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Owey overnighter

Date: 24th&25th July 2007
Submitted by: Peter Cooper, Dave Millar

At very short notice Dave, Valli and myself found ourselves taking the boat over to Owey for a spot of adventure climbing.

The first day saw Dave lead the 2nd ascent of 'Nail Biter' (approx HS/VS), this is located at Torglass and is some 15M r of the land connected stack where Fandango goes. I got a new line some 8M r, and below, of 'Nail Biter' and continued a digits theme with 'Cuticles' (approx HVS 4c) this takes a crack up a slabby face with a ledge at just over 1/2 height.

The route of the day was a 2 pitch route of fine quality, done almost by accident. Out at the tip of the area named 'Dragon's Cove' (correct local gaelic names to be sought) we did a 40M abseil into the wrong area, for the route that had caught our eyes! So to escape Dave went up a chimney, which ended-up being far better than expected. Once Valli and myself were up we did a ledge traverse leftwards to a good corner, which provided a fine 2nd pitch; this ends with an exposed tip-toe up a ramp. A nice line and we will submit it once we can describe how to find it. The line will be called the Millar Cooper Schafer Route and goes about HVS 5a.

The following day Dave and Valli got a new line up a sea stack on the East side, the return up the cliff proved 'interesting'; with Valli and Dave clawing their way up the crumbling granite face on a very-necessary top rope.

A light shower came by so we stowed the sacs under a boulder and had tea and snacks back at the camping area, along with a few games of boules; in the drizzle. It cleared up and we went to get a really nice crack line I'd spied. This ended with the biggest soaking of my climbing life. I continued up the new line after it had started to drizzle. What started as a drizzle became a shower, which then chose to become an almighty atlantic downpour; as the water poured out of my sleeves at the elbow I chose to bail out. A session with the WD40 will no doubt be required.

And that was that, a change of sodden clothes and we took the tents down in good time for John the Boatman to take us back across the Owey Sound to Cruit. After such a soaking what has become a tradition of taking a wee refreshing dip after island trips just didn't seem necessary.

Photo of Route