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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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.
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 30 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Dalkey Island: Stepping off the mainland
Maulin 16 hours ago.
Every visit to an Island is such a unique experience. There is something magical about stepping off the mainland and being, even for a few hours on another Island. When thinking about visiting an ...

  
Track
Maamturks & 7 MV Summits
simoburn 17 hours ago.
walk, Len: 13.9km, Climb: 949m, Area: Corc?g, Maamturks (Ireland) Corc

  
Summit Summary
Carran South Top: An uninspiring summit
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 2 days ago.
The shortest approach to Carran S top is from Bealick. Starting from Gougane Barra forest park W070 653 C. Follow trail to it's high point then head North to Bealick then follow a fence to Carran ...

Summit Summary
Carran: Several approachs
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 2 days ago.
There is no direct approach to Carran. The options include taking in all 4 Carran summits from the west parking near a farmyard at the end of a yellow road W039 689 and follow a track from W043 68...

  
Summit Comment
An Cheathrú Lair: Highest Point is the West Quarter.89m ?
ucampbell 2 days ago.
The way marked trail maps provided on the Island lead you to the Cliffs. However I wanted to reach the highest point and this was easily done in the time allowed before getting the afternoon ferry...

  
Track
Fothair na Manach
Fergalo 2 days ago.
Fothair na Manach is one of the remotest, most spectacular & magical sites in Ireland and barely accessible. It lies jus walk, Len: 13.8km, Climb: 1118m, Area: Brandon Group (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Lackagh Mountain: Lackagh or Boleybrack?
TommyV 3 days ago.
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Summit Comment
Carrane Hill: Navy Seals only for this approach
TommyV 3 days ago.
I decided to try Carrane Hill from the East side as it looked on my map as if there was a forest track going most of the way up and indeed there is. It's possible to park at a forestry gate at G86...

  
Summit Comment
Curlew Mountains: The Blair Witch Project
TommyV 3 days ago.
It's hard to believe this has been visited by 19 members. paddyhillsbaggers description is about right. The first stage is a stumble over stumps and felled trees before entering the forest. I had ...

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Near Brandon Group (Ireland)
Fergalo 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 13.8km, Climb: 1112m, Area: Brandon Group (Ireland) Piaras Mor thuai...

  
Forum: General
No Green Card Required!
liz50 2 days ago.
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Summit Comment
Croaghmuckros: A great reward for a leisurely stroll
bertandally 4 days ago.
We parked up at the entrance to the comms mast access road at G6186975866 as we thought the access road was the best option for us as we had our 6 year old with us and regardless the recent weathe...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 30 Next page >>