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Skildren Mor : Malin Head

Date: 9th & 10th June 2007
Submitted by: Peter Cooper

For a variety of reasons Dave Millar and myself turned-up in the early evening of Saturday, a bit too late to make a crossing to the sea Stook, Skildren Mor, to meet up and climb with Alan and Marty; so we took the option to have a kajak trip instead; courtesy of Alan.

I've been working towards Level 2 Kajak instructor and Dave proved to be a quick learner, so after 5 mins basic instruction we left the shelter of Breasty Bay and headed out through the Scart Rocks into the Atlantic on Alan's sit-on kajaks. The evenings water was perfectly still, we've seen some real sea conditions before now, and knew our luck was in.

We got out around the Stook very easily and found Marty leading a new route, it looked great from the water, alas we had no suitable camera to take out on the kajaks. After a brief chat we headed out around further small rocks and in and out of several bays. Dave managed to add to the poetical ambience of the superb evening by...farting. Now normally this would have passed without notice, roaring seas and all that, but this involved the noise being amplified not only by the boat's empty storage compartments but also by the very high-sided bay we were in; it was a strange noise that led to hysterics from Dave and myself. Asking him if he'd farted didn't seem necessary.

We didn't see Alan and Marty, again, on our way back in but we did get to see 'other things'! We went outside of the last Scart Rock and Dave tentatively asked "what's that?". Dave and myself were mere metres off a basking shark, nonchalently going about it's business. It wasn't a big one, but it provided us with a minute or two of awe before it swam further out into the Atlantic. Once it had gone the water came alive with mackerel, feeding on sand eels, all around the kajaks. Just before we got back into Breasty bay a seal on the rocks spotted us and dived into the water, we watched it swim under the boats through the fantastically clear water. A short exchange was had with Alan and Marty before we headed to The Crossroads Inn. What an evening.

Sunday we returned, did the swim, the sack-hauling and finally got onto the Stook for some climbing. Alan and Marty had found the only decent spot to pitch a tent and were grateful to get some fresh water brought over. Climbing of new routes quickly got under way. Alan and Marty got a total of 7 over the 2 days and dave and myself got in 2 good lines, 'Tutter Nablets' and 'Muintear na meara'; 2 very different routes but both about E1 5b. After that it was lots of bag-hauling and a final swim. This was a real adventure and I'm looking forward to getting back across soon, with the great weather it felt like climbing on an isle in the Med.

Photo of Route