Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Quick Blast Up Cnoc an Cuillinn

Working nights is always a bit of a drag but it does enable me to sometimes make the most of the day and today I took the opportunity to travel back to the Reeks once again with Denis O'Brien for a hike. Denis is in training for a winter trip to the Scottish Highlands in the first week of February so it is necessary to take every chance he can get to get some hill-time in. The weather was its usual unsettled self but at least the rain came in swift sharp heavy bursts that left reasonable clear spells between and when we could see the mountains some of the tops were clear so there was a chance we might even be able to enjoy an occasional view. We left the car in Cronins Yard again and I decided that the north spur of Cnoc an Cuillinn 958 mtrs would make a worthy outing. Off we set at a good pace and once we reached the outlet of Lough Callee we contoured up and around the shoulder of the bone and entered the coum. A couple of squalls had come and gone but we could see the spur rising steeply above us so off we set. It is steep but it is straightforward and we rapidly gained height and soon we were on the pleasing ridge that offers a little scrambling to the summit. We reached the top on a very respectable 1 hour 45 minutes and as the wind was fairly fierce we set off towards Carrauntoohil. More bad weather rolled in and after a short debate we decided to shorten our day and we set off down a very wet Devils Ladder and the long track back to the car. The temperatures were a few degrees colder today (but still much too warm for snow) so it was nice to get into dry clothes at the car a little over four hours after we set out. A good lung-filler before Christmas.
Plenty of water in the river and even a little sunlight to welcome us. Our route rising in the centre up into the cloud.


West from the summit.