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kernowclimber
2013-01-22 00:07:54
"View from the slopes of Maumtrasna" from kernowclimber Contract pics
Picture: View from the slopes of Maumtrasna (Contract pics)

A Date With the Devil
The Devil’s Horseshoe is an 18 km circular walk in the Paltry Mountains, heart of Joyce Country, which takes in 5 summits all over 500m. This is a tough and challenging climb due to the uncompromising terrain and often fickle weather conditions.

We began our walk at the Glennacally Bridge and followed the rain swollen Glennacally River across saturated bog to the confluence of it and the Glenfree River, also in spate and carefully crossed, after which we headed straight uphill on the very steep NW spur of Maumtrasna. The summit sits atop a broad stony plateau that offered uninterrupted views of snow dusted Croagh Patrick, the Sheffrys, Mweelrea and Ben Bury. A long walk across partially frozen bog brought us to Glennagleragh Mountain, a pretty nondescript mound. Here we witnessed a cloud inversion which filled the Fooey Valley, an ethereal sight that left just the tops of Ben Beg and Bunnacunneen visible.

The cloud soon began to boil up from below, periodically snatching our view, but Knocklaur was clear when we arrived at the summit. The very steep descent from the summit in wet and slippery conditions, especially as the cloud began to stealthily envelop the landscape, required concentration as the track passes close to some precipitous drops into the Glennacally Valley. The route up to the Devil’s Mother was an unrelenting steep climb in wind driven mist blowing viciously up through the col. Predictably, there was no view from the summit, but never mind, I had kept my date with the Devil!

From Devil’s Mother we headed for the ridge that connects it to the North Top, which traverses very boggy, undulating ground. Through the shifting mist we gained fleeting views of Glennacally Valley and Killary Harbour, resplendent in shades of battleship grey and rust red in the fading sunlight. After gaining the North Top, we began the steep descent to the valley floor, initially following a grassy ramp then picking the least stony and steep route down to intersect an old peat track that led to the main road. Conditions were particularly bad, the saturated ground oozing slime making it impossible to avoid slipping. We completed the last part of the route in head torches, arriving back at our car in darkness.

We did this circuit in just under 9 hours, our speed slowed considerably by the sodden and icy nature of the ground and very slippery conditions on all descents. If you plan to undertake this route, it is best done in summer when the slopes are drier and the days longer, and we would advise winter climbers to give serious consideration to wearing helmets on the descent from the North Top, as slipping is pretty inevitable and a bad fall will almost certainly result in serious injury.

But don’t let that put you off what is one of Ireland’s most rewarding horseshoe routes. The views from the summits are some of the best in the island and well worth the effort of a steep climb up almost from sea level.
An update for anyo.. by gerrym   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 21 Next page >>
Forum: General
A New Hazard!
Aidy 6 hours ago.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45231987Never heard of this happening before.

  
Summit Comment
Crocknafarragh: The High Route around Glentornan Lough
jsramsey1491 7 hours ago.
Last Thursday (16/08/2018) a few friends and I decided to do a recce of a walk around Glentornan Lough. We started close to the Gaelic pitch on the southwestern shore of Lough Nacung Upper, passed...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhinn Bhuí: Benwee Head Loop.
sandman a day ago.
As already stated Benwee Head has some of the most dramatic costal scenery in Ireland and with this in mind i decided to enjoy on a clear sunny day the joys of walking the 12.4km of the Benwee Hea...

Track
Meelin Hill, Brackloon and Knockafeehane
Bunsen7 a day ago.
A grand and simple waymarked trail for a day of low lying cloud.Park up at the post office beside the Tom Crean mini-p... walk, Len: 7.2km, Climb: 343m, Area: Knockafeehane, Slieve Mish (Ireland) Kno

  
Track
Eagles Hill, Mullaghbeg, Beenrour
bogtrotter a day ago.
There?s plenty of room for parking at the cemetery at the top of Coad Road, near Castle Cove. From here we headed SW ... walk, Len: 21.6km, Climb: 825m, Area: Eagles Hill, Dunkerron Mountains (Irelan

  
Summit Comment
Knocknanacree: Storm Beach and Cliffs at lower western reaches
Bunsen7 a day ago.
A view of "Acres" from Minard Beach. This is apparently a geologically interesting spot in itself as it is a storm beach comprised of large sandstone boulders. The castle is on private land and no...

Track
Erris Head Loop
simon3 a day ago.
Simple walk to Erris Head. On the occasion we did it, there were dark clouds and big showers. walk, Len: 4.7km, Climb: 98m, Area: Erris Head Hill, Mayo Coastal Hill (Ireland...

  
Summit Comment
Knockafeehane: From the horse's mouth
Bunsen7 a day ago.
This is the trail description post at Q59652 00497. It summarises the route if taken from east to west, as per track 3881.Vastly superior to my own garbled efforts!Annascaul obviously is a very we...

  
Summit Comment
Knockafeehane: Easily Accessible and not overly demanding
Bunsen7 a day ago.
There is a waymarked trail to the summit which loops over the ridge leading west from this hill. See track 3881.The quickest route to the top would see you park in Annascaul village and walk up th...

Summit Comment
Cashloura: An enjoyable walk for all ages
CaminoPat 3 days ago.
Park at W20849 49704 at Coillte forest entrance just off the R586 Regional Road between Dunmanway and Drimoleague. Parking available for 6-8 cars. Follow forest road which is along line of disused...

  
Forum: General
An Sli
Slier159 2 days ago.
Hello all,I am currently trying to organize a longs distance walk from Killarney to Derry city, using the existing National Waymarked Trails along the West coast. A 1,000km of Trail already exist ...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhinn Bhuí: Benwee Loop walk towards Portacloy.
ucampbell 4 days ago.
The Loop walks here are well signposted, it's a great idea to go out onto each headland.


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