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CaptainVertigo: Track 2647 in area near Tooth Mountain, Caha Mountains (Ireland)
Cumeengeera Variations
Length: 12.1km, Creator time taken: 6h11m, Ascent: 1049m,
Descent: 1012m

Places: Start at V75426 55335, Tooth Mountain, Coomacloghane, Eskatarriff, Eskatarriff East Top, Lackabane, Tooreenbaha, end at Start
Logged as completed by 1
The Cumeengeera Horsehoe

I will not waste your time by describing this wonderful route in any great detail. That has already been done many times, and, frankly, the only real issues concern the start and the finish and whether you will go clockwise or anti-clockwise. Instead I would like to tell you where I went wrong and where I went right, and, hopefully, this will help you decide how you will tackle the route.
I had left Cloghane under Mount Brandon at 4am and arrived at Rabach's Glen shortly after 6am. I had read all the stuff here and elsewhere, and studied the maps. The big question was "Where will I start?". It seemed to me that the minor car park at the end of the road into the valley (on one's left as one proceeds into the coum) looked like the nearest point to Tooth Mountain and would allow for the most direct method of ascent and descent: it would create the shortest circuit. I was not influenced by the fact that the landowners charge €4 because that seemed a reasonable sum to allow people park their cars on your property at all hours of the day and night. Arriving as I was at 6am it was in fact a relief to be sure that the expenditure of this nominal sum would give me some kind of status where, otherwise, I could be rightly told to take a running jump. I left my €4 dangling outside my car window in a transparent plastic bag marked "Parking Charge" which also contained my name and mobile telephone number. Just a few metres away was a modern bungalow. I now know that I ought to have gone through a gate on the right of the bungalow as I faced it (i.e. my right) but hearing barking dogs and fearing I would wake everyone in the neighbourhood I shot off to the left of the bungalow, towards Tooth Mountain, noticing that there was an old style two story farmhouse facing me, but to my left. I went though gates of what looked liked very used fields with sheds feeling very ill at ease. It wasn't long before I found myself fighting my way through dense whins and other vegatation on the left side of the river which contours around Tooth. It finally dawned on me that I needed to cross the river into the grassy field on the other side. Once I did that the rest was plain sailing. So please note, if you are ascending Tooth based on this standard route (Adrian Hendroff's route in reverse), park your car in the gravel car park, cross the entrance road and enter the field on the RIGHT of the bungalow, and up you go, staying on the right of the river.
The initial ascent is very taxing but you will eventually find yourself on a little plain that is surrounded by an attractive rim of mountain. Hendroff's route would have you go through a gap in the rim near the southern of the two spot heights 513. As I came around facing Tooth and following the river I noticed an attractive slope to my left (south of the chosen 513) and I decided to go up that way. There was a lot of rock and the slope got steeper, so that eventually I was scrambling, but it was never difficult or exposed and I found that I enjoyed the experience and I would think most of you would too. Once I was on top of the rim, the trot over to the summit was short and sweet.
There is only one sensible way to get from Tooth round to Lackabane (on the edge!!!!) and it must be one of the best walks in the country. I loved every minute of my time there in perfect weather conditions. If the whole route involves ascent of over 1000m you have nearly 600m out of the way by the time you crack Tooth. The final 400m of ascent is so spread out that it will not trouble you if you are reasonably fit.
I spent at least an hour and a half stopped just taking it all in.
Eventually you will descend off Lackabane to its col with Tooreenbaha. That descent gives extraordinary views by any standards. I ran up and down Tooreenbaha in minutes and then back to the col before beginning the painfully steep and slow descent back to my car. I failed to follow instructions for the traverse of the valley below and ended up wading through a grassy marsh.DON'T follow my crawl across the valley floor!
And now for my main observation. I had rejected simon3's route (Track 2225) believing that it was based on a (principled) desire to avoid payment for access rather than on sound hillwalking considerations. In fact his must be the better route because, even though it is longer, it allows for a gradual ascent of Tooth and a gradual descent from Tooreenbaha. Frankly the extra distance is a small price to pay for the avoidance of the severe ascent and descent and furthermore the extra slopes appear to be well worth visiting in their own right.
Postscript: when I returned to my car the money was still in its container. I knocked on the door of the bungalow. No one answered. So I pushed the little package through the letterbox and sailed off into the midday sun...Did I feel compromised? Not at all.

Uploaded on: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 (12:32:40)
Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2647/  
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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 10m + 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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