ISBuC (v7) 2012
You Have To Hand It To Some People
Courtesy of Thorgald
The phone rang and it was my mate Dave, breathless. He was excited about something he'd seen from the cliff-top near where we live at Kilmaluag in North Skye. "Thorgald, I have something strange, mighty strange, to report."

Through binoculars Dave had made out an oddity atop a sea stack measuring a good sixty feet and situated in an inaccessible position just out from the said cliff.

The next day there I was, peering from the cliff. And yes there it was, just as Dave had described. A foreign body, or part of one, measuring approximately 16 inches planted at the very top of the rocky finger. It turned out to be the forearm of a discarded retail mannequin, fingers upwardly pointing and elegantly akimbo as if to accept a string of fine pearls but by now adorned by nothing more valuable than gannet sh*t.

I knew that cliff. In foolhardy manner I had scrambled down a precipitous path to the water's edge where big waves swept in and up against a sloping ramp of rock to claim the unwary. The gate at the clifftop suggested that people in days gone by would have landed here by boat. But even at lowest water only a mad person would have swum over, ascended fly-like to the summit, descended and swum back. Yet somebody clearly had. Dave and I decided that it was probably one of those mysterious things people manage to achieve when under the influence of many pints and whiskies.

But no. Some time later whilst searching the web in support of this very site I happened across a web page put up by... people who climb sea stacks and who sometimes put strange things on top of them. Here is the very entry:

MR: Sheet 23 468746
This stack lies in a small bay just to the north of Stacan Gobhlach. Walk to the cliffs above that stack and continue along the coast for almost a 1/4 mile until you see the stack offshore.
Detailed access: Hmmmm.
Climb the north ridge.
First ascent: Ed Grindley,? Williams, ano, 1990.
These first details were gleaned by Guy Muhlemann and Simon Richardson the second ascent. They presumed they were on the first but found an arm from a female shop dummy on the top of the stack together with a note. Don't ask ...

For more about the sport and locations on Skye:
There's not much more to say, really.