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Route to Claggan NE Top

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Great Skellig Hill Sceilg Mhichíl A name in Irish
(Ir. Sceilg Mhichíl [logainm.ie], 'rock of St. Michael') Kerry County, in Binnion List, Red conglomerate, sandstone & mudstone Bedrock

Height: 217m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 83X Grid Reference: V24600 60600 This summit has been logged as climbed by 39 members. Recently by: IainT, chalky, mirnamirna, Dbosonnet, jcofarrell, gmpr40, scannerman, fingalscave, garrettd, Conor74, Sloane, harry66, cotopaxi, yambox, kipper
I have climbed this summit: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -10.541804, Latitude: 51.770775 , Easting: 24600, Northing: 60600 Prominence: 217m,   Isolation: 2.5km
ITM: 424588 560664,   GPS IDs, 6 char: GrtSkl, 10 char: GrtSklg
Bedrock type: Red conglomerate, sandstone & mudstone, (Old Red Sandstone (undifferentiated))

The highest point on the island is known as Cró na Snáthaide, 'eye of the needle', and was visited by pilgrims who kissed a cross-inscribed slab overhanging the abyss. This fell into the sea at some time during the 19th century. As access to the summit is now forbidden to protect the site, a visit to the monastery will count as an ascent of this peak.   Sceilg Mhichíl is the 1359th highest summit in Ireland. Sceilg Mhichíl is the most southerly summit and also the most westerly in the Iveragh NW area.

Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/
COMMENTS for Sceilg Mhichíl 1 2 Next page >>
MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Sceilg Mhichíl in area Iveragh NW, Ireland
Picture: Route up the south peak
 
Alaskan on Sceilg Mhichíl, 2008
by Alaskan  5 Oct 2008
I went to Skellig Michael a couple years ago before fences, signs and the restrictive hand landed upon the isle. I'd heard of the trail to the south summit but when I scrambled up to the saddle above Christ Saddle, the route upwards was well camouflaged by the grays of the cliff and the smatterings of moss. Exploration led to a few steps carved into the rock which led to a bit of a ledge. Easy enough if you didn't mind a modicum of exposure. Many reached the ledge but fewer crossed it that day. The ledge, on which one adventurer ended up spread-eagled against the wall, led to some old, well-worn steps carved in the stone. Again, for those who don't mind a drop it they aren't a big deal. But of those who passed the ledge, few mounted the stairs. Beyond the stairs is a thin trail across moss then a jump up some steep, partly moss-covered steps. These steps, which turned back even more pilgrims, led to the Keyhole, a fun 20-foot chimney. Not that difficult if you like 3-foot-wide cracks with nice views of the plunge to the sea. No one passed the Keyhole that day. Including me, alone that I was. I've always wanted to see what was above the Keyhole. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/3355/
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Awesome...just awesome...
by Conor74  31 Jul 2012
The larger of the two Skelligs is a remarkable island. Following a crossing in a ferry that bobbed all over the place, we landed at Blind Man’s Cove to the NE of the island. Above our heads, there is a now decommissioned trail that leads directly to the monastery ruins. Now one ascends by means of a road that skirts the east of the island, ascending gradually to the Wailing Woman rock. This is about half way along the island. About 400 or 500 steps above this, one reaches the Saddle, the col between the north and south summits. The north contains the famous ruins of an ancient monastery, the southern section is off limits and has the lighthouses and a dramatic spire of rock that contains the destination for pilgrims with nerves of steel in former times, and one of the most awesome structures one will ever witness. For near the top of the pinnacle is a hermitage that clings to a rock that drop hundreds of feet sheer into the Atlantic. Yes, everyone makes a beeline for the monastery, but for me the hermitage was just about the most remarkable thing I have seen on the peaks of this country. This was a place so remote and so inaccessible that they only excavated it in the 1980s. Now, cleaned up, it is more clearly defined against the pinnacle. It is a truly jaw dropping location. This was the place for the monk who decided that a stack of rock miles into the ocean was not remote enough, that removing himself from the 10 other monks who eked out an existence high over the Atlantic was not enough, he had to go to a place where the rock terrace only cling on by millimetres. Sadly, off limits for climbers, but even looking up at it is amazing. Here it is shown by the arrow, just below the bottom edge of the pic is the ocean...

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/data/13030/gb/ft1d5nb0gb/figures/ft1d5nb0gb_00011.jpg Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/14739/
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The summit experience...
by Peter Walker  20 Dec 2013
In the absence of anyone able to provide us with anecdotal remeniscence of an ascent of Skellig Michael, I thought a post I happened upon on the UK Climbing forums might be of interest...

"Years ago (1990ish) I snuck off from a boatload of visitors to the 'monastery' and soon found my way to the high point of the island.
It was an easy enough scramble but once at the summit rock, the sense of exposure was terrifying. The land was all beneath and the atlantic stretched away on the horizon for 360 degrees.

