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Places:Start at V70941 78883, end at Start Logged as completed by 1
Access Notice Maurice Breen, who farms at the northern end of Cloon Lake in Co. Kerry has asked if walkers planning to ascend Mullaghanattin from that point could so by following the stream at V708783 up the hill as shown on this track. Please do not ascend from the northern end of the lake V709788 or the farm road nearby at V708785, as both these routes involve a number of fence crossings and there is often a bull in the fields. Maurice has had problems in the past with damage to his fences. He is happy to have walkers on his land, as long as people act responsibly. Info via Mountaineering Ireland, Nov 2015.
How could 22km take 15 hours even with numerous stops for photos and shooting videoing? Well the Cloon Horseshoe can when the terrain is some of the most challenging in Ireland and the final part is completed in the dark! The route we took starts at the eastern end of Cloon Lough where there is parking just before the road bridge over the river. From here cross the bridge and continue southwards along the road past a farm track and head up SE at V70835 78394 across the bog beside a stream toward the slopes of Beann NE Top. The later part of the ascent to Beann NE Top is very steep (even reminiscent of the pull up from the infamous Col of Despondency in the Maamturks!) and this is followed by a steep descent and ascent of Mullaghanattin to the east. After the descent from Mullaghanattin it is possible to contour around Beann NE Top to avoid re-climbing it and head for the main Beann top. The route then follows a line SW crossing Beann SW Top, Beann Far SW Top, Caora Bhán (Sallagh) and An Corrán (Finnararagh) with the terrain getting progressively harder as you go. The main problems are numerous rocks ridges and faulted ravines which result in detours and back tracking in places (especially near to the summits of Caora Bhán and An Corrán). There is a spell of relief crossing a flattish grassy plateau after descending from An Corrán but this soon degenerates into tussocks, eroded peat hags and boggy ground before yet more rock ridges in the vicinity of Coomnacronia, where we watched the sunset over Knockmoyle. By the time we left Coomnacronia the light had begun to fade and negotiating peat hags in the col between this summit and Coomura Mountain, our final summit of the day, was taxing. It was fully dark when we reached the top of Coomura Mountain just as the moon began to set and here the main ‘fun’ began as we descended. In the darkness we had to navigate carefully using compass bearings (using the stars as sighting points) and pacing the distance to find the northern ridge of Coomura Mountain. Care is needed here as there as there are sheer cliffs to the east and west of the summit. We took a bearing of 65 degrees from the summit and walked 370 metres at V67984 75434 where we turned northwards and descended on a bearing of 010 degrees. The ground here descends rapidly with numerous rocky cliffs which have to be out flanked; a hard job in the dark even with head torches. The ground between these cliffs was often full of sly patches of bog or wet tussocks of grass. Just before reaching the base of the ridge we took a stream gully heading NE at V68231 76595. This soon got even worse than the ground encountered on the ridge with wet ground, long grass entangled around hidden alder saplings and rocks and ditches obscured by the vegetation. Eventually at V69270 77282 we met with a fence and crossed into a field and after a short distance picked up an old track way along the western shore of Cloon Lough which led us back to our car. This route needs ample time as distances which on maps look doable, are in actual fact much further than they appear to be because of the unrelenting nature of the terrain. In mist or in darkness (!!) the difficulties are amplified. For a taste of this route and the adjacent Mangerton’s see kernowclimber’s blog on kernowclimber.blogspot.ie and our video on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/102921209 or on Youtube at http://youtu.be/iiovo-tLcp0
Uploaded on: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 (21:04:42) Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2604/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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 6h 54m + 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.