Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Boughil in the Dunkerron Mountains

On Sunday I went back to Killarney on the train and met up with Frank for what would be his first outing of 2017. The weather forecast was reasonable but it was something of a disappointment to see low cloud and drizzle being the order of the day. Frank had put forward the Eagles Nest as an option for our outing but I wasn't sure of the return route so I suggested a return to Boughil (631mtrs) as an alternative and he readily agreed. The drive through the winding road to Moll's Gap is not too bad this time of year when the tourist traffic is quiet but it can be horrendous in high summer but today we had it to ourselves and we were able to relax and enjoy the rugged landscape (well what was visible under the mist). Soon enough we arrived at Barfinnihy Lough where we parked our car and suited up for the trek.

Frank looking trim after the Christmas

A new camera makes selfies so easy😵
We were now in the mist and it was a bit strange not to be able to see any of the route right from the start. We walked around to the southern side of the lake and crossed the very wet ground until we reached the shallow gully that splits the east face of Boughil. This normally gives a nice grade 1 scramble directly to the summit some 350mtrs above but today there was a lot of water coming down so we stuck to the ground on either side of it. It is always amazing just how deceptively steep such ground can be. We would come to a steep bit and I would pick what I would think was an easy line up through it and almost invariably it would turn out much steeper and trickier than expected and time and again we found ourselves pulling up on heather and bog to get over some slimy black rocky bits. It was actually great fun. The slope just went on and on but eventually we reached the summit. The wind wasn't too bad and there was no cold about but in the absence of views we got out the map and compass and set off for the next top Cnoc na gCapall 639mtrs. We dropped easily to the col and climbed the 100 or so meters to the top and then set off for the final top of the day Bascadh 595mtrs. After a bite of lunch we turned initially north and then northeast and dropped down to Gearhasallagh where we traversed above a lone farmstead and joined the road that climbs back to the lake and the car. We hot footed it up and after a very fast change of clothes we drove back to town where I arrived at the station with about a minute to spare to catch a nice early train home.

Finally emerging under the clouds


We contoured around just above the farm


All in all we covered about 9kilometers and climbed perhaps 700mtrs and we had taken a bit with four hours. It had been a lovely relaxing day out and it proved yet again that the views are really only a small part of the reason why we get out on the mountains. Thanks Frank.