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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 .. 18 Next page >>
Track
Beinn Ghobhlach
Peter Walker 2 days ago.
Beinn Ghobhlach by evening lightWhen you're told that you can do a walk in the morning if you're quick because your o... walk, Len: 10.9km, Climb: 739m, Area: Beinn Ghobhlach, Loch Maree to Loch Broo

  
Track
Suilven
Peter Walker 3 days ago.
I first read about Suilven when I was about 11. It was in some British geographical gazetteer, a stern washed-out pict... walk, Len: 24.0km, Climb: 1029m, Area: Lochinver to Ullapool (Britain) Suilve

  
Summit Comment
Knockannavea: Nice views to be had
csd 4 days ago.
While not very challenging, recent felling means the views along the way and from the summit are pleasant enough. A nice spot for a lunchtime walk.

Track
Maumtrasna Plateau via Dirkbeg and Buckaun Spurs
Onzy 4 days ago.
Route to the Mauntrasna plateau using the Dirkbeg spur for ascent and the Buckaun for descent. walk, Len: 10.8km, Climb: 535m, Area: Maumtrasna North-East Top, Partry/Joyce C...

  
Summit Comment
Slieve Elva: Fantastic scenery
Damian120 3 days ago.
A stunning walk going up over Slieve Elva that you can begin and end end at Fanore Beach. Some great locations along the Caher River to stop and relax and watch the water gently flowing downstream...

  
Summit Summary
Knocknabro East Top: Drought made difficult ground trek possible
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat 5 days ago.
Knocknabro East Top is best climbed as part of a good loop walk, taking in the West and North-East tops of Knocknabro. This summit is best reached firstly via Knocknabro West Top and then onto the...

Forum: General
Lough Ouler From Tonlagee
tomlug48 3 days ago.
A beautiful July day on the summit of Tonlagee. Gazing down at the beautiful heart shaped Lough Oular.Tom Barragry & the Lugs .

  
Track
Picos de Europa
peter1 4 days ago.
I can say with certainty three things: the ascent was not 3266m, given the peak is only 2503m; secondly, I will be back walk, Len: 13.9km, Climb: 3266m, Area: Spain, Cantabria ()

  
Summit Summary
Knocknabro North-East Top: NE Top Revealed
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat 5 days ago.
This summit is best reached via Knocknabro West Top. Park at laneway to old farmhouse now in ruin at W15905 83498. Room for 1-2 cars to park. Climb gate at entrance and follow post and wire fence ...

Track
Sail Mhor
Peter Walker a week ago.
After a week of blazing sunshine in the Peak District overwhelmingly spent swimming in the pool, lazing by the pool a... walk, Len: 11.3km, Climb: 833m, Area: Sail Mhor, Loch Maree to Loch Broom (Bri

  
Forum: General
Found
des carroll 5 days ago.
Hi folks. A pair of walking sticks were found in Seskin, Glen of Imaal near Fenton's. Would the owner please phone 086 8607393. If you do not get an answer, please leave a brief message with a pho...

  
Track
Coastal Dublin - Donabate to Malahide
Onzy a week ago.
Circuit of Broadmeadows Estuary from Donabate to Malahide walk, Len: 12.9km, Climb: 115m, Area: Dublin Islands (Ireland)


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