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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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Harry Goodman
2009-10-08 19:36:23
"On Knockmealdown, August 2008, Job Done!" from Harry Goodman Contract pics
Picture: On Knockmealdown, August 2008, Job Done! (Contract pics)

Walking the Irish County Tops
At last, Ireland's County Tops completed and in a record time! While I fully realise that others have completed them in a single year or even less I think I have set a record for the "longest " time taken to do so, a mere thirty seven years and three months. Not a record I suspect anyone will be anxious to better.
It all began in 1971 when I climbed Slieve Donard (Down). Someone talked me into tackling the Mourne Wall Walk, at that time an annual challenge event of 22 miles with upwards of 10,000ft of climb over twelve of the Mourne peaks. This was to be my introduction to hillwalking and, though safely negotiated in something over 12 hours, so traumatic was the experience that I did not set foot again on any kind of hill for over 10 years.By then a more moderate approach was taken.
Hillwalking days out led me to climb among others Errigal (Donegal), Galtymore (Limerick/Tipperary), Carrauntoohil (Kerry), Cuilcagh (Cavan/Fermanagh), Benbaun (Galway), Sawel (Derry/Tyrone), and Lugnaquillia (Wicklow).
Then after a chance meeting with Paul Clements, when he talked to me about his plans to publish "The Height of Nonesense" recounting his experiences when seeking out the highest point in each county, I was hooked.
Having at that stage (2005) stood on the highest point in 17 counties I decided to set about completing the list. Mweelrea (Mayo) gave me most concern. I had read that this was a serious mountain. Next came Corn Hill (Longford), Mullaghmeen (West Meath) amd Slieve Na Calliagh (Meath) all covered in a single trip. Cupidstown Hill (Kildare) followed. Indeed of these four lower tops only the walk through the forest to Mullaghmeen had any real appeal. Mount Leinster (Carlow/Wexford),and Brandon Hill (Kilkenny) were climbed during a week-end walking in the Blackstairs.

By July 2008 four tops remained unclimbed. Walks in the Slieve Blooms included Arderin (Laois/Offaly) and allowed a visit further west to take in Moylussa (Clare).
In August a friend and I , in thick mist climbed up from the Priest's Leap to Knockboy (Cork) and a day later came Knockmealdown and the completion of my County Tops List. The day had started fine and warm but mist soon descended and enclosed the tops crossed in our traverse of the Eastern Knockmealdown Ridge. the highlight of the day was of course to top out on Knockmealdown on 25 August 2008..
I would recommend to anyone thinking about doing the County Tops not to be too single minded and, where possible, to combine the walks with other hills. With the exception of Cupidstown Hill (Kildare) and Corn Hill (Longford) which will be singled out and climbed simply because they are part of the list , all the others have something to offer be it the challenge of Mweelrea, the history surrounding Slieve Na Calliagh or the tranquillity of "lowly" Mullaghmeen. a few Kippure, Truskmore, it's SE Top and Mount Leinster have "tarmac" to the top but this can be avoided with planning.
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Summit Comment
Stockeen Cliff Top: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Located adjacent to the cliff walk accessible via the Cliffs of Moher Center. Best to enjoy the full walk rather than just summit bagging but for your added enjoyment the earlier in the morning yo...

  
Summit Comment
Lislorkan Top: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Accessible via the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center and car park or via other locations on this coastal walk of your choosing. Best to enjoy the full length of this fantastic cliff walk.

  
Summit Comment
Knockardakin: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Located adjacent to the world renowned Cliffs of Moher,and although this is the hill which the visitor center is built into, the summit is not located in a public area. Access is via a farm gate o...

Track
Inishowen Slieve Snaght from the north.
simon3 5 days ago.
This linear walk route starts from the north and includes the two Arderins and one Vandeleur-Lynam in the area. It sta... walk, Len: 9.3km, Climb: 515m, Area: Slieve Snaght, Inishowen (Ireland) Sliev

  
Summit Comment
Corduff: My wee dander to the summit
Ulsterpooka 3 days ago.
I followed Muschi's and Paddyhilksbagger route. When going to the trig I moved on a few cows before I walked to the trig. After taking a few pics I seen the large brown bull in the field was block...

  
Forum: Suggestions
Clare Coastal Hills
simon3 3 days ago.
We have added 14 Coastal Hills for Clare today. Intriguing names like Stockeen Cliff Top, 185mJust to remind. A Coastal Hill is a hill of at least 50m with a drop from the top or prominence of 20m...

Track
Arona to Parador Hotel via Valle de Ucanca
GSheehy 3 days ago.
Sticking the boots in the bag, when the intention was to go and have a rest.Justifying a walk, that?s predominantly as walk, Len: 30.8km, Climb: 2274m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

  
Track
Cruach Eoghanach
Peter Walker 6 days ago.
Cruach Eoghanach is a handy outing on the days when you get out of the car, feel the force of the wind and rain, look... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 329m, Area: Cruach Eoghanach, S Donegal/W Tyrone (Ir

  
Summit Summary
Slieve Main: Inishowen's second mountain.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 5 days ago.
Parking in a small quarry 3km to the east at point C444 372, cross the smaller top of Damph and then head north, curving around the valley until you cross a fence at C425 380 then begin to ascend ...

Track
Pics de Batoua
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 18.3km, Climb: 1672m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Summit Comment
Castlemahon Mountain: My outing to Castlemahon summit.
Ulsterpooka a week ago.
I followed Peter Walkers route and asked permission to walk to the summit mast. The person was very friendly and accommodating. I parked at the last house in what is a four house dwelling lane. Th...

  
Track
Amalfi: Ravello to Minori
Onzy a week ago.
walk, Len: 3.5km, Climb: 12m, Area: Italy, Campania ()


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