A tyrollean traverse is a way of travelling through the air from two high points on a rope fixed to anchors at both sides. I was only too happy to assist Iain Miller in the set up and rigging of Ireland's highest, longest and remotest tyrollean to date. Also present were Dave Lee and Conor Ó Braonáin.
The walk in was well over an hour and Dave and I drew the short straws as we were deemed the spring chickens! We took turns carrying "the pig" a 200 metre static rope necessary to span across the gully. It was a balmy day and the hike was a test of fitness lugging "the pig" from Lough Barra to our high point of 590metres above sea level!
Set up was time consuming and lasted almost 2 hours. 6 independent anchors were chosen and tested on either side. After much searching for anchors, testing, rope uncoiling, tensioning etc eventually set up was complete and all that was left to do was step over the edge, into the abyss..
As it was Iain's stupid idea in the first place he had the luck of going first and testing the rig! Needless to say he made it to the other side with some explicits along the way, big breaths and i'm guessing a flood of adrenaline.
So with the rig now tried and tested it was our time! We took turns walking off the edge and trusting the set up to keep us from falling to the valley below.
Throughout the day the anticipation and excitement was building inside but once it came to my turn I had second thoughts.. I began to question the anchors, the wind, the rope, the solid mountain rock.. etc etc.. . That would be the logical part of my brain questioning if what I was about to do would put me in grave danger. For me this is often the trickiest part of climbing and other extreme outdoor activities to overcome. You have to override your natural safety instincts sometimes and just tell yourself that it will be ok.. Trust yourself, your training, your equipment and have faith.. and if not well at least you'll die doing what you love right?! :)
So all in all a great experience and i'm now on the lookout for cool places for tyrollean traverses in Sligo and surrounding areas!