Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Coumloughra Horseshoe

The second half of the horseshoe
I went back to Kerry again this morning for a blast of fresh air, a thing which is seldom in short supply on these hills. I opted for the Coumloughra Horseshoe as it is one of the finest walks in the area and takes in the three highest mountains in the country. It involves around 12 kilometers of distance and 1300 mtrs of ascent so it would make a decent outing. My ligament problem in my right knee still hasn't cleared up and I haven't been able to run at all this year but my level of fitness is still reasonable and I guess I gained some while I was in Norway. I was feeling pretty good as I left the car and set off up the "Hydro Road" that allows easy access to wilder country higher up. I made short work of the road and once I reached Lough Eaghter I turned left and opted for the steeper ascent of Skregmore and then onto Benkeeragh before crossing the ridge and climbing Carrauntoohil. This allows for a long but steady descent from Caher back to the lake and retracing my steps along the road and back to the car.
Lovely morning and lovely views....spoiled by a new scar on the landscape

Towards Skregmore.

Towards the East Reeks

Caher....always lovely

Caherconree and Baurtregaum

I was moving well and enjoyed the scrambly bits on the ridge to Skregmore and then  I just kept a good pace on all the way to the summit of Carrauntoohil where I enjoyed a bit of lunch. The weather was by now showing signs of change and clouds descended to around 950mtrs and carried the odd spit of rain. It never fails to astound me just how stupid some people are as I met guy on Cahers east top who was out in shorts and Tshirt with no backpack or any supplies. I asked him if he had any extra clothes etc and when he said no I recommended that he should consider heading down but he just laughed and carried on. I guess he wasn't laughing about an hour later when more continuous rain arrived on the tops. I continued on down and reached the car before the rain arrived. I was pleasantly surprised to find it had only taken me just over four hours. Peeing down now. 
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