Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Clydagh Valley Horseshoe..Before the snow melts.

We had a short cold snap Monday and Tuesday and there was a good dump of snow on the hills so with a decent forecast I decided to head to The Galtees today and I opted for one of my favourite circuits on the range The Clydagh Valley Horseshoe. This gives a nice outing that is around 14 kilometers long and had over 1000mtrs of ascent so it gives a reasonable workout as well.
I could see the Galtees from home yesterday and they were well covered to low levels but there was a fair old thaw underway and the cloud base was down at around the 600 mtr level as well. Oh well I was here now so I set off for my first peak..Cush and I was basically snow free most of the way to the summit. In the cloud on top the lying snow still made for a nice wintry atmosphere and it was certainly chilly enough in the stiff wind. I dropped down to the col under Galtybeg and then trudged up the seemingly never-ending slopes to the summit. Now at over 2600ft it was quite wintry and I then dropped to the col above Lough Muskry and plodded up to the main top of the day Galtymor and now at over 3000ft it was definitely still winter so I crossed the summit plateau and then dropped easily on deep banked snow to the level ground above Lough Curra. Once on the wast side of the lake I again used a deep snow bank to descent all the way to the lake shore and then returned easily to the forestry and the car. Four hours out in bracing wind and snow was just what the doctor ordered and I was pleased to get out in what might be the last snows of the season. Note to self.if you go to the trouble of bringing the camera then it would be a good idea to put a memory card into it as well..DOH⛄
Gaining height on Galtybeg looking back at Cush

Lough Curra to Cush

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Paps

It has been a good while since I last set foot on The Paps and as I drove back to Kerry this morning I looked across at them and on a whim tuned and decided to climb them. I was feeling a bit tired (head-cold?) and wasn't really in the mood for The Reeks and was of a mind to go somewhere different so it was an easy decision to make. The morning was mild and plenty of clear sky was to be seen and only some wispy cloud clung to the mountains so I was hopeful of getting some views. I drove in the little twisty lane towards Shrone Lake and carefully parked my car and set off. The view across the little lake to the very rough ground on the eastern flank of the east pap was lovely and I was immediately glad to be somewhere less familiar. I crossed the stream feeding the end of the lake and set off up through the trackless deep heathery ground I must confess to suffering a bit but perseverance paid off and eventually I found a trail that wound its way up the steep-ish slope. The cloud was clinging stubbornly to the slopes and soon enough the views disappeared. I reached the top with its huge cairn and after a brief rest I dropped to the col between the tops and climbed to the summit of the west top. I was hoping to be able to enjoy the lovely view that is to be found from here towards The Reeks but alas the cloud persisted and I was left with no option but to retrace my steps to the col. As luck would have it it cleared up quite nicely by the time I was back there and it was also quite warm in the sunshine. I contoured around the slopes of the east top and dropped easily along the boggy spur. Eventually I reached deep heather again and after struggling through this I reached easier ground and returned to my car. A little less than three hours but a delightful little outing. I used to cycle back here and "run" the mountains and then cycle home but I wouldn't fancy trying to run through some of the heather I waded through today. Nice to have been back there though.