Tory Island is Ireland's most remote inhabited island, it sits in an isolated position 14 kilometers from the north west coast of mainland Donegal. The island is quite small at approximately 5 km long and 1 km wide and with a population population of approx 100 people live in two tiny villages at each end of the island, An Baile Thoir (East Town) and An Baile Thiar (West Town), it is never going to be crowded. The entire island is wedge shaped with the north face of the island almost one continual unclimbed granite sea cliff and the south face at sea level. The free climbers guide and for more info to Tory Island, have a look at Tory Island Guide.
Living at the far Eastern edge of Tory Island 14 kilometre out to sea west of mainland Donegal lives one ot the true anomalies of irish sea cliff architecture. An Tór Mór is an outstanding 400 metre long rock ridge sticking out into the Atlantic ocean. The ridge starts on Tory Island at a summit known as The Anvil and runs North out into the Atlantic for 400 metres to the spectacular Tormore summit at it's distant sea ward end. It's highest point is Tormore summit at approx 70 metres high and the entire ridge is on average 50 metres high and in many places a true knife edge with spectacular drops at your feet into the sea.
The ridge is carefully walkable for approx 100 metres and then with a most definite 20 metre high step you will find yourself in mountaineering and rock climbing terrain with a huge amount of exposure and a very skinny ridge.
Tory Island from Tór Mór Summit
1: This ridge lives in one of the most remote places in Ireland.
2: The grassy slopes on the eastern slopes of the ridge are very steep and at times require more care than the vertical rock climbing pitches.
3: The nautical approach to Tory Island involves the 14 km sea passage out to the island.
4: The rock on the ridge is good BUT your situation causes everything to appear a wee bit more atmospheric than it actually is as there is considerable air all around you most of the time you are on the ridge.
5: The ropework on the ridge requires a wee bit of thought as there is more conventional mountaineering ground than technical rock climbing ground.
6: A 60 metre single rope is ideal.
7: The final pitch from the end of the ridge up on to the summit is the climbing crux.
8: The ridge gets climbed very seldom climbed at present and it is a very good idea to take about 20 m of dispable tat for the two abseils on the return journey back to normal Tory from the summit.
The above are just a few thoughts on attempting to stand on the distant and highest point on the ridge. It's location on Tory Island, 14km out to sea, west of the mainland of Donegal is atmospheric. The actual climbing along the ridge is quite easy with only two real sections of any vertical concerns the rest of the ridge has very much a mountaineering flavour.
It is quite tricky to find any sort of history to those who have stood on the Tormore summit at the far end of the ridge. It was first climbed recreationally in about 1972 and a cairn was built on the summit of Tór Mór by Belfast based David Cambell and party.
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