Saturday, August 5, 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

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