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360: Cliff Climbing Sea Stacks

 
Find yourself at the top of the Wild Atlantic Way’s most magical and remote destinations with Iain Miller from Unique Ascent in this 360 ° sea stack climbing video.

Standing on a pinpoint summit edge, more than 100m above the marauding Atlantic and 500m from the nearest patch of land, can be, as one climbing guide claimed, a truly spiritual experience. For thrill-seekers who feel reaching this higher plain is right up their street, rock climbing Ireland’s northern sea stacks could be the ultimate experience for them. After all, what could be more exciting than summiting a sea stack that’s seen less people reach its summit than the surface of the moon?

Sea stacks are a fascinating and formidable phenomenon, formed when tenacious coastal erosion carves and collapses sea cliffs leaving a freestanding pillar of rock. Other famous examples along the Wild Atlantic Way include the spectacular Dún Briste off Ballycastle, County Mayo, and the majestic An Branán Mór off the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

This type of climbing is like any other except it involves accessing huge towers of rock, generally via a short kayak to their base. Plus with sea stack climbing adrenaline junkies can revel in once-in-a-lifetime glimpses of coastal wildlife such as Artic skua, puffins, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, basking shark and even the occasional killer whale.

North Donegal is crowned by more than 100 of these sea stacks, rising dramatically out of the insatiable Atlantic Ocean. Home to some of the craggiest nooks and crannies on the planet, the area around An Port is a contender for one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Offbeat and off the grid, it is also a contender for one of the most remote public road ends. After more than 20km of winding “road” you’ll reach a storm beach and six lofty sea stacks. The most obvious and impressive is The Realms of the Senses stack, which sits 300 metres out to sea from the road end slip.

As captured in the immersive 360 ° sea stack climbing video above, this is truly an otherworldly experience. Descend rocky outcrops before arriving at charming storm beaches in one of the most secluded and mystic locations in Ireland. From there, kayak across open ocean before landing at the base of one of these towering monsters of immaculate boulder. Then you and your guide will scale turrets of rock where you’ll reach unspoiled pinpoint summits far from anywhere in the real world, as inky waters clunk and slosh beneath you.

While professional guides such as Iain Miller from Unique Ascent claim you don’t need any previous cliff climbing experience, a base fitness level and nerves of steel certainly help. It is worth noting that the climbs outlined in this video are extremely treacherous and should never be undertaken without suitable levels of expertise or fully qualified guides. Other activity providers include Escape Goats on the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal, and Outdoors Ireland for would-be sea stack climbers on the southern corners of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Experience more 360 ° videos here. For all the behind the scenes action, check out this video.



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