Sunday, May 3, 2015

Another visit to The Galtees.

Its only a few weeks since I last went to the Galtees and that time I enjoyed a magic wild-camp high on the ridge near Lyracappul. This morning I left work and had an early start (8am) from the excellent Kings Yard and set off in the same direction as the last time. The weather on my previous visit was clear and dry and the ground had benefited from a decent spell of dry weather and the progress was easy as a result. Unfortunately this morning we had had two days of rain which returned the ground to its usual sodden state and water was dripping off my boots with each step. I was walking in my La Sportiva Nepals due to returning my much lighter Trango Alp boots (due to leakage) and they really are overkill for walking on bog but they kept my feet dry throughout. Anyway this morning there was a great improvement in the weather as the rain had stopped but there was extensive cloud right down to three hundred meters. My legs were feeling a bit tired but I made good progress and I reached my first top (point 629) at 9am. As I arrived the cloud cleared a bit and I was treated to fleeting views down to the deep glen on my left.

Finally a bit of a view. Straight up the left hand side.
 I descended quickly to the col and on a whim decided to drop down to the sheepfold below and add Knockaterrif (692 meters) to my jaunt. It initially seemed like a good idea but I was questioning my decision as I huffed and puffed up the steep 300 meter slope to its broad boggy top. The cloud had closed in as well so when I reached the top I immediately set off towards Lyracappul. Despite the lack of views I was enjoying myself and I was grateful that it wasn't raining or too windy. I eventually reached the summit ridge and for a short while I was treated to opening misty windows which revealed the valley far below. I was making steady progress and I had so far covered 8 kilometers and climbed 900 meters in two hours thirty minutes.

Bleak and eroded bog between Knockaterrif and Lyracapul
 The wind was noticeably stronger on the ridge and very soon it carried drops of rain with it. I put on the waterproofs and sure enough it misted or rained for most of the time I was on the ridge, mercifully stopping as I reached the summit of Galtymor (919 meters) at 11.30 where I enjoyed a welcome bite to eat. I opted to descend once again in a south southeasterly direction to the lovely spot where three streams merge. It is an easy and straightforward way off the mountain and eventually I dropped below the cloud at around the 400 meter contour and I followed the river as far as the forestry and then back to my car. I was out a total of 4 hours 40 minutes and covered 16 kilometers and climbed about 1200 meters. It was a nice way to start the day and I didn't see another person on the hills.
A magic little spot