Log | Winter Solstice Climb of Corrántuathail 2019

 

Group start Heavenly Heavenly
The mountaineers who took part in the Winter Solstice climb of Corrántuathail in the Macgillycuddy Reeks. Photo: Ciarán Walsh

 

Climbing the highest mountain in Ireland on the morning of the Winter Solstice is a longstanding tradition in Kerry, which was started by Mike Ward, Bronagh Tarrant and Nuala Finn years ago. It was a regular fixture of the Tuesday Night mountaineers, which Tomás Crowley memorably called the “Dawn Raid.” The aim has always been to reach the summit in time to see the sun rise on the shortest day of the year – weather permitting.

In recent years, persistent bad weather has meant that the Winter Solstice climb was more or less abandoned. This year was different. Conditions looked very good on Friday 20, December and Mike Slattery put out a call on Whats App, giving the rendezvous as the Lidl carpark in Tralee @ 4.50 or Lisleibane carpark @ 5.45.

 

l2-isleibane.jpeg
Mountaineers gathering in Lisleibane @ 05.45 am for the Winter Solstice climb of Corrántuathail in the Macgillycuddy Reeks. Photo: Bertie Hickey.

 

14 mountaineers turned up in Lisleibane, from 11 years of age to 60+. Patricia McGuirk was leading another group of five and there was one solo climber. Conditions were perfect.  It was mild, there was some cloud cover on the mountains and a peek-a-boo quarter moon gave some light, but not enough to put the torches in the bag. At 6am we headed for the summit.

 

the log | weather forecast

 

08 Weather
Weather charts for 6am and 12 pm Sat 21/12/2019. Source: Magic Seaweed.

 

the climb

04 Hags glen .jpeg

06.45 am: the Hags Glen.

05-bottom-of-ladder-.jpeg

07.07 am: Bottom of the Devil’s Ladder.

09 Boot in water

There was a lot of surface water from melting snow.

06 Top of ladder

07.51 am: Daybreak at the top of the Devil’s Ladder.

ian summit shot

08.10 am: heading for the summit.Photo: Ian

10 Summit
Photo: Bertie Hickey

11 Bertie taking the photo08.30 am+: Summit

12 Morning

09.03am Cloud breaks on the summit.

13 Descent

09.12 am: leaving the summit.

13 Leaving the summit

09.23 am: heading for the Heavenly Gates.

14 Crossing the Gates09.44 am: Crossing Collin’s Gully, above the Heavenly Gates.

15 Hags Glen

10.42 am: crossing the outflow at Loch Gouragh, Hags Glen.

11.32 am: Lisleibane Carpark.

Log | Stats

 

16 Map

17 Stats

 

Parting shots:

 

18 End

WhatsApp Image 2019-12-21 at 15.01.48

Bertie Bairbremike Abbey

 

 

the mountaineering collective | the Winter Solstice 2019

 

 

 

 

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