ the top of the boulder field.

Pitch 3, 45m, Crimp left and ascend up superb rock, continue to the summit by your easiest route. 

Satan XS 4c/5a 90m

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 19/05/09

Grid Reference G612926 This monster sits to the immediate west of Gull Island in a very remote and inaccessible location. Access details as for Gull Island followed by a 500 mtr sea passage around the West side of Gull Island and through a gothic channel between the 2 stacks to the only landing place on Satan. This stack will take the souls of the unwary! Abseil descent of route.

Pitch 1, 25m. Climb the left trending V chimney from the sea level "port" to a col between the main stack and an offshoot lump to the south.

Pitch 2, 30m Climb up the centre of the landward face, up steep Basalt and belay at the cam crack at the base of the East summit tower.

Pitch 3, 35m 5a Climb corner to left of tower, to arrive on summit ridge, scramble to the summit with caution, considerable atmosphere and exposure.

Aran Island

Humped Ridge Stack

Grid Reference B641155. 

This excellent 35m Quartz stack sits at the Northern end of the lonely wee bay just to the North of Cronagarn Hill on the South West tip of Aran Island.

Access is by a steep grassy scramble down to a huge storm beach in the bay to the East of the stack. Followed by a 300m sea passage.

The North Ridge Diff 40m **

FA I. Miller 08/06/10

Starting at Sea level at the point where the stack is nearest to land, simply climb the excellent ridge to the summit.

Dark Matter HS 4b 25m **

FA I. Miller 08/06/10

In the centre of the West (sea ward) face climb the steep chimney come corner direct to the summit ridge

At the Southern end of the seaward face the steepness eases and quartz jugs become abundant.

Seal Song V Diff 20m

FA I. Miller 08/06/10

Climb the line of least resistance immediately as the angle of the face eases.

Selkies Song V Diff 15m

FA I. Miller 08/06/10

3m right of “Seal Song” climb the airy crack and jug haul to the true summit.

Vice Grip S 25m

FA I. Miller 08/06/10

Climb the seaward edge of the South face, up superb quartz jugs and up through a tricky wee groove to the summit.

Popcorn V Diff 25m

FA I. Miller 08/06/10

Climb the centre of the sea ward face and up the left trending ramp to the summit.

The Slabby East face (Landward Face) is 40m long and is immaculate nobular Quartz, it can be climbed/scrambled anywhere at Diff/V.Diff.

The Landward Ridge. DIFF 85m ***

FA I. Miller 25/07/09

Grid Reference B 643188. This route climbs the superb landward ridge of the sea stack found below the lighthouse at Rinrawros Point on Aran Island.

Pitch 1, 30m. Starting on the huge very tidal platform at the bottom of the ridge, climb on jugs and immaculate rock to a recess on the ridge. Block Belay.

Pitch 2, 25m. Ascend the ridge to a brief wee flatening. Cam slot Belay (1 & 1.5)

Pitch 3, 30m. Continue up the ridge on endless jugs and perfect rock to a definite and outstanding summit.

Broken Arrow. V.DIFF 50m **

FA I. Miller 25/07/09

Grid Reference B643188. This route climbs directly up the North face of the stack below the light house on Aran Island.

Pitch 1, 25m. From the centre of the North Face base, climb up through a wee steepening on Jugs and immaculate rock to a huge crater in the middle of the wall.

Pitch 2, 25m. Follow the jugs out of the top of the crater seaward to arrive on the seaward end of the summit ridge.

Hybrid Theory. V.DIFF 50m **

FA I. Miller 25/07/09

Directly below the Rinrawros point lighthouse, follow the clifftops down from the buildings until you are facing the centre of the seastack opposite. This route climbs the superb black ramp immediately below the huge right facing corner.

Pitch 1, 25m. From the huge ledge just above sea level directly below the corner, climb the corner ramp in immaculate black rock. Belay at top of corner.

Pitch 2, 25m. Step across the abyss and take a rightward trending line across the slab above to the summit.

