Sunday, 4 February 2018

Carrauntoohil | First time of the year

It wasn't our scheduled climb, but some of us were mad to see some real winter which is a very rare thing in this country on low grounds. If you like snow you have to climb for it!
So we did. Just the three of us... Denis, Chris and myself (Anna)

photo: Christine O'Callaghan

Chris, photographer of the day
We had no plan and just decided on the way to climb up the Devil's Ladder for change as the last time (Stephen's Day) we did O'Shea's Gully. About half way up the Ladder we met our friend climber, Denis O'Brien from Freemount on his way down. It was great to see him back in the mountains fully recovered from last year's knees operation. I saw a few posts and pictures on Denis's Facebook earlier about "the training" and I knew that he was going for something big again... But when I asked him the  question: "Are you training for something big again Denis?" I honestly didn't expect to hear that answer.... And The answer was: "I'm going to try Everest, would you believe it? I'm going there in April" I was speechless... Denis O'Mahony just asked to clarify: "You're going to the Base Camp, yes?" And Denis O'Brien replied: "No, I'm going to the top..., well, I'll try anyway... I was honored and given a chance..."
Now, that's some news! We wish Denis all the best! We'll be waiting for some news while hiking in Poland in May.

At the top of the ladder we finally found what we were looking for... The white stuff :) It started to clear and we got a little bit of sunshine. The climb to the summit was very enjoyable in fresh snow and soon we were enjoying our lunch. We met a group of Polish climbers who joined us for the group photo by the cross. We met another Polish girl from near my hometown earlier by the stepping stones so it felt a bit like a Polish day on Carrauntoohil :)

At the summit

The Balcony
We used the Heavenly Gates as our descent route, but this time, instead of continuing straight down, we turned right at the mountain rescue hut and went down the less known route called the balcony which goes back to the bottom of the Devil's Ladder. The path is very narrow and quite exposed in places, maybe not advisable for very big groups and people with fear of heights shouldn't go near it.
It was our first time doing it and we really enjoyed some different angle views :) Next time we might try it up.
The route isn't difficult to follow on a clear day, in the fog although, it would be a different story...

We can't not to mention that we saw some very poorly prepared walkers heading up as we were walking back the Hag's Glen. This couple had no jackets or backpacks, runners and wrong clothing. He asked us, how long to get to the top. She looked really tired. When Denis said that it would be about an hour and a half, she looked shocked... I looked at their clothes again and I asked: "Do you realize that it's winter up there?" It was after 2 p.m. They continued...

It was a very enjoyable day out and  we finished with a pint at Torc Hotel.

No comments:

Post a Comment