Tonduff is usually described as a dull, unexciting top, but a good approach can make amends for that, and the rugged Ravens’ Glen offers at least three of them. (Ravens’ Glen is the name given in the Harvey Map, though not in the OSI, to the little valley that some glacier chewed out of the eastern side of Tonduff. It lies within the square kilometre that has D (O170 130)
as its lower left-hand corner.)
The first and easiest route starts just beyond where the forest track from Crone car park (Glencree) passes over the stream issuing from the glen. Crossing the stile to the left (A (O181 141)
), one has only to follow the narrow track along the granite wall on the north side of the valley up to the shoulder at E (O175 142)
, before striking out slightly south-westwards, firstly over sharply rising ground and then over bogland, to nearby Tonduff.
Calling for a bit more exertion, a second approach begins on the south side of the glen, across a wet hollow that is accessed from the forest track at F (O180 136)
. At the head of the valley here, a clearly visible ramp and gully, usually with a negligible flow of water, leads upwards. Where it narrows at the top, the high vegetation closes in and tends to hamper but not prevent progress.
The third approach is the more challenging. Again, starting at the above-mentioned stile, one follows the ferny meanders of the stream that flows from the Glen, right up to the steep headwall. The photo shows this upper section, with its double waterfall. It is possible to push one’s way up onto the next level through the vegetation on the left-hand side, but just out of the picture, further to the right, the steep, smooth granite shelves down to within a manageable 6 ft of the ground. If you have a companion with you, a leg-up will get you started. If you haven’t, I found that throwing my rucksack onto the rock above, with my wallet inside, gave me all the incentive I needed to get over the obstacle. Once above, the climb continues over very broken ground, with rocky outcrops and thick vegetation but otherwise no insurmountable barrier. From the rim, the remainder of the way to Tonduff, directly west, is a 1 km walk over gently rising heathery ground. I don’t suppose this third approach to Tonduff, and maybe not even the second, will fall within every walker’s comfort zone, but if you’re in search of interesting alternatives and don’t mind roughing it a bit you won’t be disappointed. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/206/comment/3203/