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mneary34
2006-04-18 20:42:48
After the Darkest Hour....
Capt Vertigo's piece on hostel experiences and the wait and expectation pre-trek is one that I can totally relate to. Myself and two walking companions were going through a similar experience, perhaps even in the same hostel as Capt Vertigo preparing for the Maum Turks walk on 15th April 2006. We woke at 05.00 and all seven fellow dormers bar one were also heading for the start so there was quite a bit of activity in the room. Having taken the 35 minute car journey to the start we registered and started in early morning light at 06.37. The first climb up Corcog was taken in a direct line from the start point, steep but quick. Before we had left the hostel the internet had been consulted and it promised a dry, clear day, ideal for the walk. This was not the case climbing Corcog and it quickly became apparent that the weather of mist and low cloud seemed determined to remain with us all day as it effectively did. This meant that navigation was seldom done without compass and map or GPS or in many instances both. A friend of mine who had a more leisurely day on Inishbofin reported good weather all day Saturday and its only 30k distance from the Maum Turks.
Myself and two companions from the Ramblers Tom M and Eamon P were joined by Michael from Galway on the descent to Maumeen and we continued as a group for the rest of the day. GPS took us directly from Binn Mhor to Maumeen along Simon Stewart's route as defined on his website. Ground conditions were such that the grass was wet and slippery and if not grass the rock was wet and slippery. At Maumeen there were four other walkers, John C and his colleagues from Cork and we did'nt know it at the time but over the rest of the walk we were to integrate and form a band of walkers who would join and disperse and join and disperse and finally finish virtually together in two mixed groups at Leenaun. This added greatly to the enjoyment of the walk.
Some hours later leaving the Maumahoge pass the two groups were independent of each other and as we headed up towards the shoulder of Knochnahillion we were overtaken by a single mountain runner who agreed with us that conditions 'were'nt great'. From Letterbrechaun on the two groups effectively remained together till the end.
The short but steep climb from Maum Turk was undertaken and onward to Binn Bhan and then towards the Col of Despondency and from here the group of eight began to spread out across the climb and all were relieved to finally in their own time reach the col on Leenaun Hill. From there the final approach to Leenaun was made and all were more than satisfied to finish between 5.30 and 5.50 pm.
A big thanks to the UCG MC for organising the event in what turned out to be very difficult conditions.
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