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Altars of Madness

Date: 25/05/08
Submitted by: Iain Miller

Whilst at Skelpoonagh two weekends ago, myself and Brother McDaid bagged a new route or 3. But, But, But during these proceedings eyes were drown Northward to a familiar pointy thing, standing out the sea not unlike the Pheonix from the ashes. That's getting deflowered was the collective cry from the masses.

Fastforward two weeks, and here we are again at Skelpoonagh, this time not savouring it's delights BUT armed with all manner of Deflowering gear, 220mtr static, robust tender Dingy ETC...ETC...ETC and heading North to do battle with the Beast. Alas and I'll spare you the details, we ended up at the base of a 110 mtr ramp which does rising traverse across very intimidating ground on the Northwest seaward face of Sturral Headland.

The first pitch was an excellent little starter on immaculate sea washed rock. The second pitch the beast was awakened and a step of faith was required over the void to reach sanctury of a tiny grass topped belay with a tad of exposure for good measure. Pitch 3 the beast was snarling it's teeth, a poorly protected 3 mtr wall is climbed and a higher ramp is followed all is all a 12 meter(ish) run out. By my calculations on the belay squat, a fall at this point would be quite unpleasant! :-(   Anyway, Brother McD pulled through in fine style and we were soon reunited. The final pitch was pleasant wee crimpy slab and the summit was soon reached. HURRA! Fortune does indeed favour the bald!

 The rest of the day was spent on a fact finding mission again details are sketchy but the day culminated in a forced 40mtr abseil of a land based pinnacle. Happy Bunnies!

Note to self: decide before hand what we are doing over the day, learn to read a map and NEVER EVER follow the sagely advice of Brother McDaid, "it's quicker this way!"

 Enquiring minds wonder!


Photo of Route