Croagh Patrick is, by far, the most climbed mountain in Ireland; we would estimate that upwards of 250,000 people per annum climb the mountain. There are three possible approaches to the summit, the first via the pilgrim path from Murrisk. This is a well signposted path. The second is from the Mountain Rescue base at Taobhnacroibhe off the Leenane rd (Turn right at the sign for Knappagh). The third option is the least used of all three, approaching from the Lecanvy side, eventually joining the old mining track left over from the shameful gold prospecting efforts of the 1980's.
Being the most popular mountain in Ireland also means that "The Reek" is also the location for most activities carried out by Mayo Mountain Rescue team averaging 30+ rescues per annum. Considering that because of its popularity it attracts more inexperienced climbers than most other mountain in the country, the MMRT appeal to anyone considering climbing the mountain to follow a few basic guidelines:
1. Wear proper footwear, ideally something with good ankle support and sole grip.
2. Bring, as a minimum, a waterproof layer and some spare clothes
3. Bring something to drink (as a minimum a small bottle of water) and eat, ideally something like chocolate to provide energy.
4. Consider bringing a stick or walking pole, Sticks are available to rent or buy at Murrisk car park.
5. Leave notice with someone of your plan to climb and your expected time of return.
6. A mobile phone could be useful but a signal on the mountain is not guaranteed. A whistle or flashlight could prove even more useful in locating you if you get lost.
7. If you are feeling tired before reaching the saddle and you doubt your ability to reach the summit trust your instinct and don't be afraid to turn back
8. If you do get into difficulty and require assistance or encounter someone else requiring assistance dial 999/112 and ask for Mayo Mountain Rescue Team. Bear in mind however that expected time for arrival of the voluntary team, from time of raising the alarm, can be anything up to 3 hours depending on your location on the mountain, so that if a casualty is able to get themselves safely off the mountain in this time they would be advised to attempt to do so.
Croagh Patrick has a church and toilets located at the summit; the toilets are open all year round and provide basic shelter in severe conditions. The church is open daily from approx 10am to 3pm during July and August.
Some parts of the mountain are severely affected by erosion and all parts of the path are subject to considerable littering particularly from discarded bottles, sweet wrappers and clothing. MMRT would appeal to ALL climbers to adhere to the country side code, leave no trace, bring litter home and try to stick to the path to minimise further erosion on the mountain.
On behalf off all from MMRT we wish you a safe and enjoyable climb - For further info visit www.mayomrt.com Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/65/comment/3282/