Sunday 7th of August saw a group 10 walkers made up of both Galtee and Ballyhoura Bears club members travel to Killarney to tackle Mangerton 838m and Stoompa 705m. The looped walk led by Mike Moroney started at Tooreencormick, the site of a battle fought and won by the local Mc Carthy's over the Anglo Norman Fitzgeralds in 1262. The day started clear with fabulous views of the Devil's Punchbowl and all of three of the lakes in the Horse's Glen, Lough Garagarry, Lough Mannagh & Lough Erhogh and while the mist came down in the latter part of the day it did not dampen the spirits. The day finished with a lovely meal in the Muckross Park Hotel.
Saturday Morning Walkers trip to Killarney - 23rd July 2016
The Saturday Morning Walkers did a lovely walk to the Blackvalley in Killarney on Saturday 23rd July. We started our walk at Derrycunnihy Church, where we walked to Lord Brandon's Cottage, taking in some spectacular scenery. We had our lunch at Lord Brandon's cottage, before we continued our walk to Kate Kearney's Cottage. We were blessed with the weather, which enhanced the rugged but beautiful terrain along the Black Valley. After the walk, we had a delicious meal at the West End House Restaurant. A big thank you to everyone who helped to organise this trip, it was greatly appreciated by everyone.
The last stage of the Beara Breifne Way was covered on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July.
Saturday morning saw the group meeting at Battlebridge just outside Leitrim Village where we started our 25km walk to Dowra, the route brought us along part of Shannon Blueway for a short while before we turned off the canal at Drumleague Lock following mainly small country lanes to the village of Drumshanbo which takes it's name from Droim Sean Bhoth : Ridge of the old huts and is situated on the lower tip of Lough Allen and overlooked by Sliabh an Iarainn, the Iron Mountain. We took a short break in Olivia D's in the village to shelter from the intermittent heavy showers before taking to the road again where we passed by the old famine graveyard where over
500 people were buried during the Great Famine a sobering experience when you consider that this amounted to half the population of the village at the time. A short detour brought us to St Hugh's Well which due to the water's high iron content is orange in colour, the well is not far from Ballinaglera Village where we visited Rynn's Grocers, Public House and Undertakers this little premises would bring you back the years with it's quaint wooden shelves, the old weighing scales still in use, even the old latch on the door. We had a short break here before making our way to Dowra, made famous during the Garda Nangle incident which made national headlines in the early 80's. We arrived into the village just as the Mart was finishing where one of our walkers, we won't mention any names, got propositioned by a middle aged bachelor whose mother had broken her hip the night before. He got straight to the point outlining how many acres of road frontage he had, how many head of sheep ect. It was like a scene from a John B Keane play. The outcome of that proposal is still uncertain!
Sunday morning we had much drier weather which made for a beautiful walk, we were taxied back to Dowra to begin our final trek to Blacklion, this section of the Cavan Way is so tranquil, following beautiful little country laneways and paths in places maybe a couple of feet wide bordered by little stone walls and with lovely views of Cuilcagh Mountain similar in shape to Ben Bulben and Knocknarea, Cuilcagh is the highest point at 665 metres in both Cavan and Fermanagh. Water from it's southern slope flows underground until it reaches the magical Shannon Pot a few miles away, the traditional source of the mighty river. Of course we took a short detour off the trail to visit the Shannon Pot and it was well worth the extra steps.
The walk then took us through the Cavan Burren Park with it's amazing views of both Cuilcagh and Lough Mac Nean, another short detour brought us to Tullygobbin Wedge Tomb known locally as the giant's grave, folklore tells of two young giants, Lag and Lugh, who both fancied a young female giant, in their efforts to impress her they challenged one another to jump over a wide chasm, Lag in a fit of bravado thought he could jump backwards, but he fell to his death and was supposedly buried here beside the chasm now known as the Giant's Leap. Our final few kilometres saw fabulous views of both lower and upper Lough Mac Nean as we made our way downhill into Blacklion, Co. Cavan. Where better to celebrate this fantastic achievment than to dine with Neven Maguire in Mac Nean House Restaurant, where the man himself was only too happy to hear of our adventures over the last 2 years. Thanks to Gerry's Taxi Service Belcoo Co Fermanagh, Blacklion Holiday Homes where we based ourselves over the weekend, to Maureen Browne who arranged the accomodation and transport, to Mike Moroney who lead the walk and got us to our final destination, to everybody who joined us along the way whether it was for a day or two here and there or more, we have had an absolutely amazing experience.
