Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Attychran Horseshoe on the Galty Mountains

I was lucky enough to have a gander again today on the mountains with Kevin. Some wintry weather had arrived and there was a nice dusting of snow on the Galtees so we met up in Mitchlestown and headed to Kings Yard where we started our route. We were super optimistic and brought crampons and ice axe but it came as no surprise that in the end they were superfluous to requirements. Still it was great to get out and with a forecast of rain arriving before the afternoon we wasted no time in setting off.We opted for the Attychran Horseshoe but instead of the normal anti-clockwise option of heading up Knocknagalty towards Galtymore first we decided to head into the glen between Monabrack and Knocknagalty as far as the footbridge before climbing the steep 300mtr+ pull to the summit of Monabrack. Then we dropped to the boggy saddle before the long slog to the crest of the main Galty Ridge. Even though it was just a dusting on the lower slopes the mountains always look better when covered in their icing and as usual the craic and company was mighty.

The normally mucky peat hags were very navigable today as they were mostly frozen and by the time we were up over 800mtrs on the main ridge things looked very wintry indeed. In the practically still air and under the increasing cloud cover things were delightfully mild despite appearances, so much so that I didn't even put on gloves until we turned towards Galtymore where the breeze picked up a little. The climb to the roof  of the range was nicely frozen and we had a look at the steep ground over the coum of Lough Curra which looked like several short single pitch mixed winter routes might be had. Perhaps a little explore might be called for if we get the opportunity in the future. The cloud actually lifted with us as we headed up Dawson's Table (for a change 😃) and we even enjoyed some views from the nicely rimed up summit. On the descent towards the Black Road we even managed a little bit of glissading before we dropped easily alongside the Attychran river and then followed a forest road back to the car. Coffee and a pastry back in town (I blame Kevin) finished off a very nice outing. I for one am already looking forward to the next one.

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