With a stiff breeze blowing, it was a challenge to detach myself from the rock and begin the downclimb - not so much a crux move as sheer elemental terror and a feeling of my own personal insignificance, the sense of being connected to the earth had evaporated in that moment.
What I found remarkable about the summit is that it was once one of the most important sites for pilgrimage in western Europe.

I believe there are similar beehive structures in the Outer Hebrides."

Suitably intrigued, I contacted the author (Mike Foyle) for permission to post it up here. He has agreed, and also very generously elaborated a bit upon his original post.

"If I remember ( it was about 1990) , it was a relatively easy scramble, I needed to use my hands. I think at the time I was more fearful of missing the return boat, or of someone stopping me, so I just headed up quickly. I guess that's why I ended up feeeling as I did, because in rushing up, there was no gradual acclimatisation to the increasing exposure. The terror came within the last few feet when there was nothing but air and sea and wind. I remember seeing the rusted stump, which I took to be the remnant of a cross, and marvelled at the people who had toiled to fix it there, and the pilgrims who had made the same journey.

I feel privileged to have been there. I'd hate it to become part of a list to tick though. I guess that sounds elitist but it was a humbling experience which, to me is at odds with the modern mentality of conquering summits ( I've done my share of that also)."

I suggest that anyone planning a 'sneaking away from the guardians' ascent to the highest point should bear in mind that this post came from a CLIMBING forum, and Mike's idea of an 'easy scramble' might be slightly more technically difficult than yours... Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/15285/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Sceilg Mhichíl in area Iveragh NW, Ireland
cormacg on Sceilg Mhichíl, 2009
by cormacg  5 Aug 2009
Fabulous place. Go in summer when the puffins are there. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/4002/
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wellaway on Sceilg Mhichíl, 2008
by wellaway  6 Oct 2008
Reading comments about the boat to the Skellig Rock, re-ignited the horror of my trip in 1969/70. Arriving in Valentia on a cold n wet September evening I headed for the old coastguard station which served as the An Oige hostel.
The following morning a motley crew of 2 Germen women,a yankee couple (F&M) a Dublin civil servant & self, set off from the pier in a small outboard powered boat, skippered by an ancient local, assisted by his red haired and red cheeked nephew from Dublin. Going out the narrow channel the morning cleared and we had glorious sunshine with a glentle swell to lull us on our way.
Not too long after hitting the open seas things got a bit rough and soon we were in a bad way as the swell put the boat into one eighty degree rolls. One second you're staring straight down at one of the Germem women and the next she is screaming and heading straight down for you, only for her two hands locked onto the gunwale The power of prayer quickly takes over and I rattled off the Hail Marys with the odd Salve Regina rasped out for good measure.
Landing on Skellig was the usual 8 to 12 foot swell and a judicious jump as the boat breasts the pier. Sad to relate, I was only able to creep up the path to the lighthouse and spend the afternoon listening to tales of disasters befalling tourists to the island, from the two keepers.
After an uneventual embarking from Skellig we recommenced our prayers and chanting and surviving. It wasdifficult to judge whether the salt water was the cause of the staining on passengers trousers or not. It certainly was'nt the cause of mine.
Anyway skipper seemed to steer the boat inside a big rock, attempting to escape the worst of the weather and suddenly there was a bang as the boat gave a shudder and the outboard cut. I was up with the oar which was beneath me, when the skipper glared at me and told me to sit the fXXX down. The nephew was tearing away at the starter chord without effect and boat was tossing allover the place. Boy was I fXXXed.
Looking back, I think I just increased the rate of Hail Marys and the outboard restarted. After maneuvering and steadying the boat through the swell we recomenced out trip from hell. Suddenly we were in the channel and landing at the pier. I you tell no lie, but when pipey rose the outboard from the water, he showed us where only two blades were left on the prop.
Our trip to the hostel was broken by four large whiskeys in the Hotel bar and a crawl off to bed. I hitched away the following day and when passing the church on the crossroads outside Waterville I aked the driver to leave me off and I went in payed my dues for my salvation.
I have never had the courage to return even in this age of fast ferrys with all their modern safety aids.
And all that happened in the autum when I first climbed Ben Lettery, Lug, Errigal and the hill over Rossbeigh on the strenght of my tumb. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/3358/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Sceilg Mhichíl in area Iveragh NW, Ireland
Picture: Christ's saddle and final steps to the monastery - little skellig in background
 
Monks are not stupid - great piece of nature in the middle of the sea
by yambox  4 Aug 2011
We climbed this world heritage hill on June 13th 2011 -very sunny and hot day. Needless to say this site is world class and offers stunning views from all sides.
It is highly recommended to book your boat trip the day before, certainly when beautiful weather is announced. Only 15 boats a day are allowed to disembark some 150 people max in order to preserve the monk's site and the fragile ecosystem .
Climbing the monk's steps is not that difficult. On the Christ's saddle one should take right to the monastery. Going left up the south peak is prohibited but I couldn't resist it. Below picture is taken from the small saddle up left from Christ's saddle. You can see the north peak on which the monstery is built, and you have also a view on the bird's island (Little skellig)
Watch for puffins and other sea birds ! Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/6460/
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