Friday, February 2, 2018

Beenkeragh to Carrauntoohil. A Winter Walk

With a dusting of snow above 600mtrs I took the opportunity to head back to the Magillycuddy Reeks today for a blast of fresh winter air. I had nothing too ambitious in mind as it was more of a chance to get some exercise in but I took my crampons and axe back just in case. As I suspected it was just a precaution but it's better to have them and not need them as for the opposite to be the case. I wasn't too sure exactly what to do but as I walked into the Hags Glen I on a whim decided to climb up the slopes to the right of the grassy gully that gives access to the east ridge of Beenkeragh. This makes for a stiff pull initially followed by a traverse of the steep ground above the gully until you reach the easier wide bay above the Hags Tooth. It was nice to thread somewhere different and it had the added bonus of giving some spectacular views of the toothy ridge with Carrauntoohil's north face rising beyond. I hadn't intended it but I ended up climbing the crest of the ridge as it rises towards the summit. While there was a nice dusting of snow there was no ice so it was straightforward enough to make progress. Eventually I reached the top of Ireland's second highest peak but it was a bit chilly to tarry so I headed off down and enjoyed crossing the beautiful and sometimes exposed Beenkeragh Ridge as I headed for Carrauntoohil. A nice scramble to the summit where I took advantage of the shelter and enjoyed a nice lunch and great wintry views. Down the Heavenly Gates and back to my car finished off a very enjoyable day. Hopefully more winter outings can be enjoyed soon.

Nice to get a different perspective

A nice wintry scramble

The views are always a bit more special when a bit of snow is about.

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