Sunday 'B' Walk to Mount Brandon
26th June 2016
Eight brave souls took on Mount Brandon on Sunday 26th June. We started our climb from the west side and followed the white posts all the way to the top. The weather was inclement to say the least, but we didn't allow it to dampen our spirits. We made our way up to the first Station of the Cross and from there the count down was on, until we reached the fourteenth Station on top of Mount Brandon. Unfortunately the the heavy mist that was with us all the way to the top, turned into heavy rain on our descent, but the sense of achievement and comradery certainly made up for what the weather had robbed us in scenery. After the walk, we had a lovely meal at the Junction Bar & Restaurant in Camp.
Ballyhoura Bears Walking Club Saturday May 21st 2016
C walk in Darragh
Eileen Hurley (087) 9002152
This walk heads uphill past a Holy Well to the forestry where it follows forest roads and woodland paths as it meanders through the trees and climbs to reach the pile of stones that is Castlegale on Carrighenry Hill from where there are fine views out over the surrounding Golden Vale countryside.
Easter Beara Breifne Way days 20,21 & 22
Easter 2016Weekend saw the Beara Breifne walkers cover a total of 101.6km from Creggs in Co. Roscommon to Ballinafad in Co. Sligo lead by Mike Moroney.
Saturday morning we left Creggs, pausing at a monument erected in 1946 by then Taoiseach Eamon de Valera to commemorate Charles Stewart Parnell, Creggs was the scene of the Irish patriot and Nationalists final speech before his death in 1891. Lunchtime found us in Ballymoe where we were given a warm welcome by the owners of The Grove Bar. Ballymoe was the birthplace of Eamon Ceannt one of the signatories of the proclamation and our walk took us past the old RIC Barracks where he was born in September 1881, his father James Kent was an RIC officer. Ernie O'Malley author of "Another Man's Wound" and "The Singing Flame" had a narrow escape in Ballymoe during the War of Independance when he had to swim the River Suck to escape after being wounded by an RIC Constable. A plaque marks the spot and the begining of the Ernie O'Malley Walk. Saturday's walk finished in Trien. Sunday took us from Trien through Ballinlough and to the shores of Lough O'Flynn passing the ruins of the old Ballinlough Railway Station on the now disused Athlone to Westport line. Creaton's of Loughglynn provided a warm welcome at lunchtime where the owner JR Creaton told us the story of Sean Bergin from Nenagh who was killed along with Stephen Mc Dermott by the Black and Tans on 19th April 1921, we took a short detour off our planned route to visit the site of the ambush where a memorial has been erected. An afternoon of heavy showers saw a happy but weary group trudge into Ballaghadreen. Monday brought sunshine as we left Ballaghadreen and made our way towards Ballinafad, passing through Largan windfarm where we had fantastic views of Ben Bulben, Knocknarea and the Sligo coastline. The lunchtime stop was at Drury's of Lough Gara after which we continued on past Moygara Castle both named for the O'Gara Clan who ruled the area from 1285AD, the present ruined castle dates from the 1500's. Our final stop on Monday as we made our way around the foothills of the Curlew Mountains was provided by the lovely Joanna who invited us to use her garden bench for our tea break and even provided us with homemade muffins! Our arrival into Ballinafad brings us to 632km of the Beara Breifne Way covered to date. Thanks to Mike Moroney, Ailin O'Hara who provided the transport for the weekend and Spelman's Guest House in Ballaghadreen.
Beara Breifne Way Day 17. Sun 21st February 2016
Starting at 9.30am from Clonfert to Aughrum our distance 29Km, Height Gained 130 Metres, Time 6hr. Before leaving Clonfert we visited St. Brendan’s Cathedral with its greatest treasure the Hiberno Romanesque Doorway and its well by a votive tree bearing rags and various objects. Leaving Clonfert it was not long before we were going through farmland, forestry, Industrially worked bogs, Grand Canal and Traditionally worked bogs, thrown in with this was a well-deserved tea brake with our lunch provided by Mary Lynch of Oak Lodge B&B (087)7924161. We finished in Aughrim with a meal at Valeries Bar & Restaurant (086)2830673. Thanks to all who helped to make this an enjoyable weekend.
