Lighthouse Sea Stack

 

Arranmore Island

At the north tip of Arranmore Island  The Lighthouse sea stack sits immediately below the lighthouse at Rinrawros Point at the far north-west tip of. There is parking at the lighthouse car park at the road end and it is a 30-second walk through the lighthouse grounds to the cliffs overlooking this superb sea stack. For the best view of the stack follow the coast around past the lighthouse for 100m and you are now looking across at the stack's landward facing ridge.

Arranmore sea stack climbing


The Lighthouse Stack

 The Lighthouse sea stack sits immediately below the lighthouse at Rinrawros Point at the far north-west tip of Arranmore Island. There is parking at the lighthouse car park at the road end and it is a 30-second walk through the lighthouse grounds to the cliffs overlooking this superb sea stack. For the best view of the stack follow the coast around past the lighthouse for 100m and you are now looking across at the stack's landward facing ridge. 

 The landward ridge on this sea stack is climbed at the very amenable grade of Diff/V.Diff and provides the best route of its grade in Ireland. The rock is immaculate Ashfall Quartz for the 100m of climbing up this ridge.

 Access is by a super scary 50m abseil down the black slabs facing the centre of the south face of the stack to a wee recess just above the high watermark. From here it is a short sea passage to the huge sea level platforms at the base of the stack's south face.

 A truly great route on an outstanding sea stack in a very atmospheric and potentially dangerous location.



Playing on lighthouse Stack in 2011

Lighthouse Stack 2014

The Giant's Reek

 Few sea stacks in the world compare to this 120m monster. Its location is in the centre of the Giant's Reel cauldron, it has no easy or sane means of access to its base and the cauldron is prone to the full fury of the prevailing south-west sea motion.

 After several failed attempts to access the base of this stack by non-motorised transport, the planets aligned and a RiB owner and his climbing son came out to play. We accessed the base of this stack by 240hp Yanmar rigid inflatable from Burtonport, 10 or so KM away on the mainland of Donegal. 

 On the first and only ascent to date, there were four climbers taken out in the boat, Dave Millar, Steven Reed, James Crowe and myself. Dave and Steven were deposited at the base of the stack on the leeward east side and climbed a "Fu Manchu," a 140m route in seven pitches and graded XS. James and myself were dropped off at the base of the west face and climbed the "The Sea Ward Ridge," another 140m route in 5 pitches which we graded XS. We all met on the summit and abseiled back to sea level down the seaward ridge in three abseils.

 Both these routes are very serious undertakings and provide a full-on adventure quite unlike anything else in Ireland. 

Realm of Damocles

 This impressive 200m sea to summit ridge lives in the centre of the massive Giant's Reek cauldron just to the east of the lighthouse at Rinrawros point. It has major access issues and I do mean major.

 Our access was by descending the steep slopes on the north face of Torneady point and paddling around Torneady into the Giant's Reek cauldron, this sea passage was extremely emotional and even now after two years I still have fond memories of being mildly terrified. Once in the cauldron paddle along the the base of these majestic cliff's with a growing heighted awareness of your surroundings. You are now at one with the pounding heart of the ocean and all too quickly you arrive at the small platforms at the base of the monsterous ridge soaring above you.

 The ridge is climbed in as many or little pitches as you are comfortable with. The rock is heady mixture of immaculate Ashfall Quartz and manky grot with the hardest section of climbing being the initial 20m above the sea.

 If this ridge lived on an Irish mountain or had a slightly less emotional access it would be a classic Irish rock climb. As it is, it is still a classic climb but it will not be the climbing that will last forever in your memory. :-)

Torneady Point

  Torneady Point is Arranmore Island most northerly point. Sitting off its western tip, 30m out to sea and at the base of the 100m high mainland sea cliffs is an unnamed sea stack. It sits in a most excellent exposed, dangerous and atmospheric location. The two routes to it's ridged summit are relatively easy alas it's access is a bit of a mindblower.

 Access is a 2KM walk from the road, either through the bog and peat hags from Plughoge (B652178) or by following the clifftops from the Lighthouse at Rinrawros point. The coast walk is MUCHO drier underfoot and has amazing views of the Giant's Reek coastal cliffscapes that make Arranmore Island famous. From the summit of Torneady the only sane way to sea level (and it's not that sane) is down the steep slope directly opposite the centre of the offshore island to the north. Once at sea level launch and paddle around the headland to your south and into the superb channel between Arranmore and the sea stack. Land on the stack at its southern landward side. And Relax! 

 There are two recorded routes to this stacks summit, the easier route takes the ramp and groove at the southern end of the landward face, and provides two pitches of excellent climbing. At the northern end of the landward face, a much longer and better route climbs the steep north face in two pitches and end in a third pitch of super atmospheric mountainous ridge scrambling.

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