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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Colin Murphy
2018-12-14 09:59:03
"The spectacle of Annapurna..." from Colin Murphy Contract pics
Picture: The spectacle of Annapurna... (Contract pics)

The Annapurna Circuit
My daughter, Ciara, has just completed an 11-day trek around the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas. She's not a particularly experienced walker, so completing it was quite the achievement. Here's her brief account of the experience:
Five of us set out from Besishahar on the 3rd of December without a guide or porter on the Annapurna Circuit trek. We each carried around 18kg or belongings and equipment. Each night, we stayed in local guest houses or tea houses run by indigenous Nepalese people. We ascended around 500-1000 meters a day until we got to the village of Dhukar Pokhari which was over 3000m. This was when we needed to start being careful as altitude sickness can be fatal and you should only ascend 500m a day and sleep lower than that if possible. The snow also started here so the conditions were tough.

We had around 6 days left of tough hiking from that point. The rooms were colder than outdoors as the heat from the sun sometimes was enough to keep you warm. Some of our clothes froze, there were no showers as the pipes froze and the toilets consisted of holes in the ground in outdoor huts - think to the opening scene of Slumdog Millionaire.

By the time we got to Thorang Phedi (4500m) we were close to breaking point. We met many other hikers who felt the same so we collectively decided to take a pretty dangerous chance and ascend 1000m the following day within 4 hours. There was a doctor in the group who said we had to be fast as altitude sickness takes 6 hours to kick in.

I got up at 4:30am and began trekking at 5:30 when we had a little bit of light. The views were spectacular but it was such a steep incline we were essentially climbing for the first 1-2 hours. At the top of the first mountain my hands and feet were burning and my legs ached so much. From High Camp (the first mountain summit) we continued to hike uphill for three hours, stopping every 5-6 steps to breathe as the air is so thin at that altitude. It was worrying, stressful and very painful. Our surroundings were magnificent, they looked like a painting.

We reached the highest hikable point of Annapurna, Thorang La Pass at around 10:30am. Descending was extremely difficult due to a blizzard and the steepness of the mountain. There were no paths so I was walking on jagged rocks for 3 hours. I also hadn’t eaten anything bar half a bowl of porridge and all of my water froze so I had no fluids. We saw no one for three hours and by the time we got to an isolated tea house I was vomiting and shaking so much I had to call a local Jeep to drive me to the next town so I could get into bed. It was freezing, scary and agonising!

I’m in Pokhara now in an actual hotel and I’m beside myself! I’ve never appreciated running water or slightly higher temperatures more!
tomlug48
2018-12-09 18:26:14
"" from tomlug48 Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

Misty Morning Hills.
Coming down off Djouce in the early morning and gazing at the beautiful mist shrouded silhouettes of the south Wicklow hills .
BleckCra
2018-11-04 22:49:43
"" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

The Light
"... All social systems we've put into place are a mere sketch. One plus one equals two. That's all we've learned, but one plus one has never equaled two. There are, in fact, no numbers and no letters. We've codified our existence to bring it down to human size to make it comprehensible. We've created a scale so that we can forget its unfathomable scale ... "
- Lucy.
BleckCra
2018-11-02 11:03:27
"" from BleckCra Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

...
Every European is related to every other European. You, I and everyone we know can trace our ancestry back to everyone else in Europe. So why would we not choose to come from Viking warriors rather than faceless neolithic farmers? We don't. We choose drama over dullness. When it comes to place names we always favour hyperbole over lowperbole.
The translation of Carrauntoohil is an example. We translate it as O'Toohil's Sickle.
Can we see a sickle? Yes we can and no we can't. We can choose.

Hamlet:
Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?
Polonius:
By the mass, and ‘tis like a camel, indeed.
Hamlet
Methinks it is like a weasel.
Polonius
It is backed like a weasel.
Hamlet
Or like a whale?
Polonius
Very like a whale.

We choose it to mean O'Toohill's Sickle and not Jimmy Toole's Cairn because it's more dramatic.
Of all perpetrators of this excite fest, academics are the worst. The Loch Ness Monster exists. The most dangerous hurricane ever. Global Warming. 1+1 = 3 and they can prove it.
Only recently I was on Mangerton, which according to one mountainviews' mandarin translates as Hill of the Big Aunts.
Do I see any big aunts? If I choose, I do. "Ah! that must be Aunt Augusta."
tomlug48
2018-10-28 16:14:42
"" from tomlug48 Contract pics
Picture: (Contract pics)

