Iconic sea stack conquered for first time in 25 years

Two adventurous climbers have been the first to scale the iconic Dún Briste sea stack in Mayo in over 25 years.


Dún Briste at Downpatrick Head, County Mayo. Image Thomas Mulchi

Dún Briste, which means broken fort, is an impressive and iconic looking sea stack 80 metres off Downpatrick Head Co. Mayo. It’s believed to have broken away from the mainland in 1393. The stack is estimated to be around 50 metres in height and is a formidable and dangerous challenge for climbers.

Iain Miller runs adventure and climbing company Unique Ascent in Donegal and this was his third attempt at climbing the stack. The climb is a dangerous one; the treacherous seas of the Atlantic are unpredictable and with a 50 metre drop falling was not an option. And happily they were successful.

The stack has only been successfully scaled once before in 1990 when UK climbers Mick Fowler, Nikki Duggan and Steve Sustad made it to the summit.

Miller and his climbing partner Paulina Kaniszewska were rewarded for their efforts with the rarely seen view from the summit. On top there are some ruins of a church, the site was said to have been founded by St. Patrick and was a popular pilgrimage destination before it broke away from the main land.

Check out their dizzying video of the climb below


About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22