Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mangerton Via The horses Glen, Snowy and Wild

Some interested spectators near the start.

Finally approaching the glen

The eastern buttress of Mangerton north

The impressive north face of Mangerton
Normal service resumed today. After my recent trip to Scotland where I was basically snowed out of the place I decided to head to Mangerton near Killarney because.....it was snowy :). I was working nights and I left early and was back at the start by 09.15. The views on the way back were great as there was a good dusting of snow down to low levels and there was a fair bit of blue sky to be seen. I decided to go via the "Horses Glen" as this gives the wildest, roughest route to the top and has the advantage of giving the most shelter from the wind. I have yet to find a good way to get to the glen and there is no avoiding the horrendously rough boggy ground that has to be negotiated before you enter the rugged glen. Today the harshness was compounded by the liberal dusting of snow on the long heather that ensured I soon regretted not putting on my waterproof trousers. I also had a pretty full bag as I brought my axe, crampons and even some rope with me.
Some weather about to arrive

Across the black valley towards The Reeks

Cnoc Duff & Broaghnabinnea

Did I say it was chilly ??

 I was struggling a bit today but it was no hardship to stop occasionally and enjoy my wonderful surroundings. I was in no doubt about the ferocity of the wind on high as there was a copious amount of spindrift being blown about on the skyline. The occasional squall came and went but this only heightened my enjoyment when the weather cleared. As I reached the crest of Mangerton north the wind made its presence felt and I wasted no time in putting on the goggles as I was now heading directly into the wind. Another blast of snow arrived as well and it all added up to a full on winter experience. There was some drifts covering the way as well and these sapped the energy even more. The surface from here all the way to the true top of Mangerton was a constant shifting sea of blowing spindrift and it was beautiful. It was also quite cold and I kept on moving all the way above and around the Devils Punchbowl until I was down by the water and able to enjoy a lovely sheltered bite of lunch. From here it was a simple return to my car. I had been blasted by snow and wind. It had been cold and sometimes challenging but it had been absolutely beautiful. I loved it.
Plenty spindrift

Some cornicing forming

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