The county of Donegal sits on the North West tip of the Republic of Ireland and quite simply plays host to more rock than anyone could ever climb in several lifetimes. Living along the Western freeboard of Donegal in Ireland's most remote and wild places is a collection of 100 sea stacks. These gothic leviathans stand guard at the entrance to the abyss and provide a shade over 170 recorded routes to their summits. As with all sea stack climbs, access is the key to considerable emotional turmoil. Many of the stacks found along this coast will require you to use considerable nautical, vertical, and spiritual guile to reach the summit. An adventurous spirit and a sense of humour are essential components on a day in the company of Neptune, Gaia and the forces of nature.
Of these 100 rarely stood on summits I have selected seven of the most memorable places I've visited, whilst tied onto the end of a dynamic rope.
Living on the north west tip of the Inishowen Peninsula is the 230 meter high Dunaff Hill. This hill is hemmed in by Dunaff Bay to the south and by Rocktown Bay to the north, which in turn creates the huge Dunaff Headland. This headland has a four kilometre stretch of very exposed and very high sea cliffs running along its western circumference to a high point of 220 meters at which it overlooks the sea stack of Bothanvarra.
Bothanvarra is a 70 meter high chubby Matterhorn shaped sea stack which sits in the most remote, inescapable and atmospheric location on the Inishowen coastline. It sits equidistant from the bays north and south and is effectively guarded by 4 kilometres of loose, decaying and unclimbable sea cliffs.
This is the film of the first and only ascent of the stack to date.
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