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Carrauntoohil Mountain Corrán Tuathail A name in Irish
(Ir. Corrán Tuathail [GE], 'Tuathal's sickle' [OSNB]) County Highpoint of Kerry In County Highpoint, Arderin, Vandeleur-Lynam Lists

Height: 1038.6m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 78 Grid Reference: V80363 84421 This summit has been logged as climbed by 1396 members. Recently by: OSchmedt, bohstom, k_mcdermott, nikolai, chuckie, jcincork, atlantic73, Hilldweller, dr_banuska, joanfahern, MacGregor, Mick_Kelleher, rjhocking, donalhunt, tryfan
I have climbed this summit: YES (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -9.7427, Latitude: 51.999448 Prominence: 1038.59m,   Isolation: 0.4km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 480339 584480,   GPS IDs, 6 char: Crnthl, 10 char: Crnthl

Just as the summit of Ireland's highest mountain is often covered in mist, its name is shrouded in uncertainty. Unlike some lesser peaks, such as Mangerton or Croagh Patrick, it is not mentioned in any surviving early Irish texts. P.W. Joyce suggests that meaning of this name is 'inverted reaping hook' and that this sense can be appreciated from the middle of the Hag's Glen. He proposes that the reaping hook is inverted in the sense that it is convex rather than concave [Irish Names of Places, vol. i, p. 6]. The serrated ridges which run up the north face of Carrauntoohil are certainly amongst its most distinctive features and are therefore likely to have given name to the mountain. However, the image of a 'convex reaping-hook' is a very odd and complex one on which to base a place-name, and the use of tuathal to mean inverted, while found in dictionaries, seems to be without parallel in other Irish place-names. It seems more likely that the second element is simply the personal name 'Tuathal' as John O'Donovan believed. This forename was common in Medieval Ireland and is the basis of the surname Ó Tuathail (O'Toole). It also occurs in Lios Tuathail (Listowel, Co. Kerry) and Carraig Thuathail (Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork), which the Flanagans interpret in both cases as a personal name (Irish Place Names). Intriguigingly, one of the earliest accounts to mention Ireland's highest mountain, written by Isaac Weld in 1812, refers to it as 'Gheraun-tuel', which suggests that the first element was not corrán, but rather géarán, 'fang', which is found in the name of several other Kerry mountains. On the basis of this one reference, it is difficult to say whether this represents an earlier form of the name or whether it was a corruption. For further information on the name, see Paul Tempan, Some Notes on the Names of Six Kerry Mountains, JKAHS, ser. 2, vol. v (2005), 5-19.   Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland. Carrauntoohil is the highest point in county Kerry.

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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Carrauntoohil in area MacGillycuddy
Picture: Looking across to the Eastern Reeks Ridge from Carrauntoohil summit.
 
The Top of Ireland.
Short Summary created by Harry Goodman  12 Dec 2011 In the past the most used way up Carrauntoohil was by the Devil's Ladder. In recent years notices have been posted strongly advising that this route should be avoided both in the interests of safety (loose rock) and avoidance of further erosion. Route 1: The Zig Zags. Park at V837 873 (Point A) Cronin's Yard (charge) and follow the track SW. After 900m cross a small stream and then, shortly after, the Gladdagh River. Continue on a relatively gentle walk up between L. Gouragh and L. Callee towards the rocky gash marking the Devil's Ladder. At V812 841 (Point B) take a ramp left up to the start of the Zig Zags V815 841 (Point C). Follow the winding track up to the plateau V81400 83450 (Point D). Turn right (W) to cross Cnoc na Toinne top and then down NW to the col at the top of the Devils Ladder V80700 83650 (Point E). Go NW up the steep bare slope to V804 841 (Point F) and then NNW to the top. Route 2: Park off road V771 871 (Point G) at the start of the concrete Hydro Road and follow up to L. Iochtair. Go S and then SE up the long spur to Caher West Top, Caher summit and it's third top before dropping down SE and then E for a superb walk around the head of Cooloughra Glen. Keeping the edge of the ridge to the left follow around and the go up NE to the summit cross. Return by way of ascent. For those so inclined this route also opens up a return by way of the arete to Beenkeragh and then down over Skregmore and Cnoc Iochtair to L. Iochtair and the Hydro Road (An anti clockwise circuit of the Coomloughra Horseshoe.)
Point A: V837 873 Point B: V812 841 Point C: V815 841
Point D: V81400 83450 Point E: V80700 83650 Point F: V804 841
Point G: V771 871

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The record breaking ascent/descent pt I
by Conor74  11 Aug 2011 Got this email from a friend who does the IMRA race up and down Carrauntoohil. It goes up the Lack Road, across to Curraghmore, on to Caher and then to Carrauntoohil. Oh and then back down again of course!

The Man of the Mountain by Jonathan Beverly
As featured in the September 2011 issue of Running Times Magazine

In 1988, the second year in the modern mountain running era that a race was run up the 1,039m peak, John Lenihan, a dairy farmer from the nearby hills , blew away the field and set a time of 71:43 for the round-trip to the cross atop and back, a time that has never been broken. Lenihan went on to win the race 14 times in a row and 19 times in all before retiring when the course was changed in 2010, only losing outright twice in that streak.

Lenihan wasn’t a newcomer to racing that first year in Carrauntoohil. “My first taste of mountain running was on Peel mountain in the isle of Mann in 1983 when I won the isle of Mann Easter athletics race to the summit and back,” he recalls. “I repeated this victory in 1985 and then came back to Ireland to win the Sligo warriors mountain race.” He remembers that race as significant because of the 1,000-pound prize purse and because he beat the then reigning world mountain champ Kenny Stewart. Lenihan went on to win the world mountain championship himself when it was held in Switzerland in 1991.

