Places:Start at V82696 87299, Cruach Mhór, The Big Gun, Cnoc na Péiste, Maolán Buí, Cnoc an Chuillinn East Top, Cnoc an Chuillinn, Cnoc na Toinne, end at Start Logged as completed by 5
It was a day positively pregnant with possibilities (meterological and geographical) as 12 hardy souls gathered in the Lisleibane car park. Our leader John, as ever clad in the shorts that seem to constitute his ancestral home lurked gnomically by his car, telling all and sundry that we'd be grand because his recce of a fortnight previous had been conducted in MUCH worse weather...
So onward along and vaguely up the Carrauntoohil-bound highway we strode, until a vicious little shower convinced all and sundry that the waterproofs probably needed deploying from the rucksacks. The skyline that would form the meat of the day rose to our left, while the awesome north-east face of Ireland's highest mountain soared ahead. At this point the first of our leader's cunning plans became apparent; normally the ascent to the first summit of Cruach Mhór would have commenced from a much earlier point on the path, but this crosses a ghastly section of bog that he reckoned we'd avoid by heading up from here.And so it proved, and as we made a diagonal ascent towards Cruach Mhór's grotto we were heartened that at least it was only the sky that was drenching us rather than the ground. The rain eased off for a while as we passed Lough Cummeenapeasta below the tortured curtain of the exciting ridge above, but the wind grew stronger as we clambered over the shattered rocks to the summit. Craic and nibbles were had in the lee of the grotto, and attentions turned to the notorious crossing of The Big Gun, next on the agenda. Our commencing of the traverse coincided with a recommencing of the rain, and with discretion being the better part of valour it was decided to take the less exposed (but still sporting) lower contouring line on the west side of the ridge before clambering up to the col on the far side. From here we doubled back up the easier approach to The Big Gun, still needing some care on the slippery rock in the driving rain. Back to the col then more outflanking manouevres to avoid the wonderful Cnoc na Peiste arete (also too slimily exposed on a day like this) up the thin path to its left.With Cnoc na Peiste's summit gained and the non-existent view suitably bemoaned, we got on with the less intimidating bits of business. Cheerily bedraggled we fought onwards over Maolán Buí and the tops of Cnoc na Chuillinn and readied ourselves for the descent of the Zig Zags. Such downward enthusiasm had to be temporarily tempered however, as our leader (who'd been measuring all the summits we visited...notice how they all have decimal points now) decided he needed to measure Cnoc na Toinne too. With that suitably Trimbled, we retraced our steps and switchbacked back down to the tourist highway to Carrauntoohil, notably short of tourists on such a damp and driech day.Obviously at this point the clouds receded and the sun made a slightly sheepish appearance; such is the fate of the hillwalker. But after the retreat back to Lisleibane we agreed that we'd all had fun, and it's a fact that the best hillwalkers are the ones having the most fun. Isn't it?
Uploaded on: Sun, 18 Aug 2019 (17:22:41) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4190/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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