17th November 2012.
This was a visit to the fifth highest sea cliff in Europe on a long weekend trip to Donegal last winter .I`ve subsequently visited a bigger one in January 2013 but will get round to that later 🙂
As Graeme had ever so kindly bought a house over in Donegal for all his friends to freeload in it seemed like a shame not to take him up on his offer.Well,the truth is he met a nice woman over here but she has five children and the only way he could get peace and quiet was to buy a house next to hers. Alan,Bob and I joined him on a trip over to inspect his new love nest 🙂
All in I think the total cost was around £55 each for return flights with Ryanair from Prestwick to Derry,car hire and fuel.The flight landed at lunchtime and the plan was to make a quick ascent of Slieve Snaght on the Inishowen peninsula but the mist and gloom dampened our enthusiasm somewhat so we settled for an afternoon wandering around Derry.This was right up Bobs street as it gave him the opportunity to add to his extensive collection of grafitti pics 🙂
Some of them were right up my street as well especially this one 🙂
One from Bob below…
It`s a long story but I have a few cousins in Donegal, Anne and Nora,whom I hadn`t seen in about thirty years or so.Graeme`s house near Ballybofey is around an hours drive away from them but Nora had arranged for her husband,Stefan,to drive over,pick me up and take me back to meet them for an overnight stay,the plan being that the boys would drive over and pick me up the following morning on en route to Slieve League.
I had my doubts as to whether or not Stefan would find Graeme`s house as it is hidden away out in the sticks but,being Finnish and a rally driver,he just zoomed around the country lanes until he found us 🙂 I got dropped off at the end of the village and had a walk up and down the main street where I spent my summer holidays as a kid.Oh how times have changed.What was once a smallish village with the smell of peat smoke drifting downwind and a few bars now had all day convenience stores and various fast food establishments.Being a Friday night, it was busy with young folk.Not that I have any time for them 🙂
Had a lovely meal at Nora`s followed by a nice bottle of wine or two and caught up on our respective lives.As I had an early start in the morning I was glad to have got off lightly on the alcohol front. Stefan however had other ideas and was most insistent that I try his special Finnish vodka.Apparently it is considered an affront to the Finnish nation if you refuse.I had no choice.It was potent.
Out with a hangover the next morning and waited on the main street for my lift on a dullish overcast morning.We made our way south west via some lovely remote roads and down to Teelin and the car park where things weren`t looking to bad weather wise.That was until we opened the door. It was blowing a gale outside 🙂 It was one of those days where an effort was needed to get out the car and if it were in Scotland we probably would have went elsewhere.
This was a few minutes from the car and you can see Alan bracing himself against the wind…
It was a funny old day indeed.Sometimes a howling gale,sometimes dead calm.Sometimes bright sunshine and then dark foreboding clouds.
A couple of sunny ones….
And a dark gloomy one looking across Donegal Bay to Sligo and Benbulben.
We split up after about half an hour or so with Bob and Graeme taking the “easier” route below the cliff top whilst Alan and I tried to stick to the direct route.
Bob and Graeme on the easier route 🙂
A couple of pics from the direct route…
It might not look too hard but maybe this video will give you an idea of the updraught from the cliffs 🙂
We were soon back together again….
Graeme,having been up here recently decided to pack it in before Dead Mans Pass and one look at the black clouds scurrying towards us from the Atlantic had Bob deciding to accompany him downwards.Being a bagger I had no choice but to carry on 🙂 Alan and I headed over to the start of Dead Mans Pass which was nothing much write home about especially after what had gone before.See for yourself below…..
Just below the summit of Slieve League and the wind is still blowing…..
We just managed to bag the summit before the front hit us with a mixture of driving rain,snow and stinging hail.
Coming off the summit…
We found Bob and Graeme lower down sheltering in the old church ruins and the weather improved from there on down until we got back to the car just before sunset.
Starting point is marked as Carrickmacafferty and the summit is at the red arrow.