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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.
Hi There,
T.. by Jack Bauer   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>
Forum: General
Only 2 weeks to go
liz50 a day ago.
Mountainviews Members Meet on Saturday 7th October will be a hike around the the Corranabinnia/Glendahurk horseshoe in the Nephin Beg mountain range in Co Mayo. If you are interested in joining us...

  
Summit Comment
Westaston Hill: The top?
Barry a day ago.
I think the highest point is likely about 175 metres in a WSW direction from the mast. I'm judging this from aerial photography and DTM which shows a rocky outcrop in a small forest clearing. DTM ...

  
Summit Comment
Barranisky: Barniskea or Barniskey
Barry a day ago.
Might be worth adding that Ballymoyle Hill might be more appropriate name for this height. Called that in Coillte records. Whilst Barranisky is spelt thus on OS six inch maps, note that Hall Nevil...

Track
Wild SE Inishmore
simon3 a day ago.
This is a walk around the SE corner of Inishmore. The weather wasn't great so the photography was a bit limited due to d walk, Len: 12.8km, Climb: 161m, Area: Oile?in ?rann (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Gubacarrigan: Coastal Hill
sandman 6 days ago.
Your options for parking are numerous but a lay-by is located at L7648192513. It only takes a few minutes to reach the cliff edge and on to the summit but as evident from the tracts along the edge...

  
Track
Pic d'Anie
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 16.0km, Climb: 1027m, Area: France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine ()

Summit Comment
Rosgalliv Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 6 days ago.
For the Mountain View members who will be joining Liz50 for her walk on 7/10/17 why not get there a few minutes earlier in order to visit this small hill with its Megalithic Tomb . Parking is avai...

  
Track
Pic et Lacs d'Ayous
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 20.2km, Climb: 1113m, Area: France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine ()

  
Forum: General
a man's word
BleckCra 2 days ago.
Aidan thanks. Good to hear from you. There's a kind of accuracy in your translation even although there isn't. Still, it's close and ants aren't.There are essentially 3 titles for hills in Irish.S...

Summit Comment
Rostoohy Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 6 days ago.
The summit area with its hill fort and views across the bay.

  
Track
Pic des Trois Seigneurs
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 9.7km, Climb: 904m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Summit Comment
Rostoohy Hill: Coastal Hill
sandman 6 days ago.
Parking where appropriate make your way the short distance along the foreshore to L9531390160 where ascent to the hill exists as shown in the photo. You will encounter a small stone drinking well ...


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