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CaptainVertigo: Track 3229 in area near Ben Goram, Croagh Patrick (Ireland)
Goram to Crott
Length: 10.2km, Creator time taken: 4h23m, Ascent: 920m, Descent: 932m
Places:Start at L87296 80952, end at L94944 80952 7.6km E from Start Logged as completed by 2
There's a kind of inverted snobbery abroad in the upper reaches of the hillwalking community that is condescending to popular mountains. It's the equivalent of: "Not bloody Beethoven's Ninth again!" The D4 intelligentsia (D4 being a state of mind rather than a place) is particularly nervous of Croagh Patrick, as if the perceived Fr. Teddery might turn into goosestepping and the erosion of liberties never mind the erosion of the mountain itself. Some of this hauteur may have rubbed off on me, because I seriously considered fulfilling my summiteering duty by "up and downing" Goram, and then driving to Crott to repeat the process i.e. I would give Croagh Patrick a miss. Perhaps softened by memories of a summer's evening's unplanned visit to the summit with my wife, then girlfriend, nearly 35 years ago, I relented and took on the little range, Croagh and all. I would not be disappointed.
Getting Started: West to East This was a solo trip with the aid of a car, in which I slept by the sea until 5am. My first task was to hide my bike at the Crott end of the route before I drove round to Goram. I parked at the entrance to a gated farmtrack taking great care to avoid blocking the passage. Room for only one car. There's a shortish pull requiring some easy zig-zagging to the base of a gently sloping and easily walked spine which curves to Goram summit. You're looking at 360 degree views in awesome country. Conditions underfoot were firm which remained the case until well after C Patrick when the heather gradually began to dominate. I had deliberately reversed the normal east-west trajectory recorded in previous Tracks because I wanted to get the wind behind me. I was glad of that when the hail stones hit on the ridge before the main summit. Indeed Croagh Patrick was in cloud and it was snowing by the time I reached the church on top...real Santa Claus snowflakes! Getting down involved extreme caution on icy stones. And then there was that moment we've all had when the curtains part and there in front of you is the most extraordinary vista and it's easy to see why the area has been associated with some kind of quest for meaning since ancient times. I met one other person, a man from Renvyle who ascended the Reek 14 times last year and 7 times so far this year. Even very busy mountains are quiet if you are prepared to get up early. But it was nice to chat to a fellow enthusiast. Lugnademon to Crott I enjoyed the little hops to Lugnademon and Teevenacroaghy and then, with more effort, to Crott Mountain. All of these tops provide excellent, if soft, platforms to view Clew Bay, the Reek, and all the way to the Sheeffrys/ Mweelrea and really enrich the whole experience. It's some of our verybest Atlantic scenery. Let me warn you that I ought to have dropped off to the south of Crott on to the Western Way to reach my goal. Instead, I ploughed on until I reached the eastern rim of Crott, which is really a cliff, and descended along a dangerous line that could have sent me tumbling into the next world. Please avoid that.
Way to Go I can see that on a warm summer's afternoon, you really ought to reverse my route, and head west into the setting sun, and descend Goram, briefly master of the universe you inhabit. You will brush past the younger me rushing up the Reek, drinking in the moment, and the older me trudging reflectively towards oblivion, and the ghosts of the throngs seeking a glimpse of the next world. Good company.
Uploaded on: Mon, 2 May 2016 (12:31:18) Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/3229/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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