Knockmealdowns Liam Lynch Loop and Crohan
Liam Lynch Loop in the Knockmealdowns
From Cahir, follow the R670 in the direction of Ardfinnan. From Ardfinnan, follow the signs for Goatenbridge (4k). In the village, turn right at the bridge (on your left), following the signs for the Liam Lynch Monument. The trailhead is at a T-junction 1k along the road.One can walk to the monument from Goatenbridge village (10.6km round trip) or alternatively one can drive to the forestry entrance and walk from there (7Km round trip)
The Liam Lynch loop winds up on well marked forest roads along the shoulder of Crohan Mountain and traces a stretch along the Glengalla River. It takes you within 200m of the round tower monument to Liam Lynch, whose death in the mountains in 1923 heralded the end of the Irish Civil War. On 7 April 1935, the anti-Treaty Government of Éamon de Valera erected a 50-foot-high round tower monument on the spot where Lynch was thought to have fallen in the Knockmealdown Mountains .The impressive monument itself set in the forest is a striking fifty foot tower designed by Denis Doyle of Clonmel and is based on the form of the Irish round tower. The imposing tower is surrounded by four bronze wolfhounds, cast by Albert Power, set on limestone slabs at each of the four cardinal directions. A square carved limestone plaque was inserted in 1973. The monument also contains a stone lectern and is accessed via two humpback bridges with sandstone parapet walls
The sculptor Albert Power prepared plaster casts of Irish wolfhounds which were to be cast in bronze. Due to lack of funds these were never cast and the plaster casts were used for the unveiling in 1935. The bronze wolfhounds, erected 1996, are the work of sculptor Pauline O'Connell. The wolfhound is a motif, famously featured in the myth of Cú Chulainn.
There are a number of trails in this part of the Knockmealdowns and one can also vary the Liam Lynch walk and divert around Knockmeal and over to Crohan adding on about 5km. There are fine views and a 360 degree panorama of the rolling countryside all round from the top of Crohan.
mcrtchly
2018-10-23 21:14:40
The Chronicles of Mourne
MV members might be interested in a new four part TV programme which follows the seasons of the Mourne Mountains. The series is called the Chronicles of Mourne and charts a season in each programme, beginning with summer, and meets the people who have fallen under its spell. The first episode will be broadcast on BBC 1 Northern Ireland at 19:30 on Monday 29th October 2018. We (Purple Peak Adventures) are delighted that some of our timelapse sequences of the Mournes are used in the broadcasts.
Pepe
2018-10-19 14:49:01
THE POWER OF WORDS
There I was scratching around on Slieve Binnian. Up top, I bumped into a couple out hillwalking for the day. Pleasantries were exchanged – which way did you come up, fabulous views, the weather – usual mountain chitchat. From their accents they were clearly Northern. My accent is plainly Southern. As we parted, I enquired, “Is that the summit?” pointing at a nearby tor.
“It is,” the man responded. His parting shot? He smiled and added, “You’re on the third highest mountain in the country.”
Seven hundred years of hackles suddenly rose on the back of my neck. The green voice inside my head was outraged. That voice wanted to say, “Actually, the third highest mountain in THE COUNTRY is in Kerry. Slieve Binnian is (I checked this later in the MV summit book) the 36th highest peak in THE COUNTRY, not the third. It’s third highest in OUR FOURTH GREEN FIELD.” But of course I said none of this. I just smiled, bid them adieu, and off I went scrambling up the tor.
It occurred to me, as I watched from above the couple disappear down the path, what might have happened had I said something in response to this man who, given what he had said, must be a paid-up, card carrying member of the DUP. Did he say those words in an attempt to deliver a message?
Nonsense. Of course he didn’t. Nonetheless I amused myself inventing a few newspaper headlines: “Political Row On Ulster Mountain,” “Brexit Talks Stall As Violence Breaks Out In The Mournes,” “Crazed Southerner Pushes Man Off Ridge,” “Battle Of Boyne Re-enacted On Slieve Binnian”. Isn’t it weird and wonderful the things that sometimes happen on wild mountains – and the wild thoughts that come into our heads, set off by the usage of mere words?
Peter Walker
2018-10-17 07:27:22
Re: Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon
Hi daithi07

The 'what's left to do in Ireland' article currently lives largely in my head rather than anywhere more tangible. It will see the light of day at some point in the next few months. I am just checking a few things (I don't want to give away people's projects!) and then I can suggest some to you.

In the meantime, we did do an article about a 'fairly tough' mountain challenge in the 05/2018 newsletter if you're interested...
daithi07
2018-10-12 13:15:36
Sligo- Leitrim-Roscommon
That sounds good Peter... I can't seem to find the article, is it on here somewhere? Big fan of the Bob Graham loop, etc. so would be on for anything really that involves running up, down and between hills!
Peter Walker
2018-10-11 19:36:06
Re: Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon
Hi daithi07

I have a (very vague!) outline of an article on 'what is left to do in the Irish hills?' and I have some ideas you might be interested in.

How about looking to do something similar to the Lakeland 24hr record, and the Scottish Munros 24hr record? Visit as many Arderin summits entirely on foot in 24 hours, returning to the starting point. I'm not aware of an existing record for this. You could become Ireland's Bob Graham! ;-)


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