Sunday, July 24, 2016

Carrauntoohil..Welcome Back Frank

The prodigal son returned today and I was so pleased to have a day out with Frank after his sabbatical of nine months. Never being one to shy away from a challenge Frank opted to climb Carrauntoohil for his first climb back. On top of that he agreed to climb Curved Gully Ridge (Severe) so rope and a full rack were thrown into the bag and hauled up into the gloom. And gloomy it was to stay and the cloud stayed down and rain arrived when we reached the first level of Coumeenaughter. Alas this meant that the hardware was hauled up for nothing as well so we decided to climb Curved Gully itself. We discovered again why we generally give this route a miss in anything other than winter conditions as it is a horribly loose wet climb and when the mist is down has little to recommend it. On the plus side was how well Frank performed on the climb. Is absence hadn't done him any harm and he was quite strong the whole way up. The company was great as well and we were immediately back into our comfortably banter. We stopped for a bite of lunch on the summit and a funny aside occurred when a couple of "knowledgeable" old dudes warned us to mind the "sheer drop" on the far side of the cross. I think they should be told to "ferme la bouche" a bit more often. We descended the Heavenly Gates and back to the car in the ever improving day. It was lovely to have Frank back in the mountains again and we hope to get out again very soon.