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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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User profile
magicstep
magicstep 13 hours ago.
A leisure climber, I take it easy. If I climb something big then in a good weather only and spend lot's of time on top of the hill picnicking, enjoying the views and taking pictures. Mostly I walk...

  
Summit Comment
Gortnagan Beg: A worthy 500
thomas_g 15 hours ago.
Gortnagan Beg turned out to be my 500th peak. The bog was dryish, the rain threatened but waited until I got back to the car and the midges had other targets; what more could you ask for.The peak ...

  
Summit Summary
Gortnagan Beg: Small hill with great views
Collaborative entry Last edit by: thomas_g 16 hours ago.
Gortnagan Beg might be diminutive in stature but has fine views and some steep ground.The best approach is from the NE where there is a stile on the roadside. Parking is scarce so the best option ...

Track
Gortnagan Beg from Cappanlea
thomas_g 16 hours ago.
walk, Len: 5.0km, Climb: 219m, Area: Gortnagan Beg, MacGillycuddy's Reeks (Irel...

  
Summit Summary
Camaderry South East Top: Steep climb, sorry trail, great views.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 2 days ago.
There's a number of ways to reach the top such as starting from the main, paying, carpark near the Glendalough lake at around T1115 9635. Going straight up from here more or less north there is an...

  
Summit Comment
Kirikee Mountain: Kirikee from the NW.
simon3 2 days ago.
From the ridge south of Derrybawn there is this NW view of Kirikee.Courtesy of siteviewer_comreg.ie we can find the owner of this mast: Three Ireland.The amusing conjunction with the cairn below t...

Track
Galtymore & Galtybeg from King's Yard
conrad1179 2 days ago.
run, Len: 11.8km, Climb: 670m, Area: Galtymore, Galty Mountains (Ireland) Galty...

  
Summit Summary
Brockagh Mountain SE Top: Flattish height NW of Laragh with views, boggy paths a
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 2 days ago.
Situated at the south eastern tip of a spur from Tonelagee it therefore commands wonderful views out over Laragh to the south east and Glenmacnass valley and waterfall to the north. Glendalough is...

  
Summit Comment
Carrickarede: Island.
sandman 4 days ago.
Carrickarede island is connected to the mainland by the world famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. One of Northern Ireland's top tourist attractions it is operated by the National Trust but unfortun...

Track
BRANDON HILL - THE QUICK WAY
David-Guenot 4 days ago.
A steep but quick ascent along the forestry on rocky terrain, along what I believe has been dug as a firebreak rather ... walk, Len: 5.0km, Climb: 305m, Area: Brandon Hill, South Midlands (Ireland) B

  
Summit Comment
Inishmeane: The concrete road thru the village
magicstep 5 days ago.
Part of the village, about 10 houses in total.

  
Summit Comment
Inishmeane: Not much to do, a tranquil place.
magicstep 5 days ago.
Visited in 2014. There's a sandy beach and a solid pier with slipway and a picnic table facing the mainland. The road from the pier all the way thru the village is a robust concrete one, but it's ...


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