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kernowclimber
2011-06-08 18:31:18
"Maamturk Mountains" from kernowclimber Contract pics
Picture: Maamturk Mountains (Contract pics)

Crossing Connemara’s Maamturks: Part One
Connemara, Wilde’s place of ‘savage beauty’ where the constantly changing light subtly alters the tone and mood of the landscape. Here, formidable quartzite mountains lift their lofty heads heavenward, myriad lakes trace intricate lacy patterns across the blanket bog, and narrow lochs, crevices of the sea, give way to the endless Atlantic beyond. Fishing villages with quaint quays, now tourist traps, and golden sandy beaches fringed with brown seaweed, lie along a convoluted coast where seagulls whirl on the wind. Connemara is a place of memory too. The ghostly imprint of lazy beds, dry stone walls and solitary derelict cottages, the fractured spines of their chimney places where peat fires once banished the cruel cold, are poignant reminders of those who vanished in an Gorta Mór.

The warm, sweet smell of freshly cut peat pervaded the summer air as we drove towards Leenane. Conical turf ricks lined up like weather beaten soldiers, were serenaded by the incessant melody of skylarks. A stiff breeze agitated the surface of Lough Inagh creating waves that deposited a thin line of foam on the shoreline; sun kissed ragged heads of yellow flag irises nearby nodded joyously. A swathe of sea mist that had blown in from Killary Harbour lay trapped below Mweelrea, hugging its slopes like a silk skirt, the Bald King’s head rising defiantly to greet a powder blue sky.

We passed the Maamturks, giant beehive shaped heaps of quartzite, the range we were going to traverse, their steep slopes appearing almost insurmountable. Doubts began to crowd my mind like dark shadows as the taxi from Leenane that dropped us near Maam Cross sped away. Was I equal to the task of completing this punishing traverse? The lonely call of a cuckoo out on the heath served only to heighten my unease as we set off carrying 10 kilo packs to trek 25 km of the most challenging terrain in Ireland.

The steep pull up Corcogemore was compensated by views of a shimmering world of deep blue lakes set amid the bog, and Joyce’s Country away to the east, wave upon wave of purple-green mountains, their tops blushing apricot in the ebbing sun. Broken, rocky ground led to a ridge which descended towards Cruiscìn, a mere appendage of Mullach Glas, surmounted in minutes. Atop Mullach Glas the views toward the ragged Atlantic coastline were sublime. Through bleary eyes stinging with unshed tears, rising above the cloud on the distant horizon I spied land floating mysteriously between sea and sky like Tír na nÓg: the Brandon Range in Dingle.

Dropping SW into a col we headed for Binn Mhór, the highest top, passing lakes teeming with tadpoles. At Binn Ramhar, we located a large cairn illuminated by a blazing sunset that marks the start of the treacherous steep descent to Maumeen Lake. Celtic crosses silhouetted against the darkening sky guided us up to the small chapel above the lake, a perfect place to fire up our stove, replenish water supplies and bivy overnight.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>
Track
Picos de Europa
peter1 7 hours 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 ()

  
Forum: General
Found
des carroll 10 hours 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
Sail Mhor
Peter Walker 2 days 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

Summit Summary
Knocknabro East Top: Drought made difficult ground trek possible
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat a day 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...

  
Summit Summary
Knocknabro North-East Top: NE Top Revealed
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat a day 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
Coastal Dublin - Donabate to Malahide
Onzy 2 days ago.
Circuit of Broadmeadows Estuary from Donabate to Malahide walk, Len: 12.9km, Climb: 115m, Area: Dublin Islands (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Knocknabro West Top: A Long Hard Slog
CaminoPat a day ago.
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 heading north until W16029 84252. From there head acr...

  
Track
Tour d'Oueil-Larboust (Pyrenees)
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
How to turn a "GR de pays" which is usually completed over two or three days into a challenge walk. A solo tri walk, Len: 45.9km, Climb: 2128m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Forum: General
Bushfires in Dublin/ Wicklow July 2018
Trailtrekker 5 days ago.
To answer your question, you are good to go. Happened to drive the length of the Military Road last Sunday. As of that time all the fires were north of the Sally Gap. I am not aware there having b...

Summit Comment
Binnion: Hills, radios and lost leads
eejaymm 2 days ago.
On the 14-07-18 Ian and I headed out to Donegal to climb Binnion in North Donegal. It's a 1 pointer for SOTA (Summits On The Air - a Radio Amateur programme to get operators out portable) but had ...

  
Track
Near Beinn Ghobhlach, Loch Maree to Loch Broom (Britain)
Peter Walker 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 10.9km, Climb: 739m, Area: Beinn Ghobhlach, Loch Maree to Loch Broom...

  
Summit Comment
Gleninagh Mountain: A sweeping vista of the Aran Islands, Fanore Beach and Galwa
Damian120 a week ago.
This hiking trail up over Gleninagh Mountain serves up a great example of the typical Burren limestone Karst, following traditional old and now disused green lane-ways. Elevated mountain paths for...


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