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Keamconneragh

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Benchoona Mountain Binn Chuanna A name in Irish
(Ir. Binn Chuanna [OSI], possibly 'peak of Cuanna') Galway County in Connacht Province, in Arderin List, Greywacke sandstone, siltstone, mudstone Bedrock

Height: 581m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 37 Grid Reference: L76253 61704
Place visited by 156 members. Recently by: justynagru, scapania, Grumbler, fieldoptic, padstowe, pdtempan, BogRunner1, OisinD, arderincorbett, billh999, TommyV, paulbrown, Haulie, eamonoc, Fergalh
I have visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -9.870483, Latitude: 53.591007 , Easting: 76253, Northing: 261704 Prominence: 36m,  Isolation: 0.5km
ITM: 476171 761753,   GPS IDs, 6 char: Bnchn, 10 char: Benchoona
Bedrock type: Greywacke sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, (Lettergesh Formation)

Cuanna is probably a personal name. A townland nearby is named Tooreenacoona (Tuairín Uí Chuanna, 'O'Cooney's green') [TR]. Around noon, I reached the summit: a rough broken tableland of flat rocks, perhaps a quarter of an acre in area, and planed smooth by the old ice. There was a single small cairn, and on its top sat a horned sheep's skull. I picked up the skull, and as I did so water streamed from its ragged nose-holes in sudden liquid tusks, and ran on to my hand and up my sleeve. I put it back on the cairn top, having turned it so that it faced eastward and inland, looking over miles of empty land glinting with lakes, on which thousands of wild geese over-wintered each year. The sun came out, breaking fitfully through the clouds and warming my hands and face. Seawards, I looked across the intricate tasselwork of inlet and peninsula. Close at hand, sheets of mica scattered the sunshine, so that even the dry rocks shone in the light (Robert MacFarlane, The Wild Places, Granta, 2007). Walks: for a route from the NE, see Whilde & Simms, New Irish Walk Guide - West and North, 40-41.   Benchoona is the 334th highest place in Ireland. Benchoona is the second most northerly summit in the Twelve Bens area.

Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/310/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Benchoona in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
Picture: pic:simon3
 
Summit Plateau of broken Rock
Short Summary created by Onzy  10 Jun 2014
Benchoona is situated in the less-visited northern half of the Twelve Bens, separated from the more prominent hills by the N59. A flat topped peak, described by Robert McFarlane as a ‘rough broken tableland of flat rocks’, it provides great walking and stunning views. To maximise the views, head a small bit down the western spur from the summit, to where there are twin cairns.

There are a number of obvious routes; firstly the most direct route begins from the northern end of Lough Fee (L780 621 A), and ascends the eastern spur. This is a challenging route and perhaps left for a dry day with good visibility. It is also better for ascent than descent.

An easier route is from parking on the road at the southern end of Lough Fee (L804 596 B) and heading north along a farm track skirting the western side of the lake. Just before the only inhabited house, head west, over Garruan and onto Benchoona. By then heading south contouring around Garraun, you can reach Garraun South Top, and from there down the spur, either to the road, or to meet your track coming up.

Benchoona can also be reached from Lettergesh to the northwest, beginning at L74958 63413 C as well as being easily combined with routes taking in Doughruagh, about 4k to the southwest. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/310/comment/5070/
 
MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Benchoona in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
simon3 on Benchoona, 2003
by simon3  13 May 2003
I visited Benchoona on a route from Doughruagh and Garraun. The late Tony Whilde recommended ascending [Irish Walk Guides West] via a route above the place between Loughs Fee and Muck, though only if it wasn’t slippery. Whatever about up, I wouldn’t be a bit keen coming down that way. It is to the right of the ridge shown in the picture taken from the slopes of Garraun. Perhaps we can learn from HC Hart [Climbing in the British Isles: Ireland 1895] who seems to have a salutary experience on Benchoona: “The rock here is uncommonly dangerous to climb, being loosely constructed and apt to disintegrate in unexpectedly massive segments. On such an occasion, although against the dogma of climbing, a swift and sudden jump or spring is sometimes the only escape. The block – perhaps a ton or two in weight – which is quietly sliding, or more probably overturning, with its captive, yields momentum enough for a final kick to clear altogether to any preferable station.”
Carefully avoiding dogma or swift escapes, my tame suggestion for a descent is via the spur which goes directly East from Garraun. There’s some firmly attached but interesting conglomerate rock to look at on the way down. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/310/comment/493/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Benchoona in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
 
csd on Benchoona, 2003
by csd  29 Dec 2003
The (eastern) cairn and view north from Benchoona, taken 29.12.2003. Careful ascent is possible via Benchoona's easterly ridge, starting from the river as it empties Lough Fee. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/310/comment/783/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Benchoona in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
simon3 on Benchoona, 2003
by simon3  13 May 2003
Benchoona’s western-most summit, shown here, is slightly higher than the eastern-most. As is shown there are two cairns for some reason, one looking like it is being demolished. Views from here are superb on a good day. To the right, over the further cairn, is Inishturk. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/310/comment/494/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Benchoona in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
Picture: Lough Muck & Lough Fee from eastern side of Benchoona
 
Colin Murphy on Benchoona, 2008
by Colin Murphy  9 Jun 2008
Having parked at the top of the track between Lough Muck and Foyle, (visible in pic) followed gerrym's directions up the grassy slope but then instead of tackling the gulley, headed directly west up through a steep boulder-littered gradient. While the views were wonderful, experienced a couple of vertigo-inducing moments as had to negotiate my way around several impassable boulders before the gradient eased at about 500m. Interesting climb, but would definitely not attempt this route in bad weather. After a round trip to Garraun South Top and Garraun itself, descended via a slightly gentler grassy ridge to the east of Garraun before cutting back north to my starting point, though even this ridge offers some steep, slippery and potentially dangerous pitfalls. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/310/comment/3167/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Benchoona in area Twelve Bens, Ireland
Picture: Renvyle and Tully mountain from Benchoona summit (Credit: J.Drinan)
A contender for the best panorama in Ireland.
by garrettd  16 Sep 2014
I climbed the three summits in this area and Doughruagh as part of a two-day backpack in mid-September 2014. The weather was exceptional for the time of year and the lack of rain over quite a dry summer meant underfoot conditions were very favourable. We started at the Lettergesh beach car park at L737631 D and followed the uphill road and track which eventually petered out at about 240m at L746616 E. The going gets a bit steeper from here and we deposited our packs and tents at approximately L756611 F, about 2 hours after we started.

Relatively unburdened, we made the circuit of Garraun South, Garraun and Benchoona to enjoy one of the most spectacular panoramas anywhere in Ireland. Even with reduced clarity on account of a warm, dry easterly breeze, every summit from Achill to Roundstone was visible in addition to the beautiful seascapes of Killary Harbour, Clare Island, Inishturk and Inishboffin.

Day two started fresh and misty but soon cleared to a repeat of the previous day's spectacular weather. The circuit continuation started with an easy traverse around the southern edge of Garraun south. The climb to Doughruagh from the gap at L761596 G is pleasant and quite easy with short grass and just a few rocky outcrops to negotiate. The decent from the summit heading back northwest requires care on account of some steep sections. Keeping to the east of Lough Acreragh avoids the worst of any soft ground and the track is picked up shortly afterwards for a gentle decent back to the beach. The second day's walk took less than 3 hours at a leisurely enough pace. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/310/comment/17679/
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