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Martin and I have .. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)
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kernowclimber
2013-01-22 00:07:54
"View from the slopes of Maumtrasna" from kernowclimber Expand pics
View from the slopes of Maumtrasna (Expand pics)
A Date With the Devil
The Devil’s Horseshoe is an 18 km circular walk in the Paltry Mountains, heart of Joyce Country, which takes in 5 summits all over 500m. This is a tough and challenging climb due to the uncompromising terrain and often fickle weather conditions.

We began our walk at the Glennacally Bridge and followed the rain swollen Glennacally River across saturated bog to the confluence of it and the Glenfree River, also in spate and carefully crossed, after which we headed straight uphill on the very steep NW spur of Maumtrasna. The summit sits atop a broad stony plateau that offered uninterrupted views of snow dusted Croagh Patrick, the Sheffrys, Mweelrea and Ben Bury. A long walk across partially frozen bog brought us to Glennagleragh Mountain, a pretty nondescript mound. Here we witnessed a cloud inversion which filled the Fooey Valley, an ethereal sight that left just the tops of Ben Beg and Bunnacunneen visible.

The cloud soon began to boil up from below, periodically snatching our view, but Knocklaur was clear when we arrived at the summit. The very steep descent from the summit in wet and slippery conditions, especially as the cloud began to stealthily envelop the landscape, required concentration as the track passes close to some precipitous drops into the Glennacally Valley. The route up to the Devil’s Mother was an unrelenting steep climb in wind driven mist blowing viciously up through the col. Predictably, there was no view from the summit, but never mind, I had kept my date with the Devil!

From Devil’s Mother we headed for the ridge that connects it to the North Top, which traverses very boggy, undulating ground. Through the shifting mist we gained fleeting views of Glennacally Valley and Killary Harbour, resplendent in shades of battleship grey and rust red in the fading sunlight. After gaining the North Top, we began the steep descent to the valley floor, initially following a grassy ramp then picking the least stony and steep route down to intersect an old peat track that led to the main road. Conditions were particularly bad, the saturated ground oozing slime making it impossible to avoid slipping. We completed the last part of the route in head torches, arriving back at our car in darkness.

We did this circuit in just under 9 hours, our speed slowed considerably by the sodden and icy nature of the ground and very slippery conditions on all descents. If you plan to undertake this route, it is best done in summer when the slopes are drier and the days longer, and we would advise winter climbers to give serious consideration to wearing helmets on the descent from the North Top, as slipping is pretty inevitable and a bad fall will almost certainly result in serious injury.

But don’t let that put you off what is one of Ireland’s most rewarding horseshoe routes. The views from the summits are some of the best in the island and well worth the effort of a steep climb up almost from sea level.


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Summit Comment
Farbreague: from Arderin
ewen 5 days ago.
Walked to Farbreague from Arderin. There is a track that some kind soul has marked with sticks and ribbon. When I say track, it is really a worn down trough in the bog.The multicoloured pipe at th...

  
Summit Summary
Robber's Pass Hill: Minor heathery lump. Overcivilised and underwhelming.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 3 days ago.
This oddly named hill is more a very minor heathery bump incorporated into the system of tracks laid out by the Wicklow Mountains National Park. It can be reached from any of the western car-parks...

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee: Fore!!!
ewen 6 days ago.
Did from the Wicklow gap car park following track 2378.This starts immediately opposite the top entrance to the car park next to the main road. 5 days before there had been snow but now the path w...

Summit Comment
Brandon Hill: Grand on Brandon!
MountainBoy 6 days ago.
Me and my Dad climbed this from the farm track off the Graiguenamanagh-Instioge road on 26/11/16. Right after we got out of the car, we were faced with the dilemma of whether to go straight ahead ...

  
Summit Comment
Croaghmoyle: Easy walk up to great views
Fergal Meath a week ago.
Low lying cloud/mist/fog discouraged me from putting the effort into going up Nephin today. On the way home I parked at the start of the Croaghmoyle service road and followed it past a wind turbin...

  
Forum: General
Slieve Binnian - more track work ?
gernee 5 days ago.
Revisited Slieve Binnian for the first time in years on Friday - frost underfoot, blue skies and rolling mist contributed to a great walk, despite disappointment at seeing some of the track work u...

User profile
ewen
ewen 5 days ago.
Now living furth of Scotland and getting to know the Irish hills. If you come across a Scottish hill Walker with dodgy knees and walking sedately, stop and say hello.

  
Summit Comment
Ben of Howth: Loop walk starting from Howth Harbour
Joshua3 a week ago.
There is a nice loop walking signposted from Howth Harbour taking in the cliff path, summit and going close to the top of the Ben. The Black Linn walk is about 8 km and comfortably completed in un...

  
Track
Binnian-Lamagan Loop
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 23.1km, Climb: 1364m, Area: Wee Binnian, Mourne Mountains (Ireland) ...

Track
Spelga Loop
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 12.7km, Climb: 739m, Area: Pigeon Rock Mountain, Mourne Mountains (I...

  
Summit Comment
Carrigroe: Sea of cloud
Kennyj a week ago.
Unusual low cloud today heading towards Carrigroe

  
Summit Comment
Stags of Broadhaven (central): Climbing
IainMiller a week ago.
The Archipelago of the Stags of Broadhaven are a group of five steep rock islands with Teach Dónal ÓCléirigh rising to a height of 97m above the atlantic. The Stags live about 2.5km north of the c...


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