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CaptainVertigo: Track 3089 in area near Faha Ridge, Brandon Group (Ireland)
Faha Ridge Peak
Length: 6.9km, Creator time taken: 4h12m, Ascent: 810m, Descent: 749m
Places:Start at Q49393 11990, end at Start Logged as completed by 1
This is a basic "up and down" route to the peak on the infamous Faha Ridge. The summiteer completing the Highest Hundred, Vandeleur Lynam or Arderin Lists cannot avoid some portion of this ridge. You'll notice that while I traversed from nearby Benagh I made no attempt to continue west to Brandon itself. I had already walked all the peaks on the Brandon Ridge but more importantly I felt from viewing the terrain on the day, and recollecting the advice of others, that the portion of the Faha Ridge west of its peak was likely to be significantly more difficult than the traverse from Benagh. So the route I now describe ought to be understood in that context. I am assuming that you will manage to get from the Grotto Car Park (at the start of this route) to Benagh summit. If you can't do that, then you may forget about Faha Ridge for the time being! Benagh is rather awesome. It's peak lies at the top of a long safe "staircase" and while the ascent is taxing, and must not be rushed, one cannot avoid throwing an eye behind to look at sumptuous Brandon Bay, and the extraordinary peaks of Brandon ridge ahead, and the lakes to the south and the Atlantic to the north. Up, up, you go, over the stone defences of the approaching summit, until Benagh narrows like the prow of a great ship and you are on top. The mountain ends suddenly and the Faha ridge lies ahead. In fact the photo to the left shows you the view broadly west from Benagh Summit. The horizontal distance between Benagh at 822m and the target peak on the ridge at 809m is approximately 500m. That half kilometre begins with a very sharp descent from Benagh through crowded rocks to a flattish area, followed by an easy enough ascent to a "middle peak" (seen clearly in the above pic) followed by a further drop and a final rise to the target Peak 809 The first time I stood looking at this vista, some years back, the sky was dark, the wind was howling and cloud spilled and slithered across the way ahead. I turned around and went back the way I came and didn't return for years. In the meantime, I read everything I could read here and elsewhere, and watched the YouTube videos, and felt that maybe the ridge might prove to be my Inaccessible Pinnacle. I went back up Benagh in August 2015 on the strength of an excellent weather forecast which was happily accurate. My sober assessment is that the traverse from Benagh to Point 809 can be executed safely and securely by experienced walkers who are happy to scramble provided the weather conditions are right. My experience was that the descent west from Benagh at the beginning of the ridge required great care because of the steep angle, and the exposure, but the protruding rocks provided great holds. The rest of the crossing was relatively easy. There are a couple of places where the sheer drops are pretty unnerving but manageable. The section from the "middle peak" to point 509m is "hairy" enough, but entirely possible in safety with good bright stable conditions. It's very tempting to see if you can drop down west after achieving peak 809m but I was not prepared to risk it, particularly since I had deliberately left my backpack on Benagh and needed to get back for it. Benagh looks pretty ferocious on the return journey but in good conditions the steep ascent to its peak did not cause a problem.See the view to Benagh on the left. I have to say that the 360 degree views from point 809 were among the best I have seen. I hope you all get there, in the right conditions, and home safe.
Uploaded on: Mon, 24 Aug 2015 (22:34:14) Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/3089/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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