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.

 

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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.

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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

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Bertie Bairbremike Abbey

 

 

the mountaineering collective | the Winter Solstice 2019

 

 

 

 

Books for Christmas: ON THE WATER’S EDGE

At the Water’s Edge: Two Boats – Around Ireland by Kayak

Timmy Flavin

 

 

Jimmy Flavin
Timmy Flavin. Photo: Afloat.ie

 

 

At the Water’s Edge

is based on a log that Timmy Flavin kept during a 942-mile paddle around the coast of Ireland with Donal Dowd, a kayaker and mountaineer. They left Courtown harbour in Co Wexford on May 11, 1991 and returned just four weeks later, paddling an average of 50 kilometres (31 miles) a day.

Timmy Flavin died of cancer four years ago and his wife Bríd Farrell has published an illustrated book based on his log. It includes tributes from Dowd, other paddlers, and friends. Cathal Cudden and Bernard Forde, well known in the mountaineering community, were involved in the design and publishing of the book.

To Order a copy:

At the Water’s Edge: Two Boats sells at €15 a copy. 

The book is also available in Polymath Bookshop in Tralee (+353667125035) and Woulfe’s Bookshop in Listowel (+35366821021).

If its not stocked in your local bookshop, email Bríd Farrell at: bridofarrell@icloud.com

All profits from At the Water’s Edge will be shared between the Palliative Care Unit in Kerry University Hospital’s and the RNLI Valentia lifeboat station.

 

 

(right to left) James Flavin, Breda O'Farrell,, Donal Dowed and Ben Flavin.
James Flavin, Breda O’Farrell, Donal Dowd and Ben Flavin at the launch of Timmy Flavin’s book ‘At the Water’s Edge’. Photo: Dylan Clifford / Killarney Advertiser

 

Links / Resources

 

Read reviews by

Seán Moriarty in the Killarney Advertiser

and

Lorna Siggins on Afloat.ie

 

 

The Mountaineering Collective 20|12|2019

 

 

 

Mountain Log: Magillycuddy Reeks 15|12|2019

 

Winter mountaineering at its best

 

Video recorded by Bertie Hickey in Curve Gully, Magillycuddy Reeks (Co Kerry, Ireland) on Sunday, December 15, 2019.

 

Route

 

Reeks 15:12:2019 Route

 

Conditions

 

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WhatsApp Image 2019-12-15 at 20.48.48WhatsApp Image 2019-12-15 at 18.24.29

 

Links / Resources

climbing-guide

INFO: https://www.kerryclimbing.ie/product/macgillycuddys-reeks-climbing-guide/

 

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Source: Piaras Kelly.

 

The Mountaineering Collective 20|12|2019

A Profile of Ireland’s Uplands: essential reading for mountaineers # 1

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The Irish Uplands Forum (Fórum Cnoch na hÉireann) commissioned Dr Brendan O’Keeffe and Dr Caroline Crowley to write this study of the Irish uplands. The Heritage Council published it in October 2019. Michael Viney had an interesting review of the study in The  Irish Times over the weekend, under a headline that says it all: These hills are made for walking. Viney, however, highlights access as a key issue for the 13,000 plus mountaineers and hillwalkers who make up the membership of 186 clubs in Ireland.

He identifies two factors that will have influence on access in the future. The first is a shift from sheep farming to off-farm employment and a parallel rise in (a) the number of “large sheep ranches” and (b) hillside houses occupied by “commuters, retirees and holiday homeowners.” We have seen the problems this has created in places like Glanteenassig in County Kerry.

 

1568-Glanteenassig-Forest_glanteenassig-forest-park-9076
Off limits: access to this hill in Gelanteenassig was blocked after the land was inherited from the original owner. Before that it was a popular walking/mountaineering route located next to a recreational area developed by Coillte. Photo: Walking Routes Ireland.

 

The second is that government action on the roll out of access programmes stalled since 2009, when voluntary agreement between mountaineering interests and landowners created pilot projects in two areas, Mount Gable near Clonbur, Co Galway and Carrauntoohil in the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Co Kerry; just two of the 57 mountain ranges identified in the report. However, O’Keeffe and Crowley note that “key stakeholder groups remain committed to its vision.”

 

Sheep Farmers
©Valerie O’Sullivan, The MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.