Lenihan recalls some of the more difficult years: “I broke my leg in October 1999 and was kept in hospital for a week, however two weeks later I resumed training each day doing laps of the field with my crutches. I got the cast off mid-December and I won the first race of the new millennium in Kerry on January 1st. I was very nervous facing the Carrauntoohil race in June 2000 as I hadn’t been past the accident site since it happened, as I approached the area on race day I had to focus with all my might to try and maintain my composure. That day it was a very mentally exhausting experience for me.”

On other difficult years, Lenihan recalls, “I was very sick one year with the flu but I can’t remember what year it was. I couldn’t make up my mind if I would compete or not and then I decided that I would go and see how I felt when I got there. I felt no better but decided I would start out in the race and see how I felt. After a mile or two warm-up, I remember standing under a hedge in the shade watching everyone warming up and I just wanting to go to bed. Many people tried to convince me that it was too dangerous to take part as I was feverish. Strangely enough, I managed to win that day but it was sheer torture and I think it took me weeks to recover.
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Climbed via zig-zag route
by deirdre.obrien  24 Sep 2012 Climbed Carrauntoohil yesterday as part of a group. Weather was great - slight cloud on top but that was all. Started from Cronins Yard and went up and down via zig zags. It was a lovely route. I was certainly glad I didn't go up or down the devils ladder. We saw a couple at the top wearing jeans and had no jackets/bags etc. So they can't have had much water. Saw them make their way down the devils ladder. They were lucky the weather was good.
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Carrauntoohil in area MacGillycuddy
by lewvalton  7 Jan 2008 Ridge up to Beenkeragh starting behind the great pillar of the Hag's Tooth (guide books we had call it the Hag's Tooth ridge) is a superb scramble. Go up to it via the steep grassy gully up to the right of the Tooth's base. Arete is longer and somewhat more testing than Brandon's Faha ridge, though perhaps slighly less exposed, but still overall within the same band of difficulty (for scramblers familiar with the UK grades it's a moderate Grade 2). The upper section breaks into two distinct ridges - we took the left hand one. More sustained scrambling here, though again not difficult. Views across to Carrauntoohil and back down to the Hag's Tooth are absolutely stupendous. Beenkeragh ridge to Carrauntoohil is much easier, though exposed if you choose to skyline it, and has all difficulties avoidable by path on the right until the large pinnacle towards the end. To skyline it is not as hard as it looks, otherwise is avoidable at mid height on the left (Coomloughra) flank. Again, works out much easier than first appears. Simple walk up to the summit from there. Magnificent views. Unlike mountains in, say, the Lake District, the great Kerry peaks rise in relative isolation unhemmed by other groups and the views, with the sea so near, are incredibly extensive - you really feel as if you're on the roof of the world. Descent via the hugely eroded Devil's Ladder truly awful. Book suggested 'The Bone' as better alternative. Couldn't be worse.

Why are the Reeks not part of the Killarney National Park?
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by milo  29 Jul 2002 In about 12 ascents I've never used the Devil's Ladder. Reduce erosion damage by opting for one of the many safe alternatives.
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Carrauntoohil in area MacGillycuddy
 
by Sparkey  8 Mar 2010 BEENKERAGH RIDGE WALK
In Killorglin over the Bridge that crosses the river go up the hill a bit & take the left hand turn at the Bianconni Inn, Turn right along this road to Glencar. Continue on up this road to where you will meet a Y in the road. Continue on from this where you will see a wooden gate on your LH side. The pathway you are on is up to the Hydro station. 20 minutes of hard slog up this brings you to the foot of Skregmore on your left. Ahead is Caher & if your gaze follows the ridge from Caher along to the left to Carrauntoohil you should be able to make out the imposing slope of the Beenkeragh ridge. From here turn to your right & make for the lowest part of Caher across a small boggy area. Try to veer right following a rough stony path. A distinct path can be seen here leading up to along slope to Caher above you. The last few 100 mts should be taken slowly as conditions underfoot will make for slow progress. From Caher the rest of the ridge walk can be seen. A steep descent will bring you to a clear path about 100 mts from Carruantoohil. After reaching the top clearly marked with a cross Beenkeragh ridge can be seen below to the left. Retrace your steps a bit down the slope until Caher is on you left with the cross behind you to the right and the beginnings of the ridge is directly below and in front you. From here along the ridge care must be taken as there is ample opportunity for mistakes. If the weather has turned for the worse or time is against you it would be advisable to turn back along the route you've come because this ridge is very exposed and high winds or rain will slow you up considerably. Most of this ridge is either scrambling up and along rock or bone jarringly picking your way down steep rocky slopes. The whole Beenkeragh section of the walk deserves a lot of concentration and respect due to the underfoot conditions but none more so than the first hour or so. If in doubt of the path try to stay to the left of the ridges-but there will be times where you will be forced to the right ! While the path may drop down only to climb again the alternative of climbing along and over the rocks should only be undertaken by those who do not suffer from vertigo. This whole section is a series of dips and rises until a rise first of Skregmores peaks at 851 mts is reached up some large scattered slabs. The second peak of Skregmore at 848 mts is directly in front of you but we took a bearing directly west along the side of a slope here which will bring you to the last rise of Skregmore at 747 mts . Keeping directly west at all times with Lough Eighter below to your left pick your way carefully down a path worn by sheep as you zig zag down to the gate near the Hydro station . The short but steep walk down the partially concreted path brings you down to the Gate at the road again.
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(End of comment section for Carrauntoohil.)

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