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Carrauntohill - April 2002.

Height: 3414' (1039m)
Grid Ref: V803844
Summited: 06 April 2002

The highest point in all of Ireland.


We had spent much of our time in Ireland exploring the the Dingle Peninsular in the magical Kingdom of Kerry within the isle of Ireland. We had visited ancient forts, shrines, film locations, inscribed stones and climbed the holy mountain of Saint Brandon. In the fair Kingdoms pubs we drank a drop of the black stuff and partaken in a sip of the waters-of-life.


With plenty left to see and do it was soon unfortunately time to point the car towards Dublin and head for our flight home, a journey during which we had planned to do a little 'mountain hoping' along the heights of Carrauntoohil, Galtymore and Lugnaquilla - known to the soldiers at the artillery range there simply as 'The Lug!'


At a campsite in Killarney we ate a supper of vegetable stew and drank bottles of Guiness; listened to the local radio station and fed crumbs of bread to a friendly robin.


It was going to be one of those great days in the hills, sunshine, peace and quiet, a bit of a walk, a bit of a scramble and topping out on Carrauntoohill, the principle peak of MacGillycuddys Reeks and at 3409 feet high, the highest mountain in all of Ireland.


We had parked at a farm beyond the Corrauntoohil Youth Hostel at the cost of 2euro. An old boy told us that it would be a fine day but views would be limited because of a low mist, asking whether or not the sun might not burn off the mist he simply answered "perhaps"  - perhaps in this case meaning 'of course not you stupid bloody Englishman!'


Our route up the mountain took us in our shirtsleeves across the  Black Stream  and out onto Hags Glen, following the sinuous flow of the Christ Sorrows Beck  towards the scramble known as The Devils Ladder. To the right and above the trail we walked were the crags known as the Hags Teeth and to the left, jutting out obscenely, The Bone.


On the breezy summit of Carrauntoohill we paused for a celebratory bottle of Guiness under a giant cross formed from iron girders. The views were tremendous but a little hazy, the old boy at the car park was right!

For a little blarney behind our discovery of a singular simulacrum on the lower slopes of Carrauntoohill, read on!