A Feather In The West – rock climbing on the sea cliffs of Owey Island

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‘A Feather in the West’ is about Owey, the eponymous wild, Atlantic frontier island just off the west coast of County Donegal. Many British & Irish climbers assume they have to travel long haul to find aesthetically beautiful, pristine condition, virgin unclimbed rock that’s ripe for new routing.

There is a perception that the opportunity to etch your name into the guidebooks by [making your contribution to] developing a world class crag, is basically gone, that all the good lines were climbed years ago.

But the reality isn’t so: In September 2019, a team of talented Irish climbers [Chloe Condron, Kevin Kilroy, Michelle O’Loughlin and Conor McGovern] travelled to the small island of Owey to explore sea cliffs that local guidebook writer Iain Miller, claims have “enough new routing potential to last at least twelve lifetimes”.

Despite its proximity to the mainland, Owey retains an ethereal otherworldly charm that harks back to the peacefulness and simplicity of life in bygone days. It’s also home to majestic granite sea cliffs that have been scoured pristine by huge ocean swells leaving awe-inspiring cliffs for adventurous climbers to enjoy.

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