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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 Devilís 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 Devilís 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 Devilís 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 donít let that put you off what is one of Irelandís 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.


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Track
Lough Curra Circuit
Jim Holmes an hour ago.
A simple enough route, but very rewarding - from the Cush carpark, head upwards to Lough Curra. Then it's up to the mi... walk, Len: 12.9km, Climb: 1011m, Area: Galtymore, Galty Mountains (Ireland) G

  
Summit Comment
Cnoc na Boirne: Murren.....a little gem.
jsramsey1491 a day ago.
Last Thursday, 18/10/2018, a few friends and I did a recce on Murren Hill and the surrounding area. We have over the past twenty years or so covered most of the county but this was the first time ...

  
Track
Croghan Kinsella
jgfitz a day ago.
This is a variation on track #3938, so I will avoid repeating the comments made there, with which I fully agree. This... walk, Len: 11.4km, Climb: 412m, Area: Croghan Kinsella, Dublin/Wicklow (Irelan

Track
Buckaun - Binnaw circuit.
simon3 2 days ago.
Hydro scheme at Lough Nadirkmore.The walk starts from a point high in an east facing coum of Maumtrasna. This road goes walk, Len: 5.8km, Climb: 368m, Area: Partry/Joyce Country (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Slieve Binnian: Mind how you go on a route Not Recommended
Pepe 2 days ago.
Climbed this yesterday on the route leading from Brackenagh Bridge. Chose this route because I wanted to do Moolieve and the Wee Binnian on the way up. On a plus note a local farmer kindly let me ...

  
Forum: General
THE POWER OF WORDS
Pepe 2 days ago.
There I was scratching around on Slieve Binnian. Up top, I bumped into a couple out hillwalking for the day. Pleasantries were exchanged Ė which way did you come up, fabulous views, the weather Ė ...

Summit Comment
An Bhinn BhuŪ: A spectacular landscape
Damian120 2 days ago.
It's a seldom-visited area of County Mayo yet it boasts some of the most impressive coastal architecture in the entire country. After spending five years covering and exploring the landscape of th...

  
Track
Knocknalougha South Top
Onzy 2 days ago.
Route to Knocknalougha South Top from Crow Hill carpark ... as outlined by melohara on the Hill Page... walk, Len: 11.7km, Climb: 430m, Area: Knocknalougha South Top, Knockmealdown Mo...

  
Track
12 (Listed) Bens - Revisited
GSheehy 5 days ago.
I was drawn back by the lure of completing the 2002 - 12 Bens Challenge route. I got the details from John J. Cotter w... walk, Len: 29.1km, Climb: 2598m, Area: Benglenisky, Twelve Bens (Ireland) Ben

Summit Comment
Big Collin: Permission required?
StephenMullin a week ago.
Hi thereCan anybody tell me if permission is required to walk up Big Collin? If so, how does one go about obtaining this?Many thanks!

  
Track
Greece, Pelion Peninsula: Paou to Chorto return
Onzy a week ago.
walk, Len: 8.3km, Climb: 237m, Area: Greece, Thessaly ()

  
Forum: General
Re: Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon
Peter Walker 4 days ago.
Hi daithi07The 'what's left to do in Ireland' article currently lives largely in my head rather than anywhere more tangible. It will see the light of day at some point in the next few months. I am...


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