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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
I happened to be i.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
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The Mourne Mountai.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
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kernowclimber
2011-07-25 20:26:51
"Loneliness is an island named Scariff" from kernowclimber Contract pics
Picture: Loneliness is an island named Scariff (Contract pics)

The Islands of Adventure
The islands off Kerry’s coast are bathed by the Gulf Stream with a climate that is fickle, often tempestuous, but utterly seductive. An extraordinary light plays on them; their forms change continuously in response to kaleidoscopic weather patterns. Some are easily accessible, others not so. Puffin and Scarriff islands, both uninhabited, are seldom visited. The first is an important nature reserve; access is restricted by BirdWatch Ireland. Scarriff, remoter still, is a world away. Here, feral goats roam the tangled vegetation and abandoned cottages stare forlornly across restless seas as the only reminders of past habitation.

On a calm murky day, a rib boat left Portmagee with 3 BirdWatch Ireland members and 7 intrepid MVers aiming to scale 2 offshore summits. The distinctive whaleback Puffin Island with its black, rugged cliffs soon loomed out of the mist, its cliff-face vantage points home to noisy colonies of Atlantic Puffin, Manx Shearwater, choughs and gulls; their raucous calls filled the air. The island looked impossible to land on, the sea sucking greedily at slimy rocks as the rib pulled into a rocky inlet. Care was needed to scramble ashore followed by a steep climb up a cliff gully. The vivid emerald ground of spongy moss and wiry grass is honeycombed with the burrows of rabbits, Puffins and Manx Shearwaters.

The summit was easily attained, offering fine views and a sense of glorious isolation. A silvery luminescence periodically bathed the mainland that shimmered in and out of the mist, revealing cliffs and zawns gouged out by the merciless Atlantic. The wind bore the rhythmic chugging of fishing boat engines. The lesser peak opposite rises dramatically from a deep narrow inlet that almost dissects the island, with sheer cliffs either side. Mesmerised, we watched the antics of hundreds of puffins just feet away, amused by their colourful beaks and comical expressions as they stared quizzically at us, unconcerned by our presence.

The rib thumped over the restless waves towards Scarriff, scattering seabirds that protested nosily. Eventually the island appeared, summit shrouded in mist. The rib slowed, the eerie shrieks and wails of seabirds rent the air as we glided beneath towering cliffs bathed by seas of petrol blue, spotting sea urchins, jellyfish and seals in the clear water. The unnerving solitude of cliffs and sea and the utter desolation of the place seemed carved into the old steps leading ashore.

The terrain was different here: knee deep grass, ferns, heather and furze. The nondescript summit, shrouded in mist, was attained after an easy 1.6 km climb. The forlorn shells of abandoned cottages down slope and the constant low moaning of the sea engendered a sense of sadness, leavened only by the soft purring of a male Storm Petrel discovered in a wall crevice. Our departure signalled this Atlantic outcast’s return to its eternal loneliness. This special day will be etched forever in my memory. Thank you, Wicklore.
A day rich in ente.. by Peter Walker   (Show all posts)
Had a wonderful da.. by Conor74   (Show all posts)
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 22 Next page >>
Track
La Gomera- Unfinished Business - GR132
GSheehy 16 hours ago.
Maybe the height gain above is correct. Maybe it just felt like one of the hardest things you?ve done. Maybe the cumul walk, Len: 56.3km, Climb: 3018m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

  
Summit Comment
Knockardakin: Bag it as part of the cliff walk
TommyV a day ago.
I technically haven't bagged the summit of this hill as it wasn't listed on MV when I did the Ciiffs of Moher walk, but it would be a very small detour to bag it. I was no more than 50 meters from...

  
Summit Comment
Ben Dash: One of my earlier attempts
TommyV a day ago.
Ben Dash was one of my earlier attempts at hill bagging, back in the days when I had no gps and didn't believe I needed a map. I went through some bog that people had bagged turf on before I found...

Summit Comment
Clifden Hill: Didn't bag it
TommyV a day ago.
I drove as far as the point mentioned by Jamessheerin. Nice views over Lough Inchiquin, the drive trhough the trees only add about ten mentres of elevation and lots of briars so I got back in my c...

  
Forum: General
The Annapurna Circuit
Colin Murphy a day ago.
My daughter, Ciara, has just completed an 11-day trek around the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas. She's not a particularly experienced walker, so completing it was quite the achievement. Here's...

  
Summit Comment
Cloontohil: My nearest MV hill
TommyV a day ago.
This hill is only a few kilometers over the road from my home house. However without Mountain Views website you would scarcely know it's a hill as it is situated in an area of high ground anyway s...

Track
Pouy de Hourmigué
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 17.9km, Climb: 1379m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Summit Comment
Knocknalarabana: A quick drive.
TommyV a day ago.
More of a drive than a hike. Well worth it for the views.

  
Summit Comment
Devilsbit Mountain: Get a bit of the Devil in ya!
TommyV 3 weeks ago.
After a day of bagging some of the more unremarkable summits in North Tipperary, Devilsbit was a delight. There is designated parking at S06115 73178. Follow the waymarked path all the way to the ...

Summit Comment
Cooneen Hill: Very average
TommyV 3 weeks ago.
Nothing to add to simon3's directions. Like quite a few of the hills in North Tipperary, this one is through a Coilte forest track to begin with and then the tough push through some horrible groun...

  
Track
The Laugavegur (Hot Springs) Trail, Iceland
mcrtchly a week ago.
Listed as one of the top twenty best treks in the world by National Geographic, the Laugavegur Trail (The Hot Spring Rou walk, Len: 56.6km, Climb: 1414m, Area: Iceland, South ()

  
Summit Comment
Mauherslieve: Mother of God!!
TommyV 3 weeks ago.
What can I say about Mauherslieve? It really is one of those mountains that will have you asking yourself "What am I doing? Started out at the livestock pen mentioned by csd. It is important to no...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 22 Next page >>