Rock Climbing in Donegal 2021

 And Sho, another year passes on the west coast of Donegal with pretty much every crag in the county getting a visit by climbers this year. This was of course, helped by a year of outstanding weather and a generally very helpful Neptune. 

Owey Island

   It was a busy year on Owey with many teams paddling out and playing on the dry rock above calm seas. Judging by the number of times I paddled below An Srón and there were troops on the "Donkey's Pelvis" HVS 5a *** I vote this the most popular route on Owey with more than 10 ascents this year.
   Síle Daly and David Craig adding two new lines to the Selkie Buttress With "The Púca’s Predicament" HVS 5a 50m * and "Faery hand in hand" E3 6a *** both taking excellent and prominent lines. As with last year, I will publish a detailed topo of this area once David and Síle are finished plying there. 
   Around the corner, I filled a few gaps on the Belay by the Reaper area with the best of them being "Frozen Water Burial" S 4a which takes the airy cracks right of the parent groove.
   Eléonore and Rhyna Conroy added "Spoons Go Up S 3c" taking a direct line from the higher belay on the Alluvial Wall. 

Donegal Rock Climbing
Eléonore & Rhyna Conroy on FA Spoon Go Up

   Not to be outdone by mum Eléonore taking the lead in the Black Spink, Rhyna led the third ascent and first female ascent of The Lady of Owey. The Lady of Owey is a 20m sea stack that lives to the west side of Owey and had received only two ascents previous. Rhyna led this tricky and pumpy E1 5b line in perfect style. 

   More information in the Owey Island Guidebook download 

The lady of OweyClimbing the Lady of Owey 
Rhyna & Eléonor on the 3rd Ascent of The Lady of Owey

   I have opened an account on the un-named sea stack below An Srón with two lines at V. Diff *** and Hard Severe on immaculate marble-like granite. Alas, rage lives around the base of this stack with near-constant conflicting motion even on the calmest of days. Peillic has been added to the deepwater solo with a collection of lines on its seaward face above very deep water. This stack requires a tad of nautical wisdom to play safe.

Playing on the un-named

 Deep Water Soloing

Deep Water Soloing In donegal
Des O'Connor on FA "Céim Scoir ar Dheis" 

    I've been on a bit of a deep water solo mission this year due to months of uber calm seas and general sunshine. The Islands area to the East of Tor Buíghe to the North of Cruit, is near complete in their development, with the remaining unclimbed lines being the domain of the steal-fingered characters. Des O'Connor climbed the excellent steep "Céim Scoir ar Dheis" HS 4b ** to celebrate he jumped off the crags highest point to test the depth of the water. :-) 
   On Tor Buíghe, Lisa Murdiff led the well-known S-crack feature on the leaning wall to give an outstanding Crescent Arch at E1 5a and ***. 
   Over on Tor na Dumhcha sea stack, I climbed three new lines at the seaward end of the crag as deepwater solos all three are in the VS price range with two of them very safe indeed being above very deep water at all tide states.
   On Owey or rather just off Owey, climbed I developed a new wall on the lonely Peillic sea stack. This flat-topped stack is very easily seen from the golf course on Cruit and involves a little bit of nautical planning and guile to play here. The rock on this stack is immaculate due to the rage that usually funnels through the channel and over the top of the stack.

More information in the Deep Water Soloing Guidebook download

Deep Water Soloing IrelandTor Buigh
Peillic DWS and Lisa Murdiff on Tor Buigh Sea Stacks 

Gola Island

  On the Main Walls, Billy Beck and Neil Dickson added "Dick Doody E4 6a" which climbs the cracks and aréte right of "Snow Desert." A couple of summers ago the same pair climbed "clean the Green, Get the Orange E3 6a" which takes the left trending cracks left of Gorgonzola on the Inland Crag.
   In the Narrow Zawn, Joe Warne and G. Mann climbed "Life Before Kids" VS 4c this line climbs through the steep bulge to the right of "Buzz Light Year."
   John Lynch and B. Davies climbed "An Selkie E3 6a **" this takes a direct start to "Ceol na Mara" climbing the steep and strenuous cracks to join the parent route.

More information in the Gola Island Guidebook download

The Mountains

 Kevin Mcgee has been busy in The Bluestacks and The Poisoned Glen, sussing, cleaning and climbing a large collection of excellent new lines on the neglected areas of both of these crags.

More information in the Beal Séad Guidebook download

Donegal Climbing BluestacksBluestacks Donegal
Playing in the Bluestacks

End's of the Earth Crag

   Rónán and Lisa Davison-Kernan climbed "The Widening Gyre" HS 4b 70m, which takes a parallel line to "Prisms of Fear." 

Ireland's most remote climbing location
Rónán and Lisa on "The Widening Gyre"

Málainn Bhig

   Warren Poots, G. Poots with Connor Shiels have been busy developing the two southernmost ribs at the southern end of Malin Beg. Nice One Gents 

More information in the Malin Beg Guidebook download


 Out on the distant island of Tory, Jono Redman and Emily Jones did a rare ascent of Tor Mór along the 400m ridge from the Anvil. Whilst out on Tor Mór they added an excellent HVS which takes the bulging prow to the right of the open book corner of the original route.

More information in the Toraigh Guidebook download


Sea Stacks

   Most of the stack development this year has been of the watery soloing variety on the smaller stacks around Owey and Cruit. 
   Cnoc na Mara received two unrelated ascents in quick succession, The first ascent being from Russel Crookes & Claire Lundy swiftly followed by Stephen Frawley &  Daniel Kirk. It should be noted that the weather was so good on Stephen and Daniels ascent that Daniel climbed in his boxers, which I feel is unlikely to become a trend. :-)

Cnoc na Mara sea stack
Russel Crookes and Claire Lundy on Cnoc na Mara


Inishowen Rock Climbing
Glenagivne Wall (pic Alan Tees)

   Noble brother Alan Tees has been busy on the Inishowen peninsula with the discovery and ongoing development of the multi-tiered Glenagivne Wall. This impressive wall lives on the north coast of Glenane Hill just to the east of Kinnagoe Bay. In its early stages of development, Alan has been leading the charge with a collection of cleaned and excellent-looking lines done so far. I'm guessing the spring will allow development to continue on this north-facing crag.
   Alan has been instrumental in managing the crags and access around his club-owned land and campsite at the Dunaff harbour area of Inishowen. Alas due to ongoing access niggles to the north of here, he has installed a via Ferrata to allow hassle-free access to this stretch of coast, Nice One Sir. 

Leabhar Treorach Dhún na nGall sa Todhchaí

   Táim ag athscríobh mo Threoirleabhar Dún na nGall 2015 féin faoi láthair. Forbraíodh an oiread sin áiteanna agus creagacha nua ó threoirleabhar 2015. Tá mé tar éis athrú mór a dhéanamh ar leagan amach na láithreacha go dtí seo chun speictream i bhfad níos leithne creige agus bealaí a cheadú. Chinn mé go leor de na creagacha agus na láithreacha a thabhairt ar ais ina n-ainmneacha bunaidh Gaeilge, go háirithe áiteanna sa Ghaeilge. Is próiseas leanúnach é seo ina bhfuil go leor, go leor úinéirí talún agus scairshealbhóirí sna ceantair uile lena mbaineann. Is i mBéarla a bheidh an treoirleabhar seachas na logainmneacha bunaidh Gaeilge.

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