Friday, March 4, 2016

The Horses Glen and Mangerton in a Wintry Blow


This morning I went back to Mangerton again for what will probably be my final blow-out before my trip to Scotland. The physio therapy has been quite effective and I wanted to do a bit more than just a straight up and down like I did with Ruby last week so I decided to head in the Horses Glen and climb Mangerton North and then cross to Mangerton itself. It may be Spring but Winter isn't finished with us yet and there had been a fair bit of snow last night and it was only two degrees as I drove back. There was a stiff breeze blowing as well so the more sheltered Horses Glen would offer some respite for a lot of the route.
A new spring arrival

Heading into the wild Horses Glen

The cliffs on Mangertons north face always an impressive sight

Hopefully Frank will come with me to climb this ridge this year.

I had forgotten to bring my waterproof pants and as I walked through the long heather as I crossed the rough ground that led to the glen I was quickly soaked through. I didn't mind as my knee was feeling good and the wildness of the place I was in more than made up for any discomfort. I plodded on and was eventually in the back of the glen where I turned and climbed steeply to the top Of Mangerton north. When I reached the crest of the mountain the wind was quite strong and with the ground covered with snow I was immersed in a proper winter landscape. Unfortunately the cloud had come down to around the 600 mtr contour so there were no views to enjoy. Perhaps it was just as well as in the conditions it was easier to just keep the head down and plod on. Down and across the arret and up an icy slope saw me reach the summit plateau of Mangerton where I turned right and contoured around the steep ground above the Devils Punchbowl. Wow but the wind was strong. It had perhaps doubled in strength and I really struggled (at times unsuccessfully) to walk along the coum edge. Spin drift was also a problem and I had to don my snow goggles. I had been debating wheather to carry my lightweight hard shell coat to Scotland but today I was glad to be wearing my heavy duty one so I think that decision is now made.  Things gradually eased as I lost height and by the time I was back at the exit of the lake I could walk with relative ease again. Down under the cloud and I could again enjoy the wonderful views over Killarney and back to The Black Valley. It was nice to get back to the car and change my clothes and enjoy a nice bite to eat. Roll on Scotland.
Towards The Black Valley

Over Lough Leane and Killarney

Torc with Purple mountain beyond. Blue skies on the way.