Friday, October 15, 2010

Coumloughra Horseshoe October 14th

Slope up to Caher

I went to Kerry yesterday on a dull dreary but dry day to do the Coumloughra Horseshoe. This is one of the finest walks in the country and takes in the three highest peaks in Ireland. I started at midday. Though dry it was very dull. Still ,I was also using today to break in my new La Sportiva Nepal boots. The slog up the concrete road soon passed and I arrived at the lake. There were signs of improvement in the day by now and rays of sun could be seen breaking through the clouds. I chose to ascend Caher first. This is a long slog with little to recommend it but soon I found myself is brilliant sunshine. By the time I arrived at the east top the views across the coum towards Carrauntoohil were lovely.
From Caher towards Carrauntoohil

After a spot of lunch I headed along the airy ridge to Carrauntoohil. When I arrived on top I had the place to myself. The ridge across to Beenkearach was bristling up through the cloud. A fine scramble is to be had here by sticking to the skyline. The summit of Beenkearach was bathed in warm sun and I relaxed and took in the view for a full twenty minutes. The views across to Carrauntoohil and Caher constantly drew the eye. To the east the tops of An Garbh, Cnoc na Peiste, Maolan Bui and Cnoc na Cuillan poked through the sea of cloud.

Across the ridge towards Carrauntoohil

Eastern Reeks

Back to the gloom

Eventually I had to leave my eerie and I headed reluctantly down into the cloud. Upon entering the mist the temperature dropped a good six degrees. I continued along over the tops and came under the cloud and descended back to the lake. The contrast here between the brilliant sunshine of the summits and the gloom of my present surroundings couldn't have been greater. It made me appreciate what was on top all the more. I soon arrived back at the car, well satisfied with my day.Oh and the boots were excellent.
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