The Seaward Ridge XS 140m

FA I. Miller, J. Crowe 08/08/09

Grid Reference B653190. This route climbs the steep seaward ridge of this 120m monster stack. Sitting in the midst of an ampitheatre of huge cliffs, access is by an ULTRA committing paddle around Torneady point or by RiB. Abseil descent of the route. 

Pitch 1, 15m. From the sea level platforms scramble up superb quartz to a large ledge at the bottom of the steep ridge. 

Pitch 2, 15m. Climb on jugs up superb rock to a ledge below steep vegetation. 

Pitch 3, 45m. Continue up the ridge, alternating between superb rock and deep grot grovelling. Climb the short vertical mud section (crux) to belay at base of first tower. 

Pitch 4, 40m. Climb the knife edge ridge to the skyline summit ridge tower. 

Pitch 5, 25m. Follow the summit ridge to the airy summit.

Fu Manchu XS 140m

FA D. Millar, S. Read 08/08/09

Grid Reference B653190. Access is as per the Seaward Ridge route. This route climbs the landward face of the above monster stack off Aran Island. Start from the seaward end of the obvious tidal platform at the base of the face.

Pitch 1, 20m. Climb up good rock to the base of a distinct black chimney.

Pitch 2, 20m. Climb the disconcertingly loose chimney (belayer beware) and exit right to a grassy ledge at the base of a large hairy black slab. Excavate some holds and traverse left across the top for the gully and follow easier grass slope to good belay off blocks in a distinct black corner.

Pitch 3, 20m. Take a spectacular traverse right following relatively easier ground to belay on at the base of large crack on good quartz on the rhs of the stack.

Pitch 4, 20m. Follow quartz blocks and steps to belay on good ledge above a short steep wall that has some huge loose blocks on the right.

Pitch 5, 25m. Follow the last of the rock for 10 meters to reach welcoming grassy summit slope.

Pitch 6, 35m. Finish along the awesome ground as per the seaward ridge route. Phenomenal climb in a stunning location, Look out for vomiting seagulls and an abundance of choss.

The Realm of Damocles XS 200m **

FA I. Miller, P. Stevens 16/07/08

Grid Reference B654193. This truly monsterous ridge rises from sea level to the summit of this 150m+ cliff. The ridge can be very easily seen from anywhere on this coast. (or a quick glance at OSI map 1) Access to sea level is not without considerable trauma, on FA a long paddle was done from Torneady Point. The route up the ridge is to simply follow the very exposed crest of the ridge from sea to summit! This route is Awesome, un-escapable, Ultra commiting and is guaranteed to make you smile. (eventually)

South Face Route. V.DIFF 55m

FA I. Miller, P. Stevens 16/07/09

Grid Reference B654196. This stack sits just to the West of the Northern tip of Aran Island. Access is difficult and an atmospheric and commiting paddle was made from around the headland to the North. Abseil descent of route.

Pitch 1. 45m From the small access ledge/recess at the southern end of the landward face, climb up jugs and the left facing corner, to a large ramp overlooking the channel.

Pitch 2. 10m Climb the steep juggy corner to the southern summit.

Dead Man's Fingers. HS 4B 85m *

FA P. Stevens, I. Miller 16/07/09

Grid Reference B654196. This route climbs the North Face of this stack. Access and descent as for the South Face route.

Pitch 1, 4b, 30m. Starting at the Northern end of the landward face (where the sea level tongue spits out) climb the black slab & wall. Stepleft and continue up the jug fest to a large belay ramp.

Pitch 2, 4b, 25m. Climb the flake crack out right and continue left, ascend the steep groove to belay on the summit ridge.

Pitch 3, 30m. An excellent and airy summit ridge traverse to the southern summit

Owey Island

Grid Reference 707224 Torglass

Finbar's Stack DIFF 25m

FA F Mullen 22/06/09

This is the stack between Torglas Tower and Owey, and just north of Torglas itself.  Ascent was by a series of big stepped ledges on the seaward side.

