In the Realm of the Dark Lord.
Submitted by: Iain Miller
And Sho, with our souls still intact from our previous visit to the lair of Mephistopheles, Noble Brother Martin Bonner and I descended once more unto the realms of darkness.
The object of our desires was an ascent of the Dark Lord himself, this 70m stack sits to the West of Gull Island and simply put, it is in the most remote and inaccessible location off the mainland of Ireland.
HURRA, Welcome to Hell!
Each carrying our 20kg beasts of burden, an early morning 4km trot across the hinterlands of Slievetooey followed by a 100m steep scramble and we arrived at our wave washed base camp.
It was now a 500m sea passage to reach the base of Satan and as neither of us had spoken for the last hour we paddled out in continued silence. Paddling out into this amphitheatre of outragous natural beauty, fear and intimidation, it was near impossible to supress the sensory overload as I felt we had now, reached and breached the bounds of the sane and in the distance the coronach played on.
20 mins of easy atmospheric paddling later we arrived at the Gothic labyrinth separating the two stacks we alighted onto the easiest island, Satan looked very, very difficult to land on, Neptune was in the building! Oh, Happy Days!
"This is Fackin Awesome!" Quipped Brother Bonner, I agreed and we once more descended into silence.
The only way to access our goal was a small recess in the channel between the two stacks, I don't wish to labour the point BUT this channel was truly surreal!
"DEAD, your God is dead. FOOLS, your God is dead. USELESS prayers of lies. BEHOLD Satan's rise!" Roared our host as we made the journey across the Styx to arrive at the sanctitude of the 6th inner circle.
And whilst in celebration of Rage the heavens grew strong, the key to the 7th gate of Hell lay momentarily unguarded.
Changed clothes, sorted the toys and climbed a 25m pitch of immaculate Basalt to arrive at a col to the south of Satan and between an offshoot lump. A further 30m pitch took us up steep Basalt blockiness to the bottom of twin summit towers, The Horn of Satan, if you will! :-) A third 35m pitch climbed the steep corner crack between the horns to arrive on the summit ridge, A thought provocing ridge scramble and we sat aloft the Prince of Darkness.
"Lets get the Fack out of here!" Suggested Brother Bonner, and I couldn't have agreed more.
We abseiled and down climbed the route to our mighty vessel.
Toys sorted and we set sail, a 10 minutes later whilst paddling up the final channel and awaiting the final big lump to spit us free of the labyrinth and out into open sea. I turned to ask Martin if he was having fun yet, head bowed he was in silent prayer as we were lifted 6 feet and carried out into open sea on the crest of a monster roller. Arms raised as we both roared at the sky, we had been reborn into the world having left behind the gothic architecture of Satan's abyss.
A superb paddle back to the beach was had as the all tension and vertical concerns were now behind us!
This was a truly awesome adventure, I would just like to thank our hosts Satan And Neptune for their hospitality, and although we were never actualy asked to part with our souls I do feel we aged 10 years in one particular memorable paddle stroke!
20 May 2009
Inspirational stuff and congratulations to you both. Having seen this stack with my own eyes, I can picture the lunacy. Quite remarkable adventures. P.S How did this website miss the Donegal climbing News Report of the century? Page 3 of the Irish News and not even a mention.
20 May 2009
We are all devils ourselves and we make this world our hell. The places in your world seem slightly more hellish than most though! Another rip roaring adventure - straight out of Rider Haggard!