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An Scraig: Waypoint on the Brandon Ridge


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Brandon Group Area
Maximum height for area: 952 metres,   Summits in area: 13,   Maximum prominence for area: 934 metres, OSI/LPS Maps: 70 For all tops   Highest summit: Brandon, 952m
Rating graphic.
Brandon Mountain Cnoc Bréanainn A name in Irish
(Ir. Cnoc Bréanainn [OSI], 'Brendan’s hill') Kerry County In Arderin, Vandeleur-Lynam, Irish Highest Hundred Lists

Height: 951.7m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 70 Grid Reference: Q46042 11605 This summit has been logged as climbed by 733 members. Recently by: jcincork, chalky, tomodub, kitchen, davidsmyth, chuckie, mcgradya, muddyboots, ballykilduff, guestuser, MacGregor, PollyM, Ulsterpooka, wwwalker, tryfan
I have climbed this summit: YES (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -10.254346, Latitude: 52.235107 Prominence: 934m,   Isolation: 0.6km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 446025 611658,   GPS IDs, 6 char: Brndn, 10 char: Brandon

Brandon is the only one of Kerry's 3,000 foot peaks located outside the Reeks. It is strongly associated in tradition with St. Brendan the Navigator, from whom it gets its name. The story of St. Brendan, who set sail from Ireland in a boat of wood and leather and found new lands to the west, was popular in many countries of medieval Europe. The mountain was the focus of a pilgrimage, which probably goes back to a time before both St. Brendan and the arrival of Christianty altogether. Its importance may be due to the fact that, being so far west and so high, it is the place where the sun can be seen the latest as it sinks below the horizon. Named Brandon Mountain on OS Discovery map. Called Sliabh nDaidche in Beatha Bhréanainn, St.Brendan's Life, where it is written that he spent three days on the mountain and that he was visited by an angel. It is described as being surrounded by the ocean, which fits well with the topography of Mount Brandon. Alan Mac an Bhaird has ingeniously interpreted mons Aitche as 'mountain of Faithche'. Brandon stands in Faha townland. For further information on the name Sliabh nDaidche, see Paul Tempan, Some Notes on the Names of Six Kerry Mountains, JKAHS, ser. 2, vol. v (2005), 5-19. For the archaeology of this mountain, including the Benagh promontory fort, the Saints' Road, the pilgrimage tradition and the links with St. Brendan, see Archaeology Ireland Heritage Guide No. 29 (published March 2005). For the pilgrimage tradition and customs associated with Brandon, see Máire MacNeill, The Festival of Lughnasa, 101-05.   Brandon is the highest mountain in the Brandon Group area and the 9th highest in Ireland. Brandon is the most westerly summit in the Brandon Group area.

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COMMENTS for Brandon 1 2 3 .. 8 Next page >>
MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Brandon in area Brandon Group, Ireland
Picture: Brandon from above Anascaul
A scenic ascent through a glacial valley
Short Summary created by jackill, scapania  30 Jul 2012 The most scenic route to the summit of Brandon, the Pilgrim's path, starts at the carpark under the Faha Grotto( Q493 119 (Point A)) on the hillside overlooking Cloghane. There is room for 8-10 cars.

Walk up the clear path past the grotto and on until you cross over a wire fence. At this point you will be near the crest of the ridge. Continue on the well marked lower path which will lead you around into the valley under the Faha ridge overlooking the Paternoster lakes.

At the top of this valley ,cross the stream, you will see a rocky, eroded, track leading up at the left-hand side, onto the col from where you turn left and climb approx 150 mtrs to the summit of Brandon.

