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The Bibliography. Information for books on Irish mountains and hillwalking.
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Adrian Hendroff The Dingle Peninsula, A Walking Guide 2015 >>
Airey, Alan Irish Hill Days 1937 >>
Andrews, J. H. Paper Landscape, A 1975 >>
Bardwell, Sandra, Helen Fairbairn & Gareth McCorma Walking in Ireland 1999 >>
Barry Dalby The Wicklow Way (Map Guide) 1993 >>
Booth, Frank The Independent Walker's Guide to Ireland 1999 >>
Boydell, Herman & McCarthy Walk Guide: East of Ireland 1991 >>
Boyle, Ken & Orla Bourke Wicklow Way, The 1990 >>
Butterfield, Irvine High Mountains of Britain and Ireland, The 1986 >>
Clements, E. D. The Hewitts and Marilyns of Ireland 1997 >>
Clements, Paul Height of Nonsense, The 2005 >>
Coleman, J. C. Mountains of Killarney, The 1948 >>
Corcoran, Kevin Kerry Walks 1992 >>
Corcoran, Kevin West Cork Walks 1991 >>
Corcoran, Kevin West of Ireland Walks 1997 >>
Dalby, Barry The Wicklow Way Map Guide 1993 >>
Davey, Bernard Bernard Davey's Mourne 1999 >>
Davey, Bernard BERNARD DAVEY'S MOURNES 1999 >>
David Flanagan & Richard Creagh Exploring Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way 2016 >>
David Marshall Best Walks in Ireland 1996 >>
de Courcy, John W. "Mountains and Summits shown on maps before AD 1700" (articl 2005 >>
Dillon, Paddy Mountains of Ireland, The 1992 >>
Dillon, Paddy Complete Ulster Way Walks, The 1999 >>
Dillon, Paddy Ulster Way, The 199? >>
Dillon, Paddy Exploring the South of Ireland 1998 >>
Dillon, Paddy Connemara 2001 >>
EastWest Mapping Wicklow Way Walks 1998 >>
Fairbairn, Helen Northern Ireland: A Walking Guide 2006 >>
Fewer, Michael Wicklow Way, The 1998 >>
Flowerdew, Michael, P.J. McKeever & J.D. Smyth Explore Series Unkn >>
 
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Clements, Paul Height of Nonsense, The
 
Publisher: Collins Press Published: 2005 Last revision: 2005 Added by simon3
The book (396pp, paperback size) describes a trip to each of the 28 county summits in Ireland all but 7 of which are over 500m and included in MountainViews. Each trip includes a wealth of often funny road-stories. Notably the book includes a most extensive and relevant bibliography with 75 books listed and an index of 8pp.
murphysw
2011-02-06 18:46
The Height of Nonsense is the story of the road trip of BBC journalist Paul Clements, who undertook to scale the highest point in every county in Ireland. Clements, a Belfast man, begins his journey with Errigal in Donegal before finishing with Slieve Donard in Down. The book is not a technical mountaineer’s manual on how to attain each peak. Indeed, Clements spends very little time discussing routes to the summits, rather he tries to immerse himself in local culture and folklore. The result is a well written, colourful, and humorous book that brings to life the inhabitants and culture of the 28 mountain regions described in the book. As mentioned, Clements is not concerned with breaking new ground on exploring routes up each mountain. Indeed he got a lift to the top of Mullaghclogha in Tyrone on the back of a local farmer’s quad bike, and only bothers to climb Kippure when the gate on the mountain road is open!!! This is in contrast with Pat Lynch (with whom Clements climbs Carrauntoohil in the book), whose account of scaling the highest point in each county contains a number of puritanical self imposed rules, which include making sure each point was part of a long route, etc. This account can be found floating around the Net. Back to Clements’ book though, and what emerges as especially noteworthy is the detail in each account of each mountain. This even includes the likes of little Cupidstown Hill in Kildare, and how it got its name, and the indecision amongst Monaghan people as to what the highest point in their county is. Indeed Clements sets out on his trip not knowing what certain county high points are, and his efforts to find out are especially interesting. Although the author seems to have greatly enjoyed himself interacting with the locals, he can be acerbic enough if he sees fit. Longford comes in for a terrible roasting, and come out of the book in a very bad light indeed! It seems the locals were quite unfriendly and Clements isn’t impressed. The local’s indifference to ‘their’ mountains can also be quite funny when this occurs, such as the time when Clements was looking for directions to Mullaghmeen in Westmeath, and a couple of local lads thought he was looking for a hardware store! Speaking of Westmeath, this county also highlighted Clements’ insatiable curiosity, which is another factor which draws the reader in. While there he found a townland called Crazy Corner, and just felt he had to visit it to see what it was all about, and comes away with knowledge perhaps only the inquisitive tourist can glean! I could go on with more examples, but suffice to say, his stories are legion. Although the book should be read cover to cover, it also serves as an excellent reference volume, to be dipped into as your needs demand. Finally his book does raise one important question that needs to be resolved. On most county high point lists, Leitrim shares its high point with Sligo, and Tyrone with Derry (Truskmore and Sawel respectively). Yet Clements states that Mullaghclogha is the high point of Tyrone and Slieve Anierin is the highest point in Leitrim. I asked a chap I know from Leitrim about this, and he says the Slieve is the high point. Wonder who is right? In summary then, this is as entertaining a travel book as you could hope to find, and like me, will find it hard to put down!    
simon3
2005-06-22 08:10
Paul Clement's book is a report of a glorious romp around Ireland in 2002, ostensibly to climb the county summits, but actually to explore much else.
Hillwalkers will find great background information -- did you know that the block hut on Brandon Hill, mentioned elsewhere in this site, housed a generator powering lights on the largish cross on the summit? or that the small lakes on the northern side of the Galtees contain Arctic Char left there by the ice age?
But Paul Clements records much more of his travels than such snippets. There's an eclectic mix of local gossip and happenings, research in county libraries, botany and maxims taken from sugar packets. He maintains a light touch though throws in occasional classical allusions - where a hen party leader becomes Coryphaeus. He even manages a bit of self-parody (I think ?) by recounting an overheard travel report of a trip to Eqypt.
Often we rush to mountain areas, focussing on visiting summits and finding interesting routes. Paul's more leisurely style shows us, perhaps, the value of poking around and the wealth of fine conversation to be had for free. Read it for his deadpan account of a marriage near Galtymore conducted by high priestess Olivia 'In the name of Isis I tie the eternal knot between you' - (followed by a 'magical summer solstice journey') - oh you couldn't make this up. If only we had half the time Paul took to follow up or find such experience, but then we mostly work in the name of much more material things than Isis.
Niggles? Keeper Hill isn't over 200 miles south of Cuilcagh. It's 164km (Or 102 miles in the old money the author seems glued to) In practice access to Lug (p 276) isn't closed due to Army activities since it can be reached readily from various starting points such as the Ow Valley or Baravore. And the 2 gallons of petrol is 9 litres not 20, though either would have burnt down Woodstock House.
Heading for "Mighty Trostan" perhaps the author anticipated nigglers by picking out a billboard saying 'Blessed are those that can tell a mountain from a molehill - Psalm 121'
Anyway, I'd recommend this book whether you have visited these places or plan to in future.
   

RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 .. 19 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Caponellan Hill: Bring wellies
High-King 4 hours ago.
Parked at B* and entered the forest, (S 40812 75491 B) All nice underfoot. Followed Fergalh directions but found the mistake...it was a test.... wasn't it. Take the first turn to the LEFT not the ...

  
Summit Comment
Caherbla: Views to the west.
simon3 6 hours ago.
There's a fine panorama west along the Dingle Peninsul from near the top of Caherbla.

  
Summit Summary
Caherbla: A walk over boggy ground with a steep ascent to finish
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 6 hours ago.
Start from one of the small lay-bys near Q716 052. Walk up the steep ground at the back of the lay-by heading for Caherbla.At about the 500-meter mark there is a long ridge of conglomerate rocks, ...

Summit Comment
Coomnahorna: Watch out for the water.
simon3 a day ago.
The picture shows Coomnahorna to the left and Lough Slievenashaska. You can't get round the lough on its south side shown here. You probably can't get across the lough to its north side either, th...

  
Summit Summary
Coomnahorna: Unfrequented rough summit joining three ridges.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
Coomnahorna is one of the summits of the Dunkerrons, the elongated mountain area that stretches down the south side of the Iveragh peninsula. It is a place of wild land with great ridges to n...

  
Track
Oval route turned into a cracked egg shape by circumstance.
simon3 a day ago.
The plan had been to reach Slievenashaska S (SS) from the Kerry Way to the south just west of Sneem. The Kerry Wa... walk, Len: 17.2km, Climb: 869m, Area: Coomnahorna, Dunkerron Mountains (Irelan|...

Track
The rocky rocky road to the big hill.
simon3 a day ago.
How on earth can a walk there and back to a place just over 2k away take over 3 hours?I had some forebodings about t... walk, Len: 6.3km, Climb: 301m, Area: An Bheann Mhr, Dunkerron Mountains (Irel||

  
Summit Summary
An Bheann Mhór: Beautiful summit of great views but extremely difficult terrain.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
Gorgeous to look at, An Bheann Mhór also is a superb viewpoint at the top with extensive views over Kenmare River, coast, islands, the Caha Mountains and then much of the southern Dunkerrons ...

  
Summit Comment
Dereenavurrig Hill: Gorgeous colour on a hard to reach summit.
simon3 a day ago.
Despite a little mist, Derrenavurrig appeared magnificent in the early morning light one September.

Summit Comment
Illaunleagh: Illaunleagh
simon3 a day ago.
The lonely and unvisited island of Illaunleagh. The small object to the bottom left of the picture was in fact an amateur fisherman returning back to nearby Glesk Pier having caught two pollock.

  
Summit Comment
Lamb's Island: Lamb's Island
simon3 a day ago.
Lamb's Island viewed from the pier to the east.

  
Summit Comment
An Bheann Mhór: Its more awkward than it looks.
three5four0 2 days ago.
Park at around V 635 651, at the start of forestry tracks on the N70. The tracks marked on OSI Sheet 84 4th Edition are pretty accurate, for once. So follow the one from where you have parked...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 .. 19 Next page >>