Staca Bhui HVS 5B 16m **

FA D. Millar M. Bonner

Climbs the stunning narrow sea-stack North of Torglass Island on the West side of Owey Island. Paddle out to the island n stack North of Torglass Island by any means possible. Belay on large sloping ledge at base of crack n groove on stacks North wall. Climb the stack on its North side via crack at first then groove to its top. Belay on eastern side of summit. Crux is entering the groove.

Fracture Stack V. Diff 30m

FA A. Tees, I. Kyrella, B. Magowan 22/06/09

This is the big stack NW of Torglas (Owey) with the remarkable leaning pillar, which can look like a window from many places.  Land in the cave/arch facing Torglas Tower.  A difficult move right, around a corner, leads to delightfully easy climbing on good granite to the summit ridge.

By Hook or by Crook E1 5B 20m **

FA I. Miller S. Read 26/06/10

This route climbs the West face of the leaning tower on "Fracture Stack." Scramble/cave your way to the seaward face of the tower (between the tower and the parent stack) to the massive seaward platforms. At the seaward end of the west face of the tower climb the series of ledges to the left of the obvious roof crack. Micro wires needed. DO NOT attempt to land on the seaward face of this stack as the funnelling effect of the sea between "Fracture Stack" and "Neptunes Lair Stack" is UBER dramatic

Nautical Folly SVR 4a 30m *

FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson, M. Boner 27/06/09

At the seaward end of the East facing wall of Fracture Stack (facing the Lady of Torglas stack) there sits a large tidal platform. Climb the prominent right facing corner in the centre of the seaward wall directly above the ledge. Superb rock and holds all the way to summit.

White Rage S 20m *

FA I. Miller, S. Read 26/06/10

Grid Ref B707226. This dramatic little stack sits to the North West of Fracture stack and is guarded by a modicum of Neptunes Wrathe. The South East face is an excellent wall of immaculate wave battered cracks and features. This route climbs the most obvious deep crack in the left of centre of the wall.

Cavers Delight HS 4B 20m *

FA S. Read, I. Miller 26/06/10

 Grid Ref B707226. On the land ward face of this excellent little stack climb the groove / face immediately to the left of the monster chimney/gash at the right hand end of the face.

Taming The Dragon, DIFF, 40m

FA A.Tees, B Magowan (Alt.leads) 24/09/2000

Grid ReferenceB 707228 A fine outing, spectacular and photogenic, on the sea stack in the bay. Cross from the sea facing mainland wall and climb the right hand side of the sea arch to belay at a block on the top. Continue over the arch and climb ramp on mixed rock and some vegetation to belay. Traverse the pinnacle ridge to highest block at the far end.


Blade, E2 5b 20m **

FA Andrzej Smialy & Party 4/07/03

Grid Reference B716237 From the top of the landward platform climb the wide groove to the small capping roof. (2 pegs) Pull through the roof to an airy wee stance, trend seaward and up to summit on rattling blocks.

Cladagharoan, SVR 3c 35m

FA I. Miller, E. Read, C. Gleeson 20/06/09

Grid Reference B717236. This stack is found to the seaward side of Stackamillion. Access is by a 40m abseil and an atmospheric wee sea passage to the non tidal platform at the West end of the seaward face. (nearest Stackamillion) Abseil descent of the route from the insitu stake on the summit ridge.

Pitch 1. 3c 25m. Climb the very obvious groove directly above the non tidal platform to the Ab stake on the summit ridge.

Pitch 2. 10m. Carefully scramble/crawl to the summit

Greater Leap Isle

FA: M. McGuigan, A Tees, B Magowan June 2007

Grid Reference B718233 on Owey Island, 10 minutes North of the harbour. An obvious rectangular window through the sea stack on the left hand side looking out to sea is The Window. Starting at sea level up to a ledge and bridge up the window to a large slab of rock and an easy scramble to the top.

