Tory Island (Dun Balai)

Added: 2011-11-04
on the summit of Dun Balai sea stack

 This 40m square block sea stack sits in a supremely atmospheric location at the base of the 90m high Dun Balai headland at the east end of Tory Island. It is by far the most adventurous of Tory's outstanding collection of sea stacks.

 Access is by a 2km walk east from the main west village on Tory to a wee north west facing storm beach just beyond the east village. Above the beach are the remains of the old fishing boats winching gear that Tory islanders used to use to dry heave their fishing boats on to land for the winter for safe keeping. Once on the storm beach it is a 800m paddle around the 50m high Promontory Fort head and out to sea north ward along the coast below the base of the ominous 90m Dun Balai headland. Landing on the stack requires an flat calm sea. The stack has easy landing platforms at the base of both it's sea ward and land ward faces. The base of the stack sits in a very exposed location and can only be safely gained in a very calm sea state. The channel between the stack and the headland behind it contains a collection of semi submerged skerries and these cause a great deal of white water violence at most tide states. 

 Once on the stack there is a huge ledge system around its base allowing easy access to all of its faces.

 The only recorded route to its summit climbes the groove system up the centre of the sea ward face in two pitches at a very amenable V.Diff. Descent is by abseil down the route.

 Behind the stack is a huge sea arch running through the Dun Balai headland, this huge arch makes for an excellent wee paddle through. There is a pair of huge seals living around this arch area and they will bark their amusment at your wee boat passing through their front garden.

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