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The summits shown .. by simon3   (Show all posts)
The Mourne Mountai.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
I saw this notice .. by mcrtchly   (Show all posts)
The Dolomites are .. by simon3   (Show all posts)
Yesterday evening,.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
kernowclimber
2011-07-25 20:26:51
"Loneliness is an island named Scariff" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Loneliness is an island named Scariff (Expand pics)
The Islands of Adventure
The islands off Kerry’s coast are bathed by the Gulf Stream with a climate that is fickle, often tempestuous, but utterly seductive. An extraordinary light plays on them; their forms change continuously in response to kaleidoscopic weather patterns. Some are easily accessible, others not so. Puffin and Scarriff islands, both uninhabited, are seldom visited. The first is an important nature reserve; access is restricted by BirdWatch Ireland. Scarriff, remoter still, is a world away. Here, feral goats roam the tangled vegetation and abandoned cottages stare forlornly across restless seas as the only reminders of past habitation.

On a calm murky day, a rib boat left Portmagee with 3 BirdWatch Ireland members and 7 intrepid MVers aiming to scale 2 offshore summits. The distinctive whaleback Puffin Island with its black, rugged cliffs soon loomed out of the mist, its cliff-face vantage points home to noisy colonies of Atlantic Puffin, Manx Shearwater, choughs and gulls; their raucous calls filled the air. The island looked impossible to land on, the sea sucking greedily at slimy rocks as the rib pulled into a rocky inlet. Care was needed to scramble ashore followed by a steep climb up a cliff gully. The vivid emerald ground of spongy moss and wiry grass is honeycombed with the burrows of rabbits, Puffins and Manx Shearwaters.

The summit was easily attained, offering fine views and a sense of glorious isolation. A silvery luminescence periodically bathed the mainland that shimmered in and out of the mist, revealing cliffs and zawns gouged out by the merciless Atlantic. The wind bore the rhythmic chugging of fishing boat engines. The lesser peak opposite rises dramatically from a deep narrow inlet that almost dissects the island, with sheer cliffs either side. Mesmerised, we watched the antics of hundreds of puffins just feet away, amused by their colourful beaks and comical expressions as they stared quizzically at us, unconcerned by our presence.

The rib thumped over the restless waves towards Scarriff, scattering seabirds that protested nosily. Eventually the island appeared, summit shrouded in mist. The rib slowed, the eerie shrieks and wails of seabirds rent the air as we glided beneath towering cliffs bathed by seas of petrol blue, spotting sea urchins, jellyfish and seals in the clear water. The unnerving solitude of cliffs and sea and the utter desolation of the place seemed carved into the old steps leading ashore.

The terrain was different here: knee deep grass, ferns, heather and furze. The nondescript summit, shrouded in mist, was attained after an easy 1.6 km climb. The forlorn shells of abandoned cottages down slope and the constant low moaning of the sea engendered a sense of sadness, leavened only by the soft purring of a male Storm Petrel discovered in a wall crevice. Our departure signalled this Atlantic outcast’s return to its eternal loneliness. This special day will be etched forever in my memory. Thank you, Wicklore.
A day rich in ente.. by Peter Walker   (Show all posts)
Had a wonderful da.. by Conor74   (Show all posts)
It's almost 6 am, .. by Conor74   (Show all posts)
Yesterday evening .. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>
Forum: General
Crazy Hounds
roscorrocket 17 hours ago.
Only getting round to posting this now, as other factors intervened, but last Friday (July 14th) when coming towards the end of a circuit of five of the Mournes seven sevens, I watched in amazemen...

  
Summit Comment
Curra Hill: Cloudy Climb
andreos97 17 hours ago.
Fantastic walk, personally feel it's best starting your approach from Glenbeigh village and heading up through the forest as it's quite well signposted. Once leaving the cover of the trees, we wer...

  
Track
Day 19 Germany Trip
simoburn a day ago.
walk, Len: 18.6km, Climb: 1844m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

Summit Comment
Cnoc Lios Uachtair: Connemara in the round
fieldoptic a day ago.
An easy to access and navigate hill, well worth it for its central position and views in every direction. Park as previously suggested at L8530 4820 and head north east before swinging north. The ...

  
Track
Day 17 Germany Trip
simoburn a day ago.
walk, Len: 25.3km, Climb: 1873m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

  
Summit Comment
Cnoc Mordáin: Long Connemara Summer Evening
fieldoptic a day ago.
Though the road near L88003920 appears unfenced you will encounter a fence very soon after leaving the road. This fence extends along this back road, Bothar na Scrathóg and keeps cattle in typical...

Track
Day 16 Germany Trip
simoburn a day ago.
walk, Len: 28.6km, Climb: 2693m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

  
Summit Comment
Ballinacorbeg: Worth a brief visit
Bunsen7 4 days ago.
Pleasantly surprised by this, could clearly see Lugnaquilla and Croaghanmoira, as well as numerous other summits, slightly awkward entry into the fields just west of the forest which don't appear ...

  
Track
Day 15 Germany Trip
simoburn a day ago.
walk, Len: 22.0km, Climb: 1941m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

Summit Comment
Ballinafunshoge: Eastern View
Bunsen7 4 days ago.
Tree felling has opened up this view of the Vartry reservoir and the east coast from just below the summit of Ballinfunshoge. The Wicklow way runs left to right (southwards) just a few hundred met...

  
Track
Day 13 Germany Trip
simoburn a day ago.
walk, Len: 16.5km, Climb: 1320m, Area: Austria, Vorarlberg ()

  
Forum: General
This just arrived today in the post...
ColinCallanan a day ago.
Thought I'd treat myself to the printed version, and it's good we can support MV in this way. Looking forward to reading all the nice articles in print. There's something nice about reading "off-s...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>