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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Asho and Dave: Exc.. by dhmiriam   (Show all posts)
I happened to be i.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
The summits shown .. by simon3   (Show all posts)
The Mourne Mountai.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
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Yesterday evening,.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
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)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 21 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Cashloura: An enjoyable walk for all ages
CaminoPat 4 hours ago.
Park at W20849 49704 at Coillte forest entrance just off the R586 Regional Road between Dunmanway and Drimoleague. Follow forest road which is along line of disused west Cork railway line for appr...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhinn Bhuí: Benwee Loop walk towards Portacloy.
ucampbell a day ago.
The Loop walks here are well signposted, it's a great idea to go out onto each headland.

  
Summit Comment
Doonvinalla N Top: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
On 26/4/2014 i spent a very enjoyable afternoon walking this area visiting the army observation hut and the stone constructed EIRE marking as part of an addition to the Benwee Head Loop walk but i...

Summit Comment
Doonvinalla N Top: Flat topped but hard to get to.
simon3 a day ago.
View from the west.

  
Track
Circuit of Dirkbeg Lough - easier ascent
simon3 3 days ago.
The purpose of this walk is to reach the Maumtrasna plateau and Maumtrasna NE top (MNET). The lattter is quite possib... walk, Len: 11.6km, Climb: 564m, Area: Maumtrasna North-East Top, Partry/Joyce

  
Summit Comment
Benwee NE Head: Jagged summit
simon3 a day ago.
View from the east.

Track
Benwee Coastal Walk
simon3 3 days ago.
The walk starts at a small carpark and Wild Atlantic Way sign just west of Benwee. In fact some of the local rock has ... walk, Len: 8.1km, Climb: 245m, Area: An Bhinn Bhu?, North Mayo (Ireland) An B

  
Track
Near Galtybeg, Galty Mountains (Ireland)
caiomhin 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 11.3km, Climb: 663m, Area: Galtybeg, Galty Mountains (Ireland) Galty...

  
Track
Lenadoon Coastal Walk
simon3 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 2.5km, Climb: 8m, Area: Mayo Coastal Hill (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Benwee NE Head: Jagged summit
simon3 a day ago.
Picture from the west.

  
Forum: General
Riddle of the Spinc
BleckCra 3 days ago.
I was at Glendalough yesterday and on the Spinc for the first time. I cannot imagine there haven't already been a thousand hours debate on the boardwalk and and that there won't be a thousand hour...

  
Track
Erris Head Ramble
simon3 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 4.7km, Climb: 95m, Area: Erris Head Hill, Mayo Coastal Hill (Ireland...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 21 Next page >>