Monday, February 4, 2013


Once again I headed back to Killarney and met Frank. Today the plan was to drive right to the furthest reaches of the Black Valley and climb Broughnabinnea. While this isn't the most exciting mountain in the area, its location is in one of the remotest places that you can find in Kerry. We had originally planned to do this one last week but appalling weather that morning made us rethink our plans so we postponed until today. While better the weather still wasn't good with a stiff breeze blowing occasional drizzle and the cloud level sticking stubbornly low. Ah well its not all about the views and I knew the company would be good so I was still looking forward to the day. After our by now customary coffees we headed into the wild heart of the Everagh Peninsula. Driving through the Gap of Dunloe is always spectacular and today was no exception and this time of year we didn't have to put up with the "jarveys" who in the tourist months are a nuisance. Anyway we eventually arrived at the trail-head under the steep east side of the mountain. Its a wonderful place to be and we were really looking forward to the off.
A moody broody black valley

The view down just before we entered the mist

There are some strange creatures about..she said

A gentle start follows an old track that leads up to an old abandoned farmhouse. This winds its way through a little woodland but soon it comes to an end and we broke off and entered the open mountainside. Now the hard work commences and the slope is steep and unremitting. I opted to stay out of the gully that rises through the center of the face and zig zagged up the steep broken ground on the right. This was because I had injured myself at the gym the previous week. As is my wont I was pushing my limits on a machine and loaded on too much weight. As I strained to complete a set of reps I felt a sharp and searing pop in my ribs which brought my efforts to an immediate end. I laid off the gym for a couple of days and things quickly improved so I returned and did two strenuous workouts on consecutive nights which made the injury worse and ensured that a painful few days ensued. I have learned my lesson and so I was being careful not to strain myself this time. Anyway we made steady progress and soon enough topped out over the steep face and entered the plateau before the final drag to the summit plateau. Now we were more exposed to the full effects of the bitingly cold wind so when we arrived at the rather featureless summit we didn't linger and headed down immediately to find a bit of shelter and a good spot for lunch.
What a right pair

We dropped right down to nearly the valley floor and here we found a sheltered spot just under the cloud base where we enjoyed a nice bite to eat. We finished off our descent on surprisingly dry ground to the rough and wild valley floor. Here we turned once again to the east and the direction of our car. We passed first the beautiful waterfall that thunders down above Lough Reagh and then further to the left passed the "Ogham Stone" at the end of the descent and followed the sodden trail that leads back to the road. About four hours in total and another helping of good company. We retired to Killarney for yet more coffee and we are both looking forward to our next outing.
Waterfall above Lough Reagh

Ogham is an ancient form of writing in Ireland

Culture and history all about

Another end to another great day

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