Sunday, 12 March 2017

Tomies and Purple Mountain

After cancelling our last walk twice due to the weather warnings, we were delighted to see some blue skies this time and could not believe we were finally heading somewhere. When we arrived at Kate Kearney's Cottage it started to rain... Oh no, not again! But luckily it was only a shower and it didn't last too long.

The view towards MacGillicuddy's Reeks from near Purple Mountain top

Climbing Tomies Mountain
Off we went when the sun started coming out out again. The first ascent up Little Tomies (or Tomies North Top) is quite challenging and tough as the path disappears between high heathers. Together with wet and boggy ground it makes every step not easy. After a quick stop at Little Tomies we headed up Tomies Mountain. The closer to the top the stronger the wind was and at some stage it became extremely difficult to walk on more and more stony ground. We were delighted to find some shelter at the top where we had our lunch. 

Purple Mountain summit
After that we had to drop down a little bit before climbing Purple Mountain NE Top and finally Purple Mountain main top (832 m.a.s.l). One thing you should remember about this walk is that the car park is almost at the sea level which means that you actually have to climb all that 800 m. It's like climbing Carrauntoohil from the bottom of Hags Glen and it's about 16 km long. It's not a small walk so. And yet again we had to fight with strong winds blowing us out off the mountain. The wind chill was unreal, reminding us that winter in the mountains it's not over yet.

And then suddenly after turning south west from Purple NE Top to the main top the wind calmed down and the sun started warming us and it felt like being in completely different world altogether. 

Us at the top of Purple Mountain

The views towards Lough Leane and Muckross on our left and the amazing Gap of Dunloe on the right side were just stunning. From the top of Purple Mountain we went down to the car park at the other end of Gap of Dunloe, passing Lough Glas. The weather at that stage was just gorgeous and no strong winds down in the valley, so we really didn't mind walking back through Gap of Dunloe to Kate Kearney's Cottage. 

Gap Of Dunloe

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