Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cnoc na Peiste to Cruach Mhor. The best of the Eastern Reeks

I headed back to Kerry again with Frank foe a day out. The forecast was good but it was a bit of a disappointment to see the Hags Glen on the Reeks looking dark and gloomy when we arrived. Still there was blue sky away from the mountains and we were hopeful of a clearance. We set off into the glen and I filled frank in on all the details from my recent trip to Snowdonia. We wanted to head somewhere a little less visited so we decided to climb up to Lough Coomeenapeiste and climb the north ridge of Cnoc na Peiste 988 meters and head across the beautiful ridge over An Garbh 939 meters(The Big Gun) to Cruach Mhor 932 meters. This is one of my favorite parts of The Reeks and it would be nice to re immerse myself in my own mountains after Snowdonia. The weather was playing ball as well and the hoped for clearance was arriving as well.
Across The Hags Glen

North towards The Slieve Mish Mtns

The slog up to the lake really has little to recommend it except for the beautiful views to the right into the Hags Glen which is backed by the savage east face of Carrauntoohil. We soldiered on and eventually arrived at the lake which sits in a delightful semi circular basin of steep ground. It was decidedly chilly so we didn't rest long and set off up the ridge. It is initially just a steep grassy slope but soon some scrambling opportunities present themselves over some steepening bouldery ground. The rocks were slippy from recent showers and chilled fingers followed, a sure sign that the winter season was coming. Some nice steep bits presented themselves as we got higher and shortly before the summit we were being warmed by some pleasant sunshine. The top arrived and we dropped a few meters to the leeward side and it was suddenly calm and quite warm in the sun. This was a great spot for lunch and allowed us to soak up the stunning views as well. These mountains really can more than hold their own with Snowdonia. After our feast we set off across the beautiful (Grade1) scramble ridge to Cruach Mhor. It was lovely and we even got a short burst of a snow shower, our first of the season, to add to the experience. The one kilometer ridge ended and we descended swiftly back to the car so I could catch my train home. It had been a lovely day out in what are truly some of the most beautiful mountains in these islands. A bit more snow would be nice, I must write to Santa.
Frank having fun

The great ridge

Looking West

A bit of snaw on the way
We will we will get there

Winter IS coming

Looking East

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