Submitted by: Iain Miller
And so, a return was made to the scene of the sea stack proverbial kicking the previous week, along for the tussle was nigh on 120 years life experience in the form of Noble Brothers Alan and Marty, of Tees and McGuigan fame.
An early start was the order of the day, as the day was forcast to be a long one! :-)
6am, An Port road end and the rustle of nylon, the happy campers were up, about and ready to go! The sky was a perfect blue, the sea was calm-ish and the sun was making a glorious appearance! A better start to the day could not be possible?
After Tea and tactics talk off we trotted Northward.
The cliff overlooking our chosen group stacks play a strange optical illusion, standing on the cliff top the stacks look small and benign, BUT as you descend the grassy slope the stacks turn into gothic leviathans, and atmosphere by the bucket load!
The 100 mtr sea crossing was made several times and once again all the troops and toys were safely at the base of this 100 mtr high beast.
Pitch 1 took a superb wide groove on big jugs and good rock, a wee airy trot was made along the knife edge and a perfect grassy ledge and block belay was found.
Pitch 2 followed a very relaxed 22 metre pitch of slab to the bottom of a quite forboding knife edge arete, Now this was atmospheric!
Pitch 3 took the awesome arete on good rock, spaced gear and a modicum of exposure. An excellent ledge was found at the top of the arete and with a peg and block belay constructed the troops convened.
Pitch 4 was a 60 metre long ridge scramble along the knife edge with a 100 meters of air either side of you, and the summit was reached. NOW THIS WAS TRULY ATMOSPHERIC!!
The descent involved a bit of rope trickery and two abseils saw us back at the boat. Much to my dismay (and the others delight) I was the only one spat on by the resident Fulmar. :-( The return boat journey including the customary drenching was made, and relax.
The route was 150 meters long and overall a grade of E1 would be fair? The climbing is 4b ish at its hardest, but this is a VERY serious undertaking, the potential for epics and tomfoolery are high!
All in all an excellent wee adventure! :-)