An easier, but less exciting, route, the Saint's Road, comes up from An Baile Breac to the west. Park in the car park at Q434 094 (Point B) and follow the stations of the cross up grassy and boggy slopes to the summit.
Point A: Q493 119 Point B: Q434 094

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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Brandon in area Brandon Group, Ireland
Picture: Brandon Cairn
by Redtop  15 Sep 2009 My name is David and I am aged 8. I climbed Brandon with my family on a beautiful warm sunny day, starting at Faha Grotto and heading West towards the summit. As I have short legs and walked slowly, it took us nearly 7 hours round-trip. The hardest part was from the last lake scrambling up to the summit but we made it to the top. We saw people swimming in the lakes. I came down much faster and especially liked sliding down the steep bit just below the summit. My Dad had to hold on to me. I like to bring a rock from every climb home with me.
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Brandon in area Brandon Group, Ireland
Picture: Connemara across the Atlantic
View to Connemara and Mayo
by scapania  14 Apr 2010 I just thought I'd share this photo I took of the Connemara mountains from Brandon in brilliant conditions last week. The large detached landmass to the west must be Achill, almost 200km away! Its pretty rare to get any view from the top of Brandon let alone with visibility this great, other views extended up the Clare coast from the mouth of the Shannon to Black Head in the Burren, down the coast from the Blaskets, past the Skelligs, to Dursey at the end of Beara, all the way along the Iveragh mountains out into Cork, as far as the Nagles beyond Mallow, east to the Galtees (just about), not to mention the views closer at hand of Corca Duibhne and the corries and ridges of Brandon itself. I suppose it makes up for all the times the mist has been down and you couldn't even see 2 feet in front of you. Fantastic!
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Brandon in area Brandon Group, Ireland
Picture: Loch na Lice with Brandon disappearing in the clouds.
by liam  18 Mar 2007 Rather than bring two cars or face the long walk back to Faha, we decided to approach Brandon via the paternoster lakes starting at Q491083 (Point C), two miles SW of Cloghane. The lane beside the bridge leads to a gate warning of dangerous cliffs on Brandon, some of which close the vista ahead. Two gates later we crossed over to the Owenmore River and followed it to Loch Cruite where we forded the river and passed along the east side of the lake. The waterfall ahead looked intimidating at first but proved quite manageable close up. Crossing the river about two thirds of the way up brought us to the west side of Loch na Lice with a more serious clamber ahead. Keeping to the grassy slopes on the far left we arrived at lake no.3 with superb views back down the valley towards Slievanea in the distance. Up ahead the remaining steps looked and proved a lot easier but the head of the valley and Brandon had vanished in the descending cloud. Fortunately, near the sixth lake we picked up the Pilgrims' Path markers and followed them up to the ridge near Brandon, arriving three and a half hours after leaving the car. While longer than the Faha approach, the beauty of the lakes with the cliffs towering over them and the variety of the terrain made this an unmissable experience. Given the poor visibility on the top, the highlight there was probably the narrow ridge between Brandon Peak and Gearhane before we descended on the new road at Folach na Marbh to Mullach Bhéal leaving a mile's walk back to the car. Nearly eight hours for the round trip - a bit less if conditions, physiological and climatic were better.
Point C: Q491 083
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Brandon in area Brandon Group, Ireland
Picture: View of glacied valley and path to the summit + Brocken Spectre
from Faha Car Park to top and back
by marzka  1 May 2012 Getting there: From Tralee, follow the N86 road, follow signposts for Cloghan and just beyond the village (past the post office) take the first turn on the left which will lead you up to the Faha (An Fhaiche) car park.
The route is marked by an arrow through a gate onto the open mountainside. There are some white poles and other yellow arrow signs that indicate the route. The route first going gently along a slope then it reaches large glaciated valley full of towering cliffs, giant slabs of rocks and boulders. The valley floor consists of a series of small punchbowl corrie lakes. Then, a short scramble takes us out onto the Col on the side of Brandon and finally a short easy walk to the summit.
If the day is clear, the view must be magnificent but unfortunately when I was there the clouds covered the summit for whole day. At least I could observe the Brocken Spectre.
time: about 5 hours
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Brandon in area Brandon Group, Ireland
Picture: View from ridge at top of gully
by aburden  19 Sep 2005 The weather was excellent the day we went up which made for great views. we parked in 'The Grotto' car park, and followed our noses, it was very straight forward - plenty of markers and arrows along the way. Reaching summit before midday is recommended for best views. From car park, round trip, c.4hrs
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COMMENTS for Brandon 1 2 3 .. 8 Next page >>
(End of comment section for Brandon.)

OSi logo OSNI/LPS logo
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence)
"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here