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A Day At The Seaside

Date: 17/04/2011
Submitted by: Alfie Conn

A Day At The Seaside

Two recce visits during the Winter had shown potential and it seemed to me that with the onset of Spring it was time to realize it.

If you head North from Bambi’s tower, at Malin Head, you descend to a small island that is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel, wider on the Western side, on the Eastern edge, it is only a step. Well, one small step for Trevor, a giant leap for Alfie.

There they were facing the gap. Low tide in an hour and the sea was feet below, all that was needed to do was step across and climb up the easy rib. There was some hesitation over the slippy rocks but soon the intrepid two were heading West peering down into the churning chasm below.

“Its quite impressive “ said Trev

“Fecking hell” said Alfie

It took a while to scramble along the island but was uneventful except for the slippery rocks in places. (Do you start to see a trend here?)

We were close to getting wet when we dumped our sacks on the Western slabs. (Well Trev dumped his sack, I just collapsed). From there it was simple to rig up a short abseil to the handy boulder that looked conveniently non tidal. After trying to delay the inevitable, we descended and did two acceptable but unremarkable routes. The situation was however stunning. Massive rollers crashed over rocky outcrops, huge mats of foam floated on the heaving sea (that was not as far below us as it had been)(Do you see atrend here?), spray filled the air and the noise boomed and echoed in the narrow canyon. But we were in the sun, so that’s all right then.

A third climb and we relaxed on our sacks eating the last of my lunch.

“You know a wave washed over that boulder just as I stepped off it” said Trevor. (Do you see a trend here? We didn’t.)

We decided to play it safe with the tide and head home. We trogged back to the grassy slopes that looked down on our crossing point.

“Ahhhh” said Trevor

Fecking hell” said Alfie

The waves were crashing over the point. It would have been suicide to even think about crossing. Waiting till the tide fell was all we could do.

Trev rang his loved ones to tell them not to worry

Alfie rang his broker to arrange life insurance.

Four and a half hours later, darkness falling and the moon showing it was as dim as himself, Alfie headed down the rib. The sea was well down but the waves were sweeping down the chasm like express trains. Belayed from above and praying to someone even higher Alfie edged out round the rock. A wave swept down the channel reaching up to his knees but it lacked any real power and his feet remained rooted. He leapt and fear did indeed lend him wings but sadly it didn’t help with landings and his foot went from underneath. Crunch!!!!! Alive, spitting out bits of tooth, wiping off the blood and running to avoid the coming train. A handy belay block far above the sea and Trevor came over with nothing more than a slight pant. All over bar the shouting.

If you had told me beforehand that we would have been climbing in the most stunning place in lovely weather but would have had to nearly be benighted and I would need to get a crown replaced by my favourite dentist; then I wouldn’t bloody go!

22 Apr 2011

Thanks for that Ant. I prefer not to use artificial aids like tables. Obviously!

23 Apr 2011

Oh dear, oh dear! I almost felt that crown coming out. I s'pose the island could be renamed Alfie's Crown instead of Bamba's Crown?

Photo of Route