Cliffs of Moher Walk - 5th September 2015
Thirty one people met in Doolin on Saturday 5th September to a glorious day of sunshine. We walked from Rock Cafe Liscannor to the Cliffs of Moher with excellent views along the coastline. We stopped at the cliffs for a break and walked to Doolin. We had blue skies from start to finish. What a day for a walk!! When we returned, we dined in Doolin Cafe to a scrumptious meal, that we had pre-ordered. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Eileen Hurley, Leader,
'A' Strenuous 8th March - Eastern Reeks, Kerry
Our A walk today was The Eastern Reeks and with no jarveymen in sight, excellent weather our group set out south from Kate Kearney’s on tarmac road leading into the Gap of Dunloe after 300m turning right to follow a zig-zag track uphill to where it ends adjacent to Struicír. From here our walk really begins, overcoming bog, steep ground, heathery, rocky slopes, exposed scrambling conquering the following Cnoch an Bhráca, Cruach Mhór (grotto), The Big Gun, Cnoc na Péiste, Maolán Búi, Cnoc an Chuillinn, Cnoc na Toinne finishing in Cronins Yard completing Dis, 18K. Height 1400M. Time 7½ hours. Thanks to all for a great day Regards
Beara-Breifne Way Jan 17th & 18th, 2015 Leg
Thanks to all for making the weekends on the Beara-Breifne Way so special. We have completed 187Km in 7 Day’s walking and climbed 6,190Metres. The total length of the walk is 685Km so there is a lot of walking left to do. Ballyvourney, covered in snow and ice, was the start of Saturday’s walk. The route followed a tarred road for a short distance before climbing through pasture and open moorland, before entering coniferous forestry. In the snow, we had magnificent views of the village, its oak woods, the Derrynasaggart Mountain range and the famous Paps of Dana. We followed forest tracks for several kilometres in knee deep snow crossing the county boundary into Kerry and back to Cork again as we winded our way below large windmills overlooking the plains of North Cork. The last part of the walk passed around Claragh Mountain into Millstreet, then entered the grounds of Drishane Castle and finished at Booing Fort outside Millstreet. On Sunday, we were not attacked by the MacCarthys of Drishane Castle but started our walk on the O’Keefe Booning Castle side of the Blackwater River, our route then travelled through Duhallow following quite country roads, Deernagree village via the Island Woods, crossing the River Dalua before reaching Millstreet. Well done to everyone. Information on the next section will be ready next week.
Walks report 30th November2014
The A walk commenced from Cush car park in beautiful weather taking in Knockmoyle and Cush at a lively pace. It was then onto Borheen Lough and along the valley on the 450 contour line rising gradual in the direction of the col between Knockastakeen and spot height 786 then turning back traversing the Balcony on the 600 to 650 contour lines. After tea brake we climbed Galtybeg, Galtymore, SLievecushnabinna and back to cars by the stone man having climbed 1190 meters and 17Km. Thanks to all 14 walkers for a great day’s walk. Also we met Daddy Bear on top of Galtymore and entertained and led us safely back to base.
FEI SHEEHY CHALLENGE - WALK REPORT
I spent yesterday reflecting on the previous three days and tidying up a few challenge related loose ends. I was tired. The caffeine buzz from the energy gel was finally wearing off.
I knew I had to write something but I didn't know where to start. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm a bit obsessed with this hill walking lark. Is it a good obsession? I don't know.
Johnny made me smile (he always does) after arriving on Galtymore on Saturday. The weather was miserable and he said that the only way he got up was to keep telling himself "Don't look up. Don't look up...." He (jokingly) reckoned that I was going to cure a lot of people of their walking 'sickness' after the three days. From the messages and comments I've been getting since, we're all still infected.
Friday morning was overcast in Clonmel. The setting of Raheen House Hotel was as beautiful as ever though. As the bus made its way to Dungarvan the skies cleared. Those that hadn't walked the Comeragh's before were going to be in for a scenic treat.
