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gerrym: Track 2338 in area near Knocksheegowna, Comeragh Mountains (Ireland)
Knockanaffrin Ridge
Length: 15.8km, Creator time taken: 8h 5m, Ascent: 734m,
Descent: 738m

Places: Start at S28467 18025, Knocksheegowna, Knockanaffrin, Knockanaffrin South Top, end at Start
Logged as completed by 1

A superb walk in the stunning Comeragh Mountains with credit to John G. O'Dywer and his book "Tipperary & Waterford A Walking Guide" without which i would have been none the wiser.

A long and rough gravel and potholed lane brings a gated forest entrance with room for several cars. A highly informative notice board details looped walks in the area and the flora and fauna to be found. An old derelict scout hut stands off to the right and would have been a superb place for adventure in the past no doubt.

Follow signposted forest track as it heads towards a distant sharply defined peak beneath which nestles Lough Mohra. Meander ever higher on hillside on the slopes of Knocksheegowna, with the marker posts giving timings to the objective of the lough. Coming out of the trees into the sight of the track sweeping across the hillside towards Knockanaffrin brings an urgency to the step.

A metal stile is crossed and it is not until the last minute that Lough Mohra comes into view, nestled perfectly beneath the steep slopes that were gouged to create this resting place. The shimmering waters of the lough had a beauty on this warm day. Evidence of previous camping had me thinking it would be some spot to spend a night. The waters were too inviting and provided cool relief to hot and bothered feet. The water lapped gently in the breeze as I ate lunch.

Clouds raced over the sharp top as if it was an Everest tribute act (well in my mind anyway). Ravens circled and landed on the crags with sheep bleating in response. Reluctantly left the waters to head for the col between Knockanaffrin and Knocksheegowna. An old fenceline heads in that direction and views back over the lough made up for leaving its shores. All the forestry tracks were laid out and as hard as i tried could not see another soul.

Reach the col and pass rocky outcrops on way to the summit of Knocksheegowna. There is easy walking with stunning views westward to the Knockmealdown and Galtee Mountains. The sound of the breeze coming up through gullies was like a whisper telling me to lie down and close eyes in deference to the sun, which i could not resist. The trig pillar sits just below a finger of rock and gives views over an expanse of moor to Laghtnafrankee.

Drop back to col and a short climb brings the Knockanaffrin Ridge itself. Jumbled rocks and easy walking bring more jumbled rocks hiding the summit cairn, but not hiding the expansive views stretching northward over the low ground below. The ridge continues impressively towards the main Comeragh plateau further east and makes walking a pure pleasure.

Coumduala Lough appears far below standing out strikingly against the mountainscape. Drop down to the meeting of tracks at The Gap and cross the stile to head back the way have come but on the lowside. A track of sorts contours the hillside around the 460-500 metre mark and delivers the prize of Coumduala Lough up close and personal. A really peaceful place with waters sparkling in the sunlight and the flies dancing crazily when the breeze dropped, like the disco to end all discos with no music or people!

Drop down through all sorts of ground, not in a bad way though! Heading always towards the forest edge. As can be seen from the map I missed the first forest track and dropped further down towards the farm before entering the forest. It was then quite a long walk back through the forest tracks to the starting point. Met a fox here and he was definitely more surprised than me.

A great day weather wise made this a stunning walk. Highly recommended, not too difficult with easy walking for the most part. Fantastic views on the ridge and only met another couple on the length of the walk.

Uploaded on: Sat, 14 Sep 2013 (21:42:32)
Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2338/  
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Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 4h 23m + time stopped for breaks
Note: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

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British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
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"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here