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Another top five1. Brandon
I have climbed Brandon over 20 times, more than any other Irish mountain, and I hope I live to do it a good few more times. There is just so much to it: rugged landscape surrounded by the sea, a unique character and a palpible sense of history. I most recently climbed it with Marian, Michael and Eckhard last August as the culmination of a week-long walking tour on the Dingle Peninsula. There was a heavy drizzle all day and we knew there was little chance of it clearing. We just embraced the wet and went with it, and spent a lot of the walk philosophising. I don't think there was a word of complaint from anyone, just a lot of laughs. On other days I have been able to see as far as Achill from the summit of Brandon.
I love going up by O'Shea's Gully and down via the Heavenly Gates, also across the Bones from Beenkeragh. Happy days taking people from VTOS Tralee up there. Four years ago I did the zig-zags E of the Devil's Ladder with Denise and Yann. I know that other challenges await: the Black Mare, Curve and Central Gullies.
3. Slieve League
At my first attempt I bivouacked overnight at Bunglass, but the next morning I got 'power-hosed' off the mountain just before reaching the One Man's Pass. The torrential rain lasted for 3 hours. Memories of eating apple pie and cake in a cafe in Carrick, while the water running off my jacket formed pools on the floor. Being drenched, I decided against camping and thumbed a lift to Donegal Town and took a room. I needed that hot bath! I came back a few years later and loved the variegated cliffs, the spectacular route up from Bunglass via Keeringar and the ruins of the old church on top.
4. Skellig Michael
I've had the privilege of going here three times. I've never been to the very top, Cró na Snathaide, and probably never will. I just love the adventure of the boat journey, the beauty of the rock and the history of the stones. What a place to choose to live!
For my money, the finest mountain in Ulster after Slieve League. A fabulous array of cliffs and a second row of broken fangs. The woods below are beautiful too. Great views of Lough Foyle, Inishowen, Errigal, Islay and Jura. Did it the first time with Colin, and most recently with Belfast Friendship Club. Going back soon....
|1. Brandon. It jus.. by Peter Walker (Show all posts)|