CV & contact




DAN SHIPSIDES (with Echo Echo Dance) - Vertical. Nature. Base. Topophile / Topophobe 16m HVS 4c+


Topophile / TopophobeTopophile / Topophobeinjury drawingTopophile / Topophoberock drawingTopophile / TopophobeTopophile / TopophobeBruiseTopophile / TopophobeBruiseTopophile / TopophobeTopophile / Topophobe poster

One outcome of the V.N.B. project at the Port a Doris cove ( Inishowen, Donegal) was a new climbing route...


Note: this work was later renamed as Public Commission 16m HVS 4c+ and is linked to a new page only via a QR code in situ at the location.

Topophile / Topophobe 16m HVS 4c+
The 3rd and overhanging corner seaward from the arch.
More strenuous than it looks.
Belay at low tide or from a hanging belay on middle slab (also avoids any potential rockfall)
Bridge and layback the corner.
Better gear nearer the top.
The large worrysome sounding fin is best avoided if possible.
Some friable rock on left wall.
Love Hate.

Dan Shipsides with Steve Batts (Echo Echo Dance) Sep 2011

It's not listed in the Donegal guidebook or on the donegal climbing website database so it's mine to claim - unless anyone knows otherwise in which case please let me know as I'd love to share notes.

Haven't got a name for it yet: playing around "Topophobia topophilia" but I have some other ideas too.
It's a strange climb - looks quite easy from the front angle - then from the side you realise it's very overhanging. Then when you get on it you realise there's less holds, loose flakes and patchy gear.
Anyway I got up it but not without a world of pain when my foot hold crumbled and foot slipped way above any gear leaving a tendon tearing (literally) move to somewhere vaguely safe and gearable...

I'm hesitantly grading it HVS 5a - but is possibly VS4a. It's quite tough though and with my injury it seemed pretty serious. I think seriousness alone makes it more daunting than a VS.


Third Space


I wrote this in my tent that night – it’s quite raw, narrowly focused and reductive – but saying that perhaps less is more? It’s just from when things got painful.





high enough above gear



bridge bridge

search up right arm

toe hold crumble slip

left arm rumbling glitching tearing zzzzssszzzz

feels socket pulling out weight on

stop swing relax fuck

find feet brace

find right hand hold

find right hand hold found

shift weight

lengthen arm to bones

searing pain lightening

blue electric blue wow

keep grip make move

up pull even if it’s loose

good ok brace legs and back

relax pain out oooooow

compose compose

gear gear

need gear here

looks ok

nut loose 4 out if 10

friend in crack 5 out of 10

friend in crack 7 out of 10 maybe 8


what about that pain? Hmmm

not nice

wait wait

move pelvis up

big right ledge

find left hand hold

pain use it pain use it hold

move up

right holds

shuffle over the top


examine pain don’t

brutal nice route

bad pain