Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tomies and Purple and the Magical Gap of Dunloe


It has been chilly the past few days and I had been hopeful that there would be a dusting of snow on the Kerry mountains so I decided to head to The Reeks for a taste of winter walking. Alas as I neared Killarney it was apparent that there was no snow to be seen (the cloud was hovering over the tops of The Reeks) on the hills so I decided to turn instead for the Gap of Dunloe and climb Tomies and Purple. Here at least everything was below the cloud and I would be able to get some views. I had briefly considered joining the Killarney club of their walk on the East Reeks but, since the dog and cats would be inside all day I thought a shorter outing which would enable me to be home early might be best. Anyway my disappointment at the lack of snow soon disappeared as I got into the meat of the outing as I rose up towards the chimneys and Tomies Rock. I was moving well and was soon at the top and the strong chill wind ensured I didn't stop too long anywhere to admire the lovely views. Onwards to the top of Tomies and next to Shehy and finally Purple. I opted to continue from the summit to the head of the "Gap" and walked the few miles back to the car on the narrow little road. This time of year it was very quiet and it was a true pleasure and privilege to walk in such stunning scenery. It was just a 3.5 hour outing but I really enjoyed it. Next time I must do the full circuit of the Gap which would include Strickeen as well.