I went to Kerry yesterday on a dull dreary but dry day to do the Coumloughra Horseshoe. This is one of the finest walks in the country and takes in the three highest peaks in Ireland. I started at midday. Though dry it was very dull. Still ,I was also using today to break in my new La Sportiva Nepal boots. The slog up the concrete road soon passed and I arrived at the lake. There were signs of improvement in the day by now and rays of sun could be seen breaking through the clouds. I chose to ascend Caher first. This is a long slog with little to recommend it but soon I found myself is brilliant sunshine. By the time I arrived at the east top the views across the coum towards Carrauntoohil were lovely.
From Caher towards Carrauntoohil
After a spot of lunch I headed along the airy ridge to Carrauntoohil. When I arrived on top I had the place to myself. The ridge across to Beenkearach was bristling up through the cloud. A fine scramble is to be had here by sticking to the skyline. The summit of Beenkearach was bathed in warm sun and I relaxed and took in the view for a full twenty minutes. The views across to Carrauntoohil and Caher constantly drew the eye. To the east the tops of An Garbh, Cnoc na Peiste, Maolan Bui and Cnoc na Cuillan poked through the sea of cloud.
Across the ridge towards Carrauntoohil
Back to the gloom
Eventually I had to leave my eerie and I headed reluctantly down into the cloud. Upon entering the mist the temperature dropped a good six degrees. I continued along over the tops and came under the cloud and descended back to the lake. The contrast here between the brilliant sunshine of the summits and the gloom of my present surroundings couldn't have been greater. It made me appreciate what was on top all the more. I soon arrived back at the car, well satisfied with my day.Oh and the boots were excellent.
Thanks to the inclement weather causing delays to the start of the Ryder Cup I took the opportunity to head to Caherbarna. This provides a nice quick circuit of around 8kilometers and about 500mtrs of climbing. The morning was sunny and calm and I was starting from the car at 11am. A brisk pace saw me on top by 11.40 and enjoying the wonderful views back to Killarney.
The ground underfoot was quite wet after the recent heavy rain. I headed quickly across the plateau towards Gortavehy. The wind farm on the southern side of the expansive bog is an impressive sight. I'm not sure I like them but I suppose they are a necessary evil and more of them will be erected into the future. After a chat with a local farmer about the effects of last winter on his stock I continued on my way. I soon reached the descent ramp which leads easily down to the little lake under the the rugged cliffs of the northern slopes. A quick walk out the track and I was back at my car at 12.55. A short outing but it did clear the cobwebs and I was home for the resumption of action in the Ryder Cup.