Torboy Island

Grid Reference B725231. At the Northern tip of Cruit Island, approx 100m out to sea sit's this island of immaculate Granite. Access is by an 800m coastal walk from the Owey pier followed by a short sea passage. Care must be taken on the sea passage as the channels seperating the Island from Cruit are prone to monster seas.

The Grater Groove VS 4c 18m

FA I. Miller, E. Wallace 03/06/10

At the juncture of the landward facing wall and the East sea facing wall, climb the wide chimney/groove up/on and through the sharpest crystal rock it is possible to imagine. Falling would be very unpleasant indeed.

Jamtastic VS 4c 18m

FA R. Khanna, I. Miller 14/08/10

Approx 5m right of "The Grater Groove," climb the full crag height off width. Big daddy cams are a good idea.

A Moment in Time VS 4b 18m

FA R. Khanna, I. Miller 14/08/10

Approx. 3m right of "Jamtastic," climb the shallow left facing corner crack.

Laughing Fools V.DIFF 20m **

FA I. Miller, E. Wallace 03/06/10

Approx. 20m right of “The Grater Groove,” the cliff steps back to form a steep bay. Climb the left hand side of the bay by the fight facing corner with the huge mid height platform.

Happy Days DIFF 18m

FA I. Miller 03/06/10

Beyond the large bay the cliff contains a steep slabby wall of perfect sea battered granite. Climb the first full crag height groove immediately left of the “Distant Drums” corner.

Distant Drums S 4a 18m

FA I. Miller, E. Wallace 03/06/10

Left of centre on this wall, climb the crack running into and through the right facing corner at half height. A cheeky few starting moves.

Lump Groove HVS 5a 18m *

FA I. Miller 04/06/10

2m right of “Distant Drums” climb the easy looking deep crack, hard start, hard middle and a superb finish.

Boxer Squash S 4a 15m *

FA I. Miller, E. Wallace 03/06/10

At the far right of the crag, just before it tapers down into a deep geo, climb the full crag height 8 inch offwidth with internal quartz nobular assistance.

Tor Na Dumhcha

Grid Reference B803304 This 20 metre stack is situated just off the Lower Glashagh headland (Gweedore) at GR B803304. Access is by a short sea passage. The stacks south face is a 20 mtr vertical wall of excellent "Gola" type sea battered granite. Directions: From Jacks Hotel as you leave Gweedore take the sharp left and follow the B class road to the small beach car park. On foot follow the coastal path North over several new wooden bridges to the headland overlooking the stack.

A Bridge Too Far SVR 4a 20m **

FA I. Miller, M, Boner 17/05/09

From the Large Triangular ledge at the seaward end of the face traverse across the steep wall on monster jugs to gain the base of the corner. Bridge (or squirm) up the corner with increasing air between your feet.

Chatterbox SVR 4a 15m *

FA M. Boner, I. Miller 17/05/09

Climb the big corner immediately to the seaward side of the main face, abseil access or a traverse in from the main face is much more sporting.

Nature Always Provides SVR 35m **

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 28/02/09

1. 20m Starting on the spacious recess at the bottom of Easy Exit, follow a superb sea level traverse just above the high water mark to a smaller stance at the bottom of the Arete at the seaward end of the face.

2. 15m Climb the arête.

Exit Stage Left VS 4b 15m **

FA I. Miller, E. Wallace, M. Boner 31/05/09

Climb "Unhindered by Talent" for 3 metres, make a step left onto a superb series of layback jugs. Layback on jugs to the summit.

Unhindered By Talent VS 4c 15m ***

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 17/05/09

Climb the superb hand crack up the centre of the face.

“Fine Display, Young Wallace!” HVS 5a 15m **

FA I. Miller, E. Wallace, M. Boner 31/05/09

Climb The Steep & sustained finger/hand crack to the right of "Unhinder by Talent." Eases nicely in the last few metres.

