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kernowclimber
2011-06-08 18:32:46
"Exhaustion creeping in!" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Exhaustion creeping in! (Expand pics)
Crossing Connemara’s Maamturks: Part Two
We slept fitfully due to the wind that gusted through the col that night. A watery sunrise and grey, chilly morning greeted us; Binn Ramhar’s top was wreathed in mist. We began the long haul up Binn Chaonaigh opposite. Close to the summit the cloud descended and an eerie silence enveloped us. With quartzite rock underfoot and the mist above, everything acquired a strange white luminescence. We plodded on along the gravely ridge leading to Binn idir an dá Log taking in Binn idir an dá Log SE Top en route.

The tricky descent to Lough Mhám Ochóige was an enjoyable challenge involving some mild scrambling. What a delight to see this indigo lake nestling it its corrie appear through the mist. And the immense serpentine coils of the Failmore River, sweeping verdant expanse of Gleann Fhada and the far section of the Maamturk Range beyond. Away to the left were Loughs Inagh and Lehanagh and the mighty Twelve Pins. Ahead, the brooding hulk of Knocknahillion lay in wait. We had completed half the traverse.

A steep pull brought us to the summit and this was followed by some pleasant airy walking across the quartzite ridge towards Letterbreckaun, taking in Cnoc na hUilleann North Top. Looking back at the magnificent landscape we had just crossed was humbling: deep corries gouged out of the face of white giants by glaciers that sliced through solid rock to create the deep valleys below. But the intense concentration required to negotiate the rocky terrain coupled with the exertion of carrying a heavy pack began to take its toll. We paused for something to eat and to treat more drinking water at Loughaunnagrevagh before summiting Letterbreckaun.

Fine scenery continued to ravish the eye: Loughs Kylemore and Fee and Killary Harbour, thin ribbons of indigo set in a sea of verdure hemmed in by mountains. But my heart sank when I saw the distance we still had to cover. The ridge of the NE Maamturks looked like a green tidal wave, threatening, insurmountable and in between, yet more ascent and descent, including the daunting prospect of the Col of Despondency.

How aptly named it is! With leaden legs I hauled myself ever upwards, digging deep into a reservoir of untapped resolve. The ridge was conquered, but ahead lay a gruelling descent over boggy ground to the Western Way and Leenane. The setting sun caught Mweelrea alight, the reddening skies as menacing as my mood. I cried with the fatigue and the pain and the sheer preposterousness of walking 25 km with over 2,500m of ascent carrying a 10 kilo pack.

As my aching feet hit the Western Way I wept with relief, to have completed the traverse; we were both down safely. I swore I’d never do it again. Ever. But never is a long time and half an hour later, sitting in a pub in Leenane nursing a creamy Guinness, smug with the afterglow of success, I’d already begun to forget the mental anguish and physical pain that had stalked me like the Grim Reaper in those mountains.
Connemara, Wilde’s.. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)
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Track
Pic Rouge de Bassiès
David-Guenot 9 hours ago.
This was the first of the two big hikes I did in the Pyrenees in summer 2016. Hiking in the summer often means a sunny d walk, Len: 16.3km, Climb: 1342m, Area: France, Midi-Pyr?n?es ()

  
Summit Summary
Seefin Mountain E Top: Up the old bog road.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 12 hours ago.
Car park space at R66276 16811. Over or around the gate and head uphill on a good track that crosses the hill near the summit.On the crest of the hill the summit cairn is over a wall to your right...

  
Summit Summary
Seefin Mountain W Top: Bog and rough ground.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 13 hours ago.
Car park space at R66276 16811. Over or around the gate and head uphill on a good track that crosses the hill near the summit of Seefin Mountain East top.Follow the track on downhill from the cres...

Summit Summary
Seefin South-East Top: Seefin South East Top is easily visited
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 13 hours ago.
Seefin South East Top is easily visited from the track leading to Seefin Mountain East Top and Seefin Mountain West Top which starts st R66276 16811. Just follow the track to R65202 17892 from whe...

  
Track
Knockmealdown Round - Out by the spine. Back by the belly.
GSheehy 2 days ago.
An early start had me on Crohan West at 08:00. It was a glorious morning. This is what Bowie meant by ?serious moonli... walk, Len: 45.8km, Climb: 1968m, Area: Crohan West, Knockmealdown Mountains (I

  
Summit Comment
Carnaween: The visitors book box near the summit
Aidy 4 days ago.
Just wanted to show the brilliantly constructed little box which contains the visitors book. It was too wet and windy on my visit to take it out and risk ruining it. A few shafts of light breaking...

Forum: General
MV Mountain Gathering 2017
Onzy 2 days ago.
Always a great night ... all welcome.

  
Summit Comment
Carnaween: Bad Weather Adding Drama To Great Views
Aidy 4 days ago.
I used the commonly taken route from Disert Graveyard (worth a visit in its own right) over ground that was alternatively boggy or pretty steep. It was freezing cold in these parts, with a strong ...

  
Summit Comment
Corrin: A family stroll.
David-Guenot a week ago.
Climbed this hill in November 2014, with a friend who used to live in the area. Starting at the Coillte car park, we did a nice loop on the forest paths, circling around the hill in an anticlockwi...

Track
Central Dingle Quartet from Anascual
Bunsen7 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 15.8km, Climb: 949m, Area: Stradbally Mountain, Central Dingle (Irel...

  
Summit Comment
Luggala: Fancy View from White Hill
davsheen 2 weeks ago.
Autumn's evening view across to Luggala/Fancy from White Hill on route down from Djouce using the Wicklow Way boardwalk section.

  
Summit Comment
Binn Charrach: The peat-hag capital of Connemara
markwallace 2 weeks ago.
The descent from Benbaun to the R344 via Knockpasheemore/Binn Charrach is hard going after a day in the Bens. The Knockpasheemore ridge looks nice and flat from below, but is boggy, undulating and...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 17 Next page >>