Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Clydagh Valley Horseshoe..On The Crispy Galtees

I am very neglectful of the Galtee Mountains. It has been too long since I was last there and today I put that right. We have been enjoying wonderful weather for some time now and I was interested to see how the dry spell has affected these normally wet and boggy mountains. Well its fair to say I cannot remember ever having seen the ground so dry hereabouts.

I left the car at 11am and while it was warm the sun still hadn't burnt off the clouds from the tops. I opted for the very nice round that is the Clydagh Valley Horseshoe today and this takes in Cush, Galtybeg and the big one Galtymore. I have had a medial ligament tear on my right knee since before Christmas and it is very slow to clear up. I was sure it was almost completely healed after my trip to Brandon last week as I had been pain free for a few weeks. Of course last Friday I went for a walk with Ruby on Mount Hillary and I was feeling so good I decided to have a bit of an easy jog down the steep bike trail. I started off nice and easy but it felt so good to be running that I threw caution to the wind and ran all the way down. I loved it. Alas the following morning my ligament was quite painful and its fair to say that my run threw my recovery back several weeks. Bollocks to it. Anyway I was interested to see how my knee would cope today and while I knew the problem was there it never became too painful. Here's hoping.
Greenane looming out of the mist

Galtybeg and Galtymore

Lough Muskry

Galtymore

I usually prefer to do the round in a clockwise direction as this gives a nice long easy descent and I set off up the little lane at a good pace. Wow the ground was dry and when I reached the shoulder of Cush where there is usually a long wet section of walking it was lovely to walk completely carefree along the easy ground. Next comes the steep drag to the lovely top of Cush and finally the cloud started to burn off. Easily down to the col under Galty Beg and again it was a straightforward walk across the normal quagmire that is there and I started the long slog to the elegant little top of Galty Beg. This is always a lovely spot to stop and soak in the new vistas to the south. It was a bit misty today but the warm sun and soothing breeze were adequate compensations. Galtymor and its cliffs above Lough Diheen beckoned and I didn't linger too long. Again the normal twists and turns that are required to make progress between these two tops wasn't necessary and I was able to take a direct line through powdery dry peat hags all the way until the final slopes of Galtymore. At the deserted summit I sat and enjoyed a bite of lunch before dropping and contouring around above Curra Lake and then continuing northwards on the spur of Slievecushnabinnea and back to the forestry and my car. A leisurely 3hours 45mins in warm and glorious sun. I mustn't leave it so long to return. 
Looking west from the summit

North