Saturday, December 29, 2012

A walk to clear the Christmas Cobwebs

The glorious Horses Glen
Today I went to Kerry for a hike on Mangerton. I was only looking for a short day as I was meeting Margaret in Killarney so Mangerton fit the bill. I set off on a pleasant crisp, blustery morning and opted to go into the Horses Glen and climb Mangerton North and take things from there. It had been a while since I had been here and it is one of the wildest and beautiful places in the country. Initially you have to cross some rough heathery boggy ground before the delights of the glen are revealed. Before I got to the turn into the glen I had a nasty fall while crossing a stream. I was sure I had done some damage to the fingers of my left hand but I was lucky and a couple of painful digits are my only problem, oh and the sizable swelling and cut on my shin, ouch. I suppose it serves me right for chuckling at Kevin when he had a slip on the Galtees a couple of days ago. Anyway I considered turning around for a few seconds and then continued on.

The cliffs starting to look a little wintry

Approaching Mangerton North


Always nice to see a little colour
My arrival into the glen was heralded by a few resounding claps of thunder and the weather took a turn for the worse. This is officially the wettest spot in this wet country and once again it lived up to its reputation. It didn't matter too much as I was pretty wet already from my close encounter with the stream and if anything it only added to the atmosphere. I was threading quite carefully as every rock was super slippy and seemed to want to sent me tumbling at the first opportunity. After a while I arrived at the point where the ground rises steeply up towards Mangerton North and here the rain turned to wet snow. This was an unexpected bonus and I was getting a proper taste of a winters day out. This was just what I needed to clear the head of any residual effect of the previous days excesses. Eventually the summit was reached after an interminable steep slog. Now the wind was quite vicious and coming at me from 10 o clock and it carried snow that hit like needles and ensured that my head stayed bowed as I progressed up. I realised that I didn't have sufficient time to get to the summit of Mangerton but I was a little relieved to turn my back to the wind and make my way down to the car. A little over three ours in total and a proper lungful of winter ensured I was well happy with the day. More to come hopefully if the winter ever truly arrives.

Rainbow over Lough Leane

I think some more weather on the way.