Maamturkmore, called Binn Bhán on the Harvey map, is a minor but very rugged and not easy to get to peak that I wanted to add to my climbs in the Maamturks. I had also failed to reach the nearby Maam Turk pass A (L858 564)
on a previous visit so wanted to make the climb via that route. I parked at the point where the Western Way meets the Bun na Croc road around WW Cnc Uil (L859 534)
and followed the Western Way north for about 4km past the base of Letterbreckaun. The Way isn't in great shape, very wet and muddy. Harvey indicates a track heading for Maam Turk from around B (L843 557)
but I didn't see it so walked on to where the Way meets the Sruffaunduff river around C (L836 564)
and then headed straight for the pass. Though at that point it's just obscured behind a ridge that seems to be called Gowlaunard, it soon comes into view. A path was intermittently traceable as I approached the pass over wet, grassy but moderate slopes.
Just east of the fence that runs over the Maam Turk pass is a small holy well. The pass is at 354m and the ascent from there to the summit is only 134m, though fairly steep. The ground is increasingly rocky with many outcroppings, but it's still possible to make a way up on grass. On this December day, the wind at the peak was wild, making walking difficult - at least there are lots of rocky outcrops to hide behind. A heavy shower began as I edged along the bumpy top to the rather meagre cairn at the summit. Rather than returning to the pass, I descended in a broadly South-Westerly direction, picking my way carefully; there were some mini-cliffs to be negotiated, potentially tricky but doable. The late afternoon sun came out as I neared the Western Way again, shining weakly over the Twelve Bens across the valley for some lovely views, and bathing the upper slopes of Letterbreckaun. I retraced my steps along the Way to my car.
At 488m, Maamturkmore/ Binn Bhan is a hill rather than a mountain, missing out on Arderin status by 12m. Its upper slopes provide a bit of a scramble, though, and it definitely has ruggedness and isolation in abundance. If my day out was any indication, it's also subject to harsh weather conditions, leaving the ground slippery and making climbing difficult.
The photo is taken from towards the northern end of the R344.
Edit: I found that track marked on Harvey and other maps on later visits. It begins at about D (L842 558)
, right after the enclosure with unfinished stone buildings that is passed 3 km from the start. It is indistinct at that point but becomes more obvious later on. It tends to be very wet. It is probably a slight improvement on the open hillside in dry weather, but can attract lots of standing water after rain Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/491/comment/15290/