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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Vertigo, I looked .. by weedavie   (Show all posts)
After a lovely mid.. by gm   (Show all posts)
kernowclimber
2010-03-08 20:27:39
"Enjoying rare winter conditions on Lugmore Ridge, March 6th 2010" from kernowclimber Contract pics
Picture: Enjoying rare winter conditions on Lugmore Ridge, March 6th 2010 (Contract pics)

I think we followed in your footsteps Captain
We were absolutely delighted to watch the video you took in the Mweelrea Mountains this weekend. The good weather forecast and confirmation of snow on the mountains sent us scurrying over from Wicklow to practice winter climbing. We were allowed to camp at the Sleepzone Connemara and although it was bitterly cold, the clear night sky misty with stars more than compensated for the hard frost that covered our tent like a glistening shroud in the morning. On Saturday we set off from Doo Lough and contoured round Glencullin to scramble up the North East Ridge of Ben Bury. The conditions were fantastic near the top with full winter kit needed to arrive near the cairn at the summit.

The sight of Mweelrea glowering in shafts of broken sunlight, its icy slopes shining like liquid mercury, and the purple shapes of myriad islands floating amid rafts of sunshine reflected off the calm Atlantic brought a sudden and unexpected lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. After our epic climb we decided to give Mweelrea a miss and do the Lugmore Ridge instead and that’s when we saw freshly made boot marks in the snow. I guess these must have been yours! We followed the snow covered ridge mindful of several cornices as it curved ESE enjoying views of the contorted layers of Ordovician sandstone peppered with snow that are exposed in the walls of the Glencullin corrie. After a spot of scrambling over a minor summit, we descended directly down Lugmore over very steep and potentially treacherous terrain to cross the Owengarr River at a sluice gate.

The next day we resolved to try something even more extreme and at the back of Glencullin corrie we spotted an ice and snow filled gully that starts below and to the right of the grassy ramp to the ridge. This provided a great Scot Grade I/II climb in near perfect conditions, although it was very windy as we arrived on the ridge. We descended along Ben Bury’s North East Ridge following roughly the same route of the previous day. Connemara is elemental, wild and simply too beautiful for words; we didn’t see another soul on the mountains over those two days which only added to the sense of freedom which we felt. Your video, shot around the time of our visit, has captured those memories and the magic of the Mweelrea Mountains for us. Thank you, Captain.
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