Should Preshent no Shignificant Problemsh.
Submitted by: Iain Miller
At 6am on a superb Saturday morning, myself and the humble, but tetchy Gri-Gri, found ourselves at the lonely road end at An Port.
Whilst inflating the dingy, the friendliest father and son combo on earth appeared and a long detailed discussion about local seastacks legends ensued. Once they realised what I was intending they drove off, hastily!
The object of the exercise today, was the the unclimbed big daddy stack about a kilometre to the south of An Port, as I just could not face a cliff top trundle with ALL the req gear, a KM paddle was opted as the approach of choice. A half hour later having negotiated all the enroute wee stacks and skerries, the mildly unpleasant offshore wind took us a WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY out to sea! "OH, FACK, NO!" was the collective cry as myself and the Gri-Gri wished we had taken our passports and began calculating drift time to the good old US of A. And LO the wind changed 180 degrees and we sighted land again, emotions were beginning to run high! :-)
We arrived and alighted at the base of the seaward face of the stack. Happy Days!
The first pitch took a superb line of conglomerate and imaculate black slab to arrive at a large ledge. Alas, the second pitch, (the next 25mtr) was gearless and very emotional as we topped out on the summt ridge.
Having thanked the white summit boulder for it's company we began "The Descent," "wallflower" is a techinique by which you lie flat on your back in the classic angel position and wriggle your way down the vertical medium in "classic stack territory," (making as much body contact with the stack as possible at all times) it's not big, it's not clever and it's certainly not pretty! BUT, this took us to the ledge at the top of the 1st pitch, an abseil was rigged and at the base of the seaward face we arrived.
By now the prevailing wind was most defo OFF-SHORE and as the surrounding cliffs are 200mtr + and loose, myself and the humble Gri-Gri wailed "Oh, Fack!" (again)
The only way to the shore, (with a safe ascent to the cliff tops) was about 500 meters away. So, we bandoliered the toys, put them into the mighty vessel and jumped into the sea, using the boat (and toys) as a float, paddled/swam for an eternity to sanctuary of the ascent to the cliff tops.
All in all, if the whole day was to be graded then 5 stars for location, atmosphere, adventure, stupidity and the "That'll do Donkey, That'll Do!" aspect of things are best to be awarded!