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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.


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 27 Next page >>
Summit Summary
Meenteog: Squat and steep-sided summit on Glenbeigh Horseshoe
Collaborative entry Last edit by: Peter Walker 3 hours ago.
Lumpen in its higher reaches but very much steep-sided lower down (especially to the north), Meenteog is the first of the higher, more dramatic summits on the Glenbeigh Horseshoe if walked clockwi...

  
Summit Summary
Scarr: Three ridges, many routes and good views.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 16 hours ago.
Scarr has three useable ridges off it, to the north, south and east. The easiest perhaps is the Glenmacnass Waterfall carpark O11380 03009 (notorious for break-ins). From here head for the north ...

  
Track
Near Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)
ewen 16 hours ago.
Note this will take considerably less time in my opinion. I take too many photos so it adds about an hour to the trip.... walk, Len: 12.7km, Climb: 469m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Corrigasleggau

Summit Comment
Scarr: A walk in the clouds.
TommyV 2 days ago.
This route starts on an old forest road at Oldbridge, there is room for parking 5 or 6 cars near the top at O15162 01916. From here follow the road West until you reach a gate at O14832 01892. Go ...

  
Track
Omey Island
Onzy a day ago.
A circuit of Omey ... cut short by my fear that my car wouldn't make it back across the sound... walk, Len: 5.6km, Climb: 60m, Area: Galway Islands (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Camaderry South East Top: Glenealo Valley and Miners Village
sev 3 days ago.
Glenealo Valley and Miners Village - view from south slope of Camaderry South East Top (Aug. 2010)

Summit Comment
Camaderry South East Top: Glendalough Upper Lake
sev 3 days ago.
Glendalough Upper Lake and the valley - view from south slope of Camaderry South East Top (Aug. 2010)

  
Track
Short Loop north of Omey
Onzy a day ago.
walk, Len: 2.1km, Climb: 33m, Area: Galway Coast (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Seefin: "Megalithic Fallout Shelter"
sev 4 days ago.
Wicklow Mountains - Megalithic tomb on Seefin Mt.http://youtu.be/u--BKEqB-JM

Summit Summary
Skregmore: Incidental summit in the Reeks
Collaborative entry Last edit by: Peter Walker 4 days ago.
Much climbed but little remembered, Skregmore is a victim of its location. One of the highest summits in Ireland but adjacent to still higher tops, impressively rocky but still far less dramatic t...

  
Track
Coastal Walk north of Cleggan
Onzy a day ago.
A spectacular walk circling the peninsula immediately north of Cleggan ... a detour to Olivers for lunch and a fast coun walk, Len: 22.5km, Climb: 386m, Area: Galway Coastal Hill (Ireland)

  
Summit Summary
Cnoc an Bhráca: The last hurrah of the high Reeks
Collaborative entry Last edit by: Peter Walker 5 days ago.
Cnoc an Bhráca, together with its near neighbour Cnoc na DTarbh, are the last (relatively) high summits along the great ridge of the Eastern Reeks; beyond here the ground gradually declines to the...


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