Great Skellig 217m hill, Iveragh NW Ireland at MountainViews.ie
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Iveragh NW Area
Place count in area: 18, OSI/LPS Maps: 83, 84 
Highest place:
Knocknadobar, 690m
Maximum height for area: 690 metres,     Maximum prominence for area: 565 metres,

Note: this list of places includes island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
Rating graphic.
Great Skellig Hill Sceilg Mhichíl A name in Irish
(Ir. Sceilg Mhichíl [logainm.ie], 'rock of St. Michael') Kerry County, in Binnion, Irish Islands Lists, Red conglomerate, sandstone & mudstone Bedrock

Reachable "On Foot " Y
Height: 217m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 83X Grid Reference: V24600 60600
Place visited by 46 members. Recently by: jgfitz, finkey86, Aglaisio, rollingwave, DenisMc, gallybander, Cobhclimber, DavidWalsh, IainT, chalky, mirnamirna, Dbosonnet, jcofarrell, gmpr40, scannerman
Island visited by 56 members.
I have visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)   I have visited this island: 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 1363th highest place in Ireland. Sceilg Mhichíl is the most southerly summit and also the most westerly in the Iveragh NW area.

Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/
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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 ! Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/6460/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Sceilg Mhichíl in area Iveragh NW, Ireland
Picture: Leaving Sceilg Mhicíl
dbloke on Sceilg Mhichíl, 2008
by dbloke  28 Sep 2008
Reaching the highest point of Sceilg Mhicíl could prove to be a tad tricky. Not least because there's a fence and a big sign saying "Keep Out" blocking access; but it's slightly more rocky, steeper and pointier than your average Mountain Views summit. Doesn't look like there's too much standing room on top either. Reaching the high point of the main part the island is no more easy. The guides from OPW (Office of Public Works) chase down anybody that strays too far from the monastery. They're not the toughest looking bunch, but I can imagine them chasing after you with a big stick should you disobey them. And maybe taking down your name. So, does climbing the 600 odd steps to the monastery count as having bagged it? Either way, the boat trip out to the rock is a blast, taking about an hour from Portmagee. Take a spare pair of underpants though. They hand out jackets and trousers on the boat which are useless. We got soaked through to the bone on the return trip. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/3339/
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Summit pinnacle and hermit's dwelling.
by fingalscave  2 Aug 2012
Like Conor74, I too was fascinated by the southern or western pinnacle on Great Skellig, on the upper slopes of which are the remains of the hermit monk's dwelling. The top of the pinnacle is also the highest point on the island so perhaps an Irish "In Pinn" or Inaccessible Pinnacle? The works carried out by the OPW appear to be somewhat of a restoration rather than merely conservation. A link here to some pictures I took. In the first one, the hermitage is outlined in pink.
https://picasaweb.google.com/Declan19d/GreatSkelligWesternPinnacleAndHermitSShelter?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLXVi_HDjd74UA&feat=directlink Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/14740/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Sceilg Mhichíl in area Iveragh NW, Ireland
 
brucekenendy on Sceilg Mhichíl, 2008
by brucekenendy  5 Oct 2008
Whether you get beyond the monastery or not, a visit to this site is still awe inspiring, evoking images of lean, weathered monks rowing their goat skin boat through pitching seas to access their remote site, or fending off viking warriors intent on caturing the monks as slaves. Difficult to imagine what their lives were like, or the devotion and resolve required to live in such apparent harsh conditions. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/3352/
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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... Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/15285/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Sceilg Mhichíl in area Iveragh NW, Ireland
Picture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON4v1TBRUJg
The Decline and Fall-Gibbons
by CaptainVertigo  19 Oct 2012
Hilltop-Harrier missed the WAI talk by Michael Gibbons on the Archaeology of the Irish Uplands and Islands earlier in the week and she asks for links. Sadly, no video was made of the event to the best of my knowledge, which is a pity, because the funky Gibbon gallop through our heritage was so gripping that the hours flew by in what seemed like minutes. A constant theme was the havoc wreaked by successive generations on the vestigia of their ancestors i.e. the new people knocked over, ploughed, recycled and generally wiped away all traces of their predecessors. Except..or especially except ..along Ireland's Great Western Seaboard...and most especially in the remote places, the highlands and the islands. There's no way that I could attempt to summarise the essence of this master class. It made me think sheepishly of all the incredible stuff we saunter by. I think of Benagh on the Faha Ridge, Caherconree, never mind the great Aran forts of my childhood. Since you ask for a link I now refer you to a little piece of Michael Gibbons speaking of and on Skellig Michael. Although the sound is drowned out (see the subtitles) this may give you some sense of the the combination of erudition and enthusiasm that we were treated to the other night. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/1031/comment/14843/
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