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Harry Goodman
2009-10-08 19:36:23
"On Knockmealdown, August 2008, Job Done!" from Harry Goodman Expand pics
On Knockmealdown, August 2008, Job Done! (Expand 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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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>
Forum: Suggestions
Addition of "All Irish features" list etc
simon3 10 hours ago.
A new list and total has been added which shows All Irish features visited. So if you mark as visited any summit, coastal summit, coastal feature, island feature then this total will go up. You ca...

  
Summit Comment
Illanmaster: Watching Over.
sandman 2 days ago.
This hill watches over Illanmaster Island and although its summit is nothing of note its cliffs are fantastic. As described previously this can be part of a coastal walk or for direct accent park ...

  
Summit Comment
Corraduff Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
Corraduff Hill as seen from the Benwee Loop Walk.

Track
Mweelrea Mt via Ben Lugmore
marzka 2 days ago.
A very nice walk with amazing views and small bit of scrambling which can be avoided.Dificulty: Medium- ascending via... walk, Len: 13.4km, Climb: 1111m, Area: Ben Lugmore East Top, Mweelrea Mountain

  
Track
Bencorrbeg - Binn an Choire and Binn Dubh
marzka 2 days ago.
Very nice walk with a bit of scrambling.And this GPS track involve that mentioned part of scrambling - but if you want... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 944m, Area: Bencorrbeg, Twelve Bens (Ireland) Benco

  
Summit Comment
Benwee NE Head: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
It is easy to reach the area i took the photo from just a slight detour off the Benwee Loop Walk F8220244947 it is the next bit that the problem arises. Definitely an Ian Miller summit.

Track
Teermoyle and Been Hill
marzka 2 days ago.
Very nice walk with goregous views.Dificulty: Medium- a bit wet terrain, mostly grassy- some small part of walk on th... walk, Len: 13.2km, Climb: 843m, Area: Keamconneragh, Glenbeigh Horseshoe (Irel

  
Summit Comment
Doonvinalla W Top: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
The Stags of Broad Haven just one of the fantastic photo opportunities from this summit which is easily accessed from the Benwee Loop Walk the easy option from the pier at Portacloy F8395844259.

  
Track
Mangerton via Stoompa and Horses Glen
marzka 2 days ago.
Lovely walk with stunning views.Dificulty: Medim- wet terrain as crossing the Owgariff river- very steepy descending w... walk, Len: 13.6km, Climb: 673m, Area: Stoompa, Mangerton (Ireland) Stoompa, M

Summit Comment
Doonvinalla E Top: Coastal Hill
sandman 3 days ago.
Easy access from the pier at Portacloy F8395844259 follow the Benwee Loop walk and branch off where appropriate . The photo shows views across towards Benwee Head in the background .

  
Track
Carrauntoohil via central guy and dawn via oshea-gully WINTER WALK
marzka 2 days ago.
This is a winter climb, therefore the winter equipment is needed and extra time should be added while planning that r... walk, Len: 10.6km, Climb: 779m, Area: Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks (Ir

  
Summit Comment
Doonvinalla N Top: Coastal Hill
sandman 3 days ago.
Looking across to Doonvinalla N Top from E Top i decided it was above my pay grade to attempt the summit climb today . But to the right of the photo a route to the top seemingly exists so another ...


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