The Internal Grin SVR 15m **

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 21/02/09

Climb the superb left facing corner, right of the centre of the face on huge jugs, big gear and a massive smile.

Heavens Hexes HS 4b 15m *

FA M. Boner, I. Miller 28/02/09

Climb the excellent steep jamming crack between “The Internal Grin” and the “Easy Exit” chimney, without jamming! 

Easy Exit Diff 12m

FA I. Miller, M. Boner 21/02/09

At the extreme right of the face climb the wide chimney groove, finish on the ledge or step left and continue to summit.

Exit Stage Right DIFF 10m

FA M. Boner 31/05/09

On the access ramp from the landward side of the main face climb the dark chimney crack.

Tory Island

SeaWard Face Route. SVR 4a 45m

FA P. Stevens, M. Boner 18/07/09

Grid Reference B868463. This route climbs the seaward face of the largest and central stack of the trio North of the Tower on the Island of Tory. Access is by a 50 mtr abseil and a superb wee sea passage.

Pitch 1, 4a, 20m. From the seaward end of the channel between this stack and the beast to the south, climb cracks up left of the sea level platform and a steepening, step up and right to belay at base of chimney.

Pitch 2, 25m. Climb the clean rib to the summit

The Land Ward Face. VS 4c 45m *

FA I. Miller, C. Gleeson 18/07/09

Grid Reference B868462. This route climbs the landward face of the superb stack immediately to the North of the tower on the island of Tory. Access by 50 metre abseil and a wee sea passage.

Pitch 1, 4b, 20m. From the base of the landward face, climb the slab & step/swing over the void. Continue upward on massive jugs to belay on the ramp.

Pitch 2, 4c, 25m. Scramble up the ramp, & thrutch up the very obvious chimney. Continue up the very wide crack on superb rock to the summit.

North Face Route. HVS 5A 43m

FA P. Stevens, M. Boner 18/07/09

Grid Reference B868462. This route climbs the Northern face of the Southern Stack, starting at the land ward end of the channel separating the 2 stacks.

Pitch 1, 4C, 18m. From the sea lavel platforms, climb the obvious "V" groove in the nose of rock to a belay on the landward facing ramp.

Pitch 2, 5A, 25m. Climb the Chimney as for the "The Landward Face Route," and continue to the summit by the steep right hand cracks.

Main Summit. 45m VS 5a

FA P. Stevens, I. Miller 19/07/09

Grid Reference B869461, This route climbs the landward face of the left hand summit of the ULTRA obvious "V" shaped stack, Immediately to the south of the "tower" on the island of Tory. Access is by a 50m easy angled abseil and a short sea passage, descent is by abseil of route.

Pitch 1, 5A, 25m. Starting below the meeting of the twin summits, climb the steep corner, step left & continue to a superb belay between the summits.

Pitch 2, 4a, 20m. Climb to the left hand summit via the very obvious summit chimney

Red Wall. HVS 5a 43m **

FA P. Stevens, I. Miller 19/07/09

Grid Reference B869461. This route climbs the right hand summit of the "V" stack on the island of Tory. Access and descent as for main summit.

Pitch 1, 5A, 25m. as for main summit route.

Pitch 2, 5A, 18m. From the recess between the twin summits, climb the thin ramp rightward, and continue leftward, climb to the summit up broken cracks.

Dun Balai. V. DIFF 50m ***

FA I. Miller, R. Khanna 15/08/10

Grid Reference B876463.

At the Eastern end of Tory Island and sitting in an outstanding location at the base of a wall of 80m sea cliffs is a remote and UBER intimidating 55m sea stack. This route climbs the center of the West face. (sea ward face)  Pitch 1. 25m From the center of the sea ward face climb the right facing corner and up ledges to a large stance below a right trending crack.  Pitch 2. 25m Climb the short steep crack and ascend a series of right trending steps to the summit.  Access is by an ultra committing 700m paddle from the wee storm beach at GR B876455 and descent of the stack is by abseil down the route.


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