Eagles Rock is Ireland’s highest free-standing tower and its entire summit plateau is covered in a thick carpet of the most luxurious soft bouncy heather you can possibly imagine. This elusive summit gives mind-blowing views towards Slieve League in Co Donegal and over the summit plateau of Arroo to the north. The summit of Eagles Rock has only been stood on by 6 people with two known ascents of the tower in 1971 and 2012.
Looming high above Glenade in County Leitrim lives the 330m high Eagles Rock. This limestone tower stands free of the surrounding vertical limestone Croontypruglish cliffs by an 80-metre gap.
The base of Eagles rock and the collection of smaller towers and pillars in this area gives the col a gothic and Mordor type feel. This boulder-strewn col is a place of almost demonic gothic architecture.
Access to the base of the tower is by a steep scrambling traverse from the roadside car park and information board. Follow the right of way out of the car park over the stile, take this good path up onto the mountainside at about 200-metre contour. From here it is a steep contour south-east to the landward col at the base of Eagles Rock.
Eagles Rock has only been climbed twice, its first ascent was in 1971 by a team from Craven Pothling Club and in 2012 Steven "Jock" Read, Iain Miller and Steven McCann made the second ascent of the tower by the same route. A much more detailed account of that ascent is Described Here.
1: Eagles Rock lives high on the mountainside above the farmlands of Glenade in County Leitrim on the west coast of Ireland.
2: The access slopes are very steep and boulder-strewn.
3: The easiest way to get to the base of the tower is to follow the right of way track over the stile just at the roadside car park. Follow this excellent track until you are roughly at the same height as the col between eagles Rock and the main face. From here contour steeply along steep grassy slopes to the boulder-strewn col.
4: The col between Eagles Rock and the main cliffs is an extremely atmospheric cauldron of towers, spires and a huge scattering of enormous limestone boulders.
5: The only route to the summit climbs the southern arete of the tower and is a 30 metre Severe climbed in three 10 metre pitches.
6: The first pitch is protected by microwires and climbs a vertical wall to an extremely airy stance and a good ledge. This belay is partially bolted.
7: The second pitch takes a rising traverse and a step across the void to another good stance on top of a huge arete that looks like it is detached from the rest of Eagles Rock. There is an old caving bolt from 1971 here as the primary attachment point at this stance.
8: The third pitch is near unprotected vertical grass, which takes you to the summit.
9: The anchors on the summit are from tree roots in a crevasse about 15 metres back from the top of the route and a stake we placed in 2012. (The troops in 1971 may have placed stakes in the thick heather but alas we could not find anyone our ascent in 2012)
10: To rig your abseil anchors from the summit you will need 20m of tat and a 4 foot, 2 inch angle iron stake, the soil on the summit is very deep and soft.
11: The abseil back down the route involves a bit of a swing and a re-belay to reach the stance at the top of pitch one.
12: Upon returning to terra firma you will laugh for a long time. :-)
The above are just a few thoughts on attempting this tower, it's location high above Glenade is outstanding. It is always worth bearing in mind that the actual climbing is by far the easiest part of your day with the logistics of actually getting back to the base of the tower from the summit as the crux of your day.