Monday, January 11, 2016

The Cnoc na Peiste Ridge In Winter Nick

Approaching An Garbh. Copywright Brian Mc Sweeney
Yesterday I went with Denis O'Brien and the effervescent Brian McSweeney for a jaunt on The Reeks. We had had a few chilly days and the recent storms had finally given way to some more normal winter weather and word had it that there was a nice covering of snow on the mountains so I was hopeful of getting a proper winter outing. We arrived into a busy Cronins Yard and we decided to do the Cnoc na Peiste ridge on the East Reeks. The snow was down to around the 500 mtr contour and the weather was actually quite good. The slog up to the lake is as ever tiring and trying but we were in good form and it was just a pleasure to be out. Brian was his usual ebullient self and his obvious delight to get some outdoor time (he is the proud daddy of a baby boy so his spare time is scarce) was a delight to see.


We climbed up to the grotto on Cruach Mhor and had a bite to eat in the cold wind and we donned crampons and set off on the adventure that is one of the best ridges in these islands. In dry conditions it gives an excellent Grade 1 scramble but it offers a sterner test with a good covering of the white stuff and when you take on the rock steps on the way to An Garbh (The Big Gun) and then stick to the extremely airy crest on the climb to Cnoc na Peiste it offers an exposed Grade2 winter day. Thankfully the wind wasn't too strong and it allowed us to stand (carefully) on the narrow sections. The rocks had some rime ice on them but the decent covering of snow was unconsolidated but this only made the going more difficult and required careful crampon placement as it would have been all too easy to trip or twist an ankle. Denis found the going testing but exhilarating and whetted his appetite for more. All too soon the ridge ended and we continued on to Maolan Bui and decended The Bone. Hopefully the cold snap will stick around for a while yet and allow us to get some more winters days out.
Looking towards Carrauntoohil & Benkeeragh


Copywright Brian Mc Sweeney

Copywright Brian Mc Sweeney

Copywright Brian Mc Sweeney

Copywright Brian Mc Sweeney

Copywright Brian Mc Sweeney

Copywright Brian Mc Sweeney