I thought that walkers would take it handy on day one as it was a step into the unknown, in terms of fitness and endurance, for most. Foolish me, the handbrake was off on the track up to Crohaun.
At Coumfea, the vast majority of walkers headed for Carrignagower and Knockanaffrin Ridge. I had thought they all might have elected to go via the Nire Car Park and save a bit of energy. Again, I was wrong. They could 'cross' the mountain ranges any way they wanted to. Go from point A to point B with no checkpoints in between. If they could make it easier on themselves by navigating a certain route, fair play to them.
Water was running low, or gone, by the time walkers reached the Holy Year Cross. It was hot; and it's hard to balance the quantity and weight for long distance hikes. Your spirit doesn't sink though, as you've got entertaining company all the way home.
My heart sank when I saw the forecast for Saturday. We were going to get destroyed. Were Met Eireann wrong? Was YR.NO wrong? Between 10mm and 14mm of rain!!?Seriously!!? They couldn't be right. I put two coats in the bag.
I wondered who wouldn't show up after seeing the forecast. They were all there in a cold and dreary Anglesboro and we had a few more participants. I'm not mad; because all these other walkers couldn't be mad too. Again, by the time we got to Cahir the sky looked better.
It was a tough day in the Galty's but thankfully we didn't get all the rain. Maybe we had a little guardian angel looking after us. I told Johnny and Mary that if we met anyone on Galtymore, who asked where we were coming from, to tell them Dungarvan. It wouldn't have been a fib.
Now, I've heard that there was a guy playing the bagpipes at the end of the Galty Challenge one year. But, we were treated to the sounds of Thin Lizzy and AC DC, courtesy of a biker convention. The girls were there to greet us in 'the field' and had homemade scones and chocolates to give us a boost. The girls are great. All walkers arrive home safe. It is so comforting from an organisational point of view to have competent and self-sufficient walkers on the mountain.
Day three would bring us to Ballyporeen for sign-in and then the bus to Keane's Bridge where we would be set loose on the Knockmealdown's. A goat and a sheep walked casually by us, on the main street in the village, as we congregated. Hill walkers everywhere.
It was another good day, weather wise. Two showers and the sun beating down at its strongest when you were climbing to 630m from the Baylough car park. It’s always at its hottest when you have to exert yourself that little bit more.
David was on fire. Taking in three summits that were surplus to requirements. Why? Because that's how he rolls. All the navigational strategies and tactics, in reducing distance and height gain, for us lesser walking mortals would be for nought. He'd be home first anyway.
I walked alone from Knockclugga to Ballyporeen. Bridie had told me to walk on while she got something out of her rucksack. I saw Pavel and Andy off to my left and I was slightly ahead of them so I decided to put the boot down. I was thinking of Fei and I know she would have been urging me on. I was walking hard into my home town with tears in my eyes. I was glad I was on my own, but I’m never alone on the hills.
This challenge was in her memory, she was a tough cookie, determined and fiercely brave. You have to be tough, determined and brave to take on a challenge like this. If you had 95kms and 4,200m height gain clocked on your boots over three days, I don't think you'll be forgetting her name very quickly.
My mother and the other ladies from the local ICA treated us to tea/coffee, sandwiches and cakes while we relaxed and reflected on the three days. No signs of tiredness, that would come tomorrow.
I’m not going to do a thank you list of people and businesses. I’m sure to leave a few out and I don’t want to offend anyone. From the initial idea to closing the doors at the community hall in Ballyporeen there were many many supporters. Suffice to say, if I spoke or wrote to you about this, you helped me. Thank You.
The feedback to date has been fantastic and I’m very humbled by your kind and wonderful comments. There’s no doubt about it, I just love a challenging hillwalk and the people that participate and push themselves. If you know someone who works for Johnson & Johnson, tell them they're welcome for the spike in sales of Compeed.
Please leave some feedback in the comments section.
Martha Beardmore, Pat Beardmore, Pavel Bodi, Luke Bourke, Kevin Bowen, David Browne, Seamus Dorney, Steven Forde, Connor Hackett, Dorina Iacov, Kieran Johnson, Sinéad Johnson, Sinéad Keogh, David Kiely, Liam McNally, Gerry McVeigh, Paula Mollohan, Michael Moroney, Frank Nash, Josephine O’Brien, John O’Connell, Mary O’Connell, Bridie O’Connor, Josephine O’Donnell, Noreen O’Halloran, Andy Owens, Ken Quinlivan, Niall Quinlivan, Michael Rea, Owen Ryan, Gerard Sheehy.
Sign-In/Sign-Out and Stand-By
Margo Kelly, Martha Beradmore, Tom Lyons, Michael Desmond, Pat Fahey, Sinéad McGrath.
27th July, 2014.
On Sunday last Pat Hevenor led a walk at the north western side of The Burren. Assembling at Monks in Ballyvaughan the weather seemed as if it could go one way or another, but thankfully the threatening rain departed towards Galway in the north leaving us with a glorious day from start to finish.
As is his wont, Pat had prepared this walk meticulously, providing many options to chose from. We decided to concentrate in the north western corner of this unique terrain. A more energetic bunch of ‘Bears’, set out directly from Ballyvaughan while the rest of us drove a short distance to the west that let us ascend an old Mass Path that used to lead to a medieval parish church adjacent to Gleninagh Castle. It seems to be a feature of County Clare, and particularly this part of the County, that there is a proliferation of Castles leading one to conclude that this was a bellicose territory in the middle ages!
The initial ascent was a bit of a pipe opener, hand railing Gleninagh Mountain to the west. Soon the reward was unfolding as the characteristic Galway Bay opened up for us with the Twelve Bens towering in the background.
We swung to the west from the Mass Path to a route that led us on to Gleninagh Mountain (Cnoc Achadhna Glinne, 1045 ft). The climb was generous, and we were aided by a constant gentle breeze to compensate for the accumulated heat that was raising up to us from the limestone. Now we had a complete 360* panorama of breathtaking beauty. We all agreed that it would be difficult to put this experience into words; the shape of the terrain, the multitude of flora everywhere, the birdsong, the azure of the sea...... the solitude.
Our next target was the trig point on Gleninagh. As we advanced on this lo and behold the ‘energetic bunch’ appeared from ... ? I don’t think that they even knew how they got here. We walked together for a while – a short while- before we took a route to the north; they to the south. We continued in the direction of Black Head (Ceann Boine) until we reached Dun Irghuis . Now the western coastline of north west Clare revealed itself to us down to Fanore beach and beyond.
So where to next? We decided on searching for the ‘deserted village’ somewhere south of Fermoyle. This was good fun as we had an idea of where it was but didn’t know what it would look like when/ if we found it. We were now directly overhead the Kyber Pass and the Caher River giving us a good chance of spotting our object. There were several ‘sightings’ with none of us being convinced that we had actually found it. Eventually we all agreed on where it was – maybe we were right. We had no one to disagree with us.
It was time to think of heading for home. Much and all a we were enjoying the day the reality of a long day out and a journey home had to be considered. We swung north again and did a bit of ascending across Aghaglinny before dropping accurately on to the Mass Path that started us on this wonderful walk over six hours previously. Returning to Ballyvaughan meant only one thing – fresh fish in Monks. As we went about our repast the ‘energetic bunch’ appeared for their refreshments. This time, however, the energy was depleted! One thing we all had in common was that this was a memorable day out. If there was any loser, it was those Bears that didn’t make it to The Burren on Sunday.
BERE BREFFNI WAY
ST. PATRICK’S WEEKEND 2014.
From time to time in the club our walks leaders come up with unusual and exciting ideas for new and innovative walks. Imaginative walks like this are always welcome.
Last December Mike Moroney came up with the suggestion that he would lead a walk on the Beara peninsula covering the three days of St Patrick’s weekend. This sounded as if it was going to be a weekend with a difference; little did we realise the research that he had already put into the project. The suggestion was accepted and he was given a free hand to go ahead with the planning. This was the green light that he needed ably assisted by Breda Noonan.
Shortly afterwards his idea was maturing into a reality. We were to walk from Dursey Sound transversely across the peninsula to Glengarriff covering the 70 kilometres on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the holiday weekend. The walk was to be a joint walk between The Bears and The Galty Club, and sure if anyone else wanted to join in they were welcome. The project became more of a reality when meticulously prepared and researched maps, walks plans and measurements were circulated leaving those interested in enlisting in the weekend’s activities under no illusion but that there was something very special in store. We were not to be disappointed.
Friday evening was given to ‘assembly’ at Glengarriff and if the ‘briefing’ for the weekend was informal, it was sufficient to convince us to be at the departure point in good time in the morning for baggage transport arrangements to be concluded and for our own transportation to the start at Dursey Sound.
The forecast for the weekend was positive. Even so there was a nice bite in the breeze on Saturday morning at the Sound as we collected for the first leg of the journey that was to take us to Castletown Bearhaven that evening . Firstly we headed towards Garnish and Firkeel Gap with stunning views of Kenmare River and the Iveragh peninsula to the north; the small fertile farms and neatly maintained homesteads of Beara to the south and east and the diminishing view of Dursey Island to our west. The scene was set for an enthralling weekend of walking. Shortly the white sands of Ballydonegan Strand came into view as did the spectacularly colourful village of Allihes. Although there wasn’t a planned stop at Allihes, some of the group of over thirty walkers couldn’t resist the temptation to rest a while there before departing the coastline and taking on the inland route across Knockgour and descending through forestation to the breathtaking views of Bear Haven and Bear Island, sitting majestically in the calm waters of Bantry Bay. It is at times like these that walkers appreciate wholesome value of their pastime. Added to this there was the excitement, for some, of picking out the multitude of ancient features that populate the area; Megalithic Tombs, Fulachtai Fia, Holy Wells etc. Our group dined sumptuously at Murphy’s Restaurant on the pier at Castletown on Saturday evening and relaxed a bit more in McCarthy’s Bar later on before retiring to our B & B’s for the evening.
Day two started on time as we set out on our 21 Km trek to Adrigole skirting beneath Mt. Maulin on the Miskish Range and Hungry Hill of the Caha Range. Once again the weather conditions couldn’t have been better. Our progress was steady but throughout our attention was being inexorably drawn towards the sheer rugged beauty of the surrounding terrain. To our south we had Bear Island with Sheep’s Head peninsula beyond. Gradually we drew level with the lovely natural harbour at Rerrin on Bear Island while immediately to our north rose the curiously structured rock formation that is aptly named ‘Hungry Hill’; one cannot imagine any form of life sustaining an existence on it. The terrain on this leg of our trek changed considerably throughout the day enforcing a bit more concentration on safety, but happily there were no injuries or any reported incidents. Adrigole must be the biggest small place in Ireland! It’s place name is signposted some 5 Km from Peg’s Shop on the west and at the same distance on the east giving you a false sense of having arrived at your destination sooner than you did. Nonetheless the hospitality that the B & B’s offered us more than compensated for the road walk at the end of the day.
St Patrick’s day was to account for the last 20 Km of the journey to Glengarriff. Weather wise it was less clement than the previous two, but that didn’t deter us. Once again thirty plus walkers took off in a north easterly direction climbing steadily between Glenlough Mountain on the north and Sugarloaf (yes, there is one here as well!) Mountain on the south. Somehow you felt that the day was going to improve as the cloud seemed determined to lift, and so it did. The variety of colours on the mountain were the feature of today’s walk, forever changing as the clouds crossed the skies in their attempt to disappear altogether. Eventually we were treated to the spectacular view of Barley Lake and the fertile valley surrounding it affording a livelihood to the handful of sheep farmers that populate the area. If Adrigole on the previous day could be charged with being the biggest small place in the country, then surely this valley must be able to boast the smallest lake with the longest name in the country – Lake Eekenohoolikeaghaun! Such is the charm of these remote places that we encounter on a day’s walk. The final leg of our trek took us through Glengarriff Wood to our destination to conclude a truly memorable weekend of walking.
Rumour has it that this is just the start of a much more ambitious project that Mike is hatching. Ultimately it seems that the entire Bere Breffni way will be on offer in various stages for those wishing to partake! Keep an eye out for further instalments.
26TH JANUARY 2014
January can be a volatile month, weather wise, for the hill walker. This was the case last Sunday.
The ‘B’ walk was billed to start from Clydagh Bridge an hour after the ‘A’ walk from the same venue in the hope that the two walks might just collide towards their respective conclusions, and we’d all arrive back at the starting point together. All things being equal that might have happened; January weather is the great destabilizer. It upset this plan. Gale force winds driving sleet, snow and sometimes, even, rain compelled us to wrap up in our most wind and water tight gear, put our heads down and get on with it. As is always the case, once you start it isn’t anything as bad as you imagined.
The parking area at the Bridge was so congested that it was necessary to relocate our starting point to the nearby Cush Car Park. It was from there that nine of us took off in the general direction of Cush but without any preconceived route on account of the prevailing weather. Originally it was hoped that we might manage to get onto Knockastakeen and thence to Cush. This was not going to be possible on Sunday. Crossing the river between the two was not an option; it was raging. Hence we decided to stay on the west of this river in and around Cush.
Our initial rise to the style at the top of Knockmoyle was greeted by the new stone crafted direction signs shifting the pathway to the east of the track hitherto used to get to the style. The work of Mountain Methal in this respect is to be commended.
In between the squalls that visited us the weather cleared to allow us view typical winter scenes all around of us as we rose gently to 450M point adjacent to the shelter of Corrigeen Wood. Fearbreaga, Greenane, Galtybeg and Galtymore to the south all towered over us with a gentle dusting of snow on them; the Glen of Aherlow to the north with flooded fields shining in the sunlight along the depth of the valley was an unique sight. We were nicely sheltered now by the wood to our east and Cush to our west.
We had the choice of hand railing the wood on a trek through Glencoshabinnia to Borheen Lough or ascent the eastern flank of Cush to its summit. The latter choice was selected. It was the correct one. The rise to the top was a challenging one for a ‘B’ walk but all managed it without difficulty, even if the shelter that we enjoyed down below was now denied to us. We found enough cover, however, to have our food break in the course of which we discovered that two of our company were ‘first timers’ on Cush. Well done to them. It was time, now, to try ‘phone contact with the ‘A’ walkers to establish if we could join with them for the end of our respective walks. No luck. So we set out on our homeward journey by ourselves.
The descent from Cush was tricky with the gusting wind coming at us from the south west. We had no complaints about this, though, as it was truly invigorating. Once again it was pleasing to see the fruit of the Mount Methal work on the descent from Knockmoyle. We reached our cars safely about four hours after the start to find that, hot on our heels, arrived the remnants of the ‘A’ walk as though we had planned it!
If ever there was a day to prove that your investment in appropriate walking gear was justified, last Sunday was that day.
Sunday 26th January A Walk
Sunday’s A walk on the Galtys commenced from Clydagh Bridge with 15 walkers, moving swiftly onto Drumleagh borheen before reaching open moorland in Moneynaboola, heading southwest towards the Rock of Eaglais on the slopes of Knockmoyle. One got a sense that this walk would excite all the senses. Enveloped with a feeling of boundless freedom the group crossed the Glounegarriff river on the Tipperary Limerick border in Ballygeana valley with its lush green meadows, plenty of fresh air and breath taking views of the Glen of Aherlow. It was from here that our unforgettable mountaineering adventure begun in earnest, enduring snow and gale force winds. We climbed towards the track near the Glounnageeha river in Baunteen on our endeavours to summit Carrignabinnia mountain our first peak of the day. At this point 6 of the group decided for option one which was back the valley on a 500 metre contour. For those who summited Carrignabinnia it was gale force winds at our backs as we quickly conquered Slievecushnabinna, Galtymore the highest point of the day and finally Galtybeg. At the ‘Geata Step’ we abandoned the option of the balcony above Boreen Lough as the prevailing gale force winds were extremely hazardous. Our alternative return by Cush Mountain to our cars completed the 18km walk. Enduring 5½ hours of inclement weather and a climb of 1290 metres in energy sapping conditions was one way of concluding that, January brings the rain, thaws the frozen lakes again! Thanks to all who ventured forth today, good company makes it all so enjoyable and worthwhile.