01690 720214

Climbing Sea Stacks

By Baggy Richards

For me climbing near the sea is a magical and exciting experience. The blend of sea, wind, wildlife and remote situations make it a special place to climb. The UK coastline has over 300 sea stacks. Many are loose, vegetated, awkward to get to and are often covered in bird poo! But all of this adds to the experience.
The 3 classic sea stacks in the UK are Old Man of Hoy, Old Man of Stoer and Am Bucahille which are all found in Scotland. Here are a few general but important tips to bear in mind when you plan to climb sea stacks.

Do Your Homework

Climbing Sea Stacks

You need to do a little homework before attempting to climb a stack. Guidebooks to Scotland give useful info. However, the best sources of advice I have found are the following website pages:

uk climbing

Orkney sea stacks

Boathook (tides)

P&O Scottish Ferries

Calednoian MacBraye Hebridean & Clyde Ferries

Northlink Ferries

The Kit

Climbing Sea Stacks

Each stack requires its own specific equipment. However, I would take on all stacks, abseil tat (min 10ms of 7mm cord ), an assortment of pegs (about 8), a peg hammer, knife, 4 prussic loops, old screw gates to leave behind, laminated copies of the route, a phone and a small first aid kit.

Allow Plenty of Time

Climbing Sea Stacks

Buy yourself plenty of time; get to the stacks early especially in the autumn and spring. These things always take more time than you think.


Climbing Sea Stacks

The weather is critically important. Firstly gain an understanding of tides and tide tables and secondly before an ascent check the sea state by getting an inshore waters forecast or by phoning the coastguard.

Start doing this 2-3 days before your ascent, so as to build up a picture. As all stacks are exposed to vast oceans, better conditions are found in May through to August.


Climbing Sea Stacks

Many stacks are covered by bird restrictions, please make sure that you respect these.


Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Contact our team on 01690 720214 or email - they will be happy to help you find something perfect.

Adventure Sports
Coaching Conference

Adventure Sports Coaching ConferenceOur inaugural Adventure Sports Coaching Conference will seek to explore the role of coach developers in adventure sports performance.


Christmas and New YearOn behalf of all the team at Plas y Brenin, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a H....


Scottish Winter Courses 2018Starting January 2018, our Scottish Winter courses are timed to make the most of the incredible wint....


Winter WarmersAs the nights begin to draw in and the temperature starts to drop, Plas y Brenin are pleased to offe....


Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....


BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....

What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here

Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.

Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Adventure Map

Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.