Saturday, 12 August 2017

Another circuit of The Gap of Dunloe

Today was supposed to be a fine sunny day but as I drove back to Killarney it was low cloud and frequent showers that defined the drive. Bollocks to it. I was hoping to get some quality scrambling in with a possibly the Hags Tooth and Howling ridge in the offing but that idea quickly left my head. I really couldn't face walking in the Hags Glen again so I decided that another circuit of the Gap would give me a decent walk and I decided to do it clockwise this time to try and have a different feel to the day. It had bee a long time since I went up the long easy spur that heads south towards Tomies north top so I went that way today. I had been super optimistic before the walk and I was attired in a t-shirt and shorts but that soon changed when the first shower arrived by the time I had gone two hundred meters. Ah well. I was feeling pretty good and the exercises I have been doing with the Kettlebell have definitely improved my knees. The walk was uneventful and thankfully the weather improved as the day progressed. It never got sunny but at least I was under the cloud for most of the route. This was a little longer than the last time I was here so I reckon around 19 Kilometers and 1500 mtrs of ascent in 5 hours 45 mins. The Alps are getting closer 😎

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Attyhran Horseshoe and Temple Hill in the Galty Mountains

I went for a gander on the Galty Mountains on Thursday and I must say I really enjoyed being back there. The last time was with James and I think I don't go there as often as I perhaps should. Anyway I started at the excellent facility that is Kings Yard and followed the track up onto the open mountainside of Knocknagantee and then up into the mist and GaltyMore . This is I think my favourite way to the summit as it has a wilder feel to other routes and once I left the carpark I didn't see another soul all day. It was something of a surprise to see a statue of Buddha has been installed on the summit trig point. Well I guess if a cross can be put on the summit then this provides a nice little counterbalance ✌.
A nice easy start on a lane from Kings Yard

Entering the wild

Expanding views towards the Knockmealdowns

A clearing ahead


Thankfully the mist was inclined to clear and I got fleeting views down to the Clydagh Valley but it was a little windy on the summit crest so I wasted no time and retraced my steps and in worsening weather followed the wall until I was above Lough Curra where I found a sheltered spot to sit and enjoy my lunch. Thankfully the rain had passed and things were showing signs of clearing up. I even had views most of the time. I was also treated to the sight and sounds of some Peregrine Falcons a few hundred meters distant and it only added to the wild feel of the place. After lunch I followed the wall all the way to Lyreacappul where I then opted to extend my outing and I went as far as Temple Hill. I was mostly in the clear now and really enjoying myself. I made short work of the slog to the summit but once again a little cloud descended so I turned and headed back to the col and climbed as dry a route as I could find to the boggy top of Knockaterrif. A near 300mtr drop into the wild and remote felling valley under Monabrack followed before the final climb of over 200 steep meters ensured my calves got a fine workout. From here I normally head south along the broad spur in order to eventually reach Kings Yard again but this time I dropped steeply but easily to the valley on the eastern side where I was delighted to find a footbridge over the river and I followed the easy track back to the car. It was now warm and mostly sunny and I arrived back feeling quite frest and happy that I had had a fine workout. Five hours twenty minutes and at over fifteen kilometers with 1300mtrs of ascent it was a worthy effort.

Summit views from Temple Hill

The final steep climb beckons

A footbridge and a possible wildcamp spot