Log: Donegal | Errigal North West Ridge: 20/10/2018

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Gerry O Sullivan and Nuala on the Northwest Ridge, Errigal, about 150 m below the summit.

 

Intro: A week in Dunlewey.

We took up residence in the Dunlewey Hostel for a week with the aim of doing some new routes in the Derryveagh Mountains (Slieve Sneachta), Errigal, and Muckish, travelling further afield if the weather improved.

There were a few other people in the hostel but we had it to ourselves more or less. It was fantastic. The facilities are first class, especially the drying room and the kitchen. We were given the run of the place by Erin and her team and we are very grateful to them.

Itinerary

Day 1  Errigal North West ridge, led by Gerard O’sullivan.

Park Run | Dunloe (Bairbre and Bertie)

Day 2  Poison Glen to Slieve Sneachta (Peer Led)

Day 3  Muckish (Miner’s Track)

Day 4  Derry, taking in the Grianán Aileach.

Day 5  Loch Altan to Errigal

Day 6  Arranmore Island.

Day 7  Park Run Letterkenny (Bairbre and Bertie)

 

Day 1 | Errigal North west Ridge: 20-10-2018

Nuala Finn, Gerard O’Sullivan, Ciarán Walsh.

Start time 10.30

 

Weather

Forecast was fairly good. Ireland lay at the top end of a slack depression with a very  light band of rain covering the North West, very or light wind.  It was lovely and clear “at ground level” but cloud over remained at around 600m for the day.

 

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The Route

This was a car split. We dropped a car at at the start of the tourist track and retraced our steps to Dunlewey, turning right at the old hostel and following the way marked route to the foot of the beautifully named Sliabh Bealtaine. We left the car here and headed up a track for about 700m before taking  a direct line across bog to the foot of  the North West slope, which we ascended keeping to a sheep trail to the right of the a stream.

We continued up the next slope, skirting around some scree and reached a lovely ridge of morraine. We followed it around to the base of the spur, where we picked up some trails through the scree on the lower end of the spur. They became one and continued up through a narrow rocky arrete. The route was fairly clear but it did take some trail finding. The rock was very slippery and  a detour around a step ended in a narrow scree fill gully and a nervous moment or two. Rule no 1 on a rocky ridge, don’t divert.

We reached the summit in drizzle and very poor visibility, marked the moment, and headed for the carpark. It is a lovely route but one that require some scrambling and short sections of narrow exposed ridge walking just below the summit, which could be very challenging on a windy day. Some experience on exposed, rocky ridges is necessary before tackling this route. Having done it, I don’t think that I will be doing the tourist route again.

Map OSI 1:50,000 No 1.

 

Errigal NW Route
Errigal North West Ridge route on a good old fashionel laminated map, the only thing for Donegal drizzle.

 

Log: 07 | 10 | 2018 – The Bone with Thomas O’Sullivan

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TMC members gather for Thomas O’Sullivan climb in the Magillicuddy Reeks  on October 7, 2018. The planned route was the Bone, a spur on the eastern side of  the Hags Glen, to Carrauntoohil.

 

TMC members met in the carpark at Lisleibane and headed in the Hags Glen, crossing the Gaddagh just south of the bridge and headed south to the start of the spur called the Bone. As soon as we gained height it became clear that the wind was too strong to stick to the planned along the spine of the spur.

 

Weather 750

 

The route was changed and we went up the side of the spur to a small coum. We contoured across to the spur on the southern side of Cumeenapeasta Lake, on ground that we would’t normally be on, so we did a bit of exploring and identified some interesting routes for future outings. We descended along the stream running from the lake to the Gaddagh and headed to Cronin’s Yard for a cup of tea. Thomas treated us to apple tart.

 

Thomas-Kestrel-Loop

Kestrrel

 

An interesting thing happened on the way to the Bone. A Kestrel hovered above for about 5 Minutes.

 

Route / Stats

 

Thomas Track

 

 

Badge-Telly-TX-LOOP


Tralee Mountaineering Club Members’ Blog

Una Finn (1924-2018)

Una

 

Una (Agnes) Finn was an honorary life member of Tralee Mountaineering Club. Una Sullivan was born in Dublin. She grew up there and worked in the Central Bank. She met Tom Finn on a cycling trip in Achill and she  moved to Tralee after they got married in 1958.

 

L-R: Marie Ahern, Rose Switzer, and Una Finn. Photo: Tom Finn collection

Marie Ahern, Rose Switzer. Una Finn IMG_8237
L-R: Marie Ahern, Rose Switzer, and Una Finn. Photo: Tom Finn collection.

 

Una was an active member of the club, one of a generation of women who blazed a trail in mountaineering in Ireland, She entered a sport that hardly catered for women, gear was hard to come by for everyone, but women especially. They improvised–wore men’s gear– and ensured that women were represented on a equal level in club activities.

 

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Rose and Denis Switzer, Honorary Life Members of Tralee Mountaineering Club, with Marie Ward. Rose and Una were climbing buddies. They were among the large number of people who gathered in Una’s home to pay their respects..

 

The house became  a hub of mountaineering in Kerry and a large number of club members gathered in the house to pay their final respects.

 

In later years Una went for a walk every day, cutting a striking figure as she made he  the trip to the local shop. She kept going until a few months before death.

 

Ar dheis dé go rabid a hanam.

 

Is Donagh Linn An Briseadh Seo …

 

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You may have noticed that TMC Members’ Blog has been offline for a couple of months. In the good old days of terrestrial television in Ireland, whenever service was interrupted, the following words were put up on screen: is donagh linn an briseadh seo. We are taking our cue from this. We regret the break but we have spent the past few months accompanying a family member on their way to the big summit in the sky.

 

Marie Ahern, Rose Switzer. Una Finn IMG_8237
L-R: Marie Ahern, Rose Switzer, and Una Finn. Photo: Tom Finn collection

 

The resumption of blogging is marked with a tribute to Una Finn  (nee Sullivan), a pioneering mountaineer and a lifelong member of Tralee Mountaineering Club.

Una left us on 7 August 2007. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.

 

Next Post: Una Finn (1924-2018)