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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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Harry Goodman
2009-10-08 19:36:23
"On Knockmealdown, August 2008, Job Done!" from Harry Goodman Contract pics
Picture: On Knockmealdown, August 2008, Job Done! (Contract pics)

Walking the Irish County Tops
At last, Ireland's County Tops completed and in a record time! While I fully realise that others have completed them in a single year or even less I think I have set a record for the "longest " time taken to do so, a mere thirty seven years and three months. Not a record I suspect anyone will be anxious to better.
It all began in 1971 when I climbed Slieve Donard (Down). Someone talked me into tackling the Mourne Wall Walk, at that time an annual challenge event of 22 miles with upwards of 10,000ft of climb over twelve of the Mourne peaks. This was to be my introduction to hillwalking and, though safely negotiated in something over 12 hours, so traumatic was the experience that I did not set foot again on any kind of hill for over 10 years.By then a more moderate approach was taken.
Hillwalking days out led me to climb among others Errigal (Donegal), Galtymore (Limerick/Tipperary), Carrauntoohil (Kerry), Cuilcagh (Cavan/Fermanagh), Benbaun (Galway), Sawel (Derry/Tyrone), and Lugnaquillia (Wicklow).
Then after a chance meeting with Paul Clements, when he talked to me about his plans to publish "The Height of Nonesense" recounting his experiences when seeking out the highest point in each county, I was hooked.
Having at that stage (2005) stood on the highest point in 17 counties I decided to set about completing the list. Mweelrea (Mayo) gave me most concern. I had read that this was a serious mountain. Next came Corn Hill (Longford), Mullaghmeen (West Meath) amd Slieve Na Calliagh (Meath) all covered in a single trip. Cupidstown Hill (Kildare) followed. Indeed of these four lower tops only the walk through the forest to Mullaghmeen had any real appeal. Mount Leinster (Carlow/Wexford),and Brandon Hill (Kilkenny) were climbed during a week-end walking in the Blackstairs.

By July 2008 four tops remained unclimbed. Walks in the Slieve Blooms included Arderin (Laois/Offaly) and allowed a visit further west to take in Moylussa (Clare).
In August a friend and I , in thick mist climbed up from the Priest's Leap to Knockboy (Cork) and a day later came Knockmealdown and the completion of my County Tops List. The day had started fine and warm but mist soon descended and enclosed the tops crossed in our traverse of the Eastern Knockmealdown Ridge. the highlight of the day was of course to top out on Knockmealdown on 25 August 2008..
I would recommend to anyone thinking about doing the County Tops not to be too single minded and, where possible, to combine the walks with other hills. With the exception of Cupidstown Hill (Kildare) and Corn Hill (Longford) which will be singled out and climbed simply because they are part of the list , all the others have something to offer be it the challenge of Mweelrea, the history surrounding Slieve Na Calliagh or the tranquillity of "lowly" Mullaghmeen. a few Kippure, Truskmore, it's SE Top and Mount Leinster have "tarmac" to the top but this can be avoided with planning.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>
Track
Glen o' the Downs Wood
jgfitz an hour ago.
This woodland track can be accessed directly from N11 heading South. After Exit 9, there is a road sign for Glen o' the walk, Len: 5.9km, Climb: 183m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Spinans Hill SE Top: Brissels or Brussels
Bunsen7 5 hours ago.
Climbed both hills on 16/12/17, following the main route described by others here on MV.The forestry between the tops has thinned out a little (or so it seems by reference to previous comments) an...

  
Summit Comment
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Bunsen7 6 hours ago.
This is a rather painful hill to summit from the obvious parking spot at the forest entrance to the south east. Following where others have gone I found myself wading through head high gorse to at...

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Cloghnagaune Summit and Stone Circle
Bunsen7 6 hours ago.
This is a rather painful hill to summit from the obvious parking spot at the forest entrance to the south east. Follow... walk, Len: 4.0km, Climb: 144m, Area: Cloghnagaune, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) C

  
Summit Comment
Roaninish: Roan Inish
IainMiller a day ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...

  
User profile
IainMiller
IainMiller a day ago.
A rock climber, hillwalker and guidebook author living, working and playing on the sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountain ranges and uninhabited islands of County Donegal. http://uniqueascent.ie/sea_sta...

Summit Comment
Inishbarnog: Roan Inish
IainMiller a day ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhuidéal: Climbing An Bhuideal
IainMiller a day ago.
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Summit Comment
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IainMiller a day ago.
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The Beara-Breifne Way Day7
mlmoroneybb a week ago.
On Sunday, we were not attacked by the MacCarthys of Drishane Castle but started our walk on the O?Keefe Booning Castl walk, Len: 27.7km, Climb: 362m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
An Cnoc Fada: The majesty of the Poisoned Glen in the snow
mcrtchly 5 days ago.
A snowy day gives a different perspective on the Poisoned Glen and Crockfadda. This photo was taken with a 500mm lens at a distance of 1.5km from the Scared Heart Church and 8km from the the Poiso...

  
Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day 6
mlmoroneybb a week ago.
Thanks to all for making the weekends on the Beara-Breifne Way so special. We have completed 187Km in 7 Day?s walking walk, Len: 30.3km, Climb: 781m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)


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