 

As Viney points out, most of Ireland’s uplands are farmlands but adds that “sheep, significantly, get a mention on only four of the study’s 140-odd pages.” That is worrying, given the traditional partnership between mountaineers and sheep farmers, people like Martin (RIP) and Nóirín Griffin in Derrymore Glen (Slieve Mish), Mick Murphy in Knocknagantee (Iveragh) and, of course, John and Esther Cronin of Cronin’s Yard in the Reeks. That partnership is captured by mountaineer and photographer Valerie O’Sullivan in The MacGillycuddy’s Reeks: People and Places of Ireland’s Highest Mountain Range , which Frank Miller, former Picture Editor of The Irish Times, described as ‘An intimate and beautiful portrait of the people and landscape of Ireland’s loftiest place.’

 

Elizabeth and Mick Mu
Mick Murphy and Elizabeth Lynch. Photo: Mike Slattery.

 

This aspect of the Irish uplands deserved more attention in the study. Nevertheless, A Profile of Ireland’s Uplands is essential reading for mountaineers and hillwalkers. To obtain an Executive Summary click HERE. To obtain the full report click HERE.

 

Links / Resources

 

Mountain Log

For more information, have a look at the current edition of the Mountain Log

 

 

The Mountaineering Collective | December 2019

 

 

Log: Kerry |Mangerton – 04/11/2018

PHOTO-2018-11-04-19-10-58
Tim Murphy, Bertie Hickey, Nuala Finn, Lisbeth Lynch, Lorna Browne, Eileen Casey, Noelle O’Mahony, Myra Griffin, and Connie Enright. Photo: Ciarán Walsh.

November 4, 2018

Mangerton (Barnacurrane Route)

Leader: Myra Griffin

Map 78

 

Weather

Forecast was for settled weather. There was a little rain at the beginning but it remained clear for the rest of the walk. Conditions underfoot were good, especially on the bog between Barnacurrane and the Devil’s Punchbowl.

 

TMC-MANGERTON-GIF

A panorama taken from a spot height on the ridge south of Barnacurrane.

 

Route 

We assembled in the carpark above Torc Waterfall, reached by a side road to the left about 300m metres from the main entrance to Muckross House on the N71. We left the carpark and headed south, climbing through the forest on deer and mountain bike trails – watch out for bikers hurtling through the forest –  until we reached the end of the forestry track.

 

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We climbed the final section of forestry to reach Barnacurrane, a gap in a rocky outcrop that marks the boundary between the lowland and the mountain.  The trail is well worn and there is a steep section just below Barnacurrane.  There used to be a stepped path here but that has mostly disappeared and good footwear is essential.

 

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Nuala Finn and Bertie Hickey heading towards Barnacurrane.

 

At Barnacurrane one of the group pulled out and Ciarán returned to the carpark with the member before making the return trip to Barnacurrane. His route on the day is marked in blue on the map above.

The red route shows the line taken by the rest of the group. It climbs across the bog, following the line of a wall and the dry ground alongside the stream to reach the track leading to the  Devil’s Punchbowl. From, it follows the track/trail  to the summit (843). From there it crosses the plateau to the aréte descending northwards  to the ridge formed by the Devil’s Punch Bowl and the back wall of Glangappul.

Careful navigation is needed here in poor visibility. Sean O’Suilleabháin warned mountaineers, in his classic guidebook on climbs in the southwest, that Mangerton means the “deceiving one.”

The route continues up to the unnamed summit known as  Mangerton “North,”  heads East on the southern ridge of Glangappul  before descending to the trail that leads into the valley. It follows this trail until it turns northwest from the lake shore, crosses the Owgarrif River –caution – and continues across bog close to the foot of the mountainside until it reaches the track for the Devil’s Punch Bowl.

 

 

Keith wodoard
Keith Woodard, Mangerton Mountain | An Ancient Battle Ground

 

 

It follows the Finoulagh River downstream for about 300m and heads west into Tooreencormick, the site of a battle between McCarthy of the Glens (Old Kenmare Rd) and the Normans in 1262, during which Cormac Mac Carthy died. The place name marks his burial on the site of the battle. Keith Woodard, a photographer based in Killarney, gives a really good account of events leading up to the battle.

From Tooreencormick the route continues west, into the forest and back the caprpark.

 

 

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This blog is published by members of TMC. It is not an official blog of the club.

 

 

END

 

 

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

 

 

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