Photo Gallery: 11 of the World's Wildest Sea Cliff Climbs

Where the waves meet the rock

Climbing above the ocean requires a healthy sense of adventure. The sea has many moods, from tranquil like an infinity pool to hellish, cold, and “angry,” as the English would say. The oceans generate the worst storms in the world. Warm currents in the water humidify the air, causing it to rise and condense into vast, violent storms that rage across the globe, unchecked by land. Thousands of miles of coastline snake along the seven continents, but when you reduce that loop to the size of an island, the weather is concentrated, feelings are intensified, senses are amplified, and isolation prevails—there is nowhere to hide. It’s sensory and commitment overload. Small, vulnerable, and exposed to the elements, you might as well be Santiago from The Old Man and the Sea, questioning the meaning of “success.” You’re either sizzling in the sun hoping to fall into green-blue seas or scared shitless as breakers pound the cliff, threatening to rip your belayer into the drink.