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I don't smoke. I n.. by CaptainVertigo   (Show all posts)
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kernowclimber
2011-06-08 18:31:18
"Maamturk Mountains" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Maamturk Mountains (Expand pics)
Crossing Connemara’s Maamturks: Part One
Connemara, Wilde’s place of ‘savage beauty’ where the constantly changing light subtly alters the tone and mood of the landscape. Here, formidable quartzite mountains lift their lofty heads heavenward, myriad lakes trace intricate lacy patterns across the blanket bog, and narrow lochs, crevices of the sea, give way to the endless Atlantic beyond. Fishing villages with quaint quays, now tourist traps, and golden sandy beaches fringed with brown seaweed, lie along a convoluted coast where seagulls whirl on the wind. Connemara is a place of memory too. The ghostly imprint of lazy beds, dry stone walls and solitary derelict cottages, the fractured spines of their chimney places where peat fires once banished the cruel cold, are poignant reminders of those who vanished in an Gorta Mór.

The warm, sweet smell of freshly cut peat pervaded the summer air as we drove towards Leenane. Conical turf ricks lined up like weather beaten soldiers, were serenaded by the incessant melody of skylarks. A stiff breeze agitated the surface of Lough Inagh creating waves that deposited a thin line of foam on the shoreline; sun kissed ragged heads of yellow flag irises nearby nodded joyously. A swathe of sea mist that had blown in from Killary Harbour lay trapped below Mweelrea, hugging its slopes like a silk skirt, the Bald King’s head rising defiantly to greet a powder blue sky.

We passed the Maamturks, giant beehive shaped heaps of quartzite, the range we were going to traverse, their steep slopes appearing almost insurmountable. Doubts began to crowd my mind like dark shadows as the taxi from Leenane that dropped us near Maam Cross sped away. Was I equal to the task of completing this punishing traverse? The lonely call of a cuckoo out on the heath served only to heighten my unease as we set off carrying 10 kilo packs to trek 25 km of the most challenging terrain in Ireland.

The steep pull up Corcogemore was compensated by views of a shimmering world of deep blue lakes set amid the bog, and Joyce’s Country away to the east, wave upon wave of purple-green mountains, their tops blushing apricot in the ebbing sun. Broken, rocky ground led to a ridge which descended towards Cruiscìn, a mere appendage of Mullach Glas, surmounted in minutes. Atop Mullach Glas the views toward the ragged Atlantic coastline were sublime. Through bleary eyes stinging with unshed tears, rising above the cloud on the distant horizon I spied land floating mysteriously between sea and sky like Tír na nÓg: the Brandon Range in Dingle.

Dropping SW into a col we headed for Binn Mhór, the highest top, passing lakes teeming with tadpoles. At Binn Ramhar, we located a large cairn illuminated by a blazing sunset that marks the start of the treacherous steep descent to Maumeen Lake. Celtic crosses silhouetted against the darkening sky guided us up to the small chapel above the lake, a perfect place to fire up our stove, replenish water supplies and bivy overnight.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Knockowen: October 2016
davsheen 4 days ago.
View of the impressive Glanrastel valley from the side of Knockowen

  
Summit Comment
Cloghernagh: Picture
davsheen 4 days ago.
Cloghernagh Walk Nov 2016

  
Summit Summary
Robber's Pass Hill: Minor heathery lump. Overcivilised and underwhelming.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a week ago.
This oddly named hill is more a very minor heathery bump incorporated into the system of tracks laid out by the Wicklow Mountains National Park. It can be reached from any of the western car-parks...

Summit Comment
Cupidstown Hill: Enhance this with a visit to Oughterard
Bunsen7 3 days ago.
Yes, perhaps this is not a very noteworthy hill. Cupidstown and Saggart Hill represent largely forest topped outliers of the Dublin/Wicklow range split from higher summits to the East by the N81. ...

  
Track
Route to Claggan NE Top
Onzy 5 days ago.
walk, Len: 8.0km, Climb: 2m, Area: Claggan Mountain NE Top, North Mayo (Ireland...

  
Track
Near South Cork (Ireland)
sean_debarra 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 0.8km, Climb: 15m, Area: South Cork (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Farbreague: from Arderin
ewen a week ago.
Walked to Farbreague from Arderin. There is a track that some kind soul has marked with sticks and ribbon. When I say track, it is really a worn down trough in the bog.The multicoloured pipe at th...

  
Track
Slievemore Circuit
Onzy 5 days ago.
Route over Slievemore descending over rough grouns to the SE for variety. walk, Len: 8.1km, Climb: 639m, Area: Slievemore, Achill/Corraun (Ireland) Sliev...

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee: Fore!!!
ewen a week ago.
Did from the Wicklow gap car park following track 2378.This starts immediately opposite the top entrance to the car park next to the main road. 5 days before there had been snow but now the path w...

Summit Comment
Brandon Hill: Grand on Brandon!
MountainBoy a week ago.
Me and my Dad climbed this from the farm track off the Graiguenamanagh-Instioge road on 26/11/16. Right after we got out of the car, we were faced with the dilemma of whether to go straight ahead ...

  
Track
Knockchree
David-Guenot 2 weeks ago.
An easy one to bag, but a gate/fence to cross at the top and some cows in the field (hopefully no bull), so it may be ... walk, Len: 3.6km, Climb: 127m, Area: Knockchree, Mourne Mountains (Ireland) K

  
Summit Comment
Croaghmoyle: Easy walk up to great views
Fergal Meath a week ago.
Low lying cloud/mist/fog discouraged me from putting the effort into going up Nephin today. On the way home I parked at the start of the Croaghmoyle service road and followed it past a wind turbin...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>