Monday, December 26, 2016

The Attychran Horseshoe. A Post Christmas Hike On The Galtees

Kings yard on the right with the long spur of Knocknagantee leading to Galtymor
I went back to the Galtees today for a blast of fresh air which was much needed after the excesses of Christmas day. I opted for the Attychran Horseshoe which is a nice round of about 15 kilometers and involves about 900mtrs of climbing so it would make a decent outing. I parked at Kings Yard and walked alongside the river for a kilometer before turning and starting up the broad slopes of Knocknagantee. There was a chill brisk breeze blowing so it was a hat and gloves kind of day but it was bright and sunny and it felt great to be out. After gaining a bit of height the views, as you would expect, become a bit more expansive and it was nice to pause and look back across the valleys towards The Knockmealdowns and the Comeraghs. The summit plateau of Galtymor is called Dawsons Table and I thought I could see a bit of white on the ground but it was still a fair ways away. I pushed on and eventually I reached the slopes of the table and suddenly the wind increased exponentially in strength and by the time I crested the slope I was being occasionally being blown sideways.

Looking back at the Knockmealdowns

Gentle rolling and lovely. Towards Lyracappul and Temple Hill

As close as I am going to get to snow for the remainder of this year.

Lough Curra with Galtymor soaring above
There was a faint dusting of frost or snow on top and the boggy ground was nicely frozen but I didn't get too much time to enjoy it as progress was difficult in the biting wind. Thankfully the wind lulled before I reached the summit cairn and I was able to soak up the views for a short while before I turned and retraced my steps and dropped down to the easy ground that drops gradually as it curves above Lough Curra. Thankfully once off the summit the wind was more manageable and I was able to enjoy this delightful section of the outing. I followed the Galtee Wall all the way to the summit of Lyreacappul 823mtrs and after retracing my steps for about 500mtrs I was able to easily drop towards the col below Monabrack and climb the 100 or so meters to the 630mtr summit. I continued south along the spur and eventually back to my car. In total it took 4hours 15mins and it was a delight to get some sun in these short dark days.
The Galtee Wall

Lyracappul