Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Paps

It has been a good while since I last set foot on The Paps and as I drove back to Kerry this morning I looked across at them and on a whim tuned and decided to climb them. I was feeling a bit tired (head-cold?) and wasn't really in the mood for The Reeks and was of a mind to go somewhere different so it was an easy decision to make. The morning was mild and plenty of clear sky was to be seen and only some wispy cloud clung to the mountains so I was hopeful of getting some views. I drove in the little twisty lane towards Shrone Lake and carefully parked my car and set off. The view across the little lake to the very rough ground on the eastern flank of the east pap was lovely and I was immediately glad to be somewhere less familiar. I crossed the stream feeding the end of the lake and set off up through the trackless deep heathery ground I must confess to suffering a bit but perseverance paid off and eventually I found a trail that wound its way up the steep-ish slope. The cloud was clinging stubbornly to the slopes and soon enough the views disappeared. I reached the top with its huge cairn and after a brief rest I dropped to the col between the tops and climbed to the summit of the west top. I was hoping to be able to enjoy the lovely view that is to be found from here towards The Reeks but alas the cloud persisted and I was left with no option but to retrace my steps to the col. As luck would have it it cleared up quite nicely by the time I was back there and it was also quite warm in the sunshine. I contoured around the slopes of the east top and dropped easily along the boggy spur. Eventually I reached deep heather again and after struggling through this I reached easier ground and returned to my car. A little less than three hours but a delightful little outing. I used to cycle back here and "run" the mountains and then cycle home but I wouldn't fancy trying to run through some of the heather I waded through today. Nice to have been back there though.