Monday, March 5, 2012

Cnocnapeiste Ridge 4th March 2012



Cnoc na Peista

Gendarmes




Looking towards An Garbh
Plenty of people about
Nice rock despite the snow
Easier than it looks
Sometimes a day comes along that is a real unexpected bonus. I suppose that since I returned from Scotland I had thought that any chance of a wintry day on the mountains had passed. So as I headed back to Killarney to meet with Frank it was a real surprise to see Caherbarna nicely dusted in snow down to a low level. I had brought all my rock climbing gear with me just in case we headed for the gap but with the sun shining and the mountains looking magnificent there was really only one option so we headed for the car park at Lisliebane and the Reeks. We decided to head for Cruach Mor and head across the ridge and just continue as far as we felt like. The slog up to the lake under the ridge is always a chore but in fairness Frank made very light work of it and when we reached it we turned and enjoyed little scrambly steps to the summit.

Spectacular ridge
We stopped here for a welcome lunch and enjoyed the shelter provided by the grotto. A stiff breeze made it feel quite chilly despite the sun. I was relieved to discover that there was no ice in evidence as neither of us had thought to bring crampons or axes. The crenellated ridge offered lovely occasionally exposed scrambling and as we neared An Garbh the weather changed and we were overtaken by a snow shower that gave the outing a distinctly wintry feel. I was loving it. It soon passed and on the descent to the col the continuing ridge cleared and looked splendid. We stuck to the skyline and we soon reached to top of Cnoc naPeiste. The wind was quite strong at times and we were occasionally blasted by spindrift as we headed along the easy ridge. We were in heaven and we both felt privileged to be here and experiencing it. We went down the Zig Zags and I was appalled to see the wear and tear that this route is now showing. When are the powers that be finally build a properly constructed path to the summits of these mountains?. Until this is done the scarring that is spreading across these mountains will only get worse. Anyway we got down and we were well happy with our great bonus of a day. Perhaps winter isn't over yet.
Windy and spindrift
Happy chappie


Colour down below

If only the ice would form
Another happy chappie