Atop of Ireland

Few weeks ago we finally manage to organize a hike to the highest peak in Ireland the Carrauntoohill mountain in county Kerry. I have been planning to go for ages now the only problem was to find a day when we are off work and the weather is acceptable.

We arrived at Cronin’s Yard where we left the car and started the hike

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Soon enough the path disappeared completely and we had to rely only the basic directions I got from the net the night before. I had certain points with coordinates we had to pass but even I thought the path will be more clear.

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I have chosen the O’Shea route with the most scenic views but also higher in difficulty.

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Carrauntoohill left and Hag’s tooth on the right, the O’Shea route is in the middle
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some parts required “light” climbing
After reaching the first flat level the hike became bit more steep…

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And then in a typical Irish fashion the weather changed from clear sky to a huge hailstorm and in a matter of minutes the landscape changed slightly and the temperature dropped significantly.

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Through an dried out waterfall we climbed to another flat level but the climb was not over…

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Almost on top now we took the opportunity to take few pictures as it looks another storm is coming our way. The hike was bit more difficult than anticipated but the view from top was well worth it.

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The highest sheep in Ireland about 1000m above sea level.
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We made it to the top together with a big storm which turned the visibility to zero

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the only picture not taken by me. Nice old Canadian lady took it before hiking to four more peaks nearby making us look like amateurs. (note the scarf on leg is holding my pants together)
Towards the top I managed to rip my pants just when the temperatures reached bellow zero so I was literary freezing my ass off. I hold them together with my scarf for the rest of the hike.

Luckily the weather improved on the way down. But using my phone for navigation and picture taking depleted my battery and I did not bring my big camera with me so I just enjoyed the hike. We took a longer route back but less difficult giving us a chance to see some more of the scenery.

The whole hike took 8 hours after I had to drive for an hour to Cork and going straight for a night shift for another 8 hours. I was really tired but happy tired…

some other atop responses

rfljenskythe girl in a bubbleIndira’s blog  and many more

in response to weekly photo challenge “ATOP” the challenge

Instagram @zemogula

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