We parked the car at GR Mangerton Walk N CP (V98412 85728)
on a fine July evening and walked the first kilometre on the roadway before turning left onto the rough path that follows the side of the Finoulagh River for a time and eventually leads to the Devils Punch Bowl. We pitched the tent at the mouth of the Punch Bowl GR B (V97566 81734)
and settled down for the night with the stars overhead and the light of Killarney flickering below in the distance. Up at 6 am for a fry and coffee and walking towards Mangerton North Top by 7.30 am. Mangerton North is rounded and featureless marked by a small cairn. From here we moved on to Glenacappul Top passing a curious fenced off square of overgrown mountain. We guessed this to be an experiment on the effects of sheep on the mountain, all I have to say is that if the grass could get that high with no sheep long live sheep!. I took a GPS height of 702 meters for this top and 686 meter for the col to Mangerton North which makes me ask is it an independent summit?
We then doubled back the way we had came and headed up the steep slope between the Punch Bowl and Lough Erhogh to Mangerton Mountains summit and radio mast.
The summit area is broad ,flat and boggy(in July!). To get any views worth speaking of you have top walk to the edges of the summit area.
We headed down the long sweeping ridge on the well worn track towards Stoompa.
At this stage of the morning the sun was burning off the last of the mist and the heat was rising, out with the factor 30. On the way we passed many rough, angular, loose rock formations with little rounded scallops taken out.
The top of Stoompa is marked by a cairn and excellent views of Crohane, the Paps, the lakes of Killarney and indeed the Glacial Corries of Lough Erhogh, Lough Managh and Lough Garagarry. We descended towards Lough Garagarry from Stoompa passing what looked like a passage tomb on the right( not marked on the maps) and after hopping across the stones at the mouth of the Owgarriff River cooled off with a wash in the lake – I never enjoyed water so much.
We then crossed some rough ground (keeping above the marsh) back to the Punch Bowl path down to the car. 20 kms , 8hrs and two Guinness in Killarney.
The photo was taken on the summit of Stoompa with from the right, Glenacappul Top and Mangerton North Top with their towering walls of lava and volcaniclastic rock facing the viewer, the glacial corrie of Lough Erhogh gouged out under the sandstone cliffs and the broad hulking mass of Mangerton Mountain sweeping down towards Stoompa